Saturday Morning Spinning – a bit on finishing yarn

September 7, 2013

Good morning everyone, and happy Saturday! I’ve got a bit of a busy day ahead of me, starting with a routine vet appointment for one of my dogs at 9AM, so there won’t be much time for me to spin this morning. I love that my vet has Saturday hours so that I don’t have to take time off from work for regular visits. Later on this afternoon I am going to close up my pool. It’s time. It hasn’t been used in a few weeks, and no matter what high temperatures we might still get, the water is just too cold to go in.

During this past week I finished the Masham. Like a lot of the yarns I make, it became a 3 ply. I gave it a soak in the bathroom sink last night and a good thrashing around in the hot soapy water to full the yarn a bit and now it’s hanging up to dry. The final yarn came out a little bit fuzzier than you see here in the picture.

I know a lot of people who soak their yarns to finish them, but handle them as gently as possible for fear of felting the yarn. I have yet to have that happen and I usually handle my yarns pretty roughly during this finishing stage. I agitate the yarn in the sink pretty vigorously and rub it together between my hands as thoroughly as possible around the whole skein. The water I use it hot, but not so hot that I can’t put my hands in it, and all of the thrashing around probably lasts less than three minutes. That may contribute to the fact that I haven’t actually felted anything yet.

I like the results I get, but keep in mind there are times when a gentler approach may be best. Sometimes the fiber or the spinning technique may warrant a simple soak and gentle pressing out of the water. Maybe the yarn needs a more thorough felting of the fibers. I’ve seen some singles yarns where this has been done. Or maybe the finishing and fulling of the yarn is something you want to happen after the yarn has been knitted or woven into the final fabric.

Take a look through the various spinning groups on Ravelry for discussions on the topic of finishing your handspun yarn, but keep in mind that spinners of all levels of experience have their own opinions on what to do and when to do it. You’ll likely find as much disagreement as agreement on methods and techniques.

I’d love to hear from readers what you do to finish your Handspun yarns. Please comment and share your techniques!
It’s going to be a beautiful early autumn day (technically it’s still late summer) so I’ll most likely fit in some spinning time in the back yard this afternoon too. I’ve pulled out some ‘domestic wool’ from my stash to spin next. The colorway is called ‘Maine Woods’ and although this is New York, I think its perfect for this time of year.

Enjoy your weekend!

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