For me spinning singles came out of my desire to spin the best yarn I can. I’m not a robot so I will have bumps along the road. That’s what make me human. But I want to do my best as often as I am able. There have been bad days where I wonder what the heck I’m doing with the contraption I lovingly named Loki. And there have been really good days when I find myself squishing a particularly lovely skein of yarn like it’s a stuffed toy.
I started spinning on a spindle in October of 2016. Eventually, I purchased a spinning wheel and my love of making yarn really took off. My ideal yarn is smooth and even and as thin as I can make it. Call me frugal, but I want to get the most mileage out of my fiber. Thick and thin chunky yarn is wasted on me. That’s how I am and I’m perfectly happy.
In the beginning I would create crazy colored skeins by plying together the singles left over from my spinning projects. It was fun to see the interesting ways the colors would come together and it cleaned off the bobbins. The leftover ply of yarn I wanted to keep was put on empty toilet paper rolls for the future. What exactly in the future I don’t know, but I certainly don’t want to waste good fiber.
One day as I browsed the internet for tips on preventing over-spun yarn, I came across a picture of a single ply skein. I was drawn to it’s smooth texture. You couldn’t see the twist of two plyes because there was only one. Yeah, I know I’ve been spinning singles all along, but the concept finally hit me. Singles are really cool looking!
With a change to my spinning technique (aka: Don’t over spin, you idiot!) and a really cool way of setting the yarn (It’s science!), I am now hooked on singles. Yeah, I still do two plyed yarn more than singles, but I have the option of skipping that step.
Examples of My Singles
Carded Leftovers – I wanted the second ply of an alpaca art batt to be straight Merino in similar colors. I was bound to have extra because there was more of the straight Merino than the alpaca batt. My single ended up being 1.2 ounces and 206 yards. It’s also very soft so my spinning was on point for this skein.
Unicorn Poop – I had a teeny bit left over from a 100% merino braid. I can’t remember exactly why I wanted my bobbin clean, but I do know I chose to make this into a single. Nope, not such a good idea. This was definitely over spun. It is not balanced and even with a good thorough fulling, it’s not soft and is full of kinks. At only 25 yards, there wasn’t much wasted and I’m sure I can do something with it. Not a win, but a good experiment nevertheless.
Rainbows – The original braid had short one inch segments of color. I didn’t want the colors to become muddied when I plyed it with itself or lost if I plyed it with a white or black. Unfortunately, it’s still not as bright as the original braid, but that’s alright. I ended up with 590 yards at a DK weight. It keeps telling me it wants to be a shawl and I have another braid to spin so I can make the shawl larger. This skein is not as soft and smooth at the first skein above, but as it is a 30 micron wool, I should not be too concerned.
Have you even left your spinning as singles? If you did, how did they come out? Were you happy with them? Let me know. I would love to get input from other spinners.
Have an excellent day!