Setting the Twist Tutorial
After you finish spinning a skein of yarn, it's important to set the twist. This helps the energy in your yarn relax and it also helps the yarn bloom which shows you how a finished object made with your yarn will behave after it is washed. You don't want any surprises to show up.
I started out with these 3 skeins. As you can see they still full of twist energy. I always overply my yarns and this is the result I end up with. (My very first skein of handspun yarn which I spindle spun and plied on a wheel was very "balanced looking" when I was finished, but when I went to knit with it, it was very underplyed = lesson learned).
My samples are: Humbug Finnish, Merino/Silk and Finn wool.
**Its very important to tie your skeins in at least 3 places. This prevents tangles and tears
Fill your basin/sink with warm water and a bit of Soak wash. Place your skeins in the water and gently submerge them to release any air bubbles. Make sure the skeins are completely wet. Let the water & wool wash flow through your fibres for at least 15 - 20 minutes.
Now for the fun part - thwacking! I find this really helps my skeins relax and it releases a ton of built up energy. Take the damp skein out of the salad spinner and hold it with your arms outstretched. Bring your hands close together and then very quickly open your arms wide and your skein will make a slapping sound. I have demonstrated this step in this quick video:
You can also hit your skein along the side of your tub or another hard surface.
Hang your skeins in a warm place to dry. *This step goes really fast if its nice and hot and you can hang these outside. You can see how much they have relaxed compared to the first photo.
Now after all of this, I should also say, that your don't HAVE to do this. There are no spinning police. If you don't want to set the twist, that's fine, just keep in mind that your yarn will behave differently when working with it. If you want an energized yarn then perfect :)
Let me know if you have any questions and happy spinning!
3/2/2018 06:05:13 am
Wonderful information, just what I was looking for. Thank you!
11/27/2019 12:27:25 pm
Thank you for the tutorial.
4/3/2020 12:27:04 pm
Thank you for this informative video! If I do Not have a salad spinner, might I just wrap and press the soaked yarn in a towel? Thank you!
2/11/2021 03:31:36 pm
This was wonderful. Never used the salad spinner for lettuce...so away we went.
10/31/2021 07:50:18 am
How do you know if yarn is fully dry? Just by touch? Is there a minimum time you should let your yarn dry for?
11/21/2021 06:22:44 pm
Hi Anna-Marie, I find if I leave the skein overnight it is usually dry in the morning. The other thing I like to do is on a nice warm, windy day, I hang my skeins up outside and they dry SUPER fast. Just give them a feel and if they are a bit damp, leave them for longer.
11/13/2021 08:12:34 am
Do you not soak the yarn on the niddy noddy to keep the tension while the twist sets? Or is that not necessary? I'm new to spinning (drop spindle), so I thought I needed to soak it on the niddy noddy--and then mine broke last night as I was trying to take the yarn off to hang it to dry, so I don't know what to do to set my twist now.
11/21/2021 06:09:15 pm
Hi Darcy, if you have a pvc niddy noddy you can soak your yarn on it. The water will ruin other materials like wood though. There really is no need to add tension to your yarn (I feel) if you don't want to. I haven't added tension to 99% of my skeins. Keep in mind, once your yarn is in a project, it is a lot stronger then just the single (or ply) by itself. If your skein broke I would either felt it back together again or just make your skein into 2 smaller skeins. Hope this helps!
11/21/2021 06:13:46 pm
I see. No, I had a plastic (3-D printed) niddy noddy, and the niddy noddy broke when I tried to take the yarn off of it, not the skein itself.
11/21/2021 06:19:57 pm
Oh I see! You can always try a PVC one. I found this great tutorial which might help you:https://www.thechillydog.com/2017/07/how-to-make-niddy-noddy-to-skein-yarn.html
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