Cathartic Ink

putting my own spin on things

Spring is for Spinning, Part 1


Spring has sprung, bringing with it the ever changing rain-sun-rain-sun-hail-rain again cycle that is one of the things I love most about living in the Willamette Valley. My crafty desires have been following the path of the weather, changing on a whim. I have nine knitting projects in progress right now and as they all move slowly along I crave the instant gratification that comes from small spinning projects.

To kick off my spinning binge I finished spinning up some 90% pygora 10% silk blend batts from Rainbow Yarns Northwest. Terry and Susan, the women behind the pygoras, are absolutely fabulous and I couldn’t resist these amazing, cloudlike puffs at last fall’s Oregon Flock and Fiber Festival.

I broke out my awesome fast flyer for my spinning wheel and spun the singles at a ratio of 16:1 (for non spinners, that means that for every one turn of the wheel the flyer turns 16 times) to put a good deal of twist into the singles to hold the very fine pygora together in thin singles.

From there, I plied them at the same ratio, and the result is 600 yards of squishy and shiny laceweight yarn, that is being knit (slowly) into Romi Hill’s Bitterroot Shawl from Knitty Winter 2009.

It’s not the most fluffy yarn I’ve ever spun, and I probably could have gotten away with less twist, to make a softer yarn, but I’m relatively pleased with it. More spinning projects to come!


  1. Terry

    Oh Bonnie – that is a gorgeous spinning job!!! WOW! I just wanted to leave this comment because you are about to learn one of the quirky things about working with Pygora….your knitting will soften the yarn and it will become that wonderful soft stuff again. Honest! And since you put sufficient twist in your yarn, your garment will not only be nice and cozy, but will wear well. Can’ wait to see it IRL!

  2. bonnie/AmpuTeeHee

    I’m not nearly as proficient with the spinning as you are, but I did recently take a spinning workshop that was Pygora specific. My stuff came out a bit ropey, but once I knit with it and blocked the swatch, it bloomed some and got fluffier.
    Regardless, that’s gonna be one awesome Bitterroot!

  3. Jaime

    Oh I love that photo of the flower. It’s really amazing! And the yarn is beautiful. I wish I could spin like that.