Photo of Amy King

Foundations of Spinning

with Amy King
Foundations of Spinning
Get started spinning! Learn essential techniques and helpful tricks for putting your new wheel to good use, and create the yarn you’ve been dreaming of.

Learn what to do after you take your wheel out of the box, with expert guidance from renowned fiber artist and author Amy King. You’ll begin by getting to know your wheel, its drive system and what each part does. Next, get warm and fuzzy with fiber! Learn about different fiber types and the various states in which you may find your fleece. Discover proper posture and hand placement as you prepare to spin. Amy will also work through a few wheel games to familiarize your body with these new movements. Then, find out how to attach a leader to the bobbin as you practice spinning with several different fibers. You’ll work through honing your skills, creating twists and even journaling your yarn to track your impressive improvements! Plus, explore a variety of plies as you learn Andean plying, plying from bobbins, cable and more before finishing your yarn with ease. Finally, find out how to care for your wheel so that it’s always ready to go for a spin!

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Lesson plan


Lesson 1. Getting to Know Your Wheel

  • Meet your instructor, spinning expert Amy King, and learn about the different types of spinning wheels, their parts and how they work. If you already have a wheel or are shopping for a new one, you're sure to glean some useful advice.


Lesson 2. Fibers

  • You'll want to choose a high-quality fiber to practice with, but how do you know what to choose? Amy walks you through the types of fleece that are available, from unprocessed Shetland fleece full of lanolin and vegetable matter to washed and combed top from a Wensleydale sheep. You'll consider staple length, how the fibers are aligned, whether you want natural or dyed wool and what the best choices are for beginners.


Lesson 3. Getting Started at Your Wheel

  • Are you ready to start spinning? Amy shows you the best posture for spinning in ergonomic comfort, then explains the S and Z twists that form in your yarn as you spin. If you're brand-new to spinning or looking for a refresher, Amy offers some spinning games that will help you get used to treadling and feeding the fiber through your hands — a process that will help you get a feel for your wheel's settings.


Lesson 4. Spinning: The Basics

  • Whether you're spinning roving, combed top or a batt, Amy will show you how to start spinning it. See how to attach a leader to your bobbin and how to hold your hands as you feed the fiber. She also shares tips on troubleshooting when your yarn — or your back! — starts acting up.


Lesson 5. Honing Your Skills

  • Refine your spinning skills by practicing the long draw, sliding long draw and short draw, both forward and backward. Learn how to spin from the fold and how to park and draft. You'll want to save samples of your work for future reference, so Amy has provided journal cards and a protractor you can use to take note of your twists' measurements.


Lesson 6. How to Ply

  • With some singles under your belt, you can start plying your yarns with Amy's guidance. Learn about the different types of plied yarns and how to achieve them: two-ply, three-ply, four-ply (or chain-ply) and Navajo-ply. Learn how to make an Andean plying bracelet and gain other tips for managing your yarns as you ply.


Lesson 7. Yarn Finishing & Wheel Maintenance

  • Once you've spun your yarn, it's time to turn it into skeins, give it a bath and find a project to knit or crochet! Amy will help you with all three, and share advice on how to maintain your wheel for years of happy spinning.

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For $29.99 you get:

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  • Class materials, including a spinning wheel diagram, yardage guide and journal cards
  • Hours of close-up instruction
  • Answers from Amy in our virtual classroom
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