Welcome to Esther's Blog

Welcome to Esther's Blog

The World According to Esther

Yarn for the Sake of Yarn- SPINZILLA Blogtour

The entire idea of Spinzilla is to spin as much yarn as you can in a week.  That’s pretty much my entire Fall, when I’m preparing for Southeastern Animal Fiber Fair!! So how do you go about doing that? Spinning lots or yarn fast- no projects in mind, just yarn for the sake of just yarn!

Most spinners are “givers” or “takers” in their spinning style. If you’re a “giver”, this means, as a spinner, you keep your tension low and you “give” the yarn to the wheel by doing a slight pushing motion when you spin, pushing the yarn onto the bobbin when you are ready for it to move. If you’re a “taker”, that means you keep your tension set a big higher when you spin, so that the yarn is taken from your hand and winds onto the bobbin.

When your challenge is not only to spin as much yarn as possible, but to do it fast, you might just fall into your most comfortable style- but I challenge you to try something new. Are you a short forward draw “giver”?  Maybe try spinning long draw in a taker style..
Sometimes stepping out of our usual box gives new insight to styles we might prefer for different situations.

When I’m spinning lots of yarn,  I try not to over think how I’m spinning and just let things flow. I like to set my tension at a medium low so I can get enough twist, but there’s enough tug that the yarn is taken out of my hands.  I usually corespin, but when I’m going for speed and yardage I tend to spin rolags in a modified long draw.

When I want to spin lots of yarn, I’ll get lots of different fiber prep’s ready to spin. Batts, rolags, tops and locks- I’ll dye and card -prepping it all first. Then I can just spin- I don’t need to think about WHAT to spin!  This is also great because I can combine colorways to create new combinations.  It’s important to have lofty fluffy fiber- not fiber that’s sticky or felty. You want to be using your time and energy spinning- not pulling apart fiber.

I do spin lots of yarn- prepping for shows, spinning samples. I have a few extra tips that may help you along-

My 3 tips for spinning lots of yarn FAST
1.Get something you can commit to while your spinning- an audiobook, a new album or binge on netflix.
2. mix up your spinning techniques and styles. Spinning FAST doesn’t help if you get bored and stop.  working on something new, that may be a little slower will keep you engaged and challenged.
3. Make sure whatever you are spinning on is in tip top shape. Tighten bolts and screws, oil where necessary, condition the wood.  It’s impossible to spin if your tools aren’t working.

Good luck in your challenge to spin for the love of spinning. Spin without overthinking. Try making fauxlags with combed top and spin a fluffy woolen yarn as fast as you can. Is is faster than what you are doing now? What about if you spin with a batt? The fluffier and better.. and just SPIN ON!

There’s still time to sign up!!!
Spinzilla is a global challenge to see who can spin the most yarn in a week. Teams and individuals take to their spinning devises to make as much yarn as possible in a very short amount of time. The event is designed to get spinners to push past their fears and to raise money for the NeedleArts Mentoring Program to foster the handspinners of tomorrow. Teams are hosted by members of the National NeedleArts Spinning and Weaving Group. Spinner registration is now open! To see the complete list of teams and an FAQ list, visit Spinzilla’s website at www.spinzilla.org.

Our big overriding goal is to spin enough yarn to wrap about the world.
In two years we have sun enough yarn to go from the coast to coast of the US. This year we jump off the Pacific and see how far we can go. We would really like to accomplish this goal in the next five years so EVERY YARD gets us closer to that goal. Some spinners are intimidated by the idea of Spinzilla being a competition. When we focus on this goal it seems less scary.

Spinzilla is a fundraiser
100% of the spinner registration fee is donated to the NeedleArt Mentoring Program. To date we have raised nearly $20,000 to create cute, cute, cute spinning and weaving kits to be distributed to mentors that work with school-age children. We want to create a big cushion for this program so it doesn’t ramp up and then fizzle out.

Spinzilla supports local shops while embracing the global connected community of spinners
The fiber business community is small, about 10% of the overall yarn market. Spinzilla is a way to make some BIG noise for this craft in a way that supports the brick and mortar shops and other retaliers, fiber suppliers, tool makers, and publishers—big and small. (Big is a relative term in our market.) It also embraces the thousands of spinners who don’t live near a shop or have any spinners in their area. We are immensely proud that we have been able to create a trade-friendly event that also meets the consumers needs for innovative fun. Spinzilla is tended by a largely volunteer committee and officially presented by The National NeedleArts Trade Association’s Spinning and Weaving Group (SWG). Teams are hosted by SWG members. The day-to-day expenses of the event are covered by our sponsors.

Helpful Links:
Main Website www.spinzilla.org
Spinner Registration www.tnna.org/event/SpinzillaSpinners
2015 Teams (Registration closes August 17) www.spinzilla.org/teams/2015-teams
NeedleArts Mentoring Program www.needleartsmentoring.org
Video: Scenes from Spinzilla 2014 https://youtu.be/0DiDSwl4n6U
Spinzilla Faceook Page www.facebook.com/pages/Spinning-and-Weaving-Group/170003426378075
Spinzilla Ravelry Group www.ravelry.com/groups/spinzilla
Spinning and Weaving Group www.spinweave.org