Zen Yarn Spinning

Zen Yarn Spinning

Zen Yarn Spinning

I decided the other day to try Zen Yarn Spinning. This is a type of spinning where you sink into the moment and just be. You. The fiber. The wheel. Peace.

It was glorious!

I used some luscious roving from Sweet Georgia club of the month (from about a year ago. I don’t remember the color name or the type of fiber, but it looks like wool blended with either silk or bamboo).

I plan on making two arm warmers with this, so I split the entire length of fiber in half lengthwise. Here they are all pretty and “crocheted” into a large chain, which allowed me to just pull from one end and unravel as I spun:

chained roving colorful

I spun 2 balls, each a single, spun in opposite directions. (1 ball was spun into an S-twist; the other was spun into a Z-twist.)

Here is one of the singles still on the bobbin:

wool roving spun onto a bobbin

And one of the balls, sitting all pretty and proud:

roving spun into yarn

I normally skein my hand spun yarn, wet it and “whack” it (literally, I whack it against a table or a wall to shock the fibers into staying put), but I didn’t this time. I wanted the whole process to be very free and easy. So I wound the first skein directly into the ball you see above. The second skein, I did wind it into a skein only to measure yardage in case I decide to publish the pattern for the arm warmers. So here is the squiggly, curly mass of skein 2:

single yarn curling spun from wool roving

I have already begun the photo tutorial for making arm warmers with these, both on 1 circular needle. It’s easy once you grasp the concept of it. So I hope to get that posted for you soon.

What exactly is Zen Yarn Spinning?

•It’s the process of letting go. Of having no rules. Of feeling free.

•Just letting time, pressures, life…fade away. And you become immersed in the moment of NOW.

•Play soothing music if you like. Or not. It’s up to you. I set my iPhone to play new age music via the free Pandora radio app.

•Focus on your breathing if you like. Or your treadling. Or your fingers and how they move adeptly at pulling and separating the fiber and allowing the twist to move in.

•Clear the mind as much as possible and release any expectations of what the yarn might be.

•Allow the lumps and bumps to appear without worry. Wind them onto your bobbin. Embrace the imperfections as perfection.

•And just…be.

It’s truly an amazing experience, akin to meditation. (Which I do every morning, and it has really helped me to calm and clear my mind so I start my day out fresh and focused).

I hope you get a chance to try it and that you enjoy it. Just thinking about it makes me feel peaceful. Tranquil.

On a similar note, I’ve begun taking yoga classes and doing yoga at home and it is also incredible for clarity of mind, strength of body and spirit and peace. I’m loving it.

Have a wonderful day and see if you can take a little time to just be today. It can and will produce miracles if you continue to practice it in your life.


By | 2017-09-04T14:05:31+00:00 December 13th, 2011|Hand-Spun Yarn, Life Musings, Roving and Fiber|10 Comments


  1. Samantha Rudzinski August 21, 2012 at 5:13 am - Reply

    That yarn is absolutely incredible! I would love to try spinning and dyeing my own! I have been wanting to try for so long now. I will have to start out with hand spinning and a drop spindle though, as a beautiful spinning wheel is a distant dream for now.
    I have heard that alpaca is one of the easiest rovings to work with when learning to hand spin. Do you have any experience with that?

    • Chandi August 21, 2012 at 2:52 pm - Reply

      Thanks, Samantha!

      Yes, alpaca is wonderful to spin. Either that or any medium to long staple-length wool fiber will work. Many beginners start out with Corriedale wool, but many other breeds will work.

      I’d just recommend any type of fiber with longer staple lengths, as the shorter the staple length, the greater the tendency for the fibers to pull apart and that can become frustrating at first.

      Oh, I’m so excited for you to try! It’s such glorious fun.

      Thanks for your comment!


  2. LaChandra January 23, 2013 at 6:59 pm - Reply

    I’ve also wanted to try spinning. Do you have one of those big spinners or do you use one of those hand held spinners I have seen?

    Those colors are beautiful by the way!

    • Chandi January 23, 2013 at 7:26 pm - Reply

      LaChandra… I have a lendrum saxony wheel I ADORE!! It spins like a dream!

  3. BABS WILSON September 25, 2013 at 4:55 pm - Reply

    I have a question on this pattern….
    cast on 40 sts ….. on 32 in circular US#7 needles…. ????
    If I want to knit in the round how will 40 stitches fit??
    knit flat until thumb hole and then knit in the round? and changing to smaller round circ. needles??
    just not sure…. thanks….

    • Chandi September 27, 2013 at 3:49 pm - Reply

      Oh, I use the magic loop method!!

  4. Linda May 26, 2014 at 4:39 pm - Reply

    Hi Chandi I love spinning and have a Schacht Matchless DT – it’s wonderful! My question on arm warmers – you spin two singles – one in Z and one in S and then you combine them when knitting warmers. I know you said you do not ply this yarn – just use one strand of each ball? Sounds interesting. Please advise if not correct. I love the colors you spun. I tend to spin skinny – so hard to get a little fatter yarn!! Love spinning so much! Will wait for your reply. We live in New Mexico near Albuquerque and there is a load of fiber fun in this state!!

    • Chandi June 4, 2014 at 1:50 am - Reply

      Yes, I just did one strand of each (single ply). Although to make them more sturdy, I’d recommend you ply your yarn. 🙂

  5. Connie Raby July 12, 2014 at 7:03 pm - Reply

    Dear Chandi,
    You mentioned you’re moving to NC. Are you at liberty to disclose where? We are preparing to move to Waynesville, NC from Georgia very soon. I would love to find you and spin and knit with you! I totally understand if you are not willing to answer or if you prefer to answer this privately at my email address.

    • Chandi July 12, 2014 at 7:20 pm - Reply

      We are headed to Charlotte! We will keep you posted.

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