Sunday, April 25, 2010

Magic Wand Spinning

WC Mercantile ( is a charming fiber and yarn shop located in historic downtown Navasota, TX. It is a 20 minute drive from my house. Several months ago, I picked up about 4 oz of lovely shades of green mohair fiber from them. The original purpose was to use it as a unifying fiber to spin samples that I got in my Phat Fiber sample box (

Navasota is also home to one of the last "real" hardware stores and since we were in Navasota anyway, my husband wanted to stop in and take a look around. As I waited in the car, I decided to finger spin a little bit and see how it looked. I spun a bit more than that and needed something to wrap the spun yarn around. I save the disposable chopsticks whenever we at asian restaurants. (see for the reason) I wrapped the spun yarn and kept twisting and wrapping and soon had a respectable amount of lace weight or so singles yarn.

I kept working with the chopstick until I'd spun the entire bag. With another chopstick, I navajo plyed the singles and then used both chop sticks to make a skinny lacy scarf.

I found this spinning method to be convenient when a spinner does not have a wheel or spindle handy. The space required is very small as the implement used is held closer to the body, spinning with this method could be done when seated in an airplane, in waiting rooms, in your car (only when parked, please!), or in front of your computer.

This is also a good way to teach spinning. It's an old joke that drop spindles live up to their name. Spinning normally happens at a fast pace. Magic wand spinning allows the beginner the time to watch the twist go into the fibers and understand the process of making fiber into yarn better. It is also incredibly inexpensive to supply an entire class with chopstick and a little fiber. At WC Mercantile this weekend, I demonstrated Magic Wand Spinning and got a couple of people to try. I suggested a straight knitting needle as a candidate and one of the ladies had one and started using it. She was amazed at how easy it was. Another attendee was a high school girl who had been looking for a method to teach spinning to a group of elementary students. She was very happy to have an inexpensive, easy way to teach them.