Deb Gerish | Spin Off

Deb Gerish


Blending Tool Roundup: Shopping Guide

While speed is relative in the world of fiber prep, blending boards and drumcarders will do their jobs more quickly than handcards or combs.

How to Spin and Knit with Control: Sample, Sample, Sample

A spinning teacher taught me to tape my control sample to an index card, noting down the wheel, whorl size, takeup method, and other key details.

Running Before You Can Walk in Handspun Socks

After completing my first handspun vest, I wanted to use up the last bits of vest yarn in a pair of socks. Here's how I planned the pair.

Textured Knitting Stitches and Handspun

Trial and error taught me a lot about dyeing yarn when I made my first handspun vest, and about plying when I made my first handspun socks. These lessons helped me on my second handspun vest, and then textured knitting stitches disguised less-than-perfect

Handspinning for Lace: Another Pair of Socks

I hit the jackpot in Christmas 1997 or 1998: my mother gave me a lace flyer for my spinning wheel, and my fiber dealer friends sent me a few ounces of superfine merino top—the perfect fiber for spinning laceweight yarn!

Fiber Preparation for Spinning: Of Washing Machines & Drumcarders

My handspinning journey took some interesting turns after I moved to Kansas in 2000 and began teaching at a small university. Since the university’s art department offered textile classes, I now had access to new some new toys and expert advice.

How to Spin and Knit with Variegated Yarn

much control over our raw materials, we can incorporate colors before, during, or after spinning.

Yarn from Jack’s Back: Spinning Alpaca Yarn

I spun semiworsted to create a 2-ply bulky yarn, checking twist carefully—there’s a sweet spot for alpaca where yarn holds together without feeling stiff or harsh.

Welcome to Fantasy Island: Spinning Exotic Fibers

If there’s any better form of self-care than spinning exotic fibers, I have yet to discover it. My version of Fantasy Island holds a lot of spinning wheels.

Wool in the Kitchen: Handpainting Yarn with Food Coloring

I wanted a handspun sweater with dripping cables and subtle color transitions—that meant handpainting yarn with food coloring. Although this type of dyeing required a lot of time, it produced spectacular results.