Break Free from Your Hand Spinning Rut!

Esther Rodgers Sep 19, 2017 - 4 min read

Break Free from Your Hand Spinning Rut! Primary Image

On the set of her new weaving video, Esther’s poise and posture come naturally (and check out those amazing woven pieces!). Photo by Caitlin Polasek.

Esther Rodgers comes to town in a colorful whirlwind. With samples of colorful combed top, dyed locks, and textured yarns, she loves to teach spinners and weavers to push their boundaries and use fiber as a creative expression. She came to the Interweave office recently to prepare for two new online courses, one in weaving and one in spinning.

hand spinning

Esther Rodgers brings color and a generous dash of creativity wherever she goes. Photo by George Boe

Esther always brings a breath of fresh air to our office, inspiring me to have more fun with my spinning. If you need to break out of a slump and feed your creativity as the days get shorter, read on for advice from Esther in this excerpt from “Are You Spinning Your Wheels?” fromSpin Off Summer 2017. ~Anne

We all have a default spinning style that we gravitate toward: that perfect place where the spinner becomes one with the spinning. Sometimes, though, muscle memory takes over and the default seems impossible to break. All of a sudden, that amazing Merino/cashmere you loved so much bores you to tears. So how do you break that pattern and bring new excitement to your spinning?

Re-Shop Your Stash!

Almost every spinner has a stash of fiber that we bought or dyed and then stashed. Why do you need to spin them alone? Pair braids together, either by plying different singles or stripping the fiber into finger-widths and drafting two colorways next to each other for a barber-pole swirl. Push yourself to pair colorways that have just a single coordinating color but otherwise don’t “match.”

hand spinning

Try something new to break your spinning out of a rut. Illustration by Katie Eberts.

You can mix up your plying even if you’re using only one braid. Rather than spinning all the singles in the same direction, spin one half of the braid from the opposite end and ply that way. Or split the braid into three sections, spinning one from each end and stripping the third into multiple lengths. Play with fractal spinning. Each of these methods will vary how the colors play out and change the look of the resulting yarn. It brings new life into your stash by allowing you to look at it in a new way.


Featured Image: On the set of her new weaving video, Esther’s poise and posture come naturally (and check out those amazing woven pieces!). Photo by Caitlin Polasek.

ESTHER RODGERS is a full-time fiber artist and wool sniffer. She lives in Mebane, North Carolina, with her husband, three spinning wheels, multiplying looms, and two chatty cats. Her videos Card Wool for Color and How to Spin Art Yarns are available from Interweave. To follow her ridiculous schedule, find a workshop, or look into her studio, visit

Unleash Your Creativity with Esther Rodgers!