By Yarn and Needlework Contributor Stephanie from the blog Twilly 23
New to spinning? I’ve recently returned to the craft after years away. After finishing a skein it is important to block the yarn just like you would block a finished sweater. Beginner spinners can easily put too much twist into their yarn as they are learning to spin. In this tutorial, you’ll learn how to block your handspun and how to weight your yarn to help distribute the twist.
- Handspun yarn
After finishing your handspun turn it into a skein either by using a niddy noddy or by wrapping it around the back of a chair. Use acrylic yarn to make ties around the skein to prevent tangles during the blocking process.
I’m relearning how to ply and ended up putting too much twist into my latest skein. You can see how the yarn bunches up because of overtwist. Blocking your yarn will help relax the twist.
To block your handspun, soak the finished skein in a sink of hot water for 30 minutes. Before adding the yarn add a quarter sized amount of shampoo into the water. Swish it around to create suds. Slowly add your yarn to the sink and gently push it down until it is completely wet.
Swirling or agitating the yarn while it’s soaking could felt your yarn. When rinsing out the suds do so slowly and gently. Squeeze the excess moisture out, rather than twisting.
To help set the twist, hold the yarn at one end and slap the inside of your sink or tub. In a sense this “shocks” the yarn into place.
Slap the skein a few times, turn it around and then slap again.
If your yarn has too much twist you can add some tension or weight to the skein during the drying process. This helps to stretch or relax the twist.
Don’t add enough weight that your yarn tears or gets damaged. I used a tupperware container and a can of beans to add tension as my yarn dried around my tub faucets.
Once dry lay your yarn out to see if the overtwist has relaxed. My skein is less bunched up after blocking.
Ball up your yarn to use right away or wind it up to be displayed.