Blending and Spinning for Super Socks

About Spinning for Socks

There is nothing cozier than a pair of handspun socks, but how do we know the yarn we spin will become a pair of socks that will last? Our fibre selections, spinning and plying methods, and finishing techniques all come together to make a perfect pair of socks.

Session One: Preparing Fibre for Socks
Choosing and preparing fibres for our handspun socks presents us with a wide range of options. Wool and wool blends are ideal for most of us, but choosing the right wool can make the difference between socks that wear out or wear forever. We will discuss the fibres we can blend with wool to make a stronger yarn and the pros and cons of blending. Blending methods and choosing commercially prepared fibres will round out the evening. Participants may make their own blends for Sessions Two and Three, or they may use the information from this session to choose commercially prepared fibre.

Topics covered will include:
-wool structures and characteristics
-other fibre structures and what they bring to the blend
-blend percentages
-blending with hand cards, hand combs, and drum carders
-choosing commercially blended fibres for spinning sock yarns

Session Two: Singles for Socks
The singles we spin define our yarn, and sock yarns are no exception. We will examine the particular characteristics that make a good sock yarn, then we’ll start with fibre selection and the spinning methods to build the perfect single for a durable but comfy sock yarn Participants will be offered options for worsted or semi-worsted sock yarns and time to spin their singles to use in session two.

Topics covered will include:
-characteristics of sock yarns
-fibre selection for durability and warmth
-planning and designing sock yarns
-spinning worsted and woollen singles

Session Three: Plying for Socks
Now that we have our singles spun, there are a variety of plying options for making sock yarns that meet our individual preferences. The characteristics of two- and three- ply yarns will be examined and we will sample each, along with choosing the right amount of twist to make sure our sock yarns will keep our feet cozy for a long time to come.

Homework for this session: three bobbins of singles spun from wool, wool/nylon blend, or wool/silk blend fibres.

Topics covered will include:
-discussion of singles
-comparison of ply structures for sock yarns
-chain plying
-ply twist for sock yarns
-finishing methods for sock yarns
-knitting socks

The capacity for this class is 50 students.

Class Materials

If participants wish to participate in the preparation and blending exercises in Session One, they will require:
- wool such as BFL, Romney, or Corriedale, clean fleece or prepared
- small amounts of nylon, silk, or mohair (optional)
- hand cards
- hand combs or hackles (if you have them)
- scale and calculator
- note taking materials (pen or pencil, notebook)

Student equipment for Sessions Two and Three:
- BFL, wool/nylon blend, or wool/silk blend prepared top (Session Two)
- three bobbins of singles spun from wool, wool/nylon blend, or wool/silk blend fibres (Session Three)
- spinning wheel or e-spinner in good working condition
- lazy Kate and at least 4 bobbins
- niddy noddy
- scissors
- labels and ties for samples
- note taking materials (pen or pencil, notebook)

Age Range

Teens and Adults

Skill Level

Beginner - Some experience with equipment and able to perform basic techniques. Should be comfortable with your spinning wheel, and able to spin a continuous thread.

Contact the Teacher

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The class will meet for three weekly 2-hour live online sessions on Thursdays at 7 pm ET on the schedule below. The first session is on September 26.

Enrolled students receive 30-day access to the video recordings of the classes.

7:00 PM - 9:00 PM EDT
Blending and Spinning for Super Socks
Michelle Boyd
7:00 PM - 9:00 PM EDT
Blending and Spinning for Super Socks
Michelle Boyd
7:00 PM - 9:00 PM EDT
Blending and Spinning for Super Socks
Michelle Boyd

How It Works

Enroll above to save your spot in the class. Lessonface will send you a confirmation right away, and a Zoom link 24 hours before each session's start time. You can log into your Lessonface dashboard to access class materials, communicate with your instructor, join the live Zoom session, and access the class recordings and chat transcript afterward. Contact us with any questions. This class, and all lessons and classes on Lessonface, are covered by the Lessonface Guarantee.

Michelle Boyd

Michelle Boyd

Michelle Boyd is a Master Spinner, weaver, and writer who lives in Olds, Alberta, which is located in the Treaty Seven region of Canada. She has been teaching spinning for twenty years, including twelve years as an instructor for the Olds College Master Spinner Program.

MAFA - The MidAtlantic Fiber Association

MAFA - The MidAtlantic Fiber Association

The MidAtlantic Fiber Association (MAFA) represents and supports a community of fiber arts guilds in the greater Mid-Atlantic region.

About Lessonface, PBC

Lessonface's mission is to help students achieve their goals while treating teachers equitably. Since 2012, we've hosted more than 30,000 students and 2,000 teachers for over 500,000 music, language, and arts lessons and classes online.

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