When you’re finished spinning and plying your handspun, it is time to “set” the yarn. Finishing your yarn helps the fibers to even out and to stabilize the yarn. Let’s learn how to set yarn in this tutorial.
How to Set Handspun Yarn
You’ve finished spinning your yarn, you’ve plied it using whichever method you prefer, and you’re ready to actually use your yarn. How exciting! The better your end result of yarn is, the better your end result of anything made with said yarn will be, so let’s set this baby so you can get to using it.
The first thing on your list of to-do, is to take the finished yarn off of the bobbin or spindle. I use a niddy noddy for this purpose, as it helps to gauge how many yards of completed yarn you have while also keeping it taut. Just wrap and wrap around the niddy noddy, never criss-crossing the yarns.
Next, take waste yarn and tie it in at least 4 places so that it does not tangle when removed from the niddy noddy.
Your yarn is now ready for it’s bath! Fill the sink with warm water.
You may add a drop of Eucalan (or even a single drop of original blue Dawn) but it is not necessary. Remove the yarn from the niddy noddy and fully submerge it in the bath. Air bubbles will be released from the yarn, but try not to agitate it too much lest the fibers begin to felt. Let the yarn soak in the bath for about 30 minutes. So pretty!
When the yarn is finished with its bath, it is time to remove the excess moisture. Lay out a towel and drain the sink. Gently remove excess water from the yarn and roll it up in the towel like a burrito. Step on the towel to get as much moisture out as you can.
The next step seems to be a personal preference and whether you do it or not may depend on the fibers you’ve used: thwacking. (Best not to do with delicate fibers.) After removing all excess water from the skein, take it by one end and beat it against the side of the bathtub. Then take it by the other end and thwack that side too. This helps the fibers to further settle into each other, and can make your yarn more fuzzy. Note that this step is not always necessary but it can be fun. 😉
To test how well your yarn is balanced, let it hang from your hand. If it does not twist on itself (or at least not a lot) the yarn is balanced. That being said, if there is still a lot of twist – all is not lost! Read on, friend.
Finally, we are going to hang our finished yarn out to dry. You can do this in the shower if it is rainy out, or outside on the fence, clothesline, etc. If your yarn still has that extra twist mentioned above, you may add a bit of weight to the bottom of the loop (like a spray bottle) to pull those fibers into shape. Note that you don’t want so much weight that the yarn loses its elasticity, but you do want to even out the extra residual twist.
Once the yarn is dry, you are ready to turn it into a hank and admire it or cake it into a ball for crocheting or knitting! ♥