Spinning Tuesdays: The Core of Corespun

On my path to Corespinning Enlightenment – a balanced corespun yarn that I can knit with, I am exploring all of the ways that I’ve been taught in classes , heard about or run across in life or on the internet.

To compare the core and spinning styles of corespinning, I’ll be spinning the different styles of corespinning on my Sidekick using the largest whorl that came with the wheel. I’ll be using the same fiber in each example too, BFL top from Three Waters Farm.

Three Waters Farm BFL, Sangria and City Nights

First up corespinning on a fine 2-ply, two different ways.

Here’s what I used for a core:

Jaggerspun Maine Line

Because spinners are a curious bunch, I’ll show you how I hold my hands when I corespin.

I put the fiber supply on my left side and the core on my right side.

I let the core run over the palm of my hand
When I spin I rest the core and fiber on my index finger
When I need to draft, I drop my right thumb and hold the core and spun fiber briefly, while I draft with my left hand

I know there are spinners who don’t like to fluff, pre draft or attenuate their fibers. I love to fluff fibers, for me it leads to a more even yarn.

For corespinning I strip my top into thirds and fluff it open. I even attentuated just a little.

Stripped and fluffed

I spun 2 samples of yarn this week. Remember, my goal is to get as balanced of a corespun to knit with that I can get. One sample I spun with the core right off of the cone, which further twists an already plied (twisted) core. One sample I unplied the core by running it through my wheel in the opposite direction it was plied. Even fresh off of the wheel – the difference was dramatic.

My biggest challenge is to treadle slowly enough to not overtwist the core, but have enough twist in the core to grab the fiber. I get in to the zone of working my hands and find that soon my feet are going at a regular spinning rhythm instead of a slower corespinning rhythm.

On the left - regular spun core, on the right - unplied core

I don’t set my corespun under tension. I want to knit with it, and I find a squiggly, pig tailed yarn made to be straight by setting it with tension or weight – springs right back to it’s curly ways with the slightest re-wetting. Just like my hair in humidity.

I soak my yarn in hot water for a few minutes, snap it on my hands a couple of times then hang it outside.

The regular core yarn on the left would skew mightily when knit. The unplied core yarn on the right would play well with knitting.

Have you tried corespinning yet? What tips do you have? What do you use the yarn for?


(542 Posts)

Jillian is the​ author of the best-selling spinning book Yarnitecture. She is the editor​ of Knittyspin and Developmental Editor for PLY and PLY Books. She kinda loves this spinning thing and wants everyone who spins to love it too, so she teaches and writes a lot. She knits, weaves, and stitches and tries to do as much of it as she can with handspun yarn. She's always cooking up all kinds of exciting and creative things combining fiber arts. She likes her mysteries British, her walks woodsy, and to spend as much time as she can laughing. Spy on her on her website jillianmoreno.com

4 thoughts on “Spinning Tuesdays: The Core of Corespun

  1. Jess

    I was just corespinning today! I don’t usually take the time to unply the core first, but I do run it in the opposite direction when I corespin. I use crochet cotton mostly, so I corespin in the direction that untwists the core instead of re-twisting it, if that makes sense. I use my corespun to knit bulky stuff, like baby hats or scarves, cowls, etc. I love it! I also love plying corespun; the stuff I spun today will be plied with sequined crochet cotton.

  2. Seanna Lea

    This is gorgeous and I can definitely see the difference in the two sets of corespun singles. I learn so much from your spinning segments, even though I haven’t tried any of it yet.

Comments are closed.