Jillian’s Spinning: Yarn Vision and What’s Your Spinzilla Team?

Spunky Eclectic, Polwarth singles
Spunky Eclectic, Polwarth singles

What is a Yarn Vision?

When you sit at your wheel to create yarn do you know what you want to spin?

If you are spinning for something other than just the spin of it, do you know how to get there? Can you see the finished yarn in your mind’s eye, feel it running through your hands as you knit? Can you see the finished project beautifully created from your yarn?

Do you ever take more than a second to think about the yarn you want to make, to use? Even before you sample, before you buy or shop your stash for fiber?

Taking time to really describe the yarn you want to use can be the difference in loving your final yarn and project.

When I express all of the details of a future yarn I call it a Yarn Vision. I do it when I am spinning for a specific project, I do it when I want to learn something new and I do it to stretch my creativity in spinning.

I started doing it because I would spend most of my time just spinning aimlessly and even when I had a project or yarn in mind I would sit at my wheel and hope for the best. Needless to say I was disappointed most of the time!

So now I dream part of the time and plan a bit of the time to make a Yarn Vison and I spin with clearer ideas and intent. I find spin more because my time is better balanced between dreaming and spinning. I also find I spin with more creativity because my best creative moments come from veering from a path (what if I do it the way everyone says you can’t?) or combining paths that I’ve never put together before.

My planning usually consists of asking myself questions.  I love questions, I love lists and I’m a visual person, so my Yarn Vision frequently looks like an explosion of fiber, paper, tags, markers and photos.


Briar Rose lofty merino 2-ply
Briar Rose lofty merino 2-ply

For a project I ask myself:

  •  What is the project?
  •  How do I want it to look and feel?
  • How does it have to hold up, how much friction will it get?
  • Does it have to be machine washable?
  • Type of fiber?
  • Amount of drape?
  • Smooth, shiny or wooly fuzzy?
  • Gauge?
  • Is it for someone?
  • Do they have favorite colors, fiber allergies?
  • Do I have all of the measurements I need?
  • Practicals
  • What yardage do I need?
  • How much fiber will I need?
  • How much for sampling?
  • Is there a deadline?
 learning to love yellow
Bricolage Studios batt, learning to love yellow

For stretching my creativity spinning I base my yarn on something non-fibery.

  • A word
  • A phrase
  • An idea
  • An inspiration – book, movie, person
  • A photo


Cjkoho BFL, singles as cables
Cjkoho BFL, singles as cables

For learning spinning I pick a skill or challenge, like:

  • Spin longwool woolen
  • Spin and knit something to wear with less than 2oz of fiber
  • Spin 8 oz of fiber worsted
  • Read a chapter in a spinning book and spin as lessons
  • Make a color I don’t like work with a color I love


How do you envision yarn you’ll spin?



Spinzilla is coming!
Spinzilla is coming!

Spinzilla is Coming! Who are you spinning for?

 Spinzilla is a spinning competition that will raise awareness of handspinning and raise money for the Needle Arts Mentoring Program.

Join one of the more than 30 Spinzilla teams and see how much yardage you can spin during Spinning and Weaving Week – October 7-13.

The team that spins the most yarn will win fabulous prizes and have bragging rights until next year.

The Spinzilla teams created by a variety of spinning-related companies – retailers, wholesalers, publishers, etc. can  have a maximum of 25 members each and sign ups end on September 23rd.

How much can you spin in a week?


More folks are going to be talking about spinning and Spinzilla on their blogs over the next few weeks. Be sure to check them out!

2013 Spinzilla Blog Tour

8/27 – Jillian Moreno  – That’s Me!– Creating a Yarn Vision: Knowing What Yarn to Spin

9/4 –   Deb Robson – Fast and Easy Wools to Spin

9/11 – Felicia Lo – Spinning Hand Dyed Yarns

9/18 – Beth Smith – Fiber Prep for Production Spinning

9/25 – Sarah Anderson – Twists and Singles

10/2 – Liz Good – Resources for Measuring Yarn





(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

2 thoughts on “Jillian’s Spinning: Yarn Vision and What’s Your Spinzilla Team?

  1. Pingback: Sign up for SpinZilla! - SweetGeorgia Yarns

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