Spinning with Beads

Posted by Tropical Twister under Articles , Spinning , Spinning with Beads , Techniques 
[2] Comments 

Viola Beaded

This is a walk through of how I spin with beads. First, I spun a lace weight single of Louet Viola, a wool silk blend. Then, I selected commercial yarn to compliment the fiber I spun. (I selected Forsell 2 ply superwash wool weight 9/94 in the color Damson.)

Watch me spin with beads on YouTube.

I was introduced to the beader below by a friend.  You thread the special needle, spin the center pin and seed beads walk up the needle onto the yarn.  When she told me about it, it sounded like one of those gagets that sounds good but doesn’t really work, but it really works.  I loaded the yarn with seed beads size 6 from Fire Mountain Gems.

Bead Spinner

Once the yarn was loaded with beads, I began to ply the homespun to the beaded commercial yarn.  I am spinning on my new Spinolution, Mach 1 Spinning Wheel.  It has toe brakes that allow me to stop the wheel quickly without having to touch the wheel.   The photo below shows me applying the right toe brake.


I slide a few beads up the commerical yarn at a time.  I then can slide one at a time up to where it will be plyed with the handspun.


I continue slipping beads forward to be caught up in the twist at random intervals.  Notice that the Spinolution, Mach 1 Spinning Wheel has an open orifice.  No hole, just a hook so you can spin yarn as fat as you choose and don’t need a threading hook.


You can see the plyed yarn as it builds up on the bobbin.   Notice the Spinolution, Mach 1 Spinning Wheel does not have hooks on the flyer.   The straight “fingers” guide the yarn, but the beads can’t get hung up.


After the yarn was spun, I used a niddy noddy to skein the yarn.  Then I fulled the yarn by soaking the finished yarn in a basin of cold water, lightly agitating the yarn.  I rolled the yarn in a towel to dry.  Then I hung the yarn to dry with a weight.  A can of soup works well, but today I used canned tamales.

Results - Beaded Yarn

UPDATE 8/12/2008: I’ve received a number of questions about the bead spinner shown above.  I don’t make or sell them.  I got mine from Michael’s locally but I see that they are also available on the Michael’s website.  They cost about $20 but with the weekly 40% off coupon, not too pricey.  The name:  Spin-N-Bead Jr.  (I guess that means there is a Senior).  It works great but only with seed beads.  It does not work with beads like pearls that have small holes.

To see more of the wheel I used in this post click on Mach 1 Spinning Wheel, or visit our Home Page for more spinning fun.


2 Responses to “Spinning with Beads”

  1. Barbara says, August 11th, 2008 at 2:18 pm

    That is BEAUTIFUL!

    I love that second skein — it reminds me of driftwood and seagrass. So gorgeous…

    Do you find that natural fibers work better with seed beads, or synthetics? Most of my friends are natural fiber geeks :)

  2. Tropical Twister says, August 11th, 2008 at 3:45 pm

    I don’t know why seed beads wouldn’t work with synthetics but I must admit to being a “natural fiber geek” (LOL). I like the feel of natural fibers when I spin and I like the way they entwine when they’re fulled. BUT I’m experimenting with some new engineered fibers. I just acquired some created from seaweed that is said to retain nearly mystical healing qualities of the stuff. I’ll be trying it out and you’ll be hearing more about that here.

    I must admit, I favor the Koala as well. It was really hard to photograph. The fiber is a wool/silk blend with colors of brown, grey and blue. I plyed the homespun with commercial brown wool two ply. The beads are transparent blue beads lined with brown. I love the affect. I’m hoping to weave the yarn into a stole or shawl.

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