I have been colossally distracted in a major yarn tangent in recent days. 

jenjoycedesign© unspun

I’ve been going through my ‘stash’ (that is yarn which is in one’s possession, otherwise free to use at whim), and over-dying & having a bit of fun.

But this particular little project was super fiddly and a major study in “un-spinning”, using my spinning wheel, ball-winder, swift, and dye pot.   On my spinning wheel, I literally unwound the 3 plies of a bulky-weight very soft 100% alpaca yarn I had,  while at the same time winding them into 3 separate balls. I splice-joined the 3 single balls into one skein,  and then attempted to relax the energized ‘singles’ with some simmer-dying. And relax they did!


Even the spliced joins were completely invisible when I wound and re-wound on to the swift. Ever-so-slightly felted made a terrific halo (fuzz) when the final product was skeined.


178 yards and 66 grams, of extremely soft alpaca single ply yarn, now ready for a delicious soft lace cowl.   I would think this would classify as sport-weight. I am frankly amazed at this result, and my eye is wandering through my stash now, with ideas to deconstruct. jenjoycedesign©013

Well, it was a huge amount of work, but its done & dusted and I’m very proud of such an alluring result.  That’s me on a beautiful day, I should be knitting socks, but sometimes distraction is good for creativity!

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20 thoughts on “Unspun

    • Kelly, this whole yarn deconstruction project is teaching me a lot about commercial yarns, and which are the best-made (the ones which can endure deconstruction!) and which ones are not worth the time. However, I am feeling like my spinning wheel may feel a bit pleased with itself, being that suddenly after sitting dormant for another couple of years, it’s got fresh new purpose!
      Everybody needs a happy spinning wheel. 🙂

    • Oh Stefanie, and it is! The alpacas and the superwash wools are winning by big strides in the deconstruction competition, and especially in the smooshy department!

    • Thats it Sorcha, the texture you see, the ‘halo’ is very sought-after quality to yarns these days. Alpaca is beautiful that way! The color was first a light lavendar over a grey, but worrying it wasn’t enough dye to make it ‘different’ enough, I dyed it again with (a bit too much) light blue… looks like the end result is a lovely dusty medium blue!

    • You are the Queen Of Upcycling Liz, so I’m happy that you like it. I have no wish to compete with the massive yarn industry , but there’s gotta be more choice in our personal stashes, to upcycle left-overs from big projects, into one-skein-wonders. At least I think that is my niche here .

    • Hi Bonnie, thanks for joining in! You are not kidding, totally crazy and amazing is the yarn deconstruction, overdying, and end results are about half good and half great! 🙂 ((its taking a lot of my time these days ))

    • Thank you Wen! Well, I think that you might get your guild in-the-know, show some of the spinners this blog post, and they’ll know what to do from there. 🙂 xx

  1. Good question, but I’m afraid the spliced joins would not work . If you don’t mind a knot tied (to hide at back of work) then I think it should work fine.

  2. Thanks! It was rather by accident, first being lavender, then light blue, the color over-dying a grey yarn… yes, sheer accident. I think this would be called ‘French Blue’. I’d like to think so anyway. 😉

    • That is great ~ the work of four hands makes a very special skein of yarn indeed! I hope you make a lovely cowl for yourself from it! 🙂

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