how to finish yarn after spinning

Guide: How to Finish Yarn After Spinning – Perfect Spun Yarn

As a spinner, you know that spinning yarn is only the first step in creating a beautiful finished project. Properly finishing your yarn is the key to achieving the perfect spun yarn. Yarn finishing refers to the processes used to clean, set the twist, and organize hand-spun yarn for use. In this article, we’ll guide you through the different yarn-finishing techniques so that your projects always look their best.

Perfecting the art of finishing yarn post-spinning is a testament to a spinner’s skill, while discovering ways to feel yarn without a washing machine showcases the adaptability of crafters in diverse situations.

Key Takeaways

  • Properly finishing your yarn is essential to achieving the perfect spun yarn.
  • Yarn finishing involves cleaning, setting the twist, and organizing hand-spun yarn for use.
  • In this article, we’ll guide you through different yarn-finishing techniques.

how to finish yarn after spinning

Washing Hand Spun Yarn – Essential Step in Yarn Finishing

Washing hand-spun yarn is a crucial step in achieving perfect spun yarn. It removes any dirt, oils, or residue from the spinning process and sets the twist of the yarn. Here is a step-by-step guide on washing and drying hand-spun yarn.

Materials Needed:

  • Mild detergent or wool wash
  • Bucket or basin
  • Clean towels
  • Clothesline or drying rack


  1. Prepare a bucket or basin by filling it with lukewarm water and incorporating a modest quantity of gentle detergent or wool wash.
  2. Place the hand-spun yarn into the water, avoiding agitating or twisting the fibers.
  3. Let the yarn soak for at least 15 minutes or until the water becomes dirty.
  4. Drain the soapy water and carefully rinse the yarn with cool water until all the soap is removed.
  5. Remove the excess water from the yarn by gently squeezing it between two clean towels. Avoid twisting or wringing the yarn, as this can make its shape distorted.
  6. Hang the yarn on a clothesline or drying rack to air dry thoroughly. Steer clear of drying the yarn in direct sunlight, as this could make it brittle.

Once the yarn is completely dry, it is ready for the next finishing stage, such as blocking or skeining. Following these simple washing and drying instructions, you can ensure that your hand-spun yarn is clean, stable, and ready for use in your next project.

Blocking Hand Spun Yarn – Enhancing the Finish

Blocking is an essential step in finishing hand-spun yarn. It helps to even the yarn, improve the drape, and enhance the stitch definition of knitted or crocheted items. Various blocking methods are available, and the selection of a method hinges on the yarn type and the intended end product.

Wet blocking is a popular method that involves soaking the hand-spun yarn in lukewarm water and then stretching it to the desired shape and size. The yarn is then left to dry in this shape. This method is suitable for most natural fibers but should be avoided for fibers that feel quickly, such as wool.

Steps for Wet Blocking:
  • Fill a basin or sink with lukewarm water and add a small amount of wool wash or mild detergent.
  • Add the hand-spun yarn and gently squeeze it to ensure that it is fully submerged in the water.
  • Allow the yarn to soak for 20-30 minutes or until fully saturated.
  • Remove the yarn from the water and gently squeeze out the excess water. Do not wring or twist the yarn.
  • Lay the yarn flat on a blocking mat or towel, shaping it as you go. Use blocking wires and pins to secure the edges and maintain the right shape and size.
  • Allow the yarn to dry completely before removing the pins and wires.

Steam blocking is another popular method that involves using steam to shape the yarn. This method is suitable for delicate fibers or when wet blocking is impossible.

Steps for Steam Blocking:
  • Fill a steam iron with water and set it to the appropriate temperature for the fiber used.
  • Place the hand-spun yarn on a blocking mat or towel.
  • Hover the iron over the yarn, keeping it at least ½ inch from the fiber. Be careful not to touch the yarn with the iron.
  • Allow the steam to penetrate the yarn and soften it. Then, shape the yarn and hold it in place with blocking wires and pins.
  • Allow the yarn to cool and dry completely before removing the pins and wires.

Dry blocking is suitable for fibers that do not require water or steam to be blocked. Examples of such fibers are acrylic and other synthetic fibers. This method involves only shaping the yarn and allowing it to sit in the desired shape for a period.

Blocking hand-spun yarn is a great way to finish a yarn and give it the perfect final touch. Experimenting with different blocking methods is essential to find the right one for your yarn and project. Whether wet blocking, steam blocking, or dry blocking, the result is a beautiful, even yarn ready for your next project.

Setting the Twist in Hand Spun Yarn – Ensuring Stability

Setting the twist is a crucial step in the yarn-finishing process that ensures stability and prevents the yarn from untwisting during use. There are several different techniques for setting the twist, each with advantages.

Wet Blocking: This method involves soaking the yarn in tepid water for 20-30 minutes, then gently squeezing the excess water before hanging to dry. This process not only sets the twist but also evens any unevenness in the yarn and improves its drape.

Steam Setting: Hold the yarn over a steaming pot for several minutes to steam set the twist, being careful not to burn yourself. The steam will penetrate the fibers and set the twist. This method is beneficial for delicate fibers damaged by wet blocking.

Bath Method: This method involves submerging the skein of yarn in a hot water bath and allowing it to soak for 10-15 minutes before gently squeezing the excess water and hanging it to dry. While this method may result in some loss of twist, it is an effective way to set the twist in difficult-to-handle fibers.

Regardless of the method used, handling the yarn gently is essential to avoid felting or stretching it out of shape. Once the yarn is dry, it should be wound into a skein or ball for storage and future use.

Skeining Hand Spun Yarn – Organizing for Use

Once you have finished spinning your yarn, the next step is to skein it. Skeining is the process of winding your yarn into a large loop, which makes it easier to store and work with. Here’s how to skein your hand-spun yarn:

  1. Wrap the yarn around the back of a chair, a swift, or another skein winder.
  2. Tie the yarn in several places to keep it from tangling.
  3. Carefully slide the skein off the skein winder.
  4. If necessary, tie additional ties around the skein.

There are different methods for skeining yarn, depending on the size of your skein winder and the length of the yarn. You may need to experiment to find the best method for you.

Once you have skeined your yarn, you can store it in several ways. Some crafters prefer to wind their skeins into balls, while others keep them in their original loops. Here are some tips for storing your skeins:

  • Label each skein with the type of fiber, the weight, and the date it was spun.
  • Store skeins in a cool, dark place to protect them from sunlight and moisture.
  • If you wind your skeins into balls, use a yarn bowl or bag to keep the ball from rolling around and tangling.
  • Organize your skeins by color or fiber type to make finding what you need for your next project more accessible.

Why Skeining is Important

You must complete the step of skeining your yarn to avoid tangling and knotting it, which can be frustrating to untangle and may even damage your yarn. Skeining your yarn also allows you to inspect it for any knots, thin spots, or inconsistencies that might affect the appearance or strength of your finished project.

Tip: If you are new to spinning, consider investing in a basic skein winder. It will make skeining your yarn much easier and more efficient.

Preparing Hand Spun Yarn for Dyeing – Achieving Vibrant Colors

Preparing hand-spun yarn for dyeing is essential in achieving vibrant, long-lasting colors. Follow these simple steps to ensure your yarn is ready for dyeing:

  1. Scour the yarn: Before dyeing, the yarn must be free of any dirt, oil, or residue that could interfere with the dyeing process. Fill a large pot with hot water and add some gentle detergent. Add the yarn to the pot and gently agitate it, being careful not to agitate too vigorously as this could cause felting. Rinse the yarn thoroughly with hot water and repeat if necessary until the water runs clear.
  2. Mordant the yarn: Mordants help the dye bond with the yarn, creating vibrant and long-lasting colors. Several types of mordants are available, including alum, copper, and iron. Follow the instructions on your chosen mordant to prepare it and add it to a large pot of hot water. Add the yarn to the pot and simmer for the recommended time, stirring occasionally. Take the yarn out of the pot and thoroughly rinse with hot water.
  3. Select the dyeing method: There are many different methods of dyeing yarn, including immersion dyeing, hand painting, and tie dyeing. Select the technique that aligns with your project and meticulously follow the instructions.

By adhering to these steps, you can attain vivid and enduring colors in your hand-spun yarn. Experiment with different dyeing techniques to create unique, beautiful yarns for crafting projects.

Hand Knitted Yarn Finishing Techniques – Perfecting Your Projects

Finishing techniques are essential for achieving professional-looking hand-knitted items. Whether you’re creating a sweater, a shawl, or a pair of socks, the finishing touches can make all the difference. Here are some hand-knitted yarn finishing techniques to take your projects to the next level:


Blocking entails shaping and fixing your completed knitted item to attain your preferred measurements. It can help improve your garment’s drape, fit, and overall appearance. Several blocking methods include wet blocking, steam blocking, and spray blocking. Wet blocking is the most common method, involving soaking the item in water and then shaping it while it dries.

Weaving in Ends

After completing your knitting project, you’ll likely have loose ends of yarn that need to be secured. Weaving in ends is hiding these loose strands within your knitting stitches. The key is to weave the ends in inconspicuously so they don’t show on the right side of the fabric.

Adding Decorative Finishes

Add decorative finishes like edging, fringe, or tassels to add style to your project. These finishing touches can make your item stand out and add a personal touch. Ensure that the selected finishes harmonize with the overall visual appeal of your project.


If you’re creating a garment that requires multiple pieces, like a sweater, seaming is joining these pieces together. Several seaming techniques include mattress stitch, backstitch, and whip stitch. The key is to ensure that your seams are solid and secure while remaining invisible on the finished garment.

Applying these hand-knitted yarn finishing techniques can take your projects from homemade to professional-looking. Embrace experimentation, and don’t shy away from attempting novel techniques to identify what resonates with your preferences. Through persistence and patience, you can attain the pinnacle of crafting accomplishment.


Finishing yarn after spinning is critical in creating high-quality, professional-looking yarn. By adhering to the techniques elaborated upon in this article, you can guarantee that your hand-spun yarn is pristine, steadfast, and exudes vibrancy.

Washing and blocking hand-spun yarn can significantly improve its appearance and drape, while setting the twist and skeining it can help ensure it remains stable and organized. Preparing hand-spun yarn for dyeing is another essential step in achieving vibrant colors, and by mastering hand-knitted yarn finishing techniques, you can perfect your projects.

It’s important to remember that no matter what type of yarn project you’re working on, proper finishing is critical to achieving ultimate crafting success. Applying the techniques in this guide, you can take your yarn crafting to the next level and create beautiful, professional-quality pieces.


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