Thick and Thin Art Yarn

Even though I wasn’t finished spinning the second single, I couldn’t resist plying up a bit of the bubble crepe art yarn I wrote about last week to see how it would work out. Turns out art yarns can be very bobbin-intensive.


Bobbins from left to right: A, B, C, D, E

Crepe yarns are kind of like cabled yarns, except there are three plies instead of four. I learned how to make them from The Spinner’s Book of Yarn Design by Sarah Anderson, but I’ll give you a quick recap here. I started with one thin single spun in the S direction (bobbin A) and one thick-and-thin single spun in the S direction (bobbin B). I then plied them together in the Z direction (C) and ran the bobbin through the wheel again in the same direction to add extra twist. Then I spun another thin single, this time in the Z direction (D). Finally, I plied the yarn on bobbin C and the thin single (D) together in the S direction (E) to form the final yarn.

IMG_5082I only used a small amount of what was on the full bobbins to yield about 84 yards of aran-to-bulky yarn. Some of the thin sections are not quite as ‘bubbly’ as I’d like, I’m partial to the way the really thick sections puff out from between the criss-crossed thinner singles. This was my fist time intentionally spinning a thick single so I think my technique needs a bit more work.


I used two Merino/Bamboo/Silk braids from Miss Babs for the thin singles and some incredibly lovely (omg so soft) organic Merino wool from Natchwoolie. I have plans to spin the rest of this up and perhaps design something for Knittyspin with it. I (personally) feel like art yarn isn’t much good unless you know what you want to make with it. Although plenty of people are happy just to spin it, I like the challenge of finding or creating the perfect pattern for it.

IMG_5084What would you make with yarn like this? I’m linking up with Sarah’s Spinning Show and Tell at Crafts from the Cwtch, check out the other posts!


13 thoughts on “Thick and Thin Art Yarn

  1. OOOOOH that is super cool. Thanks for explaining how you did it, even though I didn’t get it (I don’t use a wheel). I think it would be super cool in a cowl or scarf, or even a funky hat!


  2. I really love that yarn. I struggle with spinning thick singles too.

    I have no idea what to suggest you make out of it…that’s always my problem with art yarn. I *want* it to have a purpose, but it’s so beautiful as it is!


  3. This is really cool – I’m so pleased that you linked up 😀

    I too love the big thick bumpy bits – it’s very nice and I wonder how much fun that would be to knit!!! I am very tempted to try making some art yarn. I think I need to put a wheel on my Christmas list!


  4. Pingback: FOFri #32: Finally, Some Yarn! | Woolen Diversions


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