Weaving Equipment for Storing Handspun Yarn

Weaving Equipment for Storing Handspun Yarn

By Stephanie Flynn Sokolov

Spinning yarn is a necessity for me. The need is not for the actual yarn produced, but the process of making it. Spinning fills my mental and emotional tanks, so I try to do it every day. For this reason, I have had to devise a way to store all my yarn until it is ready to be used. Many articles focus on spinning for a particular project, but I like to spin each fiber how it wants to be spun, then decide later if I have a yarn for a project I’m working on. This allows me the freedom to build a stash of fiber that I love. I buy roving, top, fleece, or batts for how they look and feel. My stash gives me choices of what to spin when I am in the mood for that sensation.

Yarn abundance doesn’t sound like a problem, but as some of us know, it can be. [Warning: You may find the pictures of my Yarn Room disturbing if you are a “finisher” or “neat freak”.] Though the room has yet to be finished, last month my mother and I started the organization process. Being a firm believer in “seeing” all my yarn, I opted for open storage and did not have any cashmere or other luxury yarn near the floor—just in case Colorado has another 1000 year flood.

yarn room

yarn room cones

open storage in yarn room

Ingenuity is one of the most prized assets of spinners and weavers. Every class that I have taken or taught, I have learned as much or more from the other students. Watching how people manage their yarn and equipment always gives me new ideas for how to manage mine. Since I have a lot of equipment, I like to be able to use it often, even if it is not necessarily for its intended purpose.

winding station set up for handspun
a Schacht winding station works for handspun too


Years of spinning have left me with many skeins that were singles or plies that weren’t my favorite. Sometimes I wished that I hadn’t skeined or washed a particular yarn because it would have been better to let the yarn full after it was woven. Realizing that amassing spinning wheel bobbins wasn’t practical for financial or storage reasons, I needed to devise a solution. Someone said, “Why don’t you just store the yarn on 6" plastic weaving bobbins?” Yeah, I thought, why don’t I do that? The plastic bobbins are a fraction of the cost of wooden spinning bobbins and easier to store.

One of the benefits I found was that I had a lot of empty spinning wheel bobbins. The days of procrastinating because my bobbins were full are over.

Getting yarn off my spinning wheel bobbins is super easy with my electric bobbin winder. I place a 6" plastic bobbin between the tips and adjust the tension so that the spring is engaged. I use a simple overhand knot to secure the yarn to the bobbin. This has the added benefit of sliding easily off the bobbin when you unwind the yarn. I usually shy away from securing the yarn onto the bobbin tightly because it will jerk to an abrupt halt causing uneven tension in your plying or weaving.

handspun stored on boat shuttle bobbins and cardboard spools
handspun stored on weaving bobbins (basket) and cardboard spools


Store your yarn using this inexpensive solution and free up your wheel bobbins to spin even more yarn. One of the best parts about this storage solution is that you get to go shopping if you don’t have bobbins or a bobbin winder. Even better is if you already have these tools but now have found a new use for them.

Spin for the love of spinning.

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