Eight ways to prepare a batt for spinning yarn


Do you ever sit down at your wheel with a beautiful batt and wonder, “How should I spin this?”

fine fiber batts

I have created a free download that teaches you eight ways to prepare a batt  for spinning yarn. The way you prepare a batt can change how the colors are distributed and make drafting more manageable.

The color effects are based on a layered, vertical striped batt. I chose this type of batt for ease of visual directions but these techniques can be used for any type of batt!


vertical draft


Color effect: fibers aligned for short color changes with blended transitions

Orient vertically and draft across the top; fluff the batt to open as needed.






Color effect: fibers semi-aligned for long color changes with blended transitionshorizontal draft

Orient horizontally and draft across the top; fluff the batt to open as needed.





hand pulled roving

Color effect: striping, heather blend, short color change

Loosely wrap hand around batt creating a giant diz, pull gently with other hand until fiber just begins to draft (about one staple length); repeat to end. If necessary switch action of each hand and pull back to other end until you have a workable roving. Try this with batt aligned either way or pull from one corner to see what other color play happens!




layer spilt

Color effect: depends on which secondary method you choose

Turn batt on vertical axis then separate batt into flat layers. Spin each layer as is or prepare using any of these methods applied to each layer. Try a different method for each one! 







Color effect: long separate colors with controlled joins, color order can be manipulated.         strip split                 

Separate batt into vertical strips. Try different widths for your strips to see how the colors change.  

Try putting the strips in a container and pull them out randomly to spin!







zig zag



Color effect: If you split into strips along the color lines you get a long color change yarn or decide on a specific or random width to tear and see how some colors stay separate, some sections will blend.

Turn batt horizontally, separate fibers from one side but stop an inch or two from the opposite end, then begin separating in the opposite direction. What happens if you zig zag split with batt held vertically?






Color effect: random!

Randomly pull batt into pieces and place in a container, then spin in or out of order





jelly roll


Color effect: depends on alignment but colors tend to stay separate and add-ins pop out show off.

Re-roll your batt slightly tighter jelly-roll style; you choose if aligned vertically or horizontally. Use Method 3. Hand Pulled  to create a roving.



I hope this will get your creative juices flowing! How do you like to spin your batts?

autumn garden crochet cowl

AG cowl copyI’ve been having fun with fiber from Phoenix Fiber Company llc. and I especially loved working with Autumn Garden on Baby Camel/Merino/Culivated Silk. I designed this free form crochet cowl with leaves in mind. Here’s how I spun the yarn:

20150129_125931The braid was dyed in long color stretches but I wanted short bursts of color, so I separated each color, then split them into pencil roving size strips.

20150129_135407I spun my single by pulling a strip from each pile in order. I’m pretty sure I got distracted and got a few out of order (don’t tell the spinning police).


Next I plyed the single with rayon thread strung with teenie bright orange beads. I ran out of strung beads before I finished, so the last half of the yarn is plain rayon thread.


I crocheted a strip with the dangling leaves and curly Q’s starting with the beaded end of the skein, then filled in the shoulder and neck.

20150213_130817I finished the piece with polymer clay buttons handmade by my mom!