How we spin when we get together.

Spinners gather at Yarn Hollow for social spinning.

As we saw in 2013’s Spinzilla, Team Fancy Tiger, the winning team, was very strategic in their Spinzilla week event preparation.

Every night during Spinzilla week, they offered team members a 20% discount on fiber.  They offered measuring assistance so that spinners could spend their time spinning and not winding off. Each day they had a different challenge with prizes to keep their spinners interest up. Rumor has it that adult beverages were provided, to help relax the spinners as they spun their way to the championship!

All that good fun came with good preparation! Now is the time to think about planning events for your business to help grow your spinning customer’s skills set, both to help them spin to their heart’s out in Spinzilla 2014, but also because spinners are looking for more opportunities to expand their skill set!

According to Hart Business Research in the State of Specialty NeedleArts Survey (2013), 42% of spinners questioned said that lack of knowledge has kept them from doing the projects that they would like, not lack of time! 42% also said they would prefer to learn new techniques in an in-person class, and 51% of spinners responded they prefer to have technique-based classes. This information sounds like a great number of spinners are looking to increase specific skills and have time to learn!

(If you’re looking for more information about the data in the State of Specialty NeedleArts Survey, go to the TNNA website and login with your member ID and password to see the full results. The business tools are particularly useful as they break down the data into actionable plans. There is a wealth of information in the survey that can provide you with loads of ideas!)

Think about what classes or events that would be beneficial to host. If this seems overwhelming, consider incorporating a casual peer-to-peer learning experience during a spinning night.These ideas are also applicable for virtual meet-ups.

facebook events

In the Yarn Hollow Studio calendar, we have events scheduled for March through May. We are gatherings idea for the Summer awaiting the summer camp dates to schedule. An “event” as opposed to a “class” is open to anyone. These events all have a Spinzilla theme, but they apply to any spinner.

Here is the plan:

March Measuring yarn on bobbins! Spinners will compare the weighing-bobbins method to the actual yardage measured via a niddy noddy or yarn winder. The spinner who is closest wins a prize!

April Refreshing your fiber! This will focus on ways to bring back compacted fiber back to life.

May Make your own niddy noddy and other fiber tools.  I’ll have recipes for how to make your own and reasons why you might and might not want to do so!

June Fiber prep from washing to picking and carding.

Raw fiber and combs

Other options for classes could be a long-draw vs. short draw race; time trials using different drafting techniques; how to ply for fast, even, and quality results; making mini rollags (all the rage, and sooooo cute!); fiber prep from fleece to rollag. The options are endless! Take a look at last year’s Spinzilla Blog Tour entries that focused on techniques to get a lot of spinning done, quickly! Use these blog posts to glean ideas about events to host. Spinners, if you have ideas for your LSS about what would help you be a better spinner, share them! I’m sure they would be glad to hear from you.

For promoting these events, we’re publishing them on the Yarn Hollow facebook page, on ravelry, through the newsletter, and the webpage. It’s a lot of work to get the news out there, but a bit of advanced scheduling will make the work pay off in the long run. The more your spinning customers participate, the more they will learn! The more they learn, the more proficient a spinner they will become, and the more they will spin!

Now is the time to plan to make the most of Spinzilla experience.  If you are interested in hosting a team, e-mail us at and include the following information: business name, e-mail, physical address, mailing address, website, phone number, and your TNNA member ID.  We can make sure that you are all set to register on May 5  when team registration opens.

Happy Spinning,

Rita Petteys, Yarn Hollow
Chair and Logistics, Spinzilla 2014