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Jun 21
mussel shell colored batts of yarn

How to Spin a Textured Gradient Cable Yarn – Classy Squid Fiber Co. Collaboration


When I first approached Amanda from Classy Squid Fiber Company about doing a collaboration with her fiber, I had no idea that we would mesh so well! I immediately resonated with her bright colors, innovative blends, and artistic personality. Amanda’s style could be classified as eclectic and nerdy, but overall there is something in her shop that everyone would like. For many of our collaborations we have asked for the yarn/fiber company for something in their existing line, but for this collab and our Gherkin’s Bucket collab, we asked the dyer/artist to create something unique for us.

I was blown away by the colors and the inspiration behind these batts. These blends were inspired by the inside and the outside of a mussel shell. The lovely textured batt comes from the outer shell, while the long, smooth gradient comes from the inside of the shell. I could have taken each batt and spun each one and then made a two ply out of them, but I wanted to try something new and exotic. Cable Ply!

Two batts of dyed fiber one colored like the inside of a mussel shell and the second the outside

Here’s what you’ll need:

Two contrasting batts of fiber, I used a gradient batt and a textured batt. The batts I used are now available in the Classy Squid Fiber Company shop.

Spinning wheel with 5 bobbins or a Drop Spindle. I used my Matchless Spinning Wheel in double drive and the smaller pulley of my medium whorl.

Lazy Kate

Here’s how to make this yarn:

  1. Split each batt in half. If you’re working with a gradient batt, be sure to split the gradient in half keeping both halves intact with the full gradient.
  2. Spin each half onto their own bobbins, spinning clockwise (Z spun).
  3. Take one bobbin from the textured batt and ply it counter-clockwise (S) with one bobbin of the gradient batt. Add twice as much twist to these plies as you would normally use.
  4. Repeat step 3 with the other two bobbins
  5. Ply these two-ply yarns together clockwise (Z). Make sure that your gradients are going the same direction before you ply. Ply this with the same amount of twist as the singles. This should create a balanced finished 4-ply yarn.

For a really great resource on cabled yarns and all other yarns for that matter, read The Spinner’s Book of Yarn Designs, a fantastic book by Sarah Anderson full of diagrams and colorful photography, which I find very helpful.

a skein of cable ply yarn

This type of yarn would be great for a hardwearing garment, like socks, mittens, or any other object that will get lots of love.

My yarn ended up being a bulky-weight and measured in at 52 yards, so I may weave a wall hanging that shows off the small quantity of yarn by itself. I may also put it in a decorative dish for display all skeined up.

-Benjamin Krudwig


A little bit about Classy Squid Fiber Company

BioPicClassy Squid Fiber Co. is an independant fiber company based in northern Massachusetts, specializing in spinning fibers of all kinds, art yarn kits, and handspun yarns. Amanda Anganes, Chief Maker and Head Fiberista, founded CSFC as an antidote to long hours spent on intangible computer tasks at her technology day-job. She thrives on creating exquisite blends and colorways for handspinners and fiber artists, enhancing but never hiding the intrinsic beauty of natural fibers, and bringing you more than just merino and silk. Batts, rolags, and more are inspired by nature, travels, the minute details of life, and pop culture. Find Classy Squid Fiber Co. online at