Meet the Spinsters


Kate and I have been dyeing and spinning yarns together, as Spincycle Yarns, since 2004. We began the company as a handspinnery, after meeting at our food co-op jobs and realizing we were both dyers and spinners.

Kate moved here after growing up in the Appalachian corner of eastern Ohio, where she learned to spin on her mom's Ashford wheel. When she moved out to the west coast with her dog and her favorite possessions, the spinning wheel came along too.

I grew up in southern Mississippi, but didn't get interested the textiles until a stretch of time I spent living in the top of a redwood tree in northern California, as part of a protest movement against cutting down old growth trees. I had a lot of time on my hands, and some yarn and needles. It was on. 

When we started selling our kettle dyed, handspun yarns at the farmer's market, we knew there was some magic happening. We almost immediately quit our day jobs to pursue full-time spinsterhood. 

Those years were a lot of hard work. Our backs and wrists certainly remind us now of the years we spent handspinning in our twenties and thirties. During those years, we got to hone our craft and learn what we want in a knitting yarn. But handspinning full time wasn't physically or financially sustainable. 

A chance encounter with someone opening a micro mill near Bellingham led to the development of our first millspun yarns. Suddenly we were doing something we'd only dreamed of; we were creating a machine made version of our handspun! By keeping our dyeing methods exactly the same, only with much bigger pots, the yarns looked just like our handspun. But made fast

We soon knew we wanted full control over all the steps of milling as well as dyeing, to get the yarn just how we wanted it. So when the owner of the mill unexpectedly decided to retire, we jumped into action. We bought all of their milling equipment, moved it into one big empty warehouse that could hold our dye house, mill, and offices, and we got to hustling. 

We hired our first few employees, reached out to designers we'd always admired, opened some wholesale accounts, and threw ourselves into developing new colorways and new yarn lines.

[Read more about our adventures in milling in the USA here!]

Kate and I are now in our twentieth year of Spincycle, and we still love walking up each day to do this job. I sincerely hope that sense of delight and gratitude we feel for our work and for being mill owners comes through in our yarns and colorways. We really are so grateful, and we appreciate your support all along the way.