Saturday, June 30, 2012

Experiments in Spinning

I have been having problems learning to ply. At least, thats what I thought. As you can see from the sample below, I wasnt producing yarn, I was producing string. Hard, scratchy string with no drape. It was balanced, it hung correctly. But it was string.

So I went to Woolfest and asked several people how to ply. The spinners were their usual generous selves, and gave me the benefit of their experience. They allowed me to watch them ply, and one spinner even allowed me to have a go on her wheel.

Then I came home, did everything suggested to me, and produced the above sample. Misery and frustration ensued. I rang a friend to have a moan and she simply asked "Have you checked your singles? You may be over spinning them"

So I unspun some of the singles until they had about a third of the twist I usually put in, and then plied them half as much as I would usually do. As the above result shows, it was an improvement, but it was too loosely spun and came adrift in places.

Finally I spun these last singles. I used my medium whorl (about 11 ratio) and did 2 treadles for each 3-4" draft. Then I plied it with 2/3rds as much twist as I had put in the singles. Result!!!!  Soft yarn, gentle drape, balanced and just enough twist. Moral of this story? Dont assume anything and experiment, going back to the beginning.

It sounds like the Golidlocks story, but with yarn LOL

Finally, this is my newly finished Wingspan shawl. I used 4mm needles and Kauni effect yarn to make it bigger.


Elariel said...

Trial and error! You're coming along nicely!

Anonymous said...

simply dropping by to say hey