This is my blog to share my adventures, misadventures, exploration, and experimentation with fibre- and as it turns out, with life as well. There is some of both. One thing leads to another. Collecting, spinning, weaving, dying, learning, building a web of relationships. Here we are: welcome.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Learning to spin on a wheel without creating a mess

This is it in a nutshell:

1.  The first batch I tried spinning. Well, no-- the very first little bit was so awful I wound it off and stuck it in a box.  This small skein is better: I was starting to get the hang of letting the darn yarn wind on by itself, just not very well yet. I call it "Random Overtwist".  It has been washed and is hanging to dry to set the twist so it doesn't totally kink up when it is released.  I hope.  I intend to dye this some wild color and call it "art yarn".  Maybe use it someday in something with inclusions to distract.

2.  Try number 2: Still overtwisted, but with some areas that look pretty good, more consistency in thickness, and the joins are cleaner.  I am still using my wheel in doubledrive, meaning that the same pulley controling the spin also controls the bobbin wind-on speed, via a loop around a kind of gear that in spinning is called a whorl. There is an adjusting knob that I haven't got the hang of yet. This bobbin is on  my lazy kate now.

3.  Okay, I changed from double-drive to Scotch tension.  This is where the belt drives only the spinning of the yarn, and a separate line, called a brake, controls the bobbin takeup speed.  It has it's own control (the black knob thing at the bottom, and I finally was able to coordinate the spinning and the pull-in to produce a pretty consistent yarn.  My fingers learned how to both draw out fibre from the wool, let the spin in, and release it to draw in to be wound on the bobbin.  Not as good yet as I am on the spindle, but getting there, and it's lots faster!  This I am spinning to ply. 

To compare, here is a photo of some of my plyed spindle yarn, and a singles still on the spindle, from the same batch of BFL.  I did this just before getting my wheel. 

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