Tuesday, January 29, 2008


I got the DSM to use the video function on my digital camera to illustrate this post, which he did to very good effect. But we shall have to make do with just a still, because despite having as I thought a replacement codec for the original software, the dang thing wouldn't play. I did try to upload it to Google video, but that didn't seem to be working either. I will have another go, and if I can get it to work, will add it here later.

So, what am I doing that I wanted a vid for?

Having finished the Polwarth, I started some very nice corriedale top. It felt so different to my fingers - nice, but different. So I decided that I would spin it rather thicker than I normally do, it would make a change and the discipline is good for me.

It's going like a dream, and I am very happy with the yarn so far. So I thought I would make a note of the useful points to remember when spinning thicker.

It never ceases to amaze me that very good and experienced spinners often don't seem to be aware of the importance of the ratios on their wheels. To spin thicker, I have set my Schacht up with the driveband on the lowest/slowest ratio, which is, if I recall aright, around 6.5, as many wheels are. (I only have the two standard whorls for this wheel.) Because when spinning thicker, you need fewer twists per inch which seems paradoxical, but isn't.

Then, I need to remember that I need to consider the relative speeds of my hands and my treadling (actually, you need to do that no matter what you are spinning, but for our "usual" yarns, it tends to be automatic.) So I am using the trick that I often recommend to beginning spinners to help them let the yarn go on to the bobbin - for each downward movement on the treadle, I am drafting forward with my hands. Nice, slow, steady rhythm - very soothing.

The final point is the most important. In my "normal" drafting mode, the fingers of my forward hand will be pinching at the end of the yarn that has been formed to control the twist. For spinning a thicker yarn, I adjust that position so that my fingers are closed very definitely on the fibre. This gives me a broader platform or base to draft against. I hope the picture gives some indication of what I mean, but I'm not sure!

drafting thicka

I worked this out ages ago after really struggling with spinning a fatter yarn. And then, in the very next issue of Spin Off, there was an article about how to do it using this very method. I think by Rita Buchanan. I have had a look at the Spin Off online index, but I can't identify the article as yet. And I can't face getting my collection out and going through them all.........

Oh - and before anyone comments that this doesn't look all that think - it is for me! Plus, it will, even though worsted, pouff up some when plied and washed. (I wonder what the spellchecker will give me as an alternative for that, then, eh?)

I have been exceedingly virtuous and done a massive load of ironing whilst watching two episodes of CSI. I think I am on strike now.

1 comment:

Marie said...

Thank you, Carol!
I can't wait for the video....so get crackin', girl!