Sunday, April 10, 2011

A woolen beginning…

I’ve wanted to learn to spin woolen-style for a while now (the way I usually spin is a worsted-style technique).  I think that buying the Shelter yarn (which is woolen spun) a couple of weeks ago heightened the urge.  So I whipped out Abby Franquemont’s Drafting: The Long and the Short of It DVD and studied up on the long draw woolen style draft.  I pawed through my fiber stash looking for appropriate roving (not top) to practice with and came up with this:IMG_8692

Just a reminder for my non-spinning readers:

  • TOP is fiber that has been prepared for spinning by combing it.  Top is more organized than roving – the fibers are all completely parallel to each other.  Top sometimes looks kind of like human hair! 
  • ROVING is fiber that has been prepared for spinning by carding it (either with hand carders or a drum carder).  Roving is less organized than top– many of the fibers are aligned in the same direction, but you can definitely see other fibers going every which way.  Batts are pieces of drum-carded roving.

Don’t you just love that logo on the label?  This is 2 ounces of BFL-mohair roving that came into my stash by accident.  When I got my kate for Christmas a couple years ago, the seller included this small batt as a thank-you for waiting on a slightly delayed shipment.  Here is how it looks once opened:IMG_8694 IMG_8695 Pretty mix of orange and pink, very spring-y!

Woolen style spinning allows twist to enter the fiber supply in the drafting zone (in worsted style spinning, you pinch the fiber in such a way that twist never enters the drafting zone).  With the long draw, you pull your arm back and let a LOT of twist run up into the drafting zone.  And you don’t smooth down the resulting yarn with your fingers, which means that more air stays in the yarn.  Woolen spun yarns are have more yardage by a given weight, because they are airier and loftier. 

Spinning consistent singles with the long draw will definitely require more practice on my part.  You can see here that my singles aren’t all the same width.  You can also see how FUZZY they are – this is the result of the woolen spinning.IMG_8701 I will ply these tomorrow and finish the yarn – expect a show-and-tell early next week.

One thing I like about the long draw is how much FASTER it is than my usual worsted style, inchworm approach.  I’ll have to dip into the fiber stash and see what other roving is in there to practice on.

1 comment:

Steven said...

Okay -- I had a hard time following that, but I did appreciate the top vs. roving explanation.

In any case, it looks good!