Monday, 20 June 2016

I'm spinning around, move out of my way!

No not dancing with Kylie, but I have been spinning!

As some of you may recall, I was very lucky to inherit my late Grans spinning wheel this spring, but due to life and stuff I haven't really done much with it. Until now, that is!

Spinning on a wheel seemed a bit daunting at first, but I had lots of wool and nothing to loose, so it was just a case of getting started. I had a small batch of wool that I had experimented with, dying it with food coloring. I quickly found out that it didn't hold up to sunlight, so it was perfect for practice.

My first bobbin full!
This is one single thread, which will then be plied,
to make yarn.

The interest for spinning is on the rise where I live, so small spin groups are popping up here and there. I attended one, and had a lovely time with six other ladies, chatting, having coffee and playing with fibre. It's a great way to socialise, get inspiration, and also help should you need it.

I quickly got the hang of the wheel, and before long my first bobbin was full. One of the spinning ladies showed me a technique for making 3-ply yarn with one thread on a spindle (Navajo plying), and I decided to have a go at that on my wheel. On a wheel it's called chain plying, and it is brilliant!

To put it short, true 3ply yarn is three individually spun threads plied together, while chain plying takes only one thread which you make large loops into as you go, and then twisting them to form yarn. So it saves you a lot of time, and the result is very similar to true 3-ply. Hard to explain, but if you are curious, here is a short Youtube video showing the moves.

The biggest difference when using a wheel over a spindle (I find), is to control the amount of twist. The wheel has two different settings, that gives more or less twist. The speed of which you are feeding the wool into the bobbin is also going to affect the twist, so I was very curious to see if my thread had enough, or even too much twist. When you are doing things for the first time, it is trial and error, until you get the feel for what is "just right". You cannot be told, you have to experience. Besides, the right amount of twist differs depending upon what you want to do with the spun thread, and how you want your finished yarn to look and feel.

The half on the left was the first half of the bobbin, and it's quite
unevenly plied. I got it better on the right half, even though the single thread
had way too much twist.

So I had my full bobbin with unknown amount of twist. I found a Youtube video, on how to chain ply on a wheel, and got going. I probably used half the bobbin, just to get hands, feet, wool and brain to work together, but after that something clicked and the plying went great. I soon found that my thread  actually had too much twist in it, so my yarn is quite firm. I got some kinks and loops in there, and it is not balanced, but it is my first skein and I am quite proud of it.

One chain plied skein of yarn. 90grams.

The lovely thing about spinning yarn, is that there is no right or wrong! Nobody can tell you your yarn isn't right. It may not be what you envisioned in your mind, and it may not be perfect but it IS your own handspun yarn. A nice lady told me; -Perfect yarn, you can by in the store. Handmade is unique. And if it gets wonky, it's called art-yarn!

New fibre, ready to spin!

More spinning to come............ :)

No comments:

Post a Comment