Monday, February 25, 2013

Spinning lessons

This Sunday I took a spinning course with Elinor Crosby at the Nova Scotia Centre for Craft and Design. It was a three hour class and I learned several cool things.

Here's a beauty. If you can't establish enough tension through your brake belt or your drive belt, you can lead the newly spun yarn through a little maze via your guides. This is especially good for thinner yarns, such as laces which can be spun with only a couple of fibres at a time.

In order for this to work, your yarn guides need to be on the same side of the spindle. Mine are not, they are on the top and the bottom of the U shaped thing. It has a real name but I forget.

If you don't own a spinning wheel, you might not know that there are all kinds of whorls or pulleys and knobs to twist. When I am feeling adventurous, I twist a few knobs and see what happens. This weekend, the relationships between the knobs and whorls was revealed and several things happened.

I learned how to spin really thin yarn,

This can be plied two, three, four or even eight strands together, giving rounder and stronger yarns. This yarn belongs to that naughty sheep Floozy. If only I had known this three years ago, as I agonize spinning her up. By drawing the fibres out to a thin yarn, a lot of the garbage just drops out. I've been stopping and picking out debris and then starting again. It has been frustrating to not get a flow of spinning. Now the decision regarding Floozy is to continue as I was, or to switch strategies half way through. Hmm.

I learned how to spin a loftier yarn. This fleece is was not as well prepared as it could have been and is full of nubbins. It could be used to make a novelty yarn, or I could live with it and knit or weave something that looks cool with blumps. I have a very nice table mat made with bumpy yarn in the weft and linen in the warp. I could try that some day.

I learned how to figure out what yarn I want to spin, rather than spinning and hoping that what comes out at the end is useable. Both these yarns are a result of me making a decision ahead of time as to what diameter of single I wanted. These were spun on the middle whorl with medium tension on your left view and higher tension on the right view.

My fellow student was a nut for dying and there was a lot of talk about dying, batts, carding and strategies to get interesting colours. I brought out my recent colour disasters.

The skein on your right is from a door prize, I may have mentioned earlier, the skein on your left is a double ply. The colours get muddy and brown.

Here is where I tried mixing it with a strong pink and really. Ick. The spinning group helped me decide that the right view skein colour is better as a single, that I should wash it, see if the over spinning comes out and use it as a weft in something. Or donate it and let someone else figure it out. I like this idea best.

The spinning group helped me decide what to do with the pink. Here we've added a brown, about 2 parts pink to one part medium brown. I like it already. I have enough to make a small sample and head out shopping.

1 comment:

  1. you call these disasters yet I think they are great colours, subtle and warm...