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Old 09-29-2008, 11:34 PM   #41
Lady Violet
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Wow. Everyone's stuff looks great!
I got some carded Corriedale in the mail today. I've already spun up some of it. It drafts sooo much easier than the stuff I started with.
I've been noticing a lot here and on Ravelry that people are posting pics of their "first spun yarn." Quite often they're using really light spindles (compared to the "beginner" spindles out there like my 2.2 oz Schacht), and their yarn looks really good and even, too. Is it normal to start out thick and get progressively thicker (that's what makes sense to me)? How do they do it?
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Old 09-30-2008, 10:27 AM   #42
mullerslanefarm
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I can get realllly fine yarns using the park and draft method. The lighter the spindle, the finer the yarn
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Old 10-01-2008, 12:19 AM   #43
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Hiya Violet,
Fibrenut from ASKAL here, I too started out on a Schact 2.2 spindle. I was getting totally frustrated with it (spinning overspun cat puke). I was pre drafting the heck out of my yarn. I thought that's what one was supposed to do, predraft to the thickness you wanted and then add twist. Well that's all fine n good if you want thick yarn n all (like lopi yarn) but it was stiff, not consistent and well, cat puke.
I was reading the posts on "spinner central" on ravelry (read all of abbys posts if you can. That lady is a well of information when it comes to anything fiberfied). Also, there is a lady just down the street who belongs to the local weavers and spinners guild, both of em basically said that you can loosen up the fibers before spinning but don't predraft to the point of just finished yarn. Draft as you go. I have been spinning from prepared top roving (the kind that's all slick n perty n comes usually in a ball called a "bump") all the fibers are alligned.

So basically, all I do now is to strip the roving into two pieces. (One for each ply) and then tear them off into more manageable lengths (about 18-24 inches) wrap the excess around my wrist that I hold the fiber in (usually my left hand)
then I attach the fiber to my leader and spin the first part by barely holding the fiber in my left through my hand and sort of tensioning it with my pinkie and controlling the twist by pinching with my thumb and forefinger (don't want that twist travelling up into the mass in your hand or you'll be fighting it fer sure.
If you are parking and drafting, pinch off the twist with your left hand and at the same time give the spindle a nice twirl in the clockwise direction, let some twist build up between the spindle and your hand where you have it pinched off (no you don't have to hold it like a snake about to bite you, just enough to keep the twist from travelling up into the mass of fiber and to keep the fiber from breaking off) it'll be about 6-8 inches between your pinching and the spindle (room enough for your other hand to control the drafting) Now stop the spindle and park it between your knees, take your right hand and pinch just below where you have a hold of the fiber in your left, release your pinch from your left hand and pull your fiber with your right til you feel the fiber give and about half to two thirds length of the staple (the actual length of each fiber in the roving, to find this just grab the end of the roving before you start spinning and pull til you have a piece seperate from the rest. The length of the pull off piece is your staple length.) Now that you've drafted some from your left, pinch again with the left before you let go of the right, and let the twist travel up into that little bit you just pulled out. Pinch with your left hand again to keep the twist from travelling and repeat til you don't get as much twist as you want, then pinch it off with your fiber hand, release from the hook, wind on and repeat.

If you want really thin yarn, just pull it so that it's about twice as thick as you want your final single to be. So let's say you want to make sock yarn weight, grab just enough fiber with your right hand so that when you pull it it's twice the thickness of sock yarn, then when the twist hits it it'll shrink up to sock yarn size. Same with thicker yarns.

Sometimes the fiber will bunch up in your left hand, don't worry about that, sometimes the twist will grab some fibers that are deeper but that's ok, you are controlling what gets twisted by alternating between pinching your left and your right hands. With more experience and practice (lots of practice) you'll be able to do this on the fly, by that you can spin the spindle, let it spin n dangle and at the same time draft. The secret to consistent singles is all in the drafting, not how much a spindle weighs or how fast or long you can get it to spin, you can always flick it again when it starts slowing down.

Lighter spindles do help when it comes to spinning thinner singles because there is less stress on the single. Plying is good on a heavier spindle because you need the little bit of extra weight to help go against the already spun singles (you'll ply in the opposite direction in which you spun your single) they are also good with the thicker yarns as well because they need that extra little momentum. Not to mention the whorls usually are bigger on heavier spindles and you can get more onto them.
I like using my 2.2 for plying. I have a 1 oz. spindle from spinsanity that I do most of my spinning of singles on.
Next thing you'll wanna learn is the different methods of finishing your yarn and different ways of plying (2-ply, boucle, different weight singles, chain ply or more commonly called Navajo ply, etc.) Spinning is sooo much fun and almost as addictive as knitting sox if not more so. LOL
Sorry for the WAY WAY long reply. I hope it's helped ya a little bit.
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Last edited by fibrenut : 10-01-2008 at 12:24 AM. Reason: forgot some important bits.
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Old 10-01-2008, 01:05 AM   #44
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Wow, Fibrenut! Thanks heaps! That Corriedale I got in the mail the other day practically spins itself, and it just keeps getting thinner and thinner. Several times I thought for sure my anchor was going to run aground. So now I'm trying to decide what to get for my next lighter spindle. I was hoping to order one tonight, but I may sleep on it until the morning. I've been pouring over this for hours. I know it's just a spindle, but I'm basically deciding between two, so if I get one I won't get the other one. I totally overthink everything. So anyway, it's between this one and this one. They're both not that expensive, they have great reviews on Ravelry, and I really like them. Basically, I want to make sure I get one that I'm not going to put away and never pick up again after I get my Bossie (which I'm hoping to order in the next few weeks or so).
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Old 10-01-2008, 04:22 AM   #45
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Way kewl hun, I went n peeked at the ones you were looking at. For perty's sake I like the Americana one, but for utilitarian and pertiness, I like the oak one (has that nifty little notch, which will come in handy). Have fun hun!! Spinning is soooo kewl
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Old 10-01-2008, 12:23 PM   #46
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Here are some pics of what I've got going here.
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Old 10-01-2008, 01:12 PM   #47
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That's what I was thinking about the notch. I really like the oak, too.

Your spinning looks great! You ever take that thing on the back of your Harley?

eta: I just ordered it. Now the waiting begins. Is it here yet?
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Old 10-01-2008, 06:51 PM   #48
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Nah, I did think about it for two seconds but then said, "Nahh!!I'll scratch the bike."
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Old 10-01-2008, 07:38 PM   #49
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p.s. It's not here yet.
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Old 10-02-2008, 09:04 AM   #50
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fibrenut - what kind of wheel is that? Nice yarn!

Here's the Colonial from the previous post plyed. 290 yards


And another 'funky' skein (the rovings were named Funky B & Funky C)


I'm spinning up some jet black merino that is interspersed with multiple colors, next on the wheel is some Colonial top called 'Agate' and just got this yesterday from a swap on the Ravelry (4 oz)

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