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Topic: Chunky yarn from drop spindle?  (Read 2553 times)
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ni
« on: October 23, 2008 08:56:02 PM »

As much as I want a spinning wheel (as in with my entire heart) I'm a poor college kid and have to take things one at a time. I just bought hand cards and that set me back quite a bit! (completely worth it)

My question is this, when you spin on a drop spindle, will it always look so chunky? I.E. nothing like the high quality yarns you get from a wheel? Secondly, what techniques do you use to set the twist?

Also, if I am getting spirals in the yarn, am I spinning it too tight or is that ok as long as I take out the kinks before I knit?

Thanks
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nicolassa
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« Reply #1 on: October 24, 2008 08:01:02 AM »

Well, the answer is "it depends."   Cheesy  What kind of drop spindle do you have?  Is it heavy or light?  Top whorl or bottom?  In my experience, if you have a top-whorl, lighter/smaller spindle, you will end up with finer yarn.  If you have a bottom-whorl, heavier spindle, you will generally have chunky yarn.  This is because it's hard for fine yarn to hold together under the weight of a heavy spindle, and a light spindle can't get enough momentum going to spin a truly chunky yarn. 

All that being said, it is not impossible to spin whatever kind of yarn your heart desires on the spindle that you have.  It can be done; it just takes lots of practice.  A certain type of spindle just makes it easier to spin a certain kind of yarn.

To set the twist I usually (1) soak in hot water with a dash of Euculan for 15 minutes, (2) squeeze out the water, (3) tuck my thumbs into the loop at each end and give a quick snap to even out the twist, (4) hang to dry.  I rarely weight my yarn, because I like the sproinginess of wool, and weighting can take some of the elasticity out temporarily (until it gets wet again).  It's a personal preference.  There are plenty of people who like to weight the yarn while it's drying...the choice is yours.

Tight, kinky spirals are an indication that the yarn is overspun.  Touch the spiral...is it hard to the touch?  If so, yes, you've got overspun yarn.  Not to worry, though...when you ply, just make sure to ply with an equal amount of twist.  If you're going for a singles yarn, then you might want to send your yarn back through the spindle, untwisting a bit so that you don't end up with hard, brittle yarn.  Remember that you can always add or subtract twist to achieve your desired result.   Smiley
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I have no idea what you're talking about, so here's me with some yarn on my head.

Etsyness:  http://WhirligigYarns.etsy.com

Bloggity:  http://whirligigyarns.blogspot.com
ni
« Reply #2 on: October 24, 2008 08:51:50 PM »

Thank you so much. It is good to know that all I need is practice Smiley
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catnip777
« Reply #3 on: October 29, 2008 12:04:30 PM »

I agree with the advice above.  You will find that predrafting the roving will help in getting a more consistent (but not always) size, if you are trying to go thinner.  Also, try some pencil roving. I just got some to try and it is wonderful-makes you feel like you've been spinning for years! Smiley

Most beginner spindles are 2oz or more, so you might look to get a lighter spindle, say 1oz or less if you want thin singles.  If you want chunky yarn, go with a heavier weight spindle.  I got a 3.8oz spindle for a friend who LOVES thick yarn and the heavier spindles are good for plying as well.   Etsy.com is a great place to look. 

Go to the ravelry.com groups and look up the spindlers..you'll find a whole new world of spindles out there.  I just started in July and I have already 'collected' 6 spindles of varying sizes. Good luck with your spinning!
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ni
« Reply #4 on: October 29, 2008 06:31:23 PM »

Thank you, that's very interesting

I created this thread with yarn like this in mind

If you're skilled enough, can you make a yarn like this on the right spindle?
« Last Edit: October 29, 2008 06:52:37 PM by ni » THIS ROCKS   Logged
nicolassa
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« Reply #5 on: October 30, 2008 07:24:44 AM »

You sure can! 

As you practice, your spinning will naturally get finer and finer.  This looks like a three ply yarn to me.  There are a couple of ways to achieve this "look":  (1) spin three fine singles in a neutral color, then ply all three together and handpaint/handdye after you've finished spinning the skein, (2) start with spacedyed roving and navajo-ply, which gives you a three ply yarn and keeps the colors together.  The only problem with navajo-plying is that you end up with small little knotty spots, since you're in essence using crochet to ply.  It's sort of hard to explain, but there are a lot of resources out there that show you how to navajo ply, i.e. http://www.joyofhandspinning.com/spin-navajo-ply.shtml.  Navajo plying wouldn't be the best if you are going for sock yarn, because you would end up with little knots in your sock that you might be able to feel as you walk around.

Here is a video that is pretty incredible:  it shows how to spin a single on the spindle, then immediately navajo-ply it, so when you take your yarn off the spindle, the yarn is already plied!  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Eunrqj97lLU

Here are a couple of yarns that I spun using the navajo-plying technique:




« Last Edit: October 30, 2008 07:27:39 AM by nicolassa » THIS ROCKS   Logged

I have no idea what you're talking about, so here's me with some yarn on my head.

Etsyness:  http://WhirligigYarns.etsy.com

Bloggity:  http://whirligigyarns.blogspot.com
ni
« Reply #6 on: October 30, 2008 07:45:52 AM »

I am really impressed.
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mullerslanefarm
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« Reply #7 on: November 03, 2008 08:16:12 AM »

check out Abby's utube video on spindling.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=drXid5cT0y8

You'll be spinning fine yarn before you know it!!!
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Cyndi

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Jane Doe
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« Reply #8 on: November 10, 2008 11:36:25 PM »

My question is this, when you spin on a drop spindle, will it always look so chunky? I.E. nothing like the high quality yarns you get from a wheel? Secondly, what techniques do you use to set the twist?

Until this week, everything I've made was on a drop spindle  Wink
Here's a few drop spindle creations to motivate you
http://photos-g.ak.fbcdn.net/photos-ak-sf2p/v249/177/31/555012063/n555012063_899206_510.jpg
http://photos-063.ll.facebook.com/photos-ll-sf2p/v169/177/31/555012063/n555012063_504688_6049.jpg
http://photos-063.ll.facebook.com/photos-ll-sf2p/v331/177/31/555012063/n555012063_1264214_1269.jpg
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VelvetSpins
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« Reply #9 on: November 11, 2008 11:23:18 PM »


If you're skilled enough, can you make a yarn like this on the right spindle?

Most definitely! 

I started to spin using a drop spindle in June and though I have 2 wheels, I still spin on my drop spindle because I can take it anywhere.  I spin primarily thin yarn, almost lace weight on a top whorl - although I can also spin it on my low whorl.  I usually pre-draft my fiber ahead of time and spin.  sometimes I park and draft, and sometimes I don't - but I've usually been able to spin thin singles consistently regardless of spindle weight and top or bottom whorl. 

it's ironic though - I'd love to spin thick and thin singles on my drop spindle but somehow can't do it anymore.   Embarrassed
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Stressed is Just Desserts Spelled Backwards...guess we should have more desserts every day!
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