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Topic: Overspinning like whoa  (Read 3712 times)
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devotedplanet
« on: April 22, 2009 03:05:55 AM »

This is something that has been driving me absolutely insane since I started spinning on a wheel. How on EARTH do you avoid overspinning?! I don't know what I'm doing wrong!

I would love to be able to spin fluffy airy singles, but I'm having to ply everything because it's coming out so thin and... hard, really. When I deliberately spin thinner yarn, it's pretty good because then the twist is more appropriate, but I just haven't been able to manage a nice, soft singles. This is particularly frustrating because I've had my wheel for over a year now.  Embarrassed

I will admit that I learned to spin entirely from one youtube video, so...

I suspect that part of the problem is getting my hands and feet to work at different speeds. I tend to want to treadle really quickly, and I draft at the same speed. When I consciously slow down, my drafting slows down too. When I speed up my drafting, my feet speed up as well. I'm also spinning with more of a worsted technique which I'm trying to break myself of, at least for now, since I'm really, really wanting to make something nice and squishy.

I read somewhere that if your give your yarn slack, and it twists back on itself before the orifice, then it's overspun. If that's true, then mine is... horribly overspun. It tends to twist on itself every few inches or so. I think the twist is building right in front my hand, where I pinch the fibers as I'm drafting, then the section of newly drafted fiber is good, then as I draft the next section, it builds up again, if that makes sense. I also have a problem with... lumps, spirals? forming, because of the amount of twist. This USUALLY disappears when plying, but not always. Maybe I need to be drafting more fluidly?

My wheel is a Louet Victoria, and I'm spinning on the lowest ratio. I've never needed to change it, because I'm getting so much twist. Grrrrr!

I'm really not having a lot of luck finding information on how to avoid overspinning your yarn... is this not a common problem? Has anyone dealt with this? How do you get a nice, balanced single? Also, how did you maintain an even amount of twist through the whole yarn? I wonder if my drafting is the problem.
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« Reply #1 on: April 22, 2009 06:59:32 AM »

I suspect that part of the problem is getting my hands and feet to work at different speeds. I tend to want to treadle really quickly,

You hit the nail on the head, young Padawan. This is a problem that I struggled with at first, and I'm sure many others as well. You need to get used to sloooowwwww feet until your hands catch up. It's hard to remember, but just keep repeating to yourself, "slow feet, fast hands, slow feet, fast hands!"

There is another way to salvage overspun yarn, (even though it's TOTALLY CHEATING, it will save you from having to ply): After you're done overspinning the whole yarn, attach it to a new bobbin and run it back through the wheel in the opposite direction. Set your wheel for a fast intake so that it sucks the yarn through relatively quickly and it should leave you with a less-twisted single. Just make sure you keep an eye on it and don't let it take out too much or it will break.
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knkurz
« Reply #2 on: April 22, 2009 07:21:24 AM »

Treadling too quickly and drafting too slowly is exactly your problem.  It takes a lot of practice and concentration before it becomes habit.  I learned to spin on a single treadle.  Then, I received a double-treadle wheel, and all my yarns were out of control for a while (until I adjusted), because I was effectively treadling twice as fast.  I had to work at it for several weeks before the problem was fixed--and I still sometimes overspin if I'm not paying attention.  The rule about letting go of your tension in front of the orifice is true.  Also, do you set the twist in your yarns?

As for the soft, fluffy part of yarns...once you get the treadling/drafting under control, spin with less tension.  Of course, make sure the wheel is still drawing in.  Also, make sure you're spinning from something carded or fluffy.  Combed top is exactly what you don't want. 
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« Reply #3 on: April 22, 2009 07:30:23 AM »

Do you adjust your tension as you spin?  As yarn fills the bobbin, more tension needs to be applied to avoid overspinning.  I have the treadling-like-a-maniac problem, too, and find that I have to tighten the brake about every 5-10 minutes or so.  

If you slam on the brake, draw-in and take-up increase a LOT and you will be forced to treadle more slowly and draft more quickly.  You might want to try this out just as a training exercise.  

Also, a yarn twisting back on itself before the oriface is actually pretty normal.  There's just some energy there, as is always present in singles yarns.  A ton of twisting back indicates overspinning, and like natashafatale said, you can always send the yarn back through to correct the problem.  A little bit of twisting back is usually remedied by setting the twist (make sure to "snap" your yarn after soaking to even out the twist).  

No matter what anyone says, singles are by definition not balanced.  They can never be truly balanced unless they are plied.   Wink
« Last Edit: April 22, 2009 07:33:52 AM by nicolassa » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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devotedplanet
« Reply #4 on: April 22, 2009 12:10:28 PM »

As for the soft, fluffy part of yarns...once you get the treadling/drafting under control, spin with less tension.  Of course, make sure the wheel is still drawing in.  Also, make sure you're spinning from something carded or fluffy.  Combed top is exactly what you don't want. 

Interesting! I did not know that.

Thanks so much, it makes me feel better to know what the problem is. I don't know anyone that spins irl, so I can't have someone stand over my shoulder and show me what I'm doing wrong. I think another part of the problem is that I'm trying to do the wrong thing with the fiber. I've heard that merino is hard to spin, but it's pretty much all I've ever spun because I love it SO MUCH. But it may be better to try the long draw with a more forgiving fiber. I've watched spinning videos all day and noticed that my drafting is pretty jerky, so I guess I'll just start slow and take little baby steps until it's smoother.

I was just getting so mad earlier that I had to walk away from my wheel before I kicked it.   Lips sealed
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« Reply #5 on: April 22, 2009 12:33:22 PM »

I've heard that merino is hard to spin, but it's pretty much all I've ever spun because I love it SO MUCH. But it may be better to try the long draw with a more forgiving fiber.

Are you using combed top while trying to long draw?  That might be part of your problem!  Definitely give carded roving a try, or even batts or rolags.  Combed top wants to spin worsted (i.e. short forward draw) rather than woolen (i.e. long backward draw), especially commercial combed top...it is superduper compacted, and the fibers don't really want to let go of their neighbors.  A lot of ease of spinning lies in how the fibers are prepped.  If all you have is commercial top, try to separate it out and fluff it up, split, or predraft if you want to long draw.
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devotedplanet
« Reply #6 on: April 23, 2009 01:08:28 AM »

Are you using combed top while trying to long draw? 

....yes. I feel silly, yet so much better, now that I've isolated the problem. So let's say if I have combed merino top, I should use a worsted draw and maybe spin a fine yarn? And if I have a nice airy batt, I should try the long draw?
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« Reply #7 on: April 23, 2009 07:21:52 AM »

A nice, airy batt would be great for long draw!  Anything where the fibers are not parallel would work well.  Merino combed top is great for worsted spinning, any type of worsted spinning.  It's especially good for spinning, say, sock yarn, since worsted-spun yarn is strong and smooth.  Worsted-spun yarn also drapes better than woolen yarn, since it is denser. 

Don't feel silly about a thing!  That's the beauty of spinning...there is always something new to learn!   Wink
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« Reply #8 on: May 13, 2009 09:06:02 PM »

..... I've been stuck spinning long draw ever since I learned how... I just can't get back to my short draft unless I pay VERY close attention....  I've spun a merino top and BFL top long draw......  seems to work okay for me..... maybe I'm doing it not quite right too.....  Oh well.....  i'm sure I'll figure it out one day too! 
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« Reply #9 on: May 14, 2009 05:32:55 AM »

me too, Bella.  All I do is (supported) long draw now for all kinds of fiber prep.  My yarn from combed top is more worsted and yarn from carded batts pulled into roving is more woolen.
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