Step 2: Pre-draft your fiberDrafting Definition
Drafting: to make thin; make slender or fine.
We're going to pull apart that rectangular batt, or that snakey roving you bought, into something that will start to look a little more like yarn.
Reason being, drafting makes your wool easier to spin
Highly skilled spinners, can do all their drafting during the spinning process to save time.
However, pre-drafting helps you to control your yarn. What your roving fiber, or batt really is
Basically, it's made up of lots of little sheep hairs overlapping one another. If your fiber is all of one breed (EG, Merino roving), the hair should all be the same length. This is what i was referring to last tutorial as "staple length".
We're going to be talking a lot about staple length this tutorial.
Your roving/batt is NOT, one continuous fiber.
Even though it looks like a long snake, or a rectangle, it's not really.
This means: NEVER CUT YOUR WOOL
you'll end up with shorter unusable hairs where you made the cut.
those hairs will be itchy short, and the shorter staple length means the cut hairs are unusable.
If you want to split your wool roving, pull apart the wool allowing the fibers to separate.
Ok, now that I've had a fiber rant, lets get on to the drafting.Time to draft!
Take about half a yard of your roving (or 1/3 of your batt) for this first project.
We will be spinning singles with this wool. You'll need to save some wool to spin plied yarn later, and some for the third project - designing your yarn.Roving
Split it length ways in half, and half again.
You should have 4 half yard pieces.Batt
So you've got your 1/3 batt to start with.
Split it a few more times length ways, similarly to the roving. This is called "stripping" the batt. Draft
What you're doing to do, is slowly pull on the fiber. This will cause the roving pieces to lengthen and become thinner.
But first, check the staple length of what you're spinning. (do this by pinching the very tip of the wool, and quickly tugging it out). Hold your wool roving with two hands, and tug slightly.
Keep your hands a little further apart than the staple length
Eg, if your staple length is 3inches long, keep your hands 4 inches apart when drafting
If your wool doesn't pull apart, your hands are too close.
This is definitely something that easier to understand when you've seen someone do it.
There's no point re-inventing the wheel (so to speak
) so here are some invaluable video tutorials on the drafting process.
In the following clip Megan takes you though the process pretty well.
She shows you:
-how to carefully split your roving (we are splitting less than Megan, and drafting more)
-the staple of her wool
-How to gently pull and draft into thin rovinghttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Us0nk_ryMDI
Here's another excellent clip that goes through the process with a batt
This clip shows you how to:
-strip a batt
-draft the batt into thin rovinghttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MpxVHmaFeXY
When you want to spin the entire batt as one yarn, this is a different way to strip your batthttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OQqnj2VJdb4Homework
This session is for learning more about your fiber, and preparing your fiber to spin.
Feel free to ask any questions. I'm a little scatterbrained, so my apologies if the tutorial wasn't the clearest. I dropped boiling water down my leg yesterday while felting
- determine the staple length of your wool
- watch all three youtube clips
No matter what form your fiber is in (batt or roving) I'd suggest watching all three. Each video gives added insight into the process of drafting, and will help you in your drafting.
- Take a small section of your fiber, and draft.
If you accidentally pull it apart, keep the pieces and keep on trying
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