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Topic: Learn to Spin. Step 2: Drafting  (Read 14583 times)
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Jane Doe
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« on: January 27, 2010 09:37:35 PM »

Step 2: Pre-draft your fiber

Drafting 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 Smiley
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.
No cutting!!!



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 Wink ) 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 roving
http://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 roving
http://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 batt
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OQqnj2VJdb4



Homework
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  Undecided

  • 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 Smiley

Questions & Answers saved from this thread
1.)
« Last Edit: September 11, 2013 05:13:24 PM by Belladune » THIS ROCKS   Logged

Ravenau1
« Reply #1 on: January 28, 2010 03:54:52 AM »

Thanks Jane!  Grin  Can't wait to get started tomorrow!

Hope you didn't do too much damage to your leg!  Sad
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themuppet
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« Reply #2 on: January 28, 2010 05:09:38 AM »

Boiling water!  Eek!!  My boys and I were petting my roving yesterday, and the girl (she's 2) grabbed the bag, hugged it, and tried to run off with it, so this is going to be an interesting adventure, I think.

Homework will be done after work, teach! *salute*

Ravenau, I really like the colors you chose... that's gonna be an awesome scarf.  I'm envisioning a felt or felted toothy smile at one end.. lol!
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Jane Doe
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« Reply #3 on: January 28, 2010 05:33:26 AM »

Thanks for your concern guys, but my leg is recovering surprisingly well.
Luckily I had the time to be able to do the best 1st aid possible for it, and kept it under running water for 2hrs so it should heal up really quickly  Smiley

Ravenau if you're able to show us your drafted wool when you're done I'd love to see it

themuppet I love the response your children had to your fiber ^_^
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kjlutz
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« Reply #4 on: January 28, 2010 06:29:10 AM »

I can't wait to get started, these lessons are fantastic.  If I can't start before, I know how I'm spending Reading Week...
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Cheyenneswthrt07
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« Reply #5 on: January 28, 2010 06:44:13 AM »

Themuppet, your lucky I gave a small piece to my 2 y/o and she looked at it, wrinkled her nose, shook her head no and ran off lol.  Only my boy is interested lol.
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themuppet
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« Reply #6 on: January 28, 2010 06:53:19 AM »

Oh yeah she loves it.. I have pictures of her kissing and hugging a ball of yarn.. hahaha  Every time I'm working on anything, I'm fighting her for the yarn 'cause she just wants to love on it.
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Belladune
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« Reply #7 on: January 28, 2010 07:08:19 AM »

wonderful lesson Jane Doe.  and thanks for the links, I haven't seen the 2 on batts, so it'll be helpful when I use a batt.. I just rip em up lol...
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Cheyenneswthrt07
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« Reply #8 on: January 28, 2010 07:21:21 AM »

I had seen the other two before, Megan and Restone, but the one on coils, was great, my roving won't just sit in a lumpy coil of bleh anymore. 
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Avalon the Arcane
« Reply #9 on: January 28, 2010 05:29:50 PM »

This is a great lesson -- I can't wait to get started.  Smiley

I do have a question for you though:
Say I wanted to make worsted weight yarn.  How thin would be drafted roving have to be for my spun yarn to come out as thick as worsted yarn instead of, say, bulky yarn or sport weight?  Is there a way I can determine how thick my finished yarn will be at the drafting phase?

(Can I get an estimate of the thickness of the yarn by twisting the drafted roving or something?)

It would be super helpful if you could offer any input on this.  I haven't been able to find much info on this in other tutorials and articles I've read.
Thank you so much for taking the time to put these lessons up... and answering our crazy questions.  Tongue
« Last Edit: January 28, 2010 05:35:53 PM by Avalon the Arcane » THIS ROCKS   Logged
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