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1  Re: CALL FOR ARTISTS -handspun yarn to be included in an art show run by Pluckyfluff in Spinning: Discussion and Questions by Jane Doe on: April 03, 2010 03:43:25 PM
Here's an update on the up-coming show!

The packages coming in

recording everyone's names...

Starting to wind on everyone's yarn into a giant skein

It's coming together!

But there are a few hitches...
the skein keeps "growing" as the tension changes.
So poor Lexi has had to re-wind this huge skein

Here are the YouTube videos of the winding process.
So much beautiful handspun!
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2  Re: Learn To Spin 2010: Source your tools in Spinning: Discussion and Questions by Jane Doe on: February 08, 2010 03:03:32 AM
the whorl is made from dolomite, and this makes it very heavy compared to a wooden one,and that i have to spin over a mat.
does this mean a thick yarn would be spun best?

Wow, your spindle looks very special - especially as it is a family item passed down to you.

From my experience in spinning with a heavier spindle, the weight tends to "draft out" your fiber a bit when spinning. I'd spin a thicker yarn, but your grandmother might have other tricks up her sleeve when spinning on a heavier spindle. Traditional spindle spinning differs a LOT from country to country. I don't know what the tradition in estonia is.

Here are a few different traditional images of different spiners

traditional Navajo spinning (sitting down. Look at the length of that spindle!)

spining in Chile. (Spinning on a plate. And no whorl!)

spining in Tibet (check out the one handed drafting!)

Medievil times (very thick spindle)
This is an artwork titled "The Spinner" by William-Adolphe Bouguereau
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3  Re: Magic Yarn Ball Swap Round 12 Gallery in The Swap Gallery by Jane Doe on: February 05, 2010 04:45:13 PM
lol - just kidding ^_^

Here's what y'all really want to see - what's inside
kitty checking out the yarn ball.
So many goodies inside! --- But I'm going to try restrain myself, and knit out the goodies.
The matching pattern is for a gorgeous hat so I'll do my best to knit quickly

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4  Re: Magic Yarn Ball Swap Round 12 Gallery in The Swap Gallery by Jane Doe on: February 05, 2010 04:42:52 PM
Here's the package I received from Taniquel     

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5  Re: Fiber Friday 01/29/10 in Spinning: Completed Projects by Jane Doe on: January 29, 2010 07:23:19 AM
lamina your yarn is so feminine and squishy!
I want to grab your yarn when you're not looking and moosh my face into it  Cheesy
Lexi is going to love receiving it.
I also re-spun a yarn for the Handspun revolution....
but I'm not sure if I'll be able to send it away  Roll Eyes

Cheyenneswthrt07 I love the richness and depth of your yarn, and it's looking quite even.
Looking good!
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6  Re: Learn to Spin. Step 2: Drafting in Spinning: Discussion and Questions by Jane Doe on: January 29, 2010 07:05:34 AM
Heh- I'm not going to mark you on your homework Wink
But I'm happy to help if you like.
I'm more providing the info on drafting etc so everyone has the opportunity to make design choices later on in their spinning.

Picture time!
I've taken a foot of roving, split it in half (just the once) so I had two identical pieces.
I drafted one piece so you could see the difference.

Kind of like before and after pictures to compare  Smiley
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7  Re: Learn to Spin. Step 2: Drafting in Spinning: Discussion and Questions by Jane Doe on: January 29, 2010 02:28:04 AM
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?)

Well, the reason you mightn't have found it in a tutorial, is that there's not really a straight forward answer to your question. But I'll have a stab at answering it Smiley

What determines the thickness of the final yarn
When you pre-draft your wool, it does indeed thin out your drafted roving.
But it will become thinner again, when you spin the wool. By how much, depends on the spinner. Truly, everyone has a different style even when taught by the same teacher. It's about what feels right for you.

When you are creating plied yarn, there are more factors again.
The blue and the yellow are both "singles" and the one on the right is plied

The plied yarn has the same factors as the singles, then twisted together (double the thickness) then has more thickness again, because the two singles have less twist in them now that they're plied.

Oh, and did I mention bloom?
Bloom is when the fibers fluff out a little after soaking the yarn, and setting the twist.
This happens with both types of yarn (singles or plied yarn)

So, how do you get what you want?
         Know thy self
Pre-draft, spin, set the twist, measure it's thickness.
Have a look at what you've created, check out it's WPI, but also knit with it.
I find that I like to work with slightly larger needles when working with my handspun. Reason being, unlike machine produced yarn, there will be texture to it.
But you might be different. That's why it's important to know what you create, and then see what works for you.

When you see what your handspun is like to work with, you can then work backwards to change your next yarn.  Smiley
Your style will mostly be evident during the spinning process, so I've found it's easier to control the thickness in the pre-drafting stage. So either pre-draft more or less for your next yarn. When spinning even 2ply yarn, I like to stay true to my spinning style, and alter the other factors to change the yarn.

Thanks for asking the question, and do let me know if this has raised more questions.
Spinning is quite a personal thing.
Every tiny part of your yarn is closely scrutinized and manipulated as it passes through your fingers at least twice if not more while creating it.
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8  Re: First spinning attempt! in Spinning: Completed Projects by Jane Doe on: January 27, 2010 11:51:55 PM
I will try to knit something small and simple to make the most of it. Ideally something I can display somewhere and point to it and say "that was the first thing I ever spun (span? spinned?) back before I was brilliant and only made beautiful things..."  Tongue

Personally, I think your yarn looks beautiful  Smiley
Once you've learned to do very smooth and even singles, it's surprisingly difficult to go back to thick & thin. Would you like to dye your yarn?

To display the fab texture in this small amount of yarn, I'd suggest wrist cuff

Easy to show off & to be admired, and makes the most of your fun texture.
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9  Learn to Spin. Step 2: Drafting in Spinning: Discussion and Questions by Jane Doe 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.
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.


Split it length ways in half, and half again.
You should have 4 half yard pieces.

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.

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

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

When you want to spin the entire batt as one yarn, this is a different way to strip your batt

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

Lesson 1 : Source your tools
Lesson 2 : Drafting
Lesson 3 : Spinning
Lesson 4 : Plying
Lesson 5 : Skeining and setting the twist
Lesson 6 : Yarn design[url]
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10  Re: Trashy Cybergoth Yarn. UV reactant! in Spinning: Completed Projects by Jane Doe on: January 20, 2010 03:59:38 PM
WOW -- this is very unique!  I love the little fishnet bits you added.  Cheesy
I can't wait to see it knitted up.

The final story of this yarn, was not to be knitted.
The next pair of hands it landed into, took the yarn and made hair falls out of it.
Here are the pictures (yes she has given me permission)

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