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Topic: Learn to Spin - Lesson 5 - Skeining and Setting the Twist  (Read 1983 times)
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« on: September 16, 2015 10:34:02 AM »

Lesson 5 - Skeining your yarn and setting the twist.

Alright! Now that we have our yarn plied, what next? It's time to skein and wash. What you will need is a niddy noddy, or some other something to wrap your skein around.  Your arm would work well. the back of a chair will work. You can also up end a chair and wrap all the way around all 4 legs. Any of these methods will work. 

A simple tutorial for a niddy noddy, by k8kre8s:

Okay, so you've made yourself a niddy noddy, but how does one go about using this thing? Honestly the best way to show is a video.  I've found a great video for you to watch, produced by the Woolery.

Now that you have your yarn onto the niddy noddy (or your arm or a chair or what ever device you are using to skein) you must loosely tie your skien, so that it does not tangle when you take it off and soak it to set the twist.  Tie your skein in at least 4 places using scrap yarn.  Make a figure eight, or multiple figure eights if you've got a large amount of yarn.  Don't tie these ties tightly! you want to leave room for the twist to redistribute itself.  Another tip is the finer your yarn, the more places you want to tie.  Fine yarn loves to tangle.

Set it!
There are a couple ways to set your twist.  The first being a nice warm bath.  This method is best for wool.  You don't want it so hot you can't put your hands in comfortably, but you also don't want it to be cool either.  a dash of wool wash is a good thing to add to this step, because you've added the grease in your hands, any dust or dirt that was floating about, and any number of other things you don't want in your yarn.  Leave it in this water for at least 20 minutes. The second warm bath for your yarn is clean water with a tiny glug of vinegar.  The vinegar helps to remove the residual soap, and doesn't harm the wool. Leave in this bath for another 20 minutes.  It takes 30 minutes for the wool to be come completely saturated, and the twist will settle and redistribute itself fully the longer it's in the bath.  Both baths should be roughly the same temperature, or you risk shocking the wool and fulling your skein.

You could also steam your skeins.  You do this by placing your skein over a pot of full rolling boil water.  Use a couple wooden spoons as handles though, you don't want to scald your self!  This method works best, and is quite fun to watch when you've got a skien of silk.

Also, fulling and thwacking!! If you are to spin your yarn woollen (which I'll address in the next instalment - yarn design) you'll want to full and thwack your yarn. This involves a hot soapy wash, and an icy cold rinse, no shortage of agitation, and whipping your skein on a hard surface (counter, tub side, table) rotating the skein in quarters.  This process fluffs the fibres up, and evens out the twist in a woollen spun yarn.

Fun Fact!  Wool will hold 30% of its weight in moisture and still feel dry!

Dry your your skein either by laying it flat, or hanging on the towel rack.  If you choose to hang, be sure to rotate your skein. The weight of the water will stretch out the yarn, and you want this to happen as evenly as possible.

Another fun fact on setting your twist, some will advise that you hang and weight your yarn. This isn't always the best idea, as it gives a false impression of the yarn. Once knitted or crocheted or otherwise turned into something, the fibres will go back to the way they want, and not be stretched out. This may make your garment/item an undesirable shape.

Who knew there was so much to setting the twist?!

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]
« Last Edit: September 16, 2015 12:55:11 PM by Belladune » THIS ROCKS   Logged

I wrote a book!!! A book on spinning! You can find it here: The Trifecta of Hand Spun Yarn
 website with links to everything!

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