My adventures in the world of handspinning

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Thick and thin

You may have noticed the distinct lack of spinning here on my spinning blog...did you see how I managed to fill up three posts without even showing my spinning efforts?!
So where to start?
When I started quilting I already had a good knowledge of how to sew and understood the basics of the craft - with spinning - gulp, I knew nothing!!
I watched tutorials (craftsy, you tube) where the tutors merrily spun away with a whole handful (lapful?) of fibre, drafting it off and spinning a nice yarn... you too, beginners, can do this!
I tried, and made some pretty strong rope, I tried again and made fluff! Got myself all in a dither about what I was supposed to be doing and how!

The penny dropped the other day when a friend said the word 'pre-drafting'... it seemed the times I was having the most success was when I was doing something like that ie pulling (stretching!) out my fleece before trying to spin it.... a bit more google-ing and I realised I could do this to all of my fleece and not just small handfuls at a time.

There seems to be a lot of debate out there on whether or not pre-drafting is the way to go - everything in moderation I say and if it helps me get started, I'm in!
I had started with 100g of Corriedale, some I'd already tried spinning. The rest I formed into these cute wee balls, the fibre about pencil-width. This process also helped me to determine the length of the staple, which I had seen online but hadn't yet understood.

(Something I read that made a lot of sense) "Skilled spinners do their drafting during the spinning process..... people like me do it before hand so we can control our yarn."

I found it so much easier to spin using these balls; I had several less things to think about. It was still pretty uneven but I felt I was getting the hang of it. After spinning a while I remembered to have a look at the twist, lacking in places but I worked out how to remedy that issue [thanks Joanne for your advice :-)].
 Tonight I started a new bobbin and finished spinning the last of the 100 grams, Still not perfect (!!)(high expectations here) but much more even and I was even able to control my twist a lot more. You know how it goes though, as soon as I relaxed a bit much, I would lose my concentration and it would all go to custard :-)
Yeehaa I felt like I was SPINNING!!!!

Three bobbins of original homespun wool!!
First spinning was the bobbin on the left
then the one on the right.
Final spinning is the centre bobbin.
Now I have to have a try at plying as I don't have enough bobbins to keep filling them up with single plys! Wish me luck!
Till next time,
happy spinning,
Raewyn, a spinning farmgirl.

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