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rochellesimon@comcast.net


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Posted - 12/21/2005 :  11:57:06 AM  Show Profile Send rochellesimon@comcast.net a Private Message
I am just learning how to spin on my new Lendrum... and I think I have the process down - many thanks to Bess's post to stop treadling while drafting.. but how in the world do you ever figure out how much fiber results in a particular weight? It all seems like luck to me! I'm just happy if the yarn doesn't break before I reach the end.

Ricki

Lissa
Permanent Resident

USA
4942 Posts

Posted - 12/21/2005 :  12:16:01 PM  Show Profile  Visit Lissa's Homepage Send Lissa a Private Message
Practice, my dear, practice! Really, it's mostly about muscle memory, and about doing it enough that you can start to feel the tiny nuances that you can't feel when you're in "oh my god this stuff is just pulling out of my hands NO DON'T SPIN BACKWARDS should this stuff look like dreadlocks OH CRAP THE YARN BROKE AND I CAN'T FIND THE END ON THE BOBBIN" mode.

Lissa

During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a
revolutionary act. -- George Orwell


Oh, and I now have a blog:http://knittnlissa.typepad.com/knittnlissa/
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rochellesimon@comcast.net


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Posted - 12/21/2005 :  1:01:01 PM  Show Profile Send rochellesimon@comcast.net a Private Message
ROTFL!! Lissa - you are so right - you must have bugged my sewing room this AM. I was so happy to keep the wheel turning in the right direction - and why does it sometimes decide to go in the reverse direction????
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pjkite
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1198 Posts

Posted - 12/21/2005 :  1:26:00 PM  Show Profile  Visit pjkite's Homepage  Send pjkite a Yahoo! Message Send pjkite a Private Message
Well, Ricki, the short answer is because you tell it to. The long answer is a little more complicated, and involves the point at which your drive wheel is positioned when you push down on the treadle and whether your wheel is a single- or double-treadle.

Lissa is right - practice is the only way to gain knowledge of spinning. Again, the shorter-term answer is that fewer fibers in your drafting triangle (the fan-shaped area between your point of twist and your fiber-holding fingers) will yield a finer yarn; more fibers in the drafting triangle will yield a larger-gauge yarn.

But you also have to factor in such matters as the fiber itself and the prep. You wouldn't want to spin Churro singles at 70+ wraps per inch (if you could...interesting experiment) because the yarn would be baling wire that would snap easily (since you'd have about 2 hairs in it). You probably wouldn't want to spin superfine merino as a worsted-weight single (although you can) due to pilling issues. Give yourself a little time, and keep playing. It's all practice, and you learn from it.

Pamela Kite
East Tennessee
http://fiberlife.blogspot.com/

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RobA
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2373 Posts

Posted - 12/21/2005 :  5:28:33 PM  Show Profile  Visit RobA's Homepage Send RobA a Private Message
Great timing on this discussion. I got a half-pound bump of pretty widely available sort of roving/top, and have decided to use it to experiment. Less fiber, more fiber, less twist, more twist. If I am smart and organized (rarely the case), I will remember to take notes and tape in samples, so I remember. I just finished spinning some handpainted Corriedale and while wrapping it onto the niddy noddy had a chance to compare how well I was spinning at the end of that roving to how I did at the beginning. Definite improvement (mostly at joining new fiber). So now, more practice and experimentation.

Rob http://roberta.typepad.com/robknits/
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RoseByAny
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USA
12598 Posts

Posted - 12/21/2005 :  5:35:41 PM  Show Profile  Visit RoseByAny's Homepage Send RoseByAny a Private Message
Yup. And thinking about how much your spinning has improved in just that one bobbin, imagine a full sweaters' worth of spinning, maybe eight or twelve bobbins! Keep that in mind and ply your later bobbins with your earlier bobbins to balence things out, rather than plying your most uneven to your most uneven.....

"Choose your friends by their character and your socks by their color. Choosing your socks by their character makes no sense, and choosing your friends by their color is unthinkable."
http://RoseByAny.BlogSpot.Com
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RobA
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2373 Posts

Posted - 12/21/2005 :  7:29:13 PM  Show Profile  Visit RobA's Homepage Send RobA a Private Message
That's a good idea -- averaging out the yarn!

Rob http://roberta.typepad.com/robknits/
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SpinaYarn
Gabber Extraordinaire

USA
492 Posts

Posted - 12/21/2005 :  10:03:48 PM  Show Profile  Visit SpinaYarn's Homepage Send SpinaYarn a Private Message
LMAO here in Washington!!

Dread locks!!
I have done that!
Did I ever tell you about the time I began plying, so smug that I had done such a careful job of spinning similar weight single ply..... and then all of a sudden my "plying" became a knotted mess in my bobbin, orafice and fingers......... after many explitives, and a brave pair of scissors, I had a free bobbin once again. I went for a walk, cooled off and tried again........... hmmmmmmm
seems that I was not going counter-clockwise, but clockwise.. = more twist = KNOTS... never again.
It was a great lesson on what not to do. I learned and that was 4 years ago.
Point is, spin stuff that is fun (not pricey like buffalo) and enjoy yourself. Part of the growth is making mistakes. Just laugh and keep on going!


knit with joy-
Teyani

www.http://intrepidfiberwizard.blogspot.com/
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Valk_scot
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United Kingdom
1281 Posts

Posted - 12/22/2005 :  03:46:21 AM  Show Profile Send Valk_scot a Private Message
Sometimes the fibre tells you, not the other way around! You play around with it and one way it`s beautiful and spins into a dream, and other ways it`s a mess. Reading books/the web/asking here will give you a start on this, but in the end there`s no substitute for experience, experience, experience.

One thing I was told, btw, was always to spin the yarn for a project as close together in time as was practicable, ie not to spin a couple of bobbins up, knit it, go back two months later to spin another two bobbins etc. This helps with consistency of results. Also you can look at all your finished skeins and if there are one or two that are more different than the rest, you use them in areas that the difference will matter least like the ribbing. (I read this in a Mabel Ross book the other night, but it`s pretty self-evident.)

Val.

[img]http://smileys.smileycentral.com/cat/26/26_9_21.gif[/img]
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BessH
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3095 Posts

Posted - 12/22/2005 :  05:13:48 AM  Show Profile  Visit BessH's Homepage Send BessH a Private Message
It's all true - you learn more about how to do what you want by doing it a lot. But you can be mathematical about it if you want - and it doesn't hurt to actually be picky and to . . .(gasp! Shock! Gawd she's so anal!) . . . count. Count how many inches of yarn you draft. Count your treadles. Count wheel revolutions. Even count how much fiber you're putting into each inch you draft.

Now that you have a little practical experience, you might find some of the more weighty tomes on spinning are not just less intimidating, but actually useful. Mable Ross was mentioned above - she's a fabulous, albeit mathematical, spinning author. Alden Amos's book is also very technical and gives great, picky, advice. It's all information, some of which you might use, some you may reject. It's just nice to have access to it. (remember - there are no spinning police)

You might want to check out the book section at The Woolery.

http://woolery.com/Pages/booksspin.html

And your public library can probably borrow any of those titles via Inter-library loan, so you can look before you actually plunk down $. Thatís what I did before I bought any spinning books. (and if your public library doesnít do inter-library loan - you ought to complain - since itís a service most libraries provide and you pay for the library - ahem - off soapbox now)

Thanks for the credit - and good spinning to you.

Bess
http://likethequeen.blogspot.com
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rochellesimon@comcast.net


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Posted - 12/22/2005 :  06:56:58 AM  Show Profile Send rochellesimon@comcast.net a Private Message
Thanks everybody.. I tend to be quantitative (I'm a computer programmer in my real life) - so I will look into some of the resources you have suggested. I was just so happy to see real yarn on the bobbin yesterday. I am also grateful for whoever suggested using Romney Roving.. it was so easy to draft - which helped a lot!
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BessH
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3095 Posts

Posted - 12/22/2005 :  09:48:36 AM  Show Profile  Visit BessH's Homepage Send BessH a Private Message
Musician here - in a former life - and I count everything! I even have particular orchestral pieces that pop into my head depending on what I"m spinning, what angle the wheel's pointed, which window I am looking out. Temp - pacing - it's everthing to me.

Bess
http://likethequeen.blogspot.com
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RoseByAny
Permanent Resident

USA
12598 Posts

Posted - 12/22/2005 :  09:50:52 AM  Show Profile  Visit RoseByAny's Homepage Send RoseByAny a Private Message
Yup - also a musician, but I don't count (ask any conductor I've ever had in my life) -- I do, however, have music that pops into my head respective of what I'm spinning, and I do find a specific rhythm for what I'm spinning.

Whatever works - and while you're learning, try EVERYTHING to see what does work for you. (it may not be what works for someone else near you!)

"Choose your friends by their character and your socks by their color. Choosing your socks by their character makes no sense, and choosing your friends by their color is unthinkable."
http://RoseByAny.BlogSpot.Com
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RobA
Permanent Resident

2373 Posts

Posted - 12/22/2005 :  12:37:47 PM  Show Profile  Visit RobA's Homepage Send RobA a Private Message
I found the musician theme funny (I'm supposed to count???) since I wrote on my blog a couple of days ago about how I was finding learning to play an instrument and learning to spin very similar. Though apparently I am improving my spinning skills at a much faster rate than my music!

Rob http://roberta.typepad.com/robknits/
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