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Wednesday, May 09, 2007

More Spinning Class

I thought I'd show you a few pictures I got in the class and a neat trick Judith showed us. This is Judith's hand as she makes a 5 ply. The way she taught us to hold the singles, you can control up to 5 of them - beyond that, you kind of need more fingers.
Judith has been working with Bison fibers a lot and she brought some yarns, both dyed and undyed, a piece of bison felt, and some knitted items from bison. They were wonderfully soft and surprisingly bouncy. I will have to do something out of bison at some point. It will be a small something because bison is not cheap, but it's a wonderful fiber.
In this picture, Judith is showing us what to look for in a fleece. These were Tunis fleeces that one of the class members brought from her flock. She was going to have them processed into comforter batting because she didn't think they were very good quality, but Judith said they weren't bad fleeces at all. Tunis is a meat breed so the fleeces are not necessarily a consistent type from sheep to sheep.
This was a really great diameter control exercise that Judith had us do and quite frankly, if this had been all she taught us, it would have been worth the price of admission alone. Spinners out there will agree that we all have our default yarn. Each fiber is slightly different, but each of us has a yarn that we can spin without thinking about it too much. By just making adjustments to our wheel, we can change our default yarn! In order to make the yarn bigger, Judith had us tighten the brake band a bit causing the wind on to be stronger. After a couple of treadles, you automatically draft more fiber into your singles to compensate for this. You can keep going up in tension until the wheel is yanking the fiber out of your hands, in which case you need to go to a bigger whorl (slower ratio). On the flip side, if you loosen the brake band, causing the bobbin to wind on slower, you will automatically draft less fiber into your singles and the length of your drafting zone will shorten to make up for the increased twist that's going into your singles. You don't change your treadling speed, or your drafting speed, and the change in the amount of fiber per draft and the length of the draw will be intuitive. You can see above the different yarns I got during this exercise. As two plys, they range from fine laceweight all the way to somewhere above Aran weight. I'm going to be doing this exercise with all new fibers when I sit down to spin, so the yarn can match what I have in mind for it, rather than trying to find a project to fit whatever yarn I made.



Blogger Thea said...

Thank you for listing the book that went with your class. I now MUST buy it.

7:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bison? I would have thought that it would be coarse and scratchy! And thanks for passing the tip along about the diameter control. That's really interesting. I just finished up my most recent yarn and have nothing on my wheel at the moment. I'm going home tonight and try this out!

10:42 AM  
Blogger Mia said...

I am definitely learning to spin on a wheel. I took her drop spindle class a few years ago and loved it. I want to take a class from her again.

1:02 PM  
Blogger Beth said...

Can you come over? I need to talk to you in person about all of this. I WILL be in her class next time I have an opportunity.

6:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sounds like a wonderful class!!! Would love to take from her. Will definitely be looking for her book.

2:31 PM  
Anonymous site said...

This can't really have effect, I think like this.

2:06 PM  

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