Saturday, September 25, 2010

Things I learned at my Spinning Lesson

A mnemonic for twist direction.  S-twist goes to the left so it's sinister and therefore counterclockwise.

Draft to the fiber you want to spin.  It's not enough to just open up the fibers, the amount of fiber present will determine the size of the single.  Want a smaller single? Then draft less fiber (split it, or take more time during spinning to put less fiber in the single).

The spindle will spin less long on a thicker single because more fiber absorbs more twist.  The fiber acts like a shock absorber.  It absorbs the energy of the twist faster.  To spin that heavier single, use a heavier spindle or be prepared to spin the spindle more often.

You can spin a terribly fine single on a rock. Tabi did this.  I watched her.  She used a nice smooth beach rock, about the size of an apricot.  A couple of fine sticks were wound into the yarn around the rock to anchor the thread being spun.

There is no single right distance between the hands when spinning.  The length of the staple determines how far apart your hands should be.  Your hands should be slightly further apart than the staple length of the fiber.

If you want to spin a thick and thin yarn, then draft thick and thin.  Though in spinning thick and thin, one must be careful to put enough twist in the thick part and not too much twist in the thin.  The physics of the thing will want naturally go to the opposite extreme.

A badly weighted whorl spins funky because it's got two axis.  Which is sort of like astronomy when a planet wobbles in its orbit.

When the roving gets sucked into the spinning cry "the vortex!"  It won't help anything, but it's fun.


  1. I'm super glad you posted this because I didn't have a way to the meeting on Tuesday! I had my fibre and spindle all ready to go. Cue sad face.

  2. Wonderful tips Laurie. This wasn't from FCK meeting though was it? This was from your private lesson??

  3. You seem like an expert to me - I know nothing of spinning.

  4. Lovely roving...and your spinning looks darn good! Love "the vortex". LOL! I need something that isn't profanity to scream when spinning doesn't go too well. :-)