Sorry, it’s been a while: But once again I’ve gone off on an adventure. I participated in the Olds College of Calgary Canada’s Master Spinner level 2 class that was held off campus in Greensboro, NC, USA. It was a truly intense week of fibery goodness.
Gayle Vallance was the instructor. She has been a master spinner since 1990, though her primary focus now is on her sheep and judging fleeces and spinning.
Held in the Carriage house of Blandwood Mansion (www.blandwood.org)
447 West Washington Street
Greensboro, NC 27401-2348, United States
and Hosted by Tina of Gate City yarns in Greensboro
Day one: Gayle presented her plan for the week, passed out our notebooks and warned us that we needed to pick a topic for a 5 minute presentation.
Gilling: straightening fiber in preparation for worsted spinning.
Sliver: washed and carded or combed wool that is drawn into a continuous strand where all the fibers are parallel.
Top: an aggregate of slivers.
Roving: Similar to top but there is slight twist added.
Woolen: yarn spun from carded fiber where fibers go in different directions and are of various lengths, and with a lot of air left between the fibers. This creates a light soft yarn that is more fragile prone to pilling and felting. Twist is allowed to get between your hands as you spin and this holds the soft fiber together.
Worsted: yarn spun from combed fiber so that all fiber is very parallel and the same length, twist is never allowed between the hands. Creates a heavier, harder surfaced yarn that is less prone to pilling and felting and can take harder wear.
How to count Twist per inch (TPI).
- on a freshly spun single at the wheel: self ply and count every bump
- in a 2 ply only count every other bump.
OK, here’s the fun part in order to use the formula below you need to know your wheel’s ratios and they won’t be exactly what the manufacturer said they were. So we had to measure the ratios. Mine were: 3.6/1, 4.3/1, 6/1, 7.5/1 and 9/1. Majacraft says they are 4.9/1, 5.9/1, 8.6/1, 10.8/1 and 13.1/1. That’s really quite a bit different.
Formula to spin a specific is TPI = (Ratio X # of Treadles)/ length of draft
According to Anne Field in “Beyond the Basics” the TPI in a single should be equal to the crimps per inch in the fiber and the wraps per inch in the finished (2 ply??) yarn should be twice the TPI; so that the character of the yarn reflects the character of the fiber.
—– However slippery or very short fibers require more twist.
A balanced yarn or how much twist in your ply
(Ply # / (Ply # +1) ) X TPI of single
so a 2 ply that has 2/3 the twist of your single
a 3 ply that has 3/4 twist of your single —- will be balance. ! **
But if you have a yarn that is unbalanced, your washed skein hangs with more than a full twist in either direction,
– you need to fix it: if it hangs in a Z (twists around clockwise) it needs more Z and less S and if it twists anti-clockwise it it needs more S and less Z – this seems counter intuitive to me, but it does work. The yarn will spin in the direction that it lacks twist.