Spinners, weigh in! #tourdefleece

So, spinners, do you have a yarn goal in your head before you start spinning? The reason I ask:

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This is my first real yarn. I’ve played with the spindle before, but this is 4 ounces of fiber, turned into about 75 yards of single ply. I spun this on my Jenkins Turkish spindle.

It appears that I have made two different yarns here. When I started, I was trying to make a heftier single than my default accidental laceweight. Some of this yarn does that; it’s kind of like Malabrigo Worsted in heft and twist.

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The later yarn from this spinning is thinner and twistier, because I was afraid my fat singles were underspun. This thinner yarn would be great plied because some of that twist would reverse in the plying, right?

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This was all a grand experiment. But it’s like I have two different yarns in the same skein. And the first fatter singles weren’t underspun after all. The twist is lovely after washing and drying.

I also played with the mystery fiber that was at my house (leftover from a kids’ felting experiment). I used my Kundert top whorl spindle because it can handle a much bigger cop. The single was twisty, and then I wound a two-strand plying ball with my ball winder so I could ply it on the spindle. It’s pretty, yes? It’s only about 16 yards, 2 ply worsted to Aran weight. But pretty consistent! I like the barberpole look in the skein, but I’m not sure I’d like it knit up.

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I think all of this means that I need to decide what I want this BFL from Knitted Wit to be, before I start spinning it.

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I think because it has so many colors and I don’t want barberpole, I should aim for either a fat single ply, or a skinny yarn I can chain ply to preserve the color runs. I’m not sure which one I’m more likely to be able to do successfully.

This is as much fun as planning a knitting project. Everything is possible, until you start and then doors start to close…

Spinners, help me out. Am I on the right track?

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8 responses to “Spinners, weigh in! #tourdefleece

  1. Blackmoondog

    As your spinning progresses you may find a “default yarn” that is most comfortable. Mine is fingering weight chain ply at this point. This Tour I decided to spin things other weights and I did have to pay closer attention to keep from thinning things out too much since my fingers are calibrated for fine singles. Going into a project know what you want to make is very helpful & periodic checks to make sure you are still spinning that same yarn are what will get you what you’re looking for. I do still sometimes grab a bump and see what it wants to be but most often I have a project type in mind when I start.

    • Thank you! Is yours fingering weight before or after chain plying? I’m just happy I’m not spinning über-fine lace weight by accident any more. Practice really helps! Not sure I can spin consistent worsted singles yet.

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  2. You’re absolutely on the right track! Fatter yarns need less twist, and if you’re spinning something you want to keep as a single, try to give it the least amount of twist that will keep it from drifting apart when you tug on it :) it doesn’t matter as much with singles you plan to ply because the twist will even out as you ply.

    If I were you, I’d spin a couple of samples. Take just a teeny bit of roving, and spin a yard or two of fat, low twist singles, and then take another little bit and try spinning a really skinny single and chain ply it. Then compare and decide which you like better!

    • Thanks, Lolly! So clearly I *do* need to plan my yarn. Coming up next! Question: It seems that you can have thicker pieces of roving to work with, and draft it out wider or narrower to get thicker or thinner singles, right? But it feels like it has to be a certain airiness before you can get it to turn into yarn, no matter what (otherwise it doesn’t want to hold twist?), or am I missing something? I saw your beautiful fiber that you’re planning to keep short color blips in, and that’s what is driving this question/musing…

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      • It’s true, you do need to get air into your fiber, or it will be too dense to hold the twist, but there are several ways to get that air in there. My explanation for how I do this may be long and complicated, so I’ll send you an email 😜

      • Thanks. And I just realized that sample spinning is the spin equivalent of swatching!

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      • It’s exactly like that! Some people spin enough that they can even knit a little swatch, but to me that’s overkill :P

  3. I don’t know much about spinning, but that sure is a pretty color roving.