Monday, May 19, 2014

Battling default yarn

When you first learn to spin, your yarn is lumpy, bumpy and full of character. If you keep spinning, in a very short while you will be making even yarn, and as many of us have experienced, your yarn will get thin, thin, and thinner. In fact, it will take some effort to spin thicker yarn.

Many of us experienced spinners have noticed that we have a "default" yarn that we spin. That's the yarn that we automatically make when sit at our wheels or pick up our spindles. Default yarn is not a bad thing, but it does mean that you are spinning the same yarn over and over again.

I have managed to bust the default yarn syndrome when spinning at my wheel. But I have recently noticed that my spindle yarn is starting to have that same look about it. This weekend I decided to battle default yarn syndrome when spinning on my spindle.

First thing I did was I got out fibre that I don't normally work with in a preparation that I don't normally use with my spindles. I usually spin up wonderfully prepared rovings from the Sweet Georgia Yarn fibre club. But the yarn I pulled out of my stash was a blend of corriedale, bits of silk and shiny lovely Angelina. I carded these five batts on a drum carder a few weekends ago when I was demonstrating at the Bradner Flower Show.

To get out of the default zone, I decided to spin these up as quickly as possible, not worry about thick and thin bits, and try to spin a bit thicker than I normally do. Here's the blue batt all spun up.

And the yellow batt all done.

And just at the beginning of the purple batt.

I wind these off onto toilet paper rolls so I can have a centre pull ball for plying. Here's what that looks like. The yarn on the centre pull ball is just resting in the spindle on the bottom to hold it in place for the photo shoot. To ply I hold the ball in my left hand with a couple of fingers inside it so I can control the yarn that is coming from the inside and around the outside. I let out a good arm's length of both yarns and then spin it counter clockwise. And then wind that onto the spindle.

This green yarn was made the same weekend as the others, and it was the only one spun up that weekend.

Will post the finished yarns soon. Gotta get back to the purple.

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