Bulkiness

Fleece Artist handspun

You’re looking at one 4 oz skein of Fleece Artist merino that I spun on a drop spindle. Pretty, but it’s not what I want.

I want worsted, or sport, or fingering. These one skein, 100 yards or so of bulky/worsted/sport/bulky were fun for awhile, but that’s all I can manage to do, whether I’m on my wheel or my drop spindle. Does anyone have any suggestions?

Granted, the Fleece Artist was tricky to draft. It seemed rather sticky no matter which end I spun from. My process has always been to split up the top, draft, then draft again while I spin. But apparently that’s just not working for me. I know a lot of this comes with practice, and I don’t spin as regularly as I should. But still, I’ve got at least 10 skeins under my belt now, shouldn’t I be a little better at this?

What I’d really like to do is take another class, but all I can find lately is more of an introductory class.

So, if you spin, how long did it take you to be able to spin a consistent weight, and the weight that you wanted to spin? Any big revelations? Maybe it’s time I actually figured out what all those ratios and numbers really mean, but my eyes just glaze over and I start thinking “math alert, math alert!!!”

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15 Comments

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15 responses to “Bulkiness

  1. I still don’t have a whole lot of luck deciding on what weight I am going to get ahead of time, but I have gotten better at doing thinner singles. One thing that I found helpful was doing “park and draft” until I got the coordination and feel of the thinner single down. I overtwist the yarn on the drop spindle, then hold the spindle between my knees (or calves or feet, depending) and then draft really short bits very slowly and let the twist travel up. “Parking” the spindle gave me time to draft out very thin bits without getting so thin that the weight of the spindle pulled it loose before the spin could catch. I am totally self-taught, so I make no claims for doing it “right,” but hey, it works for me! There are pics of one batch of getting thinner in this post: http://kittymommy.blogspot.com/2007/05/pretty-yarn.html

    Feel free to email me if you want more info on how I have been doing it (at least, drop spindle-wise)

  2. I don’t spin, so I can’t help you out, however, I think what you ended up with is very pretty, even though not what you want.

  3. It’s a shame you can’t come on Friday, because Kristi is such a great spinner!! 😦

  4. Yarn pretty.
    Math good.
    I prefer the wheel to the spindle and really don’t spindle but agree with KittyMommy that park and draft should help you.

  5. I finally spun my first skein of yarn that was exactly what I was planning (navajo plied fingering weight). Now I am spinning two projects, one that should be 2 ply lace weight and one that should be 3 ply worsted weight. I have found that aggressive pre-drafting was what I needed to do to spin finer singles. My wheel doesn’t have a lot of options (only 2 ratios) so I don’t play around with them too much. I would be happy to get together with you if you want. I can’t guarantee that I will be that helpful since I have only taken one very beginner class since we took that spindle class together, but we could try. 🙂 Give me an email if you are interested.

  6. Ha! My suggestion is this–Mittens! or a hat! There’s always something to do with quirky yarn that was wholy unexpected.

  7. Even if the yarn isn’t what you were going for, it is gorgeous! For the record, merino can be a pain to spin – it is far from my favorite.

    I split the roving into pretty small strips – usually 6-8 depending on how it comes apart. Then I pre-draft and wind the pre-drafted wool into a little nest. I usually end up with something between sport and worsted weight, depending on lots of different variables.

    If you’d like to sit down for a spinning session (I won’t call it a lesson because I really don’t feel qualified to teach!) I could try to help you out.

  8. Gorgeous yarn, savor it, because as soon as you figure out how to spin the skinny stuff it’s very hard to get thick yarn again!

    A few hints:
    Try attaching one end of a skein of skinny yarn to your bobbin and “spin it”. Get the feel of that weight of yarn in your hand, pretend you’re drafting.

    I’m guessing you need to change your treadling speed and possibly your take-up speed. What ratio are you on? That also makes a difference – the bigger whorl is going to give you bigger yarn. Forgive me if I’m telling you stuff you already know and have tried.

    Jess said to split merino in 6 parts and pre-draft. Good advice.

    Try spinning something other than merino. For one thing, the stuff makes the puffiest yarn ever. I can spin what I think is going to be lace weight and when it is plyed and washed it’s huge! How about some BFL or some of the processed corrie cross? If you can get your hands on some romney roving, that’s nice to spin, too.

    I’m free this weekend if you want to meet up for a little bit.

  9. I’ve found Fleece Artist Merino really hard to draft and spin. Have you tried spinning with BFL yet? It was the first fiber that really “worked” for me.

  10. I haven’t a clue what you are talking about (non-spinner here) but I think that is so very lovely!

  11. What beautiful colors! I’m still a pretty crappy spinner and am working on getting a consistent weight.

  12. knittymama's mama

    I like your spun yarn! would make great mittens for those dreary, sunless days in winter

  13. I don’t spin,but I love the colors in that yarn. the hats you made are gorgeous.

  14. I started spinning this summer and quickly abandoned the drop spindle for a wheel. I still don’t have great control (and I too get the glaze when thinking of the math) but have been able to become more consistent and spin more thinly simply through practice.

    At this point I think I’ll take 2008 to try to bulk things up again or make controlled slubs.

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