Ultra thin sock yarn and real thick rug yarn are running side by side in my spinning efforts this month. Neither can be more dissimilar and similar in technique. One of the great similarities is the need for concentration to insure the correct amount of fiber in the drafting zone.
The thin yarn is proving to be exceptionally fun to spin. For this I’m using a commercial blend of superwash merino, bamboo and nylon with the intent of creating a three ply yarn. I died the wool myself. Here, you can see an early and later picture of my first bobbin.
To spin, I’m using a Mabel Ross style supported long draw most similar to #6 in Jeannine Bakriges excellent article in the Winter ’09 Spin Off. My main variation from this is that I am drafting vertically, which allows me to better see the drafting triangle and the double draft action as I release the twist. I will run this by the Spinning Sensei, my technical advisor, to see if this is indeed the correct nomenclature for the draft I’m using. (Some of you may be surprised that I like Jeanine’s article after my spoof in the last blog. Well, it has to be good to be spoofable. I plan to razor the pages out of my Spin Off and put them in plastic sheets so I can refer to them.)
Double drafting with this roving is a joy—it is absolutely fun and engaging to feel the elasticity of the draft and pulling it out to the exact thickness. Though concentration is needed to keep it even, the tactile experience is so enjoyable, I couldn’t help but pay attention. Once I have the Sensei’s input, I will be posting photos of the drafting technique on my website when I put up the information on the bamboo workshop this spring.
For the thick yarn, I also used a supported draw. I need to study it more carefully to give you the name of the technique. The challenge was to ensure there were enough fibers in the drafting triangle to make a thick single. When three plied, this yarn turned out to be a hefty 5 WPI. This will make excellent yarn for the weft faced rug I’m planning. I will talk more about this draft in future blogs.
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