Monday, April 6, 2009

Adaptability Challenge

Worsted spinning was the topic of the day for my class yesterday. The challenge was to spin three different fleeces according to their own characteristics: bulky, medium and fine. Here are my merino and English Leicester samples at the end of the day:

The English Leicester on the right is more than twice the thickness of the merino sample and it has less than half the amount of twist. So, what's so hard about that? The challenge lies in the fact that most of the difference in the spinning comes through my hands

  • the amount of fibre I allow through my fingers to form the yarn
  • the amount of twist I allow to build up in the yarn before it is wound on to the bobbin
  • the amount of tension on the fibre as it forms into a yarn

. . . all the time maintaining a steady rhythm of treadling with my feet.

It was a good exercise and I have plenty to work on over the next few weeks. For starters, the merino sample I managed yesterday was only 4 grams--I need 20 grams for my folio. I also have to do a sample of Corriedale which is the in between fleece--that shouldn't be too challenging, now that I've worked at the extremes.

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