Saturday, October 17, 2015

Fiber Fusion Northwest 2: The Spinner's Toolbox


This morning I had my first spinning class with Judith MacKenzie.  The name of the class was The Spinner's Toolbox, and the description began, "As a spinner, your most important, versatile tools are your own skilled hands."  She started us off spinning worsted (smooth tightly twisted singles) which is the only kind of yarn I can spin.  She told stories, and gave tips all the while walking around the group, adjusting wheels and hands for smoother spinning.  She told us that worsted is her favorite way to spin yarn, but that spinners need to be able to spin the yarn they need/want for the project they are planning.  In the above photo, you can see that the single is hooked over the far arm of my flyer.  This was one of the tips that she gave me for spinning finer singles.  I need to add hooks to the second arm to be able to really spin fine yarn.
We spun "over the fold" next.  Then semi-woolen and woolen.  The woolen spinning was the most challenging for me, and I made a pretty lumpy single.  But, Judith says that woolen-spun yarn is often uneven, and that is fine because it will even out in the plying.  Worsted-spun yarn, on the other hand, is set in the single, so if your singles are uneven, your plied yarn will also be uneven.  Every time we learned a different technique, she gave us a different fiber blend to use.  The last thing we spun was an art yarn, Slub Yarn.  Ha ha ha ha, I was able to make slubs pretty well.

This is a photo of some wild silk fiber that she gave everyone to try.  She was really generous with the samples.  I have never spun anything but wool, and really only corriedale wool.  It was super fun to try different blends.
Here is the sample card with my attempts at the different methods of spinning.
shaping the planet with woolen-spun (sort of) yarn.

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