Thursday, July 27, 2006

Singles

I received several emails about the lace-weight singles in the photo I posted last Saturday. It seems easiest to answer all the questions here. I’m anything but an authority on the subject of spinning lace-weight singles, but I can tell you how I did it.

I had been thinking of trying to spin some singles and then I received these lovely hanks from Michelle.

Picture 153

That rekindled my interest so I rummaged through my fiber stash and came up with some hand-painted merino roving that I’d purchased from Amy King. The colorway is "Tahiti" but I think she may not have any more in her shop right now.

I split the roving lengthwise into smaller and smaller pieces until I had strips that were approximately ½" wide.

Picture 156

I predrafted each strip to the point where the fibers were barely held together. I then spun it on the Schacht using the whorl with the 9:1 ratio. Basically, I had predrafted to the point that it was really not necessary to draft any further as I spun; for the most part, I just let the wheel take up the fibers. I put just enough twist in the fiber to hold it together.

After the bobbin was full, I wound the singles onto my niddy noddy and left them there for about a week. I assume you could also leave them on the bobbin for a while to let them go stale and then wind them on the niddy noddy. After a week, I tied the hank in several places; at least 6, if I remember correctly. Then I let the hank sit in a Eucalan bath for about 15-20 minutes. I spun the extra water out in my washing machine, used my hands to stretch the hank in all directions, and then set the hank on my hammock to dry. I did not hang the hank or attach a weight to the end.

Surprisingly, after it dried, the hank hung perfectly straight so it must be pretty balanced. I’d show you a photo but I gave the yarn to Margene. Maybe she’ll post a photo on her blog or send me one if I ask her nicely.

That’s it.
Like I said, I’m no expert but this method worked for me. I think a common mistake when spinning singles is to put too much twist into the fiber. Although I didn’t have to do this, I would bet the spinning police will not arrest you if you run the singles through your wheel in the opposite direction to release some of the twist.

I’m just sayin’.


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Running commentary on my unending quest to knit up my stash.