08 February 2006

Okay, now that I'm past my initial cursing, lets discuss the problem.

I think, perhaps, that I've possibly figured out drafting. After that edit of the last post (the last line was the edit), everything went much smoother. However I can only spin by drafting/pinching with one hand and manually spinning the spindle with the other. I cannot for the life of me get the spindle to spin the correct way by itself.

Soon, there will be an obligatory first horrible couple of yards. Woohoo.

Edit: Oh yeah, I forgot to mention. The cd spindle thing didn't work out cause our Radioshack is goin' out of business and didn't have the rubber thingies I need. So I used the "make your own spindle" directions from joyofhandspinning.com which worked much better. See:


At 6:25:00 AM, Blogger Ragnar said...

You probably don't want a big involved "how I learned to love my spindle" lecture, but I'll give you one anyway. I have no idea if this is the correct way to learn how to draft or not, but this is what I did.

First of all I would split up that roving that you got into more managanable pieces. Pull off about a half a yard of it, and work your fingers approximately through the middle of the mass and pull it into two long thinner sections, and then do that again, so you have four half yard long lengths that are a quarter of the original thickness...with me so far? It's much easier to work with smaller amounts of fiber when you are learning.

Then with your spindle...use a long leader (piece of waste yarn off of which you will spin your new yarn, something nice and wooly, I think I used Lamb's pride) and spin the spindle so that there is a lot of extra spin in your leader. Then fluff out the end of one of your half yard long lengths of roving and put the middle of your tightly spun leader into the middle of the fluffy part of your roving, the spin from the leader will travel into your roving they should become pretty locked together. You'll have a little bit of "yarn" at the end of your roving, and there will still be a lot of extra spin in your leader. You should be able to identify the "point of spin" that is the point where your yarn stops being yarn and starts being roving. With the thumb and forefinger of your non-drafting hand back spin that part of your yarn a little bit...grab ahold of it with your fingers and untwist it slightly, this will free the ends of the fibers that are trapped in the yarn part of your spinning and make it easier for you to pull some more fiber out of your roving. Then pull a few fibers out of your roving and let the spin from your leader travel up into them, then grab ahold of the point of twist and back spin, draft, repeat until all the springiness of your leader is used up. Then wrap the yarn you've made around your spindle, leave about a foot of new yarn, spin it up so that it's nice and springy and repeat the backspin, draft process until you're comfortable with drafting.

Notice that while you are doing this your spindle is not spinning, the spin is already in the yarn that you are using as your leader. I would hold the spindle between your feet, or between your knees. If it dangles it's going to start back spinning.

So after you get fairly comfortable with drafting, then you can spin the spindle, and do the backspin, draft process while the spindle is spinning.

By the way, your spindle looks smashing, bottom whorl...in my opinion, the only kind of spindle to use.


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