I took a spinning class the other day – the first I’ve had on my wheel – and to say I learned a lot would be an understatement.
The first thing I learned… apparently I’ve been spinning my yarn backwards. I’ve been spinning the singles counterclockwise, and the ply clockwise. This makes absolutely no difference in the final product, but means that if another spinner and I are working together to make yarn, we wouldn’t be able to ply our singles together.
I’ve been working on one batch of yarn that I’ve been spinning backwards, so I’ll continue this way until it’s done.
I think it’s turning out real pretty – a nice neutral gray with hints of blue and some pink. I know more blue is showing up in the picture than anything else, but the yarn really is mostly gray.
The spinning class also taught me more about my wheel and how to use it. I had a vague idea about how it worked, but nothing very solid. The class at Yarnorama was incredibly informative. I spun a number of different ways on all the ratios of my wheel, and learned what the different ratios do. I was able to get different yarns by doing different things, and it was very gratifying to see the difference.
These three samples were spun in my comfort zone – the way I spin naturally. The one on the right was spun on my largest ratio, six twists per one treadle. The middle was the middle ratio, 15 twists per one treadle. And the left was the smallest ratio, 40 twists per one treadle. It’s a little difficult to see, but the yarn on the right is much more loosely spun than the one on the left.
Again, these were samples spun on each of my three ratios in two different ways. The three on the right were spun with 1 inch of fibre for 1 treadle on each of the three ratios. The three on the left were spun with double the amount of fibre I usually use on each of the three ratios.
I’m looking forward to spinning many more samples, to learn what technique produces what sort of yarn.