Re: Too much knitting going on here, and not enough spinning, so tell me
- From: WoolyGooly <boogers@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Mon, 23 Apr 2007 18:10:54 -0500
On Mon, 23 Apr 2007 19:52:24 GMT, <agres@xxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
You know what I want, because you have seen it in your dreams too!
A fast, inexpensive spinning system.
Drop spindle. Make one for a couple of bucks using bits and pieces
scavenged from your garage junk drawer :D
I want to spin long staple, high luster yarns into firmly spun, multi-ply,
light worsted weight yarns (~1,000 yd/lb)
I think you want to spin long luster WOOL into tight worsted yarn
*running away* Romney, BFL, several other breeds lend themselves well
to tight worsted-spun yarn.
Is it true that with a Rio Grand style wool wheel, the spindle does not need
to stop prior to wind-on?
True. It's also not designed for the production of worsted-spun yarn.
Do you have to stop, or even reverse the spindle
No. It does take some practice to do, however. I was becoming quite
adept at non-stop spinning on the walking wheel but decided it was too
much work and sent it to live with someone else.
As I sit here playing with a piece of yarn and a knitting
needle chucked into my drill, with a very quick hand motion, I do seem to be
able to go from spinning to wind-on without pausing the spindle. But that
is with a spindle speed of only 60 rpm, can I still do it at 300 or 500 rpm
or ??? rpm? Or, how fast as I can plan on spinning?
How dextrous are you?
How may turns per inch do I need to put into a fine ply of a fiber like
Cotswold or Leicester?
That, my good man, is an oft-debated topic. Mabel Ross exhorts us to
put as many TPI in our yarn as there are crimps per inch in the
staples we're spinning. So does Peter Teal, IIRC.
What kind of spindle speed do I need to engineer to get a reasonable
spinning speed? That is, how fast a spindle speed can a good spinner, using
reasonably well combed top, work with? If I spin that fast, do I have to
slow down for wind-on?
A "reasonable" speed depends in large part on what you're spinning.
An accellerated wheel like a charkha will have a spindle speed has
high as 300rpm. A wool wheel (ie, a walking wheel) with a Minor's
head will spin at about 90rpm, maybe a bit faster.
BUT, spinning off a spindle is NOT the way to produce worsted-spun
yarn. True worsted is spun from well-prepared combed top which is
predrafted (dizzed) to a thickness that will allow the spinner to
*just spin* with no pre-drafting required. This means much more work
goes into prep than into spinning. Most of us who "spin worsted" use
combed tops - commercial or stuff we comb ourselves - do some dizzing,
then draft using the inchworm method: this keeps the fibers smoothly
aligned and tucks ends into the single as it twists up. Anything else
is semi-worsted at best.
How fast can a good spinner spin, assuming a spindle running at optimum
speed? Like yards per hour?
That's like asking how many miles a person can hike in a day: if
you're a couch potato the answer is "not much", if you're a hardbody
with mountain goat genes the answer is something else entirely. A
spinner spins as fast as s/he spins. It's largely dependant on what
you're spinning, how finely you're spinning it, how well you prepared
your fibers, and how fast your wheel runs. Froghair spun on an 8:1
wheel takes for-freaking ever, but the same fiber and same grist spun
on a 20:1 wheel goes ever-so-much faster - and for obvious reasons.
Can I ply/cable by standing the cones of yarn on end (in a rack), and then
using the spindle to ply them together? Or, do I have to transfer to bobbins
and set up a lazy kate?
One plies from the leader of a cop - that is, the starter yarn one
ties on to give the new stuff something to hold on to as it's being
spun out of thin air. You'll need to devise some method of keeping
your cops corralled.
But. You won't be spinning worsted if you spin off the tip. Just
remember I warned you :D
Those of you that know me, can see the wheels going round in my head. I am
thinking of a electric powered spinning spindle. There is an electric motor
sitting on my work bench right now. It is a big old brute, but I just
cleaned and oiled it, and it runs, "As silent as a sleeping cat." I
would not mind sitting next to it for hours on end.
Hook that up to an Ashford jumbo flyer, which you can outfit with any
number of whorls to jack the spinning speed. Use it for plying.
Get yourself a good fast flyer wheel for spinning. I can recommend
In the meantime pick up a copy of _Spinning in the Old Way_ by
Priscilla Gibson-Roberts, and a copy of _Hand Woolcombing and
Spinning_ by Peater Teal. The former is a fast read, the latter not
so much. You might also want to get from your library _Alden Amos's
Big Book of Handspinning_. I don't cotton much to Amos's writing
style but it *is* a good resource.
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