Sunday, October 16, 2011

The Sum of All

It is possible to hand spin worsted yarn using a "long-draw" technique.  ( Not what you have been told before, now is it? )

It requires special tools.  One must have a DD wheel with the appropriate differential rotation speed (DRS) and bobbin core size to insert the correct twist and to take-up at the correct rate.  It requires well combed top on a well designed distaff.

It only works at fairly high grist (9,000 ypp and up depending on fiber), and it only works for spinning at a brisk pace.

The process involves the drafting hand teasing fiber out of the sliver attached to the distaff.  The fibers are kept under some tension as they stream into the drafting hand where they are spread to form the base of the drafting triangle. The tip of the drafting triagle is a narrow ribbon of fibers feeding between the forefinger and thumb of the pinching hand. The drafting hand and pinching hand are moved together and apart for precise control of the grist,  The pinching hand keeps enough pressure on the tip of the drafting triangle to keep the twist from traveling up into the drafting triangle, but not so much pressure as to stop the continuous stream of fibers through the "pinch".  The thumb and forefinger of the pinching hand move back and forth to facilitate movement of the fibers through the pinch.

With lower grist singles, it is not possible to stop the twist from moving up into the drafting zone. Without a distaff, it is not possible to get the fibers aligned as they enter the drafting zone.

I had though the technique possible shortly after I started working with controlled DRS systems, however, I had not been able to make it work.  The addition of a distaff was required to actually make the concept work.

The process is very fast.

Pictures and details to come.


sharonwue said...

I spin long draw and fine, but not with double drive. I have very little experience with DD, and I'm finding your comments enlightening. I have mentioned before that I'm following an electric path right now, and my next 'wheel' is on the bench. I have an Ashford DD flyer, and another sewing machine motor. I have really appreciated every article addressing differential rotation speed and bobbin core diameter.
Decades ago, I made myself a master of drop spindle- now that would be the wooden whorl drop spindle. I see I will now have to revisit the spindle at some point.

Aaron said...

The more I spin, the more I like treadle wheels. I have a e-spinner on the bench (well floor of the shop) but I tend to work on tweaking my Traddy.

DRS is a powerful tool - if you need real speed, or must spin something that cannot be spun ST or IT. And, normal twist yarns between 500 ypp and 15,000 ypp can be easily spun ST/IT.

To make DRS really usable, you need a good wood turner that really understands making DD bobbins. Thus, DRS is not worth the effort for spinners that spin for relaxation. DRS is worth the effort for professionals, artists, and folks that aspire to being master spinners.

Removable whorls are a game changer for drop spindles.

sharonwue said...

The big delta lathe is in the shop. the woodturner is taking a nap.