Wednesday, January 04, 2012

How I spin; A video

Here is a better video of how I spin. From over my left shoulder:

And from over my right shoulder:

The fiber is an indifferent prep of Shetland that somebody gave me, and I fixed.  The grist is in the 11,000 ypp range, and the flier rpm is ~500. Twist is in the range of 12 tpi. Twist and to a lesser extent, grist  is set by the DRS (~1.017 with a bobbin core of  ~5/8") of the flier/bobbin assembly.  Thus, I can switch bobbins, and bingo, I have right twist for 14,000 or 25,000, or 50,000 ypp.  All I have to do is make sure the grist is right for the twist. If I need other grists, I make other bobbins as in the last post.

The main thing is that this is a continuous process that produces a true worsted single. Note the use of a distaff.  The distaff is necessary to keep the fibers just behind the drafting zone aligned and parallel.  The fibers are fully aligned as the twist enters them. Of course, these video sequences are much slower than I normally spin, but you can see there is minimal hand motion, so that my hands can keep up when spinning much faster. This technique is a very fast way to produce a true worsted yarn.

These singles will get cabled up  into 8-ply (fingering) for a sweater.  I insert some slubs so you can see the progress of the single.  In the second video, the twisted single is invisible at this resolution. Sorry about that.


Penelope Sinclair said...

Hi Aaron, I have just come across your blog and am very much enjoying reading it. I was wondering if you have come across many references to ganseys being worn by the whalers who operated in Antarctica . Look forward to hearing from you.

Aaron said...

The Americans quickly dominated whaling, and they largely used frame knit woolens.

The only clear example that I know of hand knit sweaters around Antarctica was Shackleton's voyage of the Endurance. The photos show the sweaters are not classic ganseys, but are heavier. On the other hand they look like the sweaters worn by Digby, NS fishermen of the time.

On the other hand we can be sure that hand knit seamen's sweaters were worn by the British, Portuguese, and Spanish when sailing around The Horn and around The Cape. That put them rather too close for comfort to Antarctica.

Penelope Sinclair said...

Thanks for your information and quick response, much appreciated. I have been researching Shackleton and Scott and they wore woollens supplied by Jaegar and Wosley see I suspect that British whalers working out of South Georgia undoubtedly wore ganseys. Whalers from Shetland certainly worked there and I have found some photos showing Shetland whalers wearing what look like ganseys. Thanks for info about American whalers :)

DebbieD said...

Thanks for the video - I was hoping that you would eventually show your spinning set-up. I am planning to give it a try on my Jensen D-30 - it won't be as good but I will make the attempt. Hopefully I will get something along the same lines yarn-wise with practice.

Annie Belle said...

this is simply mind-boggling! thanks for the informative video!

Aaron said...

Remember, I have been doing this with a DD system with a DRS that is matched to the grist/ tpi that I am spinning.

I can't seem to make it work for ST.
I can't seem to make it work for German/Irish Tension.
I can't seem to make it work for DD with the wrong DRS for the grist/ tpi that I am spinning. All of the modern commercial DD spinning wheels come with a DRS in the range of 1.2. That does not work with this method of spinning.

You need a DD system with bobbins that provide the correct DRS for the grist that you want to spin.

I can do this without a distaff.

I can use the technique to spin woolen. Again, it is very fast and easy, and produces a very consistent thread.

Because there is less tension on the thread, I can produce very softly spun threads.

Annie Belle said...

Even so, I'm impressed with your ability to modify existing materials to suit your needs. Just because you don't fit any of the traditional modes doesn't mean it's not working. That's the catch of self-teaching...

Adrienne Myers said...

Running down distaff users is challenging. I originally started using them because my hands are too hot and sweaty for attenuation, and then because I was using semi supported spindles, not drop style. So thanks for the videos on using a distaff!