Thursday, July 05, 2012

80s from 80s

This summer's project is to spin a pound of combed fiber into 80 hanks of 560 yards each. In total, it means spinning about 26 miles of rather fine singles.

I use a competition flier from Alden Amos with a bobbin designed to insert ~24 tpi, thus there is no need for yarn lock to accumulate twist, and there is no slippage.  If I am not feeding drafted fiber into the maw of my beast, I break off.  On the other hand, since there is no slippage, it is fast. The uniform high twist also gives the yarn a nice "tooth".

However, as the effective diameter of the bobbin increases, the rate of takeup increases and the tpi goes down.  Thus, I have to wind off frequently. And wind off eats a spinner's time.

My approach is to wind off onto a niddy-noddy made of pvc.
I am doing this because the singles are fine, and a bit fragile for normal yarn reels. And I do not mind putting these niddys into the wash tubs.  these singles are so energetic that they must be blocked before they will make a usable skein.

With the yarn on the niddy-noddy, it can be washed and rinsed to remove the spinning oil, blocked with steam, and dried in the sun.

Once it is dry, the yarn can be taken off made up into a tiny skein.

Since it has been well blocked, that little skein can be stored away.  In the future, It can be mounted onto a squirrel cage swift and quickly wound onto it's plying bobbins.

This is how I avoid turning the task of washing spinning oil out of spun singles into a full time job. 

Edited on 8/2 to add that I prefer the Shaker Rockets (silk reels) for washing the singles.  They are much faster and easier to work with despite the fact that if wind off is not done properly, loops of single can slide off the end of reel resulting in a tangled mess. This niddy-noddy wash technology is much safer, if slower.

This project was originally planned as practice to learn to spin finer.  The fibers above are actually more than 24 micron, thus there was some effort to spin them into 45,000 ypp thread.  With the appropriate wash technologies, finer fiber, better fiber prep, and the right bobbin, it turns out to be easy. 

The Bobbin for the 80s from 80 count project inserts 24 tpi.

It turns out to just be a matter of  going out in the morning and carefully combing 24 grams of  fine wool, loading it onto 4 distaffs, and spending 10 hours spinning 4 hanks.  It is more work, and less technical challenge than I expected.  I only took this project on to practice for another project, a project with a real deadline.  I need to get the other project done, I will do this 80 from 80 in November.

The flyer/bobbin setup for the next project inserts 36 tpi, and the sample on the bobbin does have 36 tpi and is not particularly over twisted. (Lets see, um that would yield a yarn over 360 wpi or a grist more than 130,000 ypp (200 m/g) with a deadline?   :  )  

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