Sunday, November 03, 2013

Strategies for low grist woolens

In the past, I spun low grist woolens only in sample quantities to demonstrate that I could do it. Now, I find myself spinning pounds of such yarns.

Bobbins fill so fast that there is no time to think through issues.

Suddenly!,  the appeal of the big bobbins in most modern spinning wheels shines like a beacon.

However, while the ratio changes, the rate limiting step does not.  Spinning takes most of the time and effort. Wind-off is relatively fast.  For the loom, I am using J&J No Tangles as my carding oil, so there is less need to wash after spinning, and wind-off can be direct to the ball winder.  A larger flyer/bobbin assembly would slow the spinning process more than it speeds up the wind off process.   Thus, a larger /slower  flyer/bobbin assembly would slow my over-all production of yarn, regardless of the subjunctive feeling that I need a bigger bobbin.  I must steel myself, and impose rational thought over emotion.

That said, I do ply knitting yarns on lager flyer/bobbin assemblies so that I can make 500 yard hanks without knots.  Here, I put up with slower plying because for for knitting, I like half-pound cakes of knot free yarn.

On the other hand warp thread requires lengths only a little more than the length of the weaving project , and my fly-shuttle bobbin are limited to ~1 oz per winding.  Here, I want speed more than I want for knot free, 500 yard hanks.

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