Sunday, November 10, 2013

The little python

Alden's #1 flier opens its jaws and swallows rolags, batts,  and then full bins of Rambouillet.  It is like a great snake unhinging its jaws and swallowing sheep whole. It is like magic.  It does like olive oil & soap much better then J&J NMT, so now there is a deadline to get everything spun, woven, and washed.  However, with the little python eating bins of fiber for breakfast, it seems feasible. I feared the weft would be boring, but it is rather like feeding bacon strips to a bear - you have to watch what you are doing, and the fingers must move faster than the maw..  It is better than video games.  I use the jumbo cake winder to wind off, so 3 bobbins  full  is a cake of almost 500 yards.  (Of course, this is woolen, so I should switch to hanks of 1,600 yards.)   A niddy-noddy would be a good, and better if the yarn was going to a dyer. There are heaps of VM around my spinning work station.

I have moved to sitting in a teak arm chair as I spin.  It helps support my arms at an SG approved distance apart, and that does seem to work very well. I hold the fiber as if for long draw, but I do not wave my drafting arm.  The process is continuous and fast  As necessary, I use the other hand for double extension.  This is only required where there is a fault in the fiber processing. This whorl is a bit small, so the grist is running a bit high, perhaps 3,200 ypp.

I am using 30 oz of drive band tension weight. This gives good traction for the driveband, and will result in breakoff if drafting is not continuous.  On the other hand, it means that spinning is FAST.  I have a bunch of brown  Rambouillet, so I may do a 24 yard long warp and spin weft for 12 yards of white and 12 yards of brown fabric.

For most of the history of spinning, spinners made sewing thread, tatting thread, twine, and other yarns, but mostly they made the warps and wefts (webs) for weavers. Thus, an experienced spinner was one that had prepared many, many, loom webs. Of course the thing is, that one does not get there unless one spins rather fast, and spends a rather a lot of time spinning. And, one needs a full set of spinning equipment.

Still history sets a bar on what an experienced spinner should have done.  You get the point.  I have always expected "experienced spinners" to spin much faster than I do.  

No comments: