Thursday, January 02, 2014

5 days of spinning

One of my goals for December 2013, was to spin a total of 5,000 yards (1.8 lb.) of worsted warp within 5 consecutive  days.

I just could not get it together to do that. Several day's production were well over 1,200 yards, but I would get to the fifth day of spinning and I would get interrupted, so I never got over ~4,500 yards in 5 days.  It may not happen on this project as I have only a couple of  lb of warp left to spin.

On the other hand, this fall has not been a complete bust spinning wise.  The gray bin in the corner has ~12 lb/36,000 yards of  hand spun singles in it, all spun within the last 3 months. About half are worsted warp and the rest are woolen weft. It is all 2,800 ypp so it is low twist, and it was easy to spin.

Later in January, I am going to go do a show and tell to attempt to persuade a wheel maker to make a line of faster wheels for spinners that want more yarn for the time they spend spinning. Small changes in design would allow very fast wheels to be made/sold for the same price as slow wheels.

Abby says, "It is all about the yarn."  I say, "It is all about better, cheaper, faster yarn!"  I do not need the expense of a "mini-mill". I just want to run my spinning wheel at a reasonable speed.


asgoodasgold said...

Are you supposing that if it is built, spinners will want one?
Serious question.

Have you tried an e-spinner?

I am not interested in speed spinning myself and am curious to see if other spinners are.

=Tamar said...

I believe that at the moment there are not many spinners who have your degree of drive to produce, and thus I suspect there would not be a great demand. However, a craftsperson who already makes wheels to order anyway might be persuaded to offer the faster wheel design as an option.

Aaron said...

Spinning faster opens ups spinning projects that are not possible if one spins slowly. Spinning fast is not much different from spinning slow, it is just that one stands up with a lot more yarn.

In particular, a faster wheel allows spinning finer. And, finer is nicer. Yarns plied up from fine, high twist singles are more flexible, smoother, and much more durable.

Sock yarns from finer plies have a much smoother and more "silken" feel, but they endure like iron. If you can spin fast, then you get yarns that feel like silk for the price of wool and a few minutes of spinning. Not many people spin like this anymore. If you want to see a sample go into the nearest "Needless Markup" department store and look at the wool socks priced $200/pair and up. With a fast wheel, you can spin yarns like that. (Then you will need "lace" needles to knit those fine yarns.)

The other night, (During Dowton Abbey) I plied up a hank of 10-ply. This morning I am swatching it and it looks like it will land on the 1.4 mm stainless steel knitting pins. That is a nice fabric.

My show and tell at the Guild meeting this month will be a hank of the woolen Rambouillet weft and the swatch of the knit 10-ply.

It is one thing to pass a skein of 200 yards of perfect yarn around the show and tell, but a 1,600 yard hank of perfect yarn produces shock and awe - even when I do not bother to tell them that it was an easy evening's work.

I looked at all the e-spinners, and built a few myself. Most of the commercial e-spinners are designed to run the flyer/bobbin assembly at 1,600 rpm or less. However, I often treadle the #0 flier at more than 3,000 rpm.

Spinning fine requires focus and concentration. Treadling helps maintain enhanced blood flow that facilitates focus and concentration. (The weft was not fine, and required TV.)

RMD said...

Hear hear!
I'm not a woodworker, so am limited in my abilities to trick out stock wheels like the Traddy. But I, too, lust after more speed...I spin almost exclusively for socks and the finer, the better (more plies!).