Thursday, February 13, 2014

VM and grist

I have been experimenting with singles of different grist.

One thing I notice is that that there are several kinds of vegetable matter that tend to drop out when singles are drafted to a grist in the rang of 4,000 to 5,000 ypp (depending on humidity and oil in the wool).  Thus, drafting to 5,600 ypp (10s) ensures most of this VM drops out and the yarn is a higher quality because it has less VM in it.

This is an argument for hand spinners building low grist yarn from fine plies.

In long wool, all that VM can certainly be combed out, but that entails work and waste.

However, if one wants a woolen yarn, carding (even diligent and careful carding) will leave some VM in the wool.  Spinning fine helps allow that VM to drop out.

I have observed this before, but now I am bewildered as to why it is not taught as a basic principle of hand spinning.  Every basic text on spinning should have a sentence in it, to the effect that spinning finer singles will allow more VM to drop out.

I think this is a truth that modern spinners do not want to hear, and the authors know better than to say things that modern spinners do not want to hear.

1 comment:

Badger said...

Not everything about spinning can be written down, just as one can't learn to dance while reading a book. Some of this has to be experienced. Once a student of mine can spin fine enough she/he will usually discover for themselves that if they spin a finer yarn, most of the VM will drop out because there is less fiber to hold it there. Combing still does a better job, in my opinion, but I'm currently carding and spinning a Tunis fleece with a fair bit of VM in it, and because I'm spinning it fine, almost all of the VM drops out.

Most new spinners will take a while before they are ready to card or comb their own wool. The jump from spinning prepared roving or top to dealing with a raw fleece is quite a jump, and with the availability of beautiful prepared roving, some folks just don't see the point in working with raw fleece, or worse yet, they've been given a fleece by someone who was trying to get rid of the wool, and the fleece was so full of trash that they gave up in disgust. Who can blame them?