Friday, August 29, 2014


At one point, I was fully metric.

However, as I spin finer, the logic and simplicity of the old Bradford yarn terminology becomes more and more apparent. The Bradford system was based on the number of hanks that could be spun from a pound of the fleece. It assumes that one is spinning as fine as possible.

My "lace weight" singles now have 8 gradations by twist and grist. I know how long each will take to spin, and how many yards I can spin from various kinds of wool, and I can do all of that in my head.

Yes, I can do it in the metric system, but then I need to remember or calculate ~40 conversion factors. The sliding scale of "spin count" takes all the possible variations of  fiber diameter into consideration.  It is a very elegant solution.

On the other hand, if one is not spinning at the "spin count", the Bradford system is merely a clumsy anachronism.

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