Thursday, August 21, 2014

More on spin count

The distaff is dressed with 60 count flock-run long wool, and the task at hand is 40s (150 wpi) for weaving warp. I need a good bit of the warp, and I am working on it diligently.

However, spinning 60s from 60 count wool is so easy and so relaxing that I do find myself accumulating bobbins of 60s - and this is only with flock run fiber -  and not well graded fiber. After "working" on the 40s for a while, I flip the drive band over to the 20 tpi whorl and spin 60s for fun.  I may just change my mind, and just spin the warp from 40 count wool.  I had intended to spin the weft as 22,400 woolen singles from 80 count Rambouillet.  Samples of woolen singles of from 40 count fibers are not that soft, but they are faster and easier to spin.    Frankly, at this point, I find worsted singles in these grists easier to handle than woolen, and singles management is becoming a big deal.  

This rather upsets things as I have a lot of fine (80 count) wool ordered for this project- all based on the conventional wisdom that it would be easier to spin 22,000 ypp singles from finer wool. As I get into this, what I find is that it is easier to spin 22,000 ypp/150 wpi from 40 count wool (34 micron)  than from 80 count (20 micron) wool - - if you have the correct equipment.  And this goes for both worsted and woolen singles.

Let me say this over and over.  If you have a single drive wheel, then yes, it is easier to spin 40s/22,000ypp/150 wpi from finer fiber.  If you are working on a DRS controlled spinning wheel then is is easier to spin 40s from 40 count wool, and 80s from 80 count fiber.  And, a DRS wheel will let you spin 40s about 5 to 8 times faster than a single drive wheel.  NOT twice as fast, but more like 5 times faster -- or even more.  This is spinning.  Why do not the "experienced" spinners / teachers talk about it?  Because it takes some math and skill in setting up the wheel.  I think spinning 8 or 9 times faster is worth a little math.

The bobbin core on the AA#0 flier is 0.95", the bobbin whorl is 45.00 mm in diameter, and the flyer whorls for 40s, 60s and 80s are 45.9, 45.72, and 45.63 mm respectively..   These must be calculated, and not guessed. And then, a bit of dirt on whorl can spoil everything.  These combinations insert approximately 18, 20, and 23 twists per inch to produce 22,000, 30,000 and 45,000 ypp singles. That flier runs at over 4,000 rpm. The bobbin whorl on the AA#1 flier is 50.00 mm, and its flyer whorls produce 10s, 20s, and 40s. That flier runs at over 2,500 rpm.

I need a quarter million yards of 22,000 ypp (40s) singles.  I need easy!!  I need fast. Last winter, before the improvements on the wheel, I thought the path to fast and easy was finer wool.  Now, I know better. If I am going to write a check for $1,500 for the fiber for one project, I want to make sure I am buying the correct fiber.

The extra speed of from the new accelerator and the additional precision from the larger ~(50) mm DRS seem to facilitate the spinning.  Over all DRS as a technology resolves most of the difficulties enumerated by other authors discussing the spinning of fine singles. I am going to revisit this real soon.

However, watching the fine thread slipping through the fingers at 3 or 4 yards per minute does tire the eyes and ultimately bring on vertigo.  This can be avoided by spinning by feel.

I can watch DVDs while spinning.  The only thing is that I must limit wood working to retain sensitivity in the finger tips to allow spinning with minimal looking. However, with limited woodworking, I can spin even 80s (200 wpi) mostly by feel.

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