Tuesday, September 29, 2015

More fibs

I fibbed when I said that I spin hanks.

In fact, I also put a lot of yarn on bobbins:
That is about 15,000 yards of my hand spun on bobbins. As 220 yard skeins of 2-ply it would be about 35 skeins.  On the other hand, it is only enough for about 5 hanks of gansey yarn. 

Gansey yarn is very nice, and it gives one a chance to practice spinning.  I encourage everyone to try it.

If I took all of my handspun singles in house, and turned it into 220 yard skeins of 2-ply, it would be about 130 skeins.  And, that is AFTER, I spent most of the last year knitting miles and miles of my own handspun 5-ply. 

All my handspun singles in house would come out to about 20 hanks of  5-ply gansey yarn or  enough for 4 good ganseys with matching hats, scarves, gloves, and socks.  Add in a bit of weaving and it seems like a reasonable stash to me.


Ruth B said...

With all these comforting lies, delicious deceptions, and admissions of fibs, no wonder that people are skeptical of your version of history or your "deductions" regarding spinning technology.

Aaron said...

Look at those fibs! Each of them is an ironic statement that I spin much, much more, and much, much faster than Holin. While Holin is proud of spinning a few "skeins" of worsted yarn, I am spinning miles and miles of fine, lace singles. I spin at a speed that is completely outside of your and Holin's experience. At this point, I spin at a speed that is outside of Alden Amos's, Stephenie Gaustad's, Judith Mackenzie's or Henry Clemes's experience. While both Alden Amos and Henry Clemes know the theory and it's implementation in late 18th century spinning frames, they never worked out usable implementations for hand spinning - in a large part because of resistance from spinners like you and Holin. I consider this a temporary triumph of stupidity over engineering. It is a good technology, and it works well.

You prefer a version version of history that completely ignores professional hand spinning in the industrial centers of Europe. Volume wise and value wise, that is where the vast majority of hand spinning took place. Why ignore it?

You ignore it because that would mean admitting that the old professional spinners used tools that you do not know how to use. And, if you learned to use those tools, the result would be that would be that you would be producing more yarn than you want.

You do not like me because I do show that it is easily possible to spin faster and better than you. You do not like my version of history because it shows that spinners in the past spun much faster than you.

Craftswoman said...

Absence of evidence is not the same as evidence of absence.
Your pictures show your yarn, not Holin's. This means there is no comparison possible based on these pictures.
It is all right that you want to spin whatever you like and as fast as you like.
Holin spins what her customers like, because she's a professional spinner. Because she is a professional spinner, she is also spinning as fast as she needs.

In our Dutch Golden Age, much industrial spinning was going on in the dedicated spinning houses, called 'Spinhuis', of which there was one in Bruges, like in Amsterdam and Haarlem. The profession of the ladies spinning (and carding, and combing) there was more often noted as 'prostitute'. A Spinhuis was a prison where the inmates had been convicted to hard labour, e.g. spinning.
Other spinning was contracted out to farmers to reduce the costs, thereby also reducing the number of professional spinners in the cities.

Ruth B said...

1. You don't know me, so you don't know if you can spin "faster and better" than I can, so that statement is mere conjecture. No facts in evidence. Bad science, Aaron.

2. Your version of history is unsupported by archaeological and historical evidence. Liking or disliking has nothing to do with it. You're just wrong.

3. If I understand you correctly, you are claiming to know more and be a better spinning wheel maker than Alden Amos - a man who is legendary for the quality of his wheels and who is a published writer. Not everyone enjoys AA's book, but I have never heard anyone say that he didn't make a fine wheel. Do you have people waiting five years for your jacked-up Ashford Traditionals? Until you do, you are spitting into the wind, and we all know what that results in.

Aaron said...

Ruth B.
I do not need to know anything about you. I know the physics of your wheels. Physics always works, and physics never lies.

Alden always checked the speed of wheels with a strobe. I use a digital tachometer to tune my wheel to check for drive-band slippage and such. I encourage everyone to do that. It adds a lot of truth to the discussion.

Alden Amos made the kind of wheel that spinners wanted. He did not push other technologies at spinners. Using DRS takes mathematical training which most modern spinners do not have. It would take me a week to teach you the math.

What I have not heard anyone else say is, "I also can spin a hank of sport weight, worsted spun 5-ply in a day." When I hear that, I will know that others are also spinning fast. That means folk have their wheel tuned to spin at ~3,000 rpm - or they are spending all day

Right now, my wheel is set to spin cotton at 40,000 ypp/ 80 yd/gm (26 tpi), and the latest digital tachometer reading is 4,300 rpm, meaning I can spin fine cotton at just over 200 yards per hour.

Now, go work on your own spinning. If you had good and worthwhile spinning projects you would be reporting them, rather than trying to denigrate what I am doing. That so many spinners spend so much effort denigrating what I do, suggests that, many spinners are jealous of me.

I say what spinning is possible. I have spent years working out reasonable estimates of "commercial rate" - how fast a professional spinner could spin. I have reported that rate. I do not say "you" should spin that fast,I merely say it is how fast an expert spinner can spin. I spent a couple of years understanding "spin count". I do not say you should be able to spin at the spin count, I say that a "competent spinner" should be able to spin at the spin count - and that is taken from the definition of "spin count".

I do not care how fine you spin, but the historical concept of spinning at the spin could is a concept that we should keep in the craft, because sometime in the future, it may be useful. The idea is like a Ming vase, it may not be to your taste, but it tells us about the world heritage.

Aaron said...

Textiles may have been used as hard labor in prisons, but commercial enterprises produced the great bulk of the finer textiles.

Show us contracts where Spinhuis produced fine textiles.

In those days, sails for ships/windmills and bags to store grain in were all woven from hand spun yarn. Then, there was a need for soldier's and sailor's uniforms. Plenty of ordinary textile work for prisoners with limited spinning skills.

More likely, bales of fine textiles from commercial spinners/weavers were packaged in coarse wrappings made at the Spinhuis.