Taking a break from sweater knitting and have enjoyed this short Tweed Chronicles experiment, the Quick Mix. Just as I expected, a slightly more homogenized affect than straight off the roving, resulting in a pinkish brick fired terra cotta shade. Yet still slightly barber-pole , so I do think I could have blended it twice and had a more softer variegation. I am not the greatest spinner on the planet, because I just cant seem to produce consistent super fine singles, and if I do, the yarn often is under spun, so when I ply, I get thick and thin plied. That is okay, thick & thin handspun is a fine normal for me, because I like rustic handspun, however, I don’t like plying underspun yarn, for it breaks so much in the plying. This fiber is superwash Blue-faced Leicester, which is an excellent fiber to make into socks, even if the yarn varies from fine fingering to sport weight. If I knit a toe up format, I can figure gauge while increasing in the toe section I can adjust for the number of sts in the sock as I go. That is my thinking at least. I guess the toe-up sock with gauge substitution chart pattern is inevitable for me and my handspun yarn, so that is what I’m up to, hoping to knit this up from the toes sometime in the next few weeks, into just a plain & simple sock form. I’ll keep posting on this as I go along.
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Today is a beautiful day out and tomorrow is going to be dumping a lot of rain, so I believe I’ll go out for a walk to the peak, and then settle in to make some progress on eldest nieces’ sweater that I really want to finish. My primary goal presently is to get into good walking shape and so off I go !
Brilliant. The idea of you walking and knitting in the gorgeous autumn light fills me with joy!
My spinning mates are meeting up today in our local Botanic garden. It is a beautiful spring down. I am not an expert spinner but all the ladies say “twist, twist, twist” for sock yarns.
I am nowhere near that.
Karin, when I started spinning I was making everything over twisted, and so I really tried to relax my spinning. Yet, still I have so much to learn. I should hang out with your ladies, I’d learn something! THank you for teaching me sock yarn = twist!
I just got in from walk to the peak, and didn’t take my knitting after-all, because I really wanted to storm up there, then settle into knitting when I got back, which I am about to do as soon as I make myself some tea, making a pot of English Breakfast and toast with jam. xx
The Ladies say that twist adds strength (which does make sense). Lining up the fibres helps too (worsted rather than woollen).
I love that spinning (and fibre preparation) can be customised to suit our evil knitter’s purposes!
I like your thinking re your walk. Sometimes multi-tasking dilutes both intents… A stormy walk and a tea and toast knit sounds perfect!!!
Karin, I’m pretty much self taught as I’ve done most of my spinning in my more recent reclusive decade. I am realizing ( duh! ) that finer yarn needs more twist. Right, Spinning 101 for kindergardeners for sure. So next time, I think I’ll try adjusting the ” speed ” on the flywheel and bobbin to spin really fast and give a lot of rotations. But then I hate it when the spinning breaks and goes through the orifice and lost on the bobbin and cant find the end… this is dire straights for me. I am almost comfortable not trying to spin too fine, because the finer you go, everything gets more complicated exponentially, and I must be able to find that end or I’m going to lose my composure that is not easy keeping these days. 🙂
I am no expert at all, at all.
Rank beginner… but a question… doesn’t slowing the wheel speed (ands therefore slowing uptake) increase twist?
When I was getting too much twist in my Alpaca (common) I was told to spin faster to reduce twist.
Wow, I don’t really know! Let me think about it, instinctively. I’m thinking that if I keep treadling the same rate, I want more rotations, to get more twist, right? I am thinking about how to keep my default treadle and take up “speed” … er… habit, and increase the twist. Definitely worth an experiment!!! 🙂
Oh, take up on my wheel is adjusted by the tension on the fly wheel. I have one band on my wheel, not two, so it is not scotch tension, nor Irish. I forget the common one that we modern spinners use. But definitely, if you are spinning on a wheel that the take up is built in to the ratio, not adjusted… is that your wheel?
Hmmmm. I don’t know Jen.
I have a drive band (on the wheel) and a brake band (on the bobbin) which my experts tell me is a scotch or flyer-lead tension.
If I want more twist I tighten the brake band so that the fibre does not pull on quickly.
As a beginner with a tendency to over-twist I was told to ease the brake and get the yarn “up the orifice”.
I realise I have confused this issue by confusing wheel speed with brake speed. You may not need to increase the ratio on your wheel so much as retard your bobbin a little….
Ignore that comment….
If I want to slow the speed the yarn pulls on I loosen the brake band on the bobbin!
Sorry. I will shut-up now I feel I have created terrible confusion..
But we have had a mental work-out!!!
No confusion, lets definitely discuss !
I have single drive and the bobbin has a break … Scotch tension I think.
The faster I treadle the faster it takes up.
I guess I could either adjust the brake to take up less, or change the ratio so that I’m spinning faster…. um…
I think I don’t like changing gears though. I am a single speed kind of spinner, I never change flyers to jumbo or lace… I just like one flyer, one speed. I think that I need to practice with more uniform fiber for a start, so that less thick/thin happens. Also maybe go back to worsted spinning, for the long-draw is asking for thick/thin it seems. Long draw is relatively new to me, but I think every fiber is going to ask to be spun slightly different. Example is how lovely and slippery some fibers are (alpaca) and easy to spin uniform, but the blends of coarser and finer fibers is murder on uniformity I am finding. Going to find a good Humbug natural blend roving and just practice fine singles that ply nicely.
Thank you Karin! xx
I hear you on not wanting to change the drive ratio… Which is where you use the brake to slow the uptake and that gives you more twist.
I love the colours of your yarn. I’m new to spinning and long for consistency!
Jackie, just keep spinning as much as you can , and one day it will gel, you’ll have that Ah ha moment! That said, I am finding much of my struggles stem from trying too many fiber blends. I suggest getting a really nice un-dyed roving of a single fiber that is carded AFTER the dying, because spinning hand-dyed roving AFTER the carding sometimes is a little felted and doesn’t flow smoothly through your fingers. There is a combination of undyed fiber that is fun to spin because it has two natural tones carded together, the roving is called ” humbug ” and I think you might try spinning some of it, because it is the most untreated of all. Try this : https://www.paradisefibers.com/products/paradise-fibers-oatmeal-blue-faced-leicester-roving?variant=985709084678
Good luck and happy spinning!
Thanks so much for taking the time to share your experiences. I’ve been gifted some raw alpaca and it’s teaching me a lot about preparation – I’ve done the whole skirting/washing/carding thing with part of it and just finished knitting my first items with it. Before that I’d bought various colours merino and spun some 2 and 3 ply, mixing the colours. Definitely my new obsession!
Oh, alpaca then! I think there’s nothing nicer, its so slick and satisfying. Enjoy your gorgeous project from animal to yarn! 🙂