Saturday, December 02, 2006

New Discovery!

Well, this is new to me at least. I don't think there is anything new in this old world, and it's all been done before. Sorry to burst your bubble. But there are new things in MY life, and that is very exciting.

For a very long time, I've been thinking about how spinning works, and why it happens. That's just the way I am. I've been spinning with a spindle, and a wheel for a long time. I'm now taking the Master Spinner course, and learning a lot more of the fundamentals that I didn't know, and learning how it should be done properly. I am a self-taught spinner, so have developed some inappropriate habits.

However, since doing the analysis of spinning while lying in bed, not able to sleep, I've some up with some absolutely astounding theories! Of course, by morning, I have forgotten them all, so have to start from scratch the next night! I do sometimes get up and write them down, or take up a bit of roving or yarn, and try it out myself. It's odd how it all works so perfectly in my head, but when my hands get involved, there are all kinds of complications! hahaha

So I have developed a theory of twist, and how it comes into play in much of our fibre work, without us knowing it. It causes us some grief too, and helped explain why some yarns seem to split, and why yarn for crochet is different than for knitting. Some people look at me as if I'm from another planet when I start to tell them about this; I now don't say anything, and let them struggle with the problem.

So this week, a co-worker wanted to knit a hat. She has several wheels of the unspun, which she likes, but she had trouble with them coming apart with the slightest tug. Since these are unspun, they have no integrity of their own without any twist. So I told her that I will take it from her and put in just a bit of twist, enough to hold together, but still keep it soft and lofty -- something like a lopi-style yarn. So I did take it home, and accomplished just that! I'm so excited to see what she thinks of it! And it was so cool doing it!

It may not be easy to see the size of the yarn from the photo (I need to include some reference in my pics), but it's a nice soft lofty 2-ply yarn, about 5-6 wraps per
inch. I have almost 8 oz in the skein, since it had been partially used. It's in natural white, but I don't know the breed -- probably the usual generic sheep that we have around here.

The cool thing about all of this is that I didn't use a wheel at all for this. I also didn't use a spindle to create any twist. What did I use? Well, actually, I didn't use any tool at all, except for my little ol' hands! I did use a ball-winder and an umbrella swift eventually to make the skein. But I have had this idea for a long time, and had to put it into practice. And it was such fun doing!

Of course, it's been used for a long time in industry, and is nothing really new. But we've forgotten that there are many other ways to accomplish the same thing, and the early settlers in this country didn't have the luxury of having a lot of equipment, but they did have the knowledge to make whatever they required. I've been able to use the basics of twist, and apply it to my advantage in making some serviceable yarn! And to me, that's quite wonderful!

I'm in the process now of writing it all out, with explanations of why it works. I am also thinking of building a tool to help in this process (it's a guy thing), but now need to find someone with a workshop to carry out my plans. I'll tell you all about it later on.

3 comments:

Dave said...

Interesting, indeed. A whole new interpretation of "handspun"!

Mel said...

Okay, I'm intrigued now.

jaynezee said...

You teazeeeeeeeeeee...dang it...

The first time Annie...my original spinning guru taught me about spinning...she took two pieces of roving and 'spun' them up on her skirt...then double plyed them...no wheel...no spindle...just her leg and some spit...

tell us tell us...

alicia...with baited breath...not to be confused with sashimi breath...