A New Twist on Crochet: Spinning the Ideal Yarn for Crochet
Have you ever considered spinning your own yarn for crochet? People start spinning for a whole host of reasons: they are seduced by the fiber; they love the tools; they saw someone spinning at a festival and now have the bug; or they are just compelled to spin and don't know why. Another reason they get started is because they want a particular yarn and just can't find it.
Crochet yarn is perfect for spinning because there is a long-held belief that yarns designed for knitting don't always behave the same way when they are crocheted. And there is a good reason for that.
In an article in the upcoming Fall issue of Spin-Off, (on newsstands in September), expert spinner Maggie Casey and crochet designer Margaret Tullis take a really close look at the twist added while spinning and how it affects crocheted fabric specifically. They try out several handspun yarns, crochet them into samples, and make a couple of projects to show how the yarn behaves. They then draw conclusions about how to best spin yarn for crochet.
While we don't cover crochet in every issue of Spin-Off, we do talk a lot about the qualities of fiber, how to make great yarn, and what to do with it. Fun stuff. Come over and check us out—subscribe to Spin-Off—you might find that we have what you've been looking for.
|Maggie spun two nearly identical yarns—one that was spun counterclockwise (called an S-twist) and plied clockwise (a Z-twist), and another that was spun in the opposite direction (Z then S). Margaret crocheted coasters from the yarns to test the effects of twist in crochet. The yarn and coaster on the left are spun S and plied Z, and the yarn and coaster on the right are spun Z and plied S. The difference is fairly minute in the finished coasters, but the S/Z yarn is a little more cohesive, while the Z/S yarn is a little more open. Given a choice, I'd spin S/Z for crochet yarns because of the firm, beautiful hand of the fabric.|
|Of course, commercial yarns will continue standard spinning practices, and I will continue to love them more than I can afford, but it is good to know that I have the perfect excuse to sit down at my wheel soon and produce some yarn ideally suited to crochet.
Until next time,