Her Handspun Habit: 6 Tips for Making Better Yarn with Your Electric Spinner (Part I)
For some, it’s an attraction; for others, a curiosity; and for many like me, it’s a physical need that makes you bring an electric spinner home. Although I was wholly grateful to the friend who sold me hers, my initial thoughts on e-spinners were tepid—that is, until I spent time learning to maximize my electric spinner’s capabilities. Now not only do I spin the very yarns I want, but the spinning experience itself transcends any thoughts of treadling (or not!).
Here are the first 3 tips for making the yarn you want using an electric spinning wheel:
1. Try using a low table or your favorite spinning stool or chair.
Sure, the portability of an e-spinner is unparalleled. It can sit on a desk, your dining room table, the floor, an ottoman, etc., but if you’re coming to an electric spinning device after years of using a treadle wheel like I was, placing it on a table roughly the height of the average wheel’s orifice (about 24 inches high) helps to mimic that feel you and your body are used to.
2. Place the spinner at an angle, if that’s your thing.
Many spinners find a greater degree of drafting control and physical comfort when seated at a slight angle to their wheel’s orifice, especially when spinning long draw and its variants. Repositioning your spinner can help you find the right body position.
3. Read the manual.
I’m just going to admit this here: I didn’t. I mean, I did, but just enough so I wouldn’t break my new-to-me electric spinner. Several months into ownership, I finally sat down and carefully pored over my manual more than once. This alone helped me feel more in control of operating my e-spinner, and it helped me decide what add-on accessories I needed. Understanding orifice reducers, the number and angle of yarn guides, and the ongoing care and maintenance of equipment turned out to be small but important elements of e-spinning with ease.
I’ll be back in two weeks with the second set of 3 tips, which will tackle this subject from a more technical stance.
Featured Image: Subtle changes in the way you approach your electric spinner can lead to your best yarns yet. Photos by Deborah Held
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