Your Yarns: Making Choices

For the Spin Off Spring 2017 issue’s Your Yarns theme—Making Choices—we requested yarns that feature the same fiber spun two different ways. Whether it was different fiber prep, drafting methods, tools, or finishing methods, we were excited to see how your choices altered the outcome of the final yarn.

1. Irene Anderson of Ljungskile, Sweden Rya wool lamb’s fleece.

Terra-cotta 2-ply, 11 wpi, about 556 ypp
Soft, short fibers.
White 2-ply, 11 wpi, about 538 ypp

Strong upper coat fibers.

2. Dale Jackson of Romulus, New York

Merino wool dyed with goldenrod, carded on a Pat Green carder, then pulled off through a diz.
Terra-cotta 2-ply, 8 wpi, about 469 ypp
White 2-ply, 15 wpi, about 1,788 ypp

“The wheel was set up to spin fine cotton thread. This setting was used for the finest skein (on white). For the second skein, the brake band was tightened up on the Ashford wheel to spin a thicker yarn (on terra-cotta). Both skeins were washed to set the twist and dried without weight.”

Your Yarns Spin Off Spring 2017

Your Yarns Spin Off Spring 2017

3. Shirley Lyster of Powell River, British Columbia, Canada

Handcarded Cheviot.
Terra-cotta 2-ply, 20 wpi, about 1,816 ypp
Green rolag, spun supported with point-of-contact draw.
White 2-ply, 10 wpi, about 778 ypp

Carded fiber, rolled off handcard sideways, attenuated, then spun with a worsted draw.
“I chose to spin a Cheviot fleece, as it was the one raw fleece I have right now. I am a fan of spinning to the crimp, that is, spinning a 2-ply yarn with the same number of bumps per inch as there are crimps per inch in the fleece. This Cheviot fleece had 11 to 13 crimps per inch.

“The first sample I spun on a ratio of 8.5:1; the results produced about 7½ plied twists per inch (tpi). This yarn proved to be harsh and wiry but very elastic. I knitted a small sample with cables and yarnovers, and it shows the cables and holes very nicely. I wouldn’t use this in a garment worn next to the skin! The next sample was spun on a ratio of 6:1. My draw length remained the same, as did the number of treadles per inch, and the yarn has about 5 plied tpi. My draft width was wider, and the yarn created is loftier and bulkier than the first. The small sample I knitted with this yarn is coarse, and with this, I would only knit outer garments, such as mitts and hats and maybe a cardigan. Before this challenge,

I had spun this same fiber with a long draw at a 4.5:1 ratio and with two fewer treadles per draft. The short fibers didn’t all get caught in the twist, and the cardigan I knitted with it tends to pill a lot. This leads me to the conclusion that this fiber might be best spun at 8.5:1 or 6:1 with fewer treadles to create a more softly twisted yarn. I still have lots of fleece left and have wanted to create a softly knitted indoor sweater, one that can be worn next to the skin. I think I still need to experiment with it!”

4. Selah Barling of Seattle, Washington

Dicentra Designs 100% Bluefaced Leicester in the Geneva colorway.
Terra-cotta 2-ply, 10 wpi, about 594 ypp
S-spun and Z-plied on a Louet DT 75.

“I won the roving at the spinner’s triathlon at OFFF [Oregon Flock and Fiber Festival]. This yarn, with the deliberate ‘damnits,’ makes me think of those paper beads that you build by dipping in glue and rolling between your fingers.”
White 3-strand crêpe, 11 wpi, about 538 ypp
2 plies S-spun on a Louet DT 75 then plied Z, and singles
Z-spun on a handmade drop spindle; both twisted again S.
“This yarn is similar in construction to crêpe yarn but looks to me more like a fine necklace chain. Either yarn would be fun to weave with as a weft or to crochet.”

5. Carol Phillpott of North Canterbury, Kent, England

Suri alpaca.
Terra-cotta 2-ply, 16 wpi, about 704 ypp
Spun on a Turkish spindle.
“Beautiful soft fleece. I washed it after plying. Easy to spin.”
White 2-ply, 13 wpi, about 680 ypp

Spun on a Majacraft Little Gem spinning wheel.
“A dream to spin and quicker than the spindle.”

Next Challenge

The theme for the Fall 2017 Your Yarns is “Spin Your Fibershed.” In the Spin Off Winter 2017 issue, we featured several articles on spinning local. We invite you to choose fibers from your region. Tell us a bit about where the fiber came from and why you selected it. The deadline to submit is April 15, 2017.

Please send a minimum of one five-yard length of yarn labeled with your name, mailing address, phone number, and email address. Please note the fiber content, wraps per inch (wpi), and yards per pound (ypp) and tell us a bit about your yarn submission.

Mail your comments and your yarn to:
Spin Off Your Yarns
4868 Innovation Drive
Fort Collins, CO 80525-5576

Email with any questions.

The yarn won’t be returned, but it will be used for a worthy charity. Please contact us at the above address if you’d like to volunteer to make a charity item using the yarns from previous Your Yarns entries.

Enjoy this free download of “Your Yarns” from the Spin Off Spring 2017

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