So the last week or so several folks have been having great spinning discussions on Shell’s blog. I have to say I have enjoyed reading the comments and replies over there. I decided to chime in on how I do my fiber prep for spinning.
(Disclaimer: I consider myself a newb to spinning. I have been spinning for about 1.5 years, the first year on a drop spindle and the last half year on my wheel. I’m sure there are many ways to do things, but I think it is important to try several before you settle on one.)
Most of the fiber I have spun with so far has come in something called a “Braid”. This is typically a long piece of
roving commercial top that has been chained together for easy mailing/dyeing/storing.
Edited to add:
In the comments Kara makes an excellent point. I am using the wrong terms for things, but in my defense when you look up the definition for roving vs top (via Abby’s Yarns) it doesn’t really help the confusion. I would have considered what comes in a braid a roving based on the definition of roving which is a long cord about wrist thick. It wasn’t until I found this photo from a 2007 Spinning Daily article that I really “got it” after reading Kara’s comment. The commerical top is the green in the top center and the roving right below it. The difference between the two is really evident from that photo, but not so much from the definitions themselves if you are not a person that does things like carding, etc to fiber.
Back to your regurally scheduled blog post!
This is some lovely fiber from TheFirstDraft on Etsy. SW BFL if you are interested.
Most of my spinning has been traditional 2-ply. This means I split the fiber in half and spin each half onto one bobbin and then ply those 2 bobbins together. So for a 2-ply I take the braid and undo it leaving me a long piece of fiber. I fold it in half and pull it apart into 2 pieces.
One half will get set aside and I will work with the first half. I take the first piece and I split it into smaller strips lengthwise (the full length of the piece). These strips are about 2 fingers wide. Each strip is then fluffed out a bit. I do this by pulling the fiber away from itself like you do to draft. (I don’t have a photo of this because it is hard to photograph by myself!) It’s not completely drafted out, but just lightly.
Usually I get about 4-5 strips like this out of 20z (half of 40z) of fiber. They are then rolled into “bird’s nests”.
This is a bird’s nest after it has been fluffed out. You can see that the fiber is fluffed out a bit.
I find the fluffing to really help me with drafting while I’m spinning. It helps me maintain consistency in my singles.
Another shot of a bird’s nest. They are easily portable and give me a good stopping point while spinning too!
So that is a short explanation of how I get ready to spin some fiber. Hope that helps someone out there!
I started spinning this last night because I was battling casting on another knitting project. I can’t belive how PINK this fiber is! It’s a good mix of grey and pink. Definitely not my colors, but I think I already have a home for this once it is finished. I’m really enjoying the superwash BFL which is a new fiber to me. I have spun non-superwash BFL before but not SW. The super wash is spinning up finer and is less grippy than the regular BFL. It will still be very lofty and light when spun up like regular BFL.
How do you prep for spinning? Do you prep all your fiber at once, or just sit down and start spinning?
Until next time..