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 Having trouble spinning Shetland

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elsieh99 Posted - 09/21/2009 : 12:43:45 PM
I am spinning some Shetland locks and am having a lot of trouble with overspinning. I am using a Lendrum DT. I just finished a large lot of Blue Faced Leicester and had no trouble at all. I have been adjusting my tension but still have the problem. I have 5-6 lbs of the Shetland so I would love to spin it. I would be grateful for any advice.
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KathyR Posted - 09/23/2009 : 3:52:26 PM
That's great! Now keep a sample of the single beside you while you spin and stop now and then to check that what you are spinning (pull some out of the bobbin to check this) is the same as your sample so that your yarn is consistent. Happy spinning times ahead for you now!


If you always do what you always did, you'll always get what you always got.
My Blog (Roselea Fibres)
elsieh99 Posted - 09/23/2009 : 3:22:59 PM
Kathy , I did try your test and I really liked the yarn I got . The sample is soft, not scratchy and although it is not as consistent as I would like, I know that will come with time . It is a nice looking yarn and about a sport weight . I anticipate myself making lots of lovely things with this and can now see myself spinning this entire fleece with confidence thanks to the nice people on this forum!
elsieh99 Posted - 09/23/2009 : 06:52:22 AM
I will give this a try today Kathy and see what I get.
KathyR Posted - 09/22/2009 : 1:29:02 PM
Have you tried pulling some of the spun yarn back off the bobbin and folding it back onto itself? Some of the twist in a single is lost once it is plied and you could be pleasantly surprised.

Tie off this sample, break it off from the bobbin and give it a quick, gentle wash and pat dry to see the finished product. Like it the way it is? Keep on going. Does it need more or less twist? - slow down or speed up the rate you are feeding the fibre onto the bobbin. Trial and error. Have lots of fun!


If you always do what you always did, you'll always get what you always got.
My Blog (Roselea Fibres)
elsieh99 Posted - 09/22/2009 : 07:50:03 AM
I am determined to keep going on this one. It's such a lovely soft feel ( before I spin it) hehe! but I think it will be nice yarn in the end. Thanks much!
Shelia Posted - 09/22/2009 : 07:44:14 AM
There's a lot of variation in Shetland fleeces, some are more in lock formation, some not. Some are dual coated, with distinct long wool and downy undercoat, some are much more consistent with pretty much one length. It sounds as if you have a pretty short fleece, as a different example I have a Shetland wether that is shorn twice a year, with fleece that is 4.5" to 5.5" at each shearing.

It sounds as if you are on the right track in slowing down your treadling and using your largest whorl. As a new spinner, you're still building your drafting skills, in a few weeks or months you'll be surprised at how much easier it is to draft quickly and not overspin. Have fun!

ravelry name - sheliaknits
elsieh99 Posted - 09/22/2009 : 06:57:44 AM
I have slowed down my treadling and am using the larger of the whorls. I am doing a bit better . I think the problem lies in my inexperience and also I am spinning these puffy clouds from tip to tip and the shortness of the locks is new to me . I am also finding that this fleece is much fuzzier than the other breeds I've used. Is that usual for a Shetland?
elsieh99 Posted - 09/21/2009 : 4:29:22 PM
Thanks to Midnightfibers, KathyR and Shelia. I am using the largest ration on my Lendrum. I flicked the locks open with a cat brush ( I don't have cards) I noticed that he teist seems to get below where my fingers are holding the fiber so I must be doing something wrong, treadling too fast or feeding it too slow. I must sound like an awful duffer but you have to start somewhere. I will use your advice and see where it gets me. Fingers crossed here!
Shelia Posted - 09/21/2009 : 3:52:32 PM
You mentioned that you are spinning locks - is it possible that you are taking more time to draft the locks than you did the BFL prep? How are you spinning the locks - flicking, or just teasing open by hand? Or are you combing it, or carding up several rolags, then spinning?

On a very basic level, if it's overspun you are either drafting too slowly or letting the twist go in too quickly. Have you tried going down a ratio or two, which would have less twist go in for the same treadling and drafting? I also like to spin Shetland roving woolen style, but this will depend somewhat on the prep you are using and your style of spinning. If you are comfortable spinning long draw or another woolen style, this can make a lovely yarn with a carded prep.

ravelry name - sheliaknits
KathyR Posted - 09/21/2009 : 3:50:21 PM
For softer yarn with less twist - Do you have a choice of whorl? Use a larger one. Slow down your treadling, speed up the rate you are feeding the fibre into the bobbin and try to increase the tension a little more so the fibre feeds on more quickly. Above all, keep practising!


If you always do what you always did, you'll always get what you always got.
My Blog (Roselea Fibres)
midnightskyfibers Posted - 09/21/2009 : 3:38:16 PM
I really like spinning long draw for Shetland- the fibers still "stick" together a bit, but all the extra twist is spread out more compared to trying to spin with the short draw. If the more fuzzy look isn't what you are going for, keep playing with tension, predraft the fiber more, and remember you can always go back and unspin the yarn once you have a bobbin full to get the twist you want.

Midnightsky Fibers Naturally Dyed Handspun Yarn & Fiber Dyed using only natural dyes and non toxic mordants on luxurious and unique fibers.

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