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 Plying Lace Weight
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yarnlover
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1753 Posts

Posted - 05/09/2012 :  07:58:35 AM  Show Profile Send yarnlover a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I have been working on my spinning skills, particularly wanting to spin finer yarns. My latest project is spun with baby alpaca with 15% silk. I have 2 bobbins full and am ready to get it plied together.

This was spun 15-1 ratio and I worked hard to get enough twist to hold the singles together to avoid the drifting apart that has been my problem in previous tries.

I have had some drifting in my first tries, and assume that my spinning wasn't always consistent - more practice needed. But I'm finding that another problem is that the singles ply back on themselves so much it is sometimes difficult to handle them. I think I can work on that too, but any tips would be appreciated.

My real questions is about which whorl to use for plying. My first try I used the smallest whorl at 11-1 but that wasn't working so well. I adjusted the tension of both bobbins and the take-up bobbin but still found it difficult. I moved up to the next size whorl which is 7-1 and this is a great improvement. I have actually plied a bit of yarn with no drifting apart, though I still am handling the singles tangling together.

I'd love to hear other's thoughts and advice on determining how to set the wheel for plying a lace weight, or any finer weight yarn. Is there a formula for this? Or maybe trial and error?

I do have several spinning books and maybe I can find the info I need in one of them, but I wanted some personal tips, if possible. Thanks.



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Kade1301
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France
1438 Posts

Posted - 05/11/2012 :  06:35:00 AM  Show Profile  Visit Kade1301's Homepage Send Kade1301 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
In theory I would use the fastest wheel and ratio I have, because laceweight yarn ist just so loooong and it takes ages to ply those kilometers slowly. In practice I do most of my plying on my Henkys wheel (bobbin-driven) and 1:12 is the fastest it goes.

Use whatever gives you a balanced ply (I assume that's what you want? And that you have made a plying sample when you first spun the single?) without problems, your foot falling off or you dying of boredom (TV helps). There are no absolute rules for which whorl to use for which purpose (well, it makes sense to spin fine with small whorls, but you do what you can with what you have).

Out of curiosity: How can you spin at 15-1 when your smallest whorl is 11-1?

Happy plying! Klara

http://www.lahottee.info
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yarnlover
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1753 Posts

Posted - 05/11/2012 :  09:39:44 AM  Show Profile Send yarnlover a Private Message  Reply with Quote
It's my wheel - I have a triple flyer Golding wheel. It uses bands of different lengths on different whorls for different ratios. The large plying head is on the middle flyer and it has 3 whorls, one of which is 11-1, then 7-1, and then 5-1 and I didn't see a way to change these in the diagrams. Could be I missed it though. This wheel can spin singles at 33-1. I'm a long way from trying that.

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Kade1301
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France
1438 Posts

Posted - 05/11/2012 :  11:22:32 AM  Show Profile  Visit Kade1301's Homepage Send Kade1301 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Wow, impressive! Of course, just because the middle flyer is called plying head you are not forced to use it ;) You could also try plying at 33-1. I would be tempted - I feel that already spinning laceweight is not the most fascinating thing in the world, but plying it is about as interesting as watching paint dry (there's an ancient post to that effect around here somewhere). I'm not sure whether huge skeins of laceweight are such a good idea, anyway. I'm seriously considering plying the currently worked-on mohair laceweight on my Polonaise and transforming two bobbins of singles into two or even three skeins of two-ply. (Instead of one on the Henkys - the bobbins are big enough to hold two Kromski bobbins).

Btw, I forget about handling the singles to avoid them twisting together: I think the best method is the Alden Amos one (described in his Big Book of Handspinning). It's a bit of a hassle to learn (and you need a free-standing Lazy Kate), but I think for twisty singles it's worth it.

Have fun! Klara

http://www.lahottee.info
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yarnlover
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1753 Posts

Posted - 05/12/2012 :  08:11:00 AM  Show Profile Send yarnlover a Private Message  Reply with Quote
You are right, I don't have to use the middle flyer to ply but it is convenient to have all three bobbins on the wheel right there ready to go. I have other wheels and while I don't have the Amos book, I've read elsewhere to put the lazy kate some distance from the wheel when plying. I can't do that if I ply on this wheel and I
don't want to change in the middle of things now. Since I'm not spinning for any project, I will just play with my fiber and wheel and see what I can learn.

I will eventually get to try spinning at 33-1, though I know it will be a while. I was told when I got the wheel that going to that ratio is very challenging. I agree, spinning lace weight is pretty boring after about the first 5-10 minutes, but this is more of a challenge to me just to see if I can do it. A large skein is nice though for knitting a lace shawl.

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Kade1301
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France
1438 Posts

Posted - 05/12/2012 :  08:44:02 AM  Show Profile  Visit Kade1301's Homepage Send Kade1301 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
By the way, it ocurred to me when mucking out (that's when I get a lot of good ideas - I think we'd have better governments if all Politicians had to do some labor regularly): Are you sure you are not ready for a faster ratio? You wrote in your first post: "This was spun 15-1 ratio and I worked hard to get enough twist to hold the singles together". Now, if you have to work hard (I suppose that means treadle a lot and take care not to draft too fast) - that's the moment when you want to increase the ratio!

And I take back what I said about watching paint dry: That's positively exciting (will the colour match even though I diluted differently) and MUCH faster than spinning and plying laceweight yarn ;)

Happy spinning! Klara

http://www.lahottee.info
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yarnlover
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1753 Posts

Posted - 05/12/2012 :  1:36:14 PM  Show Profile Send yarnlover a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Now, if you have to work hard (I suppose that means treadle a lot and take care not to draft too fast)

By working hard, I tried to keep the treadling consistent. I find if my attention wanders, my feet go faster. It was an exercise in moving the hands/fingers in tune with the speed of the feet on the treadles so I didn't overtwist or undertwist. This fiber did take quite a while to get spun because of the short attention span. Next ratio is 24-1 before I get to the highest 33-1. I have some nice fiber ready to go for the next challenge.

BTW, I agree with your observation about politicians, but think they should be required to go back to manual labor after a short duration in government. Here, we have politicians that have over 30 years in the same spot. Way too long, in my opinion.

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Kade1301
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France
1438 Posts

Posted - 05/13/2012 :  08:56:47 AM  Show Profile  Visit Kade1301's Homepage Send Kade1301 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I'm for labor camps during the summer vacation - that way the intelligence-improving effects (I think it has to do with better blood supply to the brain) benefit their next year in office ;)

Bye, Klara

http://www.lahottee.info
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robinstephanie
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USA
1262 Posts

Posted - 05/13/2012 :  10:12:07 AM  Show Profile Send robinstephanie a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I'm a new spinner and have been following this conversation with great interest. I learn a lot by following conversations that are just on the edge of my understanding about a topic, so thanks to you both.

Yarnlover, concentration/twist/ratio challenges sound intriguing. Sounds like you want to be the best spinner you can be, and your challenges-to-self sound like fun. And oh-my-god I checked out the Golding wheels, as I hadn't heard of them before. WOW. I'll take a triple-flyer dragonfly, please?

Klara, I like your idea that regular labor for politicians = better government. Perhaps they should have to leave all their wealth behind too, for six months or a year and survive solely on what they make from their own labor. They don't get to drive a truck/stock groceries/haul cement all day and come home to the jacuzzi tub in the quiet suburb. They get the high-density urban apartment, with the unresponsive, sullen kids downstairs playing thumpathumpa half the night, and the drunks roaring on the street at 3am. Oh, and they have to take public transportation to work or ride a bike (:


Robinsteph

Different is good. ~Matthew Hoover
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yarnlover
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1753 Posts

Posted - 05/14/2012 :  07:12:47 AM  Show Profile Send yarnlover a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Hi Robinsteph,

The Golding wheel is my treasure. I would see them at the Maryland Sheep & Wool, and one year, due to both good (inheritance) and bad (friends who were dying much before their time) circumstances, I decided to order one. Never been sorry as it is a beautiful wheel and spins like a dream.

It has a lot more potential than I have been using, so this year it is my goal to work on becoming a better spinner, or at least, a more knowledgeable one. It is both fun and challenging, and I am learning. After spinning for several years, this is the year to step my abilities up a bit.

It sounds like we have the same opinions on what would help politicians be better at their jobs...

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robinstephanie
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USA
1262 Posts

Posted - 05/15/2012 :  7:53:46 PM  Show Profile Send robinstephanie a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Yarnlover, I can well imagine lusting after such a machine, and the delight it must have been to purchase one and be to spin on one, despite the sad circumstances. When my father died he left me an inheritance, and I spent some of it traveling around Europe for a year--on the extreme cheap, hostels and street food and such, but still, it was Europe for a year. It was a dream come true and it really shaped me; I had a wonderful time and I like to think my dad would have been so happy I was able to experience that. Sounds like you are having a similar experience with your wheel: loving every moment despite the sad circumstances of its arrival.

Robinsteph

Different is good. ~Matthew Hoover
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yarnlover
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1753 Posts

Posted - 05/16/2012 :  07:41:41 AM  Show Profile Send yarnlover a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Sounds like you are having a similar experience with your wheel: loving every moment despite the sad circumstances of its arrival.

How right you are....it sounds like your time traveling in Europe was similar, and I think of my Mom when I use the wheel. I bet both our parents would approve of how we chose to remember them.

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