One of my most popular classes is about Consistency. On my Class list it’s called Going Steady. Interweave has a video and they called it Getting Even. The video is basically my class so if you can’t make it to take a class from me, the video contains all of my fancy tricks although they aren’t really tricks. They are more all of the techniques I’ve found over the last many years as I chase the perfect handspun skein.
Anyway, today I have one tiny little hint for you that will make your skeins spun with a short forward draw immediately better.
Remember when you were first learning to spin and your teacher talked about staple length? Well, often and in my experience, they never clearly explained why we were supposed to care about the staple length (or maybe I was just so focused on keeping my hands and feet going that I wasn’t paying attention). Well, I’m going to tell you why it’s important for consistency.
You will get the most consistent yarns if your short forward draw draft is about one half the staple length. For example, Merino is generally about 3ish inches in staple length. Change your drafting length from 3 inches to 1-1.5 inches and your yarn will immediately become more consistent.
The samples shown were spun using a common Merino top. The top yarn was spun using a drafting length of about 1 inch. The bottom yarn was spun using a drafting length of about 3 inches.
Often spinners are drafting too long of a length. This results in thick and thin yarn because the length being drafted comes out to the full length of the majority of the fibers in that portion of the combed top. That is why a lot of spinners are more consistent when they spin a longer staple length wool such as Blue Faced Leicester or Romney. Try it and see. It works. I promise.
I’ll be giving lots of little tips like this when we begin our spin and weave along on January 1. Have you signed up for the newsletters yet?