I took a spinning class about three years ago, a basics class when I still had my Babe Fiber Starter wheel. I hated the wheel so much I didn’t really ever spin — every time a bobbin filled, I had to take off the tensioner, which meant that my next bobbin would never look quite the same. It was a hassle so I didn’t use it.
Well, I was finally able to sell it and get the wheel of my dreams this past August — with selling a bunch of books, and selling the wheel, I was able to cover about 50% of the cost of my new wheel. It is a DREAM to spin on! The SpinOlutions double treadle wheel. Problem is, I don’t remember much of what I learned in basics class, and although I can spin wool “in the grease” just fine, I can’t seem to make a decent worsted yarn out of the simply fabulous Corriedale I got from the Fiber Factory in Mesa. It’s beautiful but I can’t seem to get the hang of it. And I want to do it worsted, because that shows off the beautiful sheen of this wool to the best advantage.
Worsted means that you draft the fibers parallel to each other – they are straight, and that means that the shaft of the hair is fully able to show the sheen inherent in the fiber. The other way means that the fibers are drafted into the yarn folded in half — it gives a loftier, softer yarn, but it doesn’t allow it to show off the sheen. I am spinning this yarn to make myself an aran sweater, and the worsted method is essential for the pattern to show up to best advantage.
So, off to spend money on yet another class, to refresh my memory on how to do this stuff.
Below is a video of the spinning wheel in action via YouTube.