How to Spin a Yarn
The following is the essay I had to write this past week for me english class. I decided to write about spinning so here it is. How to Spin a Yarn by Katie C. January 19, 2006 I started the process of writing this essay with the though that I would tell you how to spin a yarn, but I decided that with all the technical information thatwould have to be included it would need to be a book. So I decided to tell you why I love to spin yarn. Some people use the analogy that to write a story is ti spin a yarn. I think sitting down in front of my spinning wheel is to tell a story with no words at all. I started out wanting to spin because I wanted to produce my own yarn to add to my ever growing stash of yarn. It all started back in October 2005. A yarn sales person came to my shop to show me her wares and brought along her personal spinning wheel for me to try out. This was on a friday afternoon and she told me that I could use it for the weekend and gave me about an ounce of hand dyed wool. I never thought I would find something that I would love tas much as knitting. Then the feel of the wool slipping through my fingers, and seeing the twist inch up and then the fresh spun yarn wind onto the bobbin, I knew I was hooked. In a little under an hour I had finished the ounce of wool and I called a friend who spins and asked her if she had any fiber that she could sell me. I almost jummped for joy when she said she did. so for only $11 I purchased a little over one pound of fiber and after picking this up I set off for home to spin it up. Over the next few days all I could do was spin, any free time I had was spent spinning. That Tuesday morning I woke up with a heavy heart, because I knew I would have to give it up. After that weekend that though of owning my own spinning wheel consumed me. I wanted one so much that it was all I though about in my free time. I researched it online, in books, at my local library. I was determined that when I was able to purchase my own wheel I would know all there was to know about the craft of spinning yarn. I learned how to spin a yarn. First you have to aquire clean fiber, be it otton, wool, flax, or silk. Most beginners start out with wool. Wool is one of the easiest fibers to learn to spin because it is easy to control and it has a long staple length. Staple length is how long the individual fibers are. Cotton fibers are short, about one inch in length, where wool is about 6 to 7 inches in length. After you decide on the fiber type you must choose between roving and top. Roving is prepared fiber where the individual fibers are going in different directions. Top is prepaired fiber when all the fibers are going in the same direction. I have learned that I prefer top to roving as it is easier to spin a finer yarn because all the fibers are going in the same direction. I also learned that spinning Yarn is an art form in and of itself. It is a folk art with roots so deep that no one can really pin point exactly when and where spinning began. Spinning is the art of putting a twist into fiber to make a continuious thread. The thread can be spun thick or thin depending on the amount of fiber that is drafed prior to the twist being let into the fiber. Drafting means to pull out fiber for spinnng, you can determine the thickness of the finished yarn by how much you pull when you are drafting. Wheither you are spinning on wheel, or a drop spindle you have to draft your fiber prior to letting the twist into the fiber. One thing that is just as important as the way you draft is the direction of the twist that you put into your fiber. There is two ways that the yarn can be spun. The first one is the "S" twist and is made by spinning your wheel or spindle in a counter clockwise direction. The second one is the "Z" twist and is made by spinning your wheel or spindle in a clockwise direstion. These two types of twist are very useful when you want to spin different types of yarn. Most single yarns that are to be plyed are spun in the same direction and then plyed in the opposite direction. I completed an experiment over the weekend by spinning one single with a "Z" twist and one with a "S". I then plyed them both in the same direction of the "Z" twist and the single that was originally spun with the "S" twist became soft and a little unspun and the other yarn became tighter as more twist was added during the plying process. To spin with a spinning wheel you start out with a yarn leader threaded onto the bobbin with the end comming through the orfice. Take the wool in your left hand and pull a bit of the wool out with your right. As you begin to treadle place the yarn in the loop of the yarn leader and let the twist come into the unspun fiber. Keep puling small amounts of fiber out with your right hand. Once your fiber has enought twist you can let it go and it will be drawn through the orface to be wound onto the bobbin. You then repeat the previous steps until you have spun all of the fiber that you have. Once you have spun your fiber into yarn the twist needs to be set and you need to measure your yarn, this can be done with a Niddy-Noddy which is three pieces of wood in the shape of the letter "I" and this is what I use to make a skein. after the yarn is wound from the bobbin onto the niddy-noddy it needs to be tied in at least four places. After the skein is removed from the niddy-noddy is is then soked in very hot water until the water cools. The yarn then has to be hung to dry and after this the yarn can be used for knitting, crochet, or weaving. That is how you spin a yarn.