Spinning yarns

It is addictive, I can’t stop spinning. A friend gave me some Romney tops and I have used this to supplement my hand carded Jacobs and Shetland fibres.

The Romney is a dream to spin, and whether this is all due to the fibre, or a measure of my hand carding I am not sure.

My plyed yarn is coming out at 13wpi. So this should be a DK weight. I will try knitting it on 4 or 4.5mm needles.

A bad photo of my WPI test – I needed 3 hands!

The yarn is quite lively. I will post the knit later on.

Ok. Here is the yarn knitted at tension 10 on a Knitmaster HK160 mid-gauge knitting machine.

The verdict is that the stitch tension is too tight. And of course my plying hasn’t balanced the yarn sufficiently so the knit has a slight bias.

So I then tried EON (every other needle) on the same machine, same large tension.

This definitely brings out the qualities if the yarn , but is a bit loose. If I had my chunky gauge machine open I think that would be ideal for this yarn.

Reading up on spinning

I have found this book very helpful. It’s pretty technical, but that’s fine with me. Published in 1995 its only got b&w photos, but the information, knowledge and skill if the author shines through.

This will sit beside Abby Franquemont’s Respect the Spindle on my bookshelf.


I want to try to spin some basic fancy yarns have out a jumbo flyer kit for my Ashford Traveller on my Christmas list, (I might be proficient enough by then). Meanwhile I have settled for updating my standard flyer to one with extra whorls so that I can try different ratios. My wheel is one of the older 2 ratio ones. However I need to adjust the MOA as the drive band jumps off the smaller whorl at the moment.

Drum Carder revival

My carding hands are worn out so I dragged out an old Drum Carder I bought ages ago. It was siezed solid with fibre in the bearings, gunk and the drum was still full of nasty old fibres.

Bravely I took it to pieces and cleaned it all up. Loads of WD40, and a broken Allen key later it is spinning smoothly again. Used my soft dog slicker brush to clean the drum out.

It’s in reasonable condition, and I had bought a new belt a while ago in anticipation- which was lucky. That went on easily and there was one problem, it has lost its feeder plate, so I’ve improvised with a very thick card cut to shape which seems to do the job. I’ve got nice batts off already.