OK, I know – this is a classic example of running before learning to walk, but I burn to spin some fancy yarns. So this page will chart my forays into hand spinning ‘art yarn’.
Not having many family commitments over the long bank holiday weekend recently I fired up my Ashford Traveller wheel and spun a fine yarn in Romney and another, thicker end in cream Jacobs wool.
I’d read up a bit on the principle beforehand and from what I could see it involves plying two or more yarns, feeding the yarn in at different angles so that one wraps around the other. In this case, as I wanted a loopy, bouclé slub I planned to exaggerate this effect.
Starting to ply the two singles.
It seemed surprisingly easy which probably means I was doing it wrong!
I tried to balanced the tension of both yarns for the straight section in between the bouclé slubs and then when I got to where I wanted a bouclé slub, I released the tension on the fine single, and changed the angle of its feed to 90 degrees to the thicker single. I also moved the fine single backwards and forwards whilst it built up its twist into a slub. Encouraging the fine single to travel back and forwards as it loosely looped around the thicker yarn is what built a core to the slub, and has served to lock the slubs and their bouclé loops in place.
I made a video of the process which may explain it better.
So I’m quite pleased with my first organised and intentional attempt at a simple ‘art yarn’. Maybe next time I will dye the singles first and then ply them in this way and see what happens. Before I get much further along I think I will have to think about a jumbo flyer that will allow the thicker yarns through onto the bobbin.