Spinning is the tops!

Last night at the intermediate spinning class I teach, a new-to-me student, Kate, came.  Now, Kate has been spinning for about 12 years, but she has been only spinning long-draw.  She was ready to learn some new techniques to take her spinning projects in other directions.

When I arrived, she was plying some singles so she could clean off some bobbins for the class.  I watched her ply and knew what I wanted to do with her that evening.

We discussed spinning top, and she said she had tried it many years before, but she hated it because it didn’t work with how she spins.  I took out some lovely (we think Coopworth) top I had picked up at Ohio Valley Natural Fibers last week, sat at her wheel and showed her how to spin across the top of the fiber and how to keep the twist in front of the front hand, not allowing any of the twist to run up into the rest of the fiber.  This keeps the combed fiber nice and straight and smooth with a little air as possible.

She took over, and after a few minutes, she got it – as long as she concentrated.  😉

Within about an hour, she spun up a very nice, smooth and consistent single.


After that, I showed her how to take that lovely single and ply it into a consistent, smooth, 2-ply by counting treadle strokes as she plied.  She loved it!  She said she had never spun such a smooth yarn before.  And it was about as perfect as one could get, believe me.  It was beautiful yarn!!!

After that, I asked her about spinning suri top.  Again, she had tried spinning suri many years before, but couldn’t get it to work.  Using the same technique she just learned, I handed her some suri I had with me and she gave it a try.  And she was amazed at how easy it was to spin a worsted single.  I sent about an ounce home with her to finish practicing.

Next month, she is coming to the advanced class and will be bringing two 2-ply yarns on bobbins to learn cable plying as well as a bobbin-full of a colorful combed top of Merino, silk and cashmere to learn Navajo plying.  She’s already talking about what she wants to enter into the state fair this summer.

Kate owns sheep and alpacas, and I think she is now looking at them in a whole new light today. 🙂

One Response

  1. DelightedHands Says:

    And that, folks, is a big part of why she teaches! Wonderful.

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