Monday, April 16, 2007

play as you go

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Hello spinners! It is nice to see the sidebar list of contributors growing, and I am really enjoying reading and learning about what everybody is spinning and how they are spinning it.

Last week I worked on fiber preparation so that I would have something to spin on the weekend. I had planned to work at the Great Wheel, and I have much better results at that wheel when my fiber is extremely "draftable" (for lack of a better word). This involves more than the average amount of preparation that I would go through if I were going to spin on my Ashford.

Since I am still working on that blend of Black Finn and Angora, I first prepare the Finn wool. This fleece came to me from Grace Hatton (see the riverrim blog). I had previously scoured it, and discovered that it has lovely thick locks-- full of crimp! Before I can send this through my drum carder, I need to pick it to fluff and separate the locks. I sometimes do this in the evenings, when I want to watch TV.

After I had a basketful of the picked Finn, I sent a few handfuls through the drum carder (Louet Jr.) and then, I added a few handfuls of angora that I placed directly onto the drum as I was turning it. At this point, I added another few handfuls of Finn. So now I have an angora sandwich.. which suggests an Oreo cookie to me... which I take off the carder, and split down the middle length wise, turn the middles to the outside, and send it through the carder for a second pass. I made as many of these as I could in an afternoon, but I still have more to go.

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As I was spinning, I remembered a question that Judy had asked a few weeks ago...about the weight of the yarn that filled the spindle. The Great Wheel is like spinning off of a spindle that has been set on its I decided to make the biggest cop that I could. It weighed in at just over 2.5 oz. I couldn't make it any bigger, because I had trouble with the tip collapsing on itself.
I think the spindle could hold a bit more, but I need to learn how to build a better cop.


Fiberjoy said...

I love your old P.O. scale! What a treasure. The combined wool/angora is looking very soft and cushy.

I'm having a hard time visualizing how the Great Wheel spindle is mounted and works. Is the yarn on the scale still on the spindle, and will you be plying it?

jj said...

The yarn looks to orderly for a cop? Did you wind it off?

cyndy said...

Wanda and JJ-

The Great Wheel spindle looks much like a hand spindle, and is mounted on its side between the maidens. Some wheels have the drive band going directly from the Wheel to the spindle (direct drive), but mine has an accelerating head, also known as a "Miner's Head", so the drive band goes around the wheel, to the Miner's Head, and then to the spindle.

To make a cop, I wrap a corn husk around the base of the spindle first. This helps it to maintain its shape. When I am ready, I slip the finished cop off the spindle and onto a double point needle, and onto the base of a kate. From there I can ply it if I choose.

In the photo of the cop on the scale, you are viewing the base of the cop and its shape as it was constructed on the wheel, it has not been wound off.

Artis-Anne said...

That Black Finn and Angora sound so yummy ; good enough to eat ?