How can you spin a low twist yarn?

Mainly for me, spinning a low twist yarn means knowing what twists per inch I want, the ratio on my wheel, and then paying attention to how much I draft for each treadle. When I was starting to spin, it was also a matter of having confidence that the yarn would stay together.

Here is my most recent (skeined last night, washed this morning!) skein of low twist yarn:

Snow Squall spun up

This is Icelandic top, "Snow Squall", from the Spunky Eclectic fiber club. I'm experimenting with fiber clubs this year -- last year it was sock yarn clubs (grin).

I would not have thought this would be a strong yarn, since the singles have 5 twists per inch and then the plying has 3 twists per inch, but it does!

Oh yes – I wasn’t aiming for airy, so I was squeezing as I went. I wanted strong-but-low-twist, since it’s for weaving. I also abused the heck out of it when I was washing/finishing it. It was washed and squished around alot, moved from hot to cold and back again several times with agitation galore. Then I spun the water out, and smashed the heck out of it on the counter top. It didn’t felt!

Here’s a shot of the strands:

Snow Squall's strands

The yarn stands up to the tug test, so I’m going to incorporate it into the scarf I’m planning to weave from some grey millspun icelandic. This turned out a bit hairier than the millspun, but I figure it’ll be nice contrast, for color and texture. Other than that, they look _very_ similar. Nice to know I can spin just like a machine :-p

For those who are into ratios -- I spun this inch-worm on my Majacraft Alpaca Wheel with the high speed whorl, singles spun 11:1 ratio, drafting 2-and-a-smidge inches per full revolution (double treadle, so each foot went down and up); plied it at 18:1, drafting out 6 inches per full rotation. The singles are 18 wraps per inch/5 twists per inch, the 2-ply is 12 wraps per inch/3 twists per inch.

I did test spin some on my Forrester Dervish before moving to the wheel -- I want to have this warped on the loom and underway in February! The rest of my weaving group is already moving on to Canvas Weaves, I'm still unstarted on Basket Weave. It'll be good, though, Really!


For more on spinning singles (my usual low-twist target!) see the articles under SinglesYarn.

And for my previous opinions on twists per inch see Do you really measure twists per inch?

Any comments or questions? Please post them on the blog or contact me. Thanks!

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