What do you teach in Spinning Slippery Fibers?

The skein!In the Spinning Slipper Fibers Workshop, we spin the slippery stuff -- fibers without wool scales to help them hold together. Join me to explore some really "out there" spinning fibers ... with a life vest on!

There are a whole bunch of fibers we might play with ~~ silk, bamboo, mohair, llama and more! Feel free to bring your own slippery fibers for advice, too!

Taught next: Monday, April 28th, 10:30-12:00 at A Dropped Stitch in Sequim, WA. $20 for class and materials. Call the shop at (360)683-1410 to reserve a spot.

Participant level: ability to spin a steady single and balanced ply (with wool).

Participants need to bring: wheel, 3 empty bobbins, lazy kate, scissors, pencil/pen, paper for notes.

Garland Takes in the ViewTopics covered include
  • It's the twist
  • Teach your wheel, teach your hands
  • Checking for drift
  • Plying techniques
  • Finishing

See you there!


Abby Franquemont said...

That is an awesome class idea. Do you teach it routinely?

Amelia of Ask The Bellwether said...

Honestly, it's a new class. I've had several groups go through my standard intermediate spinning classes (Spinny Gritty, Plying Around, Color Whorl (hmmm, I didn't get that one up on the blog it seems...)), and they wanted *more*. So I sat down and thought about what I would have liked when I was in their shoes. This one, Fine Spinning, and Constructing Yarns (coming in May) are the result ... and The Batt Machine, but it was independent of this series.

I've submitted this particular class to other places to teach as well, as I like to think it's a good idea ... so I'm glad you like it!

I clearly remember struggling to spin this class of fibers, and how long it took to realize they needed some special attention beyond my standard "wool tricks".

Alpaca Granny said...

Oh, I wish I could come. I'm "slowly" spinning some fluffy, short stapled, slippery cashmere right now and would love some suggestions.

Amelia of Ask The Bellwether said...

Hi Maple,
ah cashmere ... learn to spin cotton first, then cashmere's a breeze ;-) ... cashmere, cotton and bison are all another class of slippery fibers themselves ... the short stapled slippery stuff! (say that five times fast!)

These fibers are so short, for learning I heartily recommend making punis. For this, card some on cotton (very fine cloth) handcards, then roll it off the card and around a dowel or knitting needle (wood is best), and wipe your hand around the fibers on the dowel to "wring" the fiber down into a dense tube. Slip it off the dowel, and you will spin from one end. They hang together better after being compressed like this (better than fluff or roving!), and you (the figurative you, meaning, ME) have a hope of doing long draw with it. With extremely short staple fibers, long draw is about the only way to go -- inchworming by the millimeter is not all that enjoyable. For me, anyway.

Now, some cashmeres have to-die-for staple lengths of 2-3 inches (like Peace of Yarn's high end cashmeres) and don't need puni-izing, just alot-alot of twist to hold together.

Another thing to try when learning is blends ... blend a little short staple merino in with your cashmere; the grip of the scales may help you "hang on" long enough to get the hang of the fiber. Cut down on the merino percentage a bit each time and eventually you'll find you're spinning straight cashmere just fine.

I hope this helps! Thanks for the question.