(Knot) Spinning

spinning 4aI finished spinning the llama that I purchased when visiting DJ. There are about 330 yards of 2 ply and it was 5.4 oz originally. (This included some vegetable matter that I mostly picked out when spinning, so the current weight would be a bit less.) The yarn comes out to about 975 yards/pound. I forgot to get the wraps/inch etc before I put it away in an inconvenient place. I’ll try to add this later, if just for my own record keeping.

At the spinner’s meeting last week, T showed us how to make a knotted yarn. This is a type of “novelty yarn”. To make it, you spin 2 regular singles and then when plying, hold one of them out at a 90 degree angle from the other yarn and move the yarn back and forth over a spot to make a bulge in the yarn. You then ply regularly and then repeat using the other yarn. Alternating the yarns is very important.spinning 4b

This is my first attempt (you can click the picture to see it bigger). I intentionally used two colors to make the lumps easier to see, but the barber pole effect is a bit distracting. I tried to make fattish yarn because we didn’t have much time after the business meeting was done. I did not put enough twist in the original for the speed with which my hands were (not) moving and the speed (too high) at which I was plying.

sample 2This is my 2nd attempt. Since it is all one color, barber poling is not a problem, but my spinning was even worse (because I was tired just before bed) and so the yarn came apart a lot during plying. When you are holding the one yarn straight, it loses twist so you need to be sure you get done making a “knot” before the yarn come unspun.

sample 3T told us that sometimes the knots are made with a different color. I spun this with little section of a contrasting roving. My sections were still too long; so on either side of a knot there is still barber poling. I also had the same problem of the yarn falling apart.

sample 4My last sample is using some of my energized singles from last winter that were knit into samples that I really didn’t need. This yarn was fairly fine, but with a lot of twist in it. It also had rested—B added that it is supposed to be easier if you let the twist set a bit by leaving the yarn on the bobbin at least overnight. The other improvement in my technique is that I switched to my slowest whorl to give myself time. The yarn did not fall apart, but I’m not sure this looks really good on a fine yarn.

sample 5I now need to knit these into samples to see if I can conceive of a use for yarn of this sort. Just looking at it (and trying to ignore my poor construction techniques and color choices), I’m not sure I can really think of when I would want to use this yarn.

Since I am showing spinning, here is a picture of the merino/alpaca/tencel blend we also sampled in the spinning group.

sample 1