Testing different drafting methods against the clock

I've got my eye on Rowan's Meredith (right) as a project to spin for during Spinzilla 2015 (more about that in the previous post)

It requires Aran weight yarn which is chunkier than I'm used to. Bearing in mind that Spinzilla is about spinning as much yarn as possible in a week, what better than to try some different draws and see how they work out in a 'time trial'?

With a timer running to see how much yarn goes onto the bobbin in 10 minutes, I first tried simply spinning off the end of the sliver (top pic). I tried splitting it into pencil-width lengths but it was actually easier to simply let it run off the end as pictured.

The second picture shows 'from the fold', a favourite method of mine. You pull off a chunk of wool, fold it over your index finger and spin from the end of that. I guess it's similar to spinning from a rolag. This proved to be not only the faster method, but the most consistent too. I 3-plied each. (Spinzilla gives you credit for singles and for plying, so making a 3-ply doesn't count against you.)

Once soaked and set, there's a marked difference. I'm not sure if it's so obvious in this picture but it's clear in real life, the skein on the left (from the fold) has not only more yarn but it's bigger, bouncier and also more consistent. This is as you'd expect - 'from the fold' will make a more woollen yarn.
Do you ever get the feeling that something was meant to be? My pattern asked for an aran weight yarn, 8wpi and the left-hand skein is dead on.

Not only that but the gauge is 17st x 20 rows on 5mm needles making 4". Spot on again:
 The spookiness doesn't stop there, after knitting the prescribed stitches and rows, this is genuinely the end of that sample skein.
This is the sample of the 'from the end' yarn. It's a little more 'open' (slightly thinner yarn on the same size needles). The fabric feels flimsy, not as full and luxurious as the other sample. I know which one I want to wear! This swatch is also a few rows shorter than the first one (ie I didn't spin as much in the same time) so another plus as far as Spinzilla is concerned.


Freyalyn said...

You've got exactly the results I would expect from spinning from the fold.

Now, crack the ratio up on your wheel, sit back, spin with a nice long draw and a free-swinging arm holding the fibre, and see how fast you can crack through it.

dizzyspinner said...

Most interesting Shiela! Can you tell I am beginning to 'research'!! Limbering up time coming up next....

It is fabulous that Curtis Wools are also involved. Cant wait to get going on Spinzilla and well done for Registering a UK Team! Looking forward to it very much.

dizzyspinner said...
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