Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Fit to Be Plyed

Bobbins of 'Flambe' ready to ply. If my luck holds, I've spun enough to yield about 300 yards of 3ply Ménage à Trois when I'm done, which is (I think) how much I'll need to knit a Harf (hat/scarf).

Although I adore these colors (thanks, Forest Fiber Works for your dyepot art!), what really floats my boat about this spin is my new-found skillz at long-draw. Or anyway what passes for a long-draw in Velma's World. Janet & Maia each gave me their take on the technique in the last few months, & it finally took. Spinning art yarns so long, which are unbelievably labor-intensive, has really habituated me to the inchworm style of spinning & held me back when spinning more traditional yarns. In particular, inchworm is inordinately slow; long-draw is a much speedier spin. Additionally, inchworm fucks with my body; long-draw relaxes me in a way that's new for me when spinning. Here's how the inimitable Alden Amos puts it in The Alden Amos Big Book of Spinning:
" (Inchworm is the) Descriptive name given to extreme short-draw worsted technique, performed close-in to orifice (2 inches away), by grim folks with hunched-over shoulders and wrists resting on their knees."
I don't rest my wrists on my knees, but the rest of the definition is spot-on for me. Another advantage of the long-draw? Easier achievement of a woolen yarn, which is what I'm shooting for here. So, to each her own, but I'm digging this new skill o' mine.


  1. I really, really want that amos alden book.

    and i'm really, really looking forward to learning the long-draw - but i don't think i'm there quite yet.

    gorgeous yarn!

  2. The Alden Amos book is on my list of have to get spinning books. And I love the colors. Can't wait to see you new project. Maybe you will try spinning sock yarn next.

  3. Looks great! I love the look of long-draw and the yarn it makes. Hopefully I'll find some suitable fiber at SAFF so I can try to figure it out too!

  4. FYI, for the folks who don't have the book yet, a good way to get it is as part of the Interweave Hurt Book Sale ... Unless I'm hallucinating memories now (entirely possible), that's how I finally got mine. :D

  5. i've spun a modified, supported longdraw (which is really what most people do when they do a longdraw) for 15 years! i also can do short draw but prefer not too as it does take longer.

    the key is knowing the difference between the two, not technically, but how it affects ur resulting yarn (ie., haloing, pilling, durability, etc)

  6. That really is just gorgeous. I cannot wait to see it all knit up.

  7. I just love those colors! I can't wait to see the end result.

  8. Anonymous1:09 AM

    I just started using the long-draw method when my hands began cramping up with worsted spinning. I am HOOKED!


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