How to make handspun yarns – How to make a single-ply yarn

How to make handspun yarns – How to make a single-ply yarn


Each handmade yarn is formed a ply at a time, so first let’s see how to get started. Find a comfortable sitting position in front of the wheel, not too high or too low. We attach a quite long, bulky thread to our bobbin; this will always be ready in position
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and will be the guiding thread that we will hook the yarns that we will be creating onto. Start pedaling at first with an empty wheel to gain confidence with the strength and the speed needed to make it work. Take a clump of fibre and let’s see how to hold it in our hands; as you can see, with the left I close it between my thumb and index finger at the point where the fibre turns into yarn, while the right hand is free to stretch out and pull back the fibre. At the beginning it’s important to pedal slowly to avoid twisting the yarn that is being spun too much, and to give your hands time to work. Therefore set the brake settings to the halfway position. It’s important to learn to recognise the tension is generated between your thumb and index finger, and in that moment open up your fingers to allow the fibres to move forward that we will have measured out with our right hand. If we maintain a steady pace, we will see that the fibre naturally moves forward and is fed onto the bobbin. Remember to move the thread along the bobbin so it winds onto it evenly, this is to prevent the yarn from tangling and also so it has an even twist. The distance between your hands and the feeding point of the wheel must be about 15/20cm, as we need to have a fairly comfortable arm position and we must be able to see the yarn that is being formed, and that what’s happening is happening in the right way. How to recognize if the spinning method is correct: stop pedaling and pull out a few centimetres of the yarn from the bobbin. If it tends to roll up on itself and has some elasticity it’s working well, as we will see how to fix tangles later.

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