Longdraw Epiphany

So. I do not own a spinning wheel yet, but I’m getting progressively better with my high whorl drop spindle. I picked up the book Spinning in the Old Way by Priscilla A. Gibson-Roberts, in an effort to better understand drafting in general, and the specifics of successfully plying from two ends of the same ball. It has been a good book, BUT I still just didn’t get the whole woolen vs worsted thing while I was trying to draft.

I was reading the explanations, and the explanations made sense, but it wasn’t making sense when I was trying to draft it. Here I was, inch, inch, inch, and if I tried to increase it, I was breaking it, and the motion that seemed to be described was just not there. After some playing around, I managed to draft (if unsteadily) from an un-drafted combed top, which was one of my goals, but I just was not understanding the long-draw thing.

And then I remembered that Cosymakes had written about worsted vs woolen spinning on her blog. I go to check it out, then find the links for youtube, and BAM! LIGHTNING! Duh. I was trying to do a long draw tightly at 5 inches instead of loosely at two feet or so. Plus, I needed my fiber to be fluffier. Lacking hand-cards, I quickly ripped up some top into a pretend rolag, joined it on, and voila! Immediately 20 feet of beautiful worsted with only a few odd thick spots.

I totally understand now, and I can’t wait to play with rolags! I need hand carders, though. NOW

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