Spinning Polwarth

I was watching youtube videos the other night, cruising all the spinning techniques trying to pick up some pointers to help me learn the craft. Somehow I always end up watching the videos of art batts being carded up. Of course after watching them for about an hour I got the itch to make something with my carder so out it came and I had a go with the Polwarth I’d washed.

I had been thinking of dyeing the Polwarth but after seeing some yarn creations I envisioned a skein of yarn that was fluffy white with gold, after all we are getting to wintertime and Christmas.

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Fibre being fed into the drum carder, you’re supposed to be able to read the print through the fibre this way you know you’re not over-loading the drum carder with fibre and causing a jam; plus adding the fibre slowly and a bit at a time will help to keep the fibre from attaching to the licker (small drum).

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Another view.

At the time I thought to myself that this would be a good opportunity to try dizzing the fibre off of the drum carder. A Diz is basically an object that has a small hole in it. When you diz fibre you’re pulling some fibre through the hole to make a long rope of roving. It’s amazing how much fibre will fit through this small hole. Anyhow I looked around and grabbed a ceramic button and proceeded to use it.

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I have to admit that this isn’t as easy as it looks and I didn’t really enjoy doing it but at least I can say that I’ve dizzed fibre off of my drum carder. The second batt I left as a batt.

polwarth with gold angelina
Washed Polwarth locks drum carded with gold Angelina.

Here’s a picture of some left-over dirt after the carding was done. I guess it goes to show that you can never get all the vegetable matter out when you wash your fleece.

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At first I thought the Polwarth was going to spin to a fine thickness but it was very grabby so I immediately thought of spinning up a thicker single than I’ve ever spun before. My vision was of a soft woolen-spun skein of yarn that I could use to make nice soft cushiony mittens. I was surprised at how quickly the 50 grams of fibre was spun, under a couple of hours and maybe closer to an hour. It was a pop of instant gratification especially after spinning hours and hours with the Wilton’s Purple skein of wool.

Needless to say I hadn’t gotten an equal amount of single on the two bobbins so I made a center-pull ball with my ball winder out of the leftovers on the one bobbin. I then tried to make a nice join, lol tried being the operative word here. I’m going to have to figure out a better way I guess.

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Trying to join two ends of 2-ply yarn.

And here is the final yarn. It’s got a lot of bumps and underspun spots but for the most part I’m happy with it and if and when I ever learn to be more consistent I’ll be happy with this thickness of yarn. I think the thick/thin areas might be where I’m going from a woolen type of spinning back into a worsted but I assume practise will help me to improve that.

white and gold polwarth chunky
Two-ply bulky yarn, Polwarth with gold Angelina.

Karen

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