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5 Quick Tips for Beginning Spinning on a Spindle

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As you know I only started spinning a week ago, but I thought some tips from a beginner’s point of view, may help other struggling beginners.

A little bit goes a long way.

You need a very thin strip of fiber to spin yarn, and to this end you need to prepare your roving before you begin. The process of easing the fiber out to spin is called ‘drafting’, and it determines the thickness of your unplied yarn. Predrafting is an easy, calming exercise, and you can do it while watching TV, chatting to a friend, or even waiting for a program to load (especially if you’re on Windows!). Thanks to Yarnhog for her help, check out her pre-drafting tutorial.

Watch the drafting triangle.

Hold the fiber splayed out with your thumb and forefinger to form a triangle. If the fibers are nicely spread, the roving is easier to draft. Make sure there is no twist in the drafting triangle.

Wind tight.

When winding yarn onto your spindle, keep it quite tight, and try to fill your spindle in a cone shape, wider at the top than the bottom. This will help your spindle spin longer, even when it’s getting full. Also try to keep about 1” of the bottom of the spindle free from yarn, to make it easier to spin it.

Your spindle is full when you decide it’s full.

You’ll notice your spindle get slower and more cumbersome as it fills, but as long as the experience isn’t becoming too annoying, you can keep going. If your spindle has no notch, and you’re having trouble with your yarn slipping as your spindle fills, have a look at this helpful Knitty article.

Keep your pre-drafted roving out of the way.

Wind your roving around your wrist like a bracelet to keep it from drifting against the yarn you’re spinning, or things can get messy!

Do you have any tips that helped you as a beginner? Leave them in the comments. Have a lovely weekend!

8th May, 2009  // Spinning, Technique // tags: , , , .

Knit Neat – 5 Tips to Tidy Annoying Details

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I put this list together because I was amazed to find how many of the small knitty gritty details of knitting can be improved with simple tricks. I had come to accept that little holes here, and a bit of looseness there were in the nature of knitting, but knitting is a far more flexible art, and once you develop a familiarity with the way stitches work, you begin to realise that there must be solutions to neaten things up. TECHKnitting is such an amazing resource that I frequently go there looking for something and get lost in all the fascinating articles. So I thought I’d choose 5 of the articles I think have the widest range of application; that is, you are certain to need them in most of the projects you knit. I think if we all got into the habit of following these tricks, we could consider our knitting truly ‘professional’.
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24th April, 2009  // Technique // tags: , .
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