8/31/08 Spinning with One Hand…

August 31, 2008 at 10:59 pm 1 comment

… not literally tied behind my back – but with ONE HAND!  Okay, the technique is ancient, and lots of people do it, but spinning long draw is new to me.  I’d attempted it a few times and, well, I was scared.  It didn’t feel like I had any control over my yarn, and I was on edge waiting for it to break.  So for years I’ve spun short draw, semi-worsted.   But those soft poofy yarns that everyone ooohs over are usually spun woolen, and woolen is usually spun long draw — with one hand — like this:

Funny thing, though –  I didn’t start out intending to spin long draw.  I was looking for a way to get the colors in my roving to blend together and look heathery instead of in stripes.  So I decided to spin from the fold.  I pulled off sections of the roving about equal to the staple length of the fiber, and looped it over my index finger, securing the tails between my pinkie and ring finger (like in the picture).  I started spinning, and realized that the fibers were basically drafting themselves… so I took my left hand away…. and suddenly, I’m spinning with one hand!  It’s working!  It’s easy!  It’s FUN!! And the yarn is coming out really even.  Can you tell that I find this exciting!

So when I got the bobbin full, I decided to continue the fun, and experience Navaho plying.  I had read about it many times and understood the concept, I just had never done it.  I went right from the bobbin on one wheel (loosening the tension) to the bobbin on another, and the plying went along without a hitch.  Well, actually with this kind of plying there is a “hitch” of sorts (that’s what makes it work!), but you know what I mean.  My final yarn is soft and pouffy and heather like I hoped for.  It doesn’t look all that special, but to me it isl!  And here it is:

And  a few close-ups:


Entry filed under: HANDSPINNING. Tags: , , , , , .

8/30/08 – “Can’t I make ANYTHING with Chain Crochet?” 9/1/08 – How about Handspun, Odd-Balls and Garter Stitch?

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. terri  |  September 1, 2008 at 8:53 pm

    A friend sent me a link to your chain crochet post and I spotted this one. I’m a fairly new spinner, 2 years, and I haven’t mastered long draw yet. I think I’ll try your method, looks and sounds easy. Your yarn looks really nice. I understand how you feel!


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