Handspinning Methods

Posted by on Aug 11, 2013 in Handspinning | Comments Off on Handspinning Methods


Inch Worm:
Your hands work close to the orifice. The fiber is passed toward the orifice rather than drafting the fibers back toward you. There is no advantage to using this method with wool as far as I can see. I generally use this process for a corkscrew effect when spinning decorative singles.

Short or Medium Draw:
Here the right hand is held about 6 inches from the orifice and used to pinch off and build up the twist. The left hand drafts back no further than your hips and this hand is used to pinch off the fiber supply. The right hand then allows the build up to twist to equalize within the drafted fibers after winding your yarn on to the bobbin. The PINCH, DRAFT, LET GO is then repeated.

With this method you treadle slower and do allow a small amount of twist into the drafted fiber to allow it to hold together while drafting back.

Long Draw/Supported or Double Drafting:
Helpful in the spinning of longer fibers into a fine yarn. Tends to minimize overtwist and regulate the size of the yarn. You draw out the fiber as in a long draw but insert a slight amount of twist as in the medium or short draw. Toward the end of your long draw you pinch close to the orifice while pulling against the hand holding the fiber source thereby equalizing the twist and regulating the diameter of the yarn. Sufficient twist is then added to assure the fibers will not drift apart and is quickly wound (passed to) the bobbin. You want to keep your hands far apart, use a very light hand on the fiber source and it also requires a light tension on wheel. The method lends itself well to worsted fiber preparation.

One Handed Long Draw:
This method requires clean scoured well prepared wool – drum carded wool works particularly well. The yarn size is determined as it is drawn out of the fiber supply and is drawn out only by the twisting action of the wheel. In drafting you must draft and treadle quicker. ALWAYS STAYING JUST AHEAD OF THE TWIST AT ALL TIMES.

This method is the easiest and fastest way to do a fine, soft yarn with sufficient twist. You must develop a “Feel” or soft, gentle connection between the palm of your hand and your fiber. To do this the fiber is held lightly and softly in the palm with the ring finger. The thumb and index finger is used only occasionally to control the amount of fiber being drafted or drawn out from the source. Allow the slippage of the fibers across the palm to “feel” and control the amount of fibers being drawn. Once your palm “feels” you can control by increasing or decreasing the speed of your draft. Medium wools are good with this method.