Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Predrafting 101

A call came from Keri as to how to predraft top for spinning. I Googled until I was blue in the face and didn't quite come up with one that really satisfied me. At least not how I do it. So, I whipped out the camera and came up with a little photo tutorial on how to do it. Please excuse the horribly bad lighting and messy background!

So, here's where you start. A beautiful braid of combed top.

Spread it out and decide how many times to split it lengthwise. I'm working with almost four ounces, so I'll split four times.

I'm a little anal, so I drag out the scale and see how well I did.

Now, for some fun stuff. Examine the roving. Most times you'll see that there is a sort of fold line running down the length. This is where you start.

Using both hands (I only have one to work with), gently spread the fiber apart.

Work down the entire length unrolling it. Go back and keep repeating any spots that are still folded up. Sometimes the top will have been folded back on itself from the other side too.

When you're done, it should look something like this. An unteased portion is used for comparison.

Next, start splitting the width. I start with in half and then decide how many more times to do.

Most times I'll do four strips, sometimes six or eight. It just depends on how thick the top is, and how thin I want my final yarn to be.

Grasp the fiber in both hands spread apart(about a fibers length) and give a gentle tug until the fibers start to move. If it doesn't move, try a little harder, but not too hard. Too forceful and it'll rip apart. Reposition your hands a little further down the fiber mass and repeat. All the way down.

Keep going. And going. Until finally it's finished. Then, go back and redo over any spots that need some more work.

When it's done right, you should be able to see through the fibers. Notice, they're not wisping apart from each other. It can be a fine line, but with practice you'll know when you're done.

You'll be rewarded with a little pile of fluffy goodness.

I then roll them up and tuck them into a basket for safe keeping. Usually I do a whole bunch so that whenever I have a few minutes to spare, I can grab some fiber and spin.

Hope this helps anyone who is just entering the wonderful world of spinning out.