Thursday, September 19, 2013


 I just spent the past 4 days waking up at 6 am to spin enough silk to do 1 assignment. And despite the math we learned in level 3 that I did to figure out just exactly how to balance this yarn and it ended up out of balance in the end anyway.  Needless to say, this was really frustrating for me. It was 1 hour of spinning every morning. And after all that, and while the yarn is really quite even, it's outta whack.

There is this theory we were taught in level 2 about how to identify the problem in a plied yarn.  When you hold your skien up and it twists, that is a sign of unbalance. Well, of course it is, you say.  But did you know the way it twists will tell you about exactly where the unbalance sits?  Like if you spun your yarn zzS (single single PLY) and it twist in the Z direction then your yarn has to much ply or to little single twist.  And if your yarn, spun the same direction, twists S direction then your yarn has to little ply or to much single twist.  Confused yet?  Well, it confused me. It still did until this morning.   So I did an experiment.

I took a chunk of commercial top and split it (Sorry Marg!!) into four strips.  With two of them I spun the ever livin' love out of them.  There were snarls and kinks and it felt like rope in the single.  I then plied it sooooo lightly to force it to be outta whack.   And I tell you, it is.

Unbalanced experiment

The other two strips I barely spun.  I think I put 1 treadle into 2-3 inches.  Not much twist at all.  Then I plied it beyond rediculously tightly. I think it nearly has an angle of 90'.  This most certainly will make any yarn unbalanced as well.

Unbalanced experiment

Well, there they are. Two samples that are way out of balance. They are clear, tangible, examples of that theory.  I get it now.

Unbalanced experiment

I'm going to be able to run my silk back through the wheel to correct my imbalance.  It wont be completely wasted time after all. Though I can't help but wonder, where did I go wrong?  Did I miscalculate? Did I miscount treadles or ply in shorter makes then I was supposed to?   Sure I can correct it, but at what point did I make the mistake?  Trial and error, and more coffee, I guess.



  1. Hurrah tangible evidence helping us learn! Hurrah not wasting time! Sometimes you just gotta see it and feel to understand it, right?It's the difference between understanding it mentally and physically.

  2. You have to finish your yarn before you check for balance. If you check for balance while you are plying and it hangs in a loop, it will be under plied after you wash and dry it. Silk will take a lot of twist in both singles and ply and still be balanced yarn, it just has to swim longer to even out the energy. Your experiment is quite cool and shows the over under twist results well! I had to post as anonymous, but my name is Marg......


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