I've just gotten back to spinning after a long hiatus. I forgot how relaxing spinning is!
Here's my question: I'm wondering if the direction of the twist (in the original single), particularly the way the roving runs out past your thumb and palm, impacts the way the fiber is drafted. Do you usually spin your fibers with an "S" or "Z" twist?
I'm using an American Long Draw method of spinning directly from a Knit Picks Merino/Silk Roving. And I'm using a Saxony wheel running counterclockwise, which I believe is forming an S-twist. I'm finding that the outside fibers are pulling away from the drafting triangle and I'm getting a small triangle that is forming a lovely, fine, fairly consistent strand, but there are a lot of stray fibers that are creating a hairy yarn, sort of like you would see with an Angora or soft Mohair. The other thing that keeps happening is that I'm using only a portion of the roving at a time, so depending on how long I spin, it sort of splits apart and I have to keep reintroducing the split off sections into the drafting triangle.
So, if I changed the direction of the twist, would it pull the fibers together in my palm and keep this from happening? I'm wondering if my thumb would sort of contain the fibers, where now they seem to be spreading out over the bottom of my palm. I do try to keep the twist out of the pre-drafted fibers, but without a death grip it seems inevitable that there's some influence.
I'm half-way through spinning enough fiber for a lace shawl, or I'd just change the twist and see what happens. I suppose I could also split the roving. But I'd really like to know if there is a real answer to my question. If there isn't, I'd still love to know which direction most spinners twist their singles.
Thanks -- and Happy New Year! Gwynthie
If you were working from hand made rolags it might. But since you are using a commerical roving and spinning with a long draw (making a woolen style yarn) you will get fuzzy yarn most the time. This is regardless of the direction of the twist. And yes, counter clockwise is a "S" twist. The direction of the twist has more to do with what you intend the yarn for than the spinning itself. But a study (I have not seen one on this) would need to be done to determine if the direction of twist while spinning affects the finished yarn. Personally, I have never noticed a difference. It might be your individual technique.
I was taught to spin "Z" or clockwise for my singles. But now I think about the final use of the yarn before I decide which direction I will spin the singles. If I am going to crochet with singles, I will spin a soft Z twist or a tight S and then ply in Z. Or I will spin tight Z and ply in tight S for crochet. This is because 90% of the time I crochet, the stitch combination is adding twist to the yarn as I work.
For knitting I want a balanced yarn, regardless of the twist direction. I then plan the direction of twist based on the yarn design (boucle, crepe, cable...)
For weaving it gets very complicated in deciding which direction I will spin for warp or weft. Am I going to do a collapsed fabric? Do I want the weave definition to show? I ask myself many questions and might use many combinations of yarn directions for the finished piece.
Thanks for your kind suggestion Gwen. Actually I was facing the same kind of problem. I also use S for anti-clockwise spinning and Z to spin clockwise...