I have been spinning now for about 4 years now, and have loved every second of it. Well, maybe not the original drat, there went the spindle on the floor again bit, but mostly every bit of it. At any rate, I am trying to figure out the long draw method of spinning. I have viewed several videos, but they don't give me all the information I'm looking for. Can anyone advise me where I would put my ratios at and how to set my brake for spinning this method? I own a Majacraft Rose, and right now I've got it set on the largest whorl, but I have a feeling I'm not getting enough twist in. If I set the brake too tight, however, then I keep breaking my yarn. I'd appreciate any further insight anyone out there can provide!
It really might come down to what kind of preparation was done to your fiber. I find the long draw works best with rolags rather than rovings. If I predraft the rovings, it works better, but it's not as smooth and even when I use the hand-carded rolags. I've heard some people have had success with combed top by spinning from fold; a piece folded over your finger and spun from the middle.
I am not familiar with Majacraft, so I am no help to you there.
Mable Ross's DVD about Advanced Spinning Techniques is a good one. She demonstrates the technique, twist, and brake.
I own a Majacraft Rose and I use the largest whorl but back off the tension so that you have it set almost as if you were spinning lace weight yarn. I find it easier to spin using a long draw if I'm using my carded batts that I've split into halves or quarters. I also have better luck with a 4 to 5 inch staple length. The longer staple lets you move your drafting hand back a litter further and to hold the supply wool more gently. Start your woolen spinning by letting the twist into the supply yarn while you gently draft backwards, but not a full long draw, just about 6 inches...as that starts to work...then extend the draw up to 12 inches and keep going until you feel more comfortable drawing back a full arm length.
You can also make rolags using commercial roving, which will help you get the hang of a long draw a little faster, by using two rulers to sandwich the end of the roving and the wrap the roving around the rulers about 1 1/2 wraps. Slide the rolag off the ruler and try using your new rolag to help you get the feel for a long draw.
You also may want to use a supported American draw, which means to pinch the twist with you forward hand while you gently draw the rolag back with your supply hand, and then open you fingers and pinch again. This allows the twist to move slowly into the single as you are drawing the wool back. Remember going slow is a good thing. You will get faster as you get better at the long draw, but slow makes a very nice yarn.
Thanks! That's what I needed to hear. I've kind of been doing a supported American draw, although I didn't know that's what it's called. I am also using carded batts, but I think I'll try to use shorter amounts of the batt. I think I just want to get it right away, and I'm getting frustrated. I also hate to "ruin" any lovely fiber that I have on me with the practice required, but I'm just going to suck it up and keep trying! I'm still thoroughly interested in whatever anyone else has to say about the subject, as it fascinates me!
I've found each fiber I want to long-draw has its own character. So the first few lengths are always traded for knowledge -- the rhythm of drafting and treadling, the tension the wheel is set on, and how the fiber behaves. It's worth it :-)
With batts, I usually tear off in roving-width strips to spin from. If they're compressed (sure can get a lot of fiber in my cubbies, grin) I'll crack the piece like a whip to help open it up a bit before spinning.
On my Majacraft, the scotch tension takes very minute adjustments for fine-tuning it to long draw drafting.
~ Ameliahttp://www.thebellwether.com/ http://askthebellwether.blogspot.com/
I can only chime in with Amelia - a lot depends on your fiber and your preparation! I was showing a few friends a week ago and made a total bungle of it - I used tops split inte conveniently thin sections and what happened was that the top had several different lengths of fiber in it so it worked well for a few centimeters and then I hit a spot with shorter fibers and then it all broke.
I find that I have to achieve some sort of balance between the takeup and the speed of my arm(how quickly /slowly I draft my fibers) and the intended yarn. It is a bit like singing - you have to 'tune up' :)
I'd love to get a copy, but I'm not having any luck locating the DVD. Can you advise me where I may purchase it?
I just googled "Mabel Ross DVD" and sure enough there were several hits and I found the DVD at the woolery. It is a little pricey but I suppose it is worth the money.
OK, I've been working on it, but when I set the brake real loose, and I go to draft back, my bobbin actually unwinds a fair bit. Is that normal, or should I tighten up the brake more? I'm still not certain I'm doing this thing correctly. Thanks so much for your help!
OH Yes...you will need to tweak the break band until the yarn just starts to pull...not too much. However, the break band must be set tight enough that you can draft against it. Now as the bobbin fills you may need to tweak that break band just a bit more
Sorry I can't help with the wheel problem, I spin on either an Ashford Traddy or an Ashford Elizabeth-my workhorse wheels, but I'm agreeing with the ladies here on long draw...If I want to spin Woollen, I use long draw. You'll get maximum air to fluff your yarn that way. I've only been spinning woollen for about two years, but when I learned how, it was an eye opener! I love it. I mostly spin from rolags or batts and to me, that's the best way to get the control you need for long draw spinning. A light touch will let the fibers draw themselves into the twist as you draw back, so be sure you have plenty of arm room so you can draw your fiber back and then let it feed in. Treadle slowly until you get your perfect speed and work with your brake adjust ments. I sometimes have to make a few minor adjustments during spinning, but eventually it works itself into the right spin for the weight I'm spinning. My personal preference is to spin DK woollen, but any weight yarn can be spun this way-also makes an interesting laceweight yarn. It does matter what type fiber you are spinning as well. All this said, you may have to give a few grams of fiber to get it right, but it's really worth the little sacrifice for all the nice woollen yarn you will have at the end of a good long draw spin!
Thanks for the help and encouragement! I sat down last night, and had what I felt was a very successful time practicing long draw. It is addicting! I'm spinning from a batt that was carded on a hand crank machine, and the fibers are nice and long. I'm not certain what it will turn out to be in the end. It is rather thick/thin, which is kind of what I expected for being so new to the method. I'm sure it will be one I do frequently though, as it is very relaxing.
I spin on a Majacraft Suzie Pro.... when spinning long draw I find that the preparation of the fiber is key to success for me.... the fiber must draft effortlessly. The ratio shouldn't make too much difference... that is for you to choose depending on how fast you like to treadle.... the higher the ratio, the less treadling you have to do to get the most amount of twist per treadle. The brake should be set with enough resistance so that you have something to pull back and draft from, but it shouldn't be pulling it out of your hand. Once you draft, observe the yarn to be sure you have enough twist before feeding it onto the bobbin, feed, then draft again! Hope this helps a little.