one thing that i’ve noticed since starting spinning, is that a person considered a good spinner is one who can spin a consistent thin yarn. when i went to SOAR, this became 10X more magnified by the number of spinners who spun primarily thin yarns. people complained about 5 oz of homework spinning we had while there, but really, they could have just spun it all fat and been done with it. for many, this was not even an option. there was even a class on how to spin lofty fat yarns – you know, like you spun back when you first began. apparently it’s a hard place to get back to. all that said, i got to thinking about why thin and why not thick – here are some of my theories…
when you first begin spinning, thin yarn is great because it takes so much twist you actually have time to draft and then draft again before your spindle starts to protest or your wheel yarn gets overspun. i always try to get my beginning spinners to spin thin – it’s especially helpful on a spindle, which might start going backwards.
if there were a default spin, this would be it. relaxing, not paying attention, letting your hands do all the work. once you get thin as your default, you don’t have to expend much energy while spinning.
unlike with spinning fat, you can create whatever fatness of yarn you want from thin yarns – 2 ply, 3 ply, 4 ply.
because there is less twist in the fat yarn, i believe that discrepancies in the yarn show up way better. which explains why the judge at the fair thought gwen’s very nice fatter yarn was ‘novelty.’ i imagine that since the yarn is loftier and you can see the thick and thin spots better, plying can even that out a bit. so a master at spinning fat consistant yarns? gwen rocks.
most people have to pay much more attention to spin fatter yarns. although i must say, they do go faster.
so. in my opinion, a good spinner is someone who can do what needs to be done with the yarn. if they want the yarn to be fat and lofty (and the fiber type will let them), they can do it. if the yarn needs to be sock weight, they can do that. they know the proper amount of spin and how to prep. it’s like a range in music when you’re a vocalist.
i spin pretty well dk up to bulky, but thinner, not too good yet. mostly because i don’t have the practice. i will want handspun socks at some point though, so fingering-sport weight, here i come! what’s your spinning range?
lastly, don’t forget, the spotting local woolies contest ends on thanksgiving… and have a good one!