Using the Fiber Sprite Spinner's Multitool: A Diz,Twist Angle Checker, and Wraps Per Inch Checker all in One
There are as many ways to spin a gorgeous yarn as there are people who spin. For many of us, getting a consistent yarn is really important - especially if we're spinning lots of yarn for a big project.
There are many ways to make sure you're spinning a consistent yarn. One of my favorite ways is to use the Spinner's Multitool. It helps me prepare fiber, and then check my yarn as I'm spinning to make sure I'm getting the yarn I want.
In this post, I'll walk you through all the ways you can use the Spinner's Multitool. In these videos, I'm using the original multitool, but if you're into something a little different, we also have a Sheep Shaped Spinner's Multitool. (Try saying that five times fast!)
Using the Spinner's Multitool as a Diz
Each Spinner's Multitool has several different holes. These are designed so you can diz fiber from a drumcarder, hand cards, a blending board, or hand combs.
In this video, I share how to diz fiber from a drum carder. Remember, the bigger the hole you use, the thicker your roving will be (or combed top, if using hand combs). But you might be surprised - even though those holes seem pretty small, a lot of fiber fits through them!
Dizzing fiber is a great way to prepare fiber for spinning. I find that hand-dizzed fiber is a real pleasure to spin. It is light and fluffy and fun to work with!
Learning to diz fiber can take some practice. The key is to not try to get too much fiber through the diz at one time, or else you'll get stuck and frustrated. When this happens, back off a little bit, draft the fiber gently, and then keep going. And remember to be patient with yourself! The results are well worth it.
Using the Spinner's Multitool to Check WPI and Twist Angle
The Spinner's Multitool also lets you check your WPI (wraps per inch) and twist angle. These are two factors that can help you spin a consistent yarn. They're also helpful if you're trying to replicate a commercial yarn.
Here are some key things to remember when you're checking your WPI and twist angle:
Here is the second episode of the Fiber Sprite Podcast! On this show, I'll talk about projects I've been working on, sources of inspiration, share tutorials, and more.
For the last couple of weeks, I've taken a break from spinning my hand-dyed fiber to spin Barry's Jubilee - a collaboration between Schacht and Sweet Georgia Yarns. I bought a total of three braids, and I'm spinning them all a little differently.
For the first braid, I spun it just as it came. (This is the skein on the right in the photo above.) This braid was spun with a short backward draft, which is a worsted spinning style. This style tends to result in smoother, denser yarn. This yarn was also very consistent in thickness across the skein - no slubs here!
I spun this yarn quite fine - about 80 wraps per inch, and got almost 1,000 yards from just 4 ounces.
With the second and third braids, I split them into three sections by color - mostly blue/purple, gold, and white. First up in the spinning was the purple/blues, shown at the left in the top image and on the bottom in the image below.
This one was spun with a long draw - a woolen spinning technique that is my favorite way to spin. Other than separating the braids by color, I didn't manipulate the fiber before spinning. Spinning a woolen drafted yarn from combed top resulted in a yarn that is noticeably loftier, and has a little bit more variability in thickness than the worsted skein. I didn't track the thickness of this yarn while I was spinning it, but I estimate that it's probably an average of 50-60 wraps per inch. From about 3 ounces (all the purples/blues from two braids), I got about 700 yards of yarn.
Next, I carded the golds together, and added in some stash fiber - a mix of Falkland dyed gold and some unbleached Tussah to maintain that golden tone. Using my spinner's multitool, I dizzed the fiber off my drum carder into roving, and am working on spinning it up now. I expect it to be similar in texture to the purple yarn, if not a little bit loftier still, since it was carded.
I carded the remaining bits of mostly white fiber with undyed merino and bleached tussah silk. There were puffs of blue and gold on the ends of the white fiber from the braids, and the resulting blend has a gorgeous silvery tone to it. I'll most likely spin it like I'm spinning the gold fiber - more to come soon!
Here is the first episode of the Fiber Sprite Podcast! On this show, I'll talk about projects I've been working on, sources of inspiration, share tutorials, and more.
You know those moments where you think, I have nothing to knit? There usually followed by thoughts of I have no yarn, which is just silly if you've seen the size of my stash. Anyways, that's what happened to me a couple of weeks ago, when I knew there was going to be lots of time spent standing around and waiting. I needed a knitting project that was going to be more engaging than my standard socks, but easy enough that I could carry on a conversation while working on it.
Several years ago, I bought the pattern for Starshower, and that's what I cast on with my recently finished Monsoon Sunset spin. I liked that the pattern would preserve the gradient nicely. I liked the shape of the garment, as it drapes in a way that is very similar to how I wear most of my shawls, but without the fuss of having to tie, pin, or worry about the thing coming off. I'm not sure what led me to pair this yarn with that pattern, but I did, and I had a fun project to entertain me in the nick of time.
As so often happens with handspun yarn, it wasn't exactly the yarn the pattern called for. My yardage was right, but the gauge I was getting was way too dense for a cowl with some drape. So I ripped back and went up a needle size. I also decided that I wasn't a huge fan of all those slipped stitches, and switched to a lace pattern.
Because I do everything the hard way, I essentially re-wrote the pattern to accommodate the lace pattern I liked. (I didn't realize that the designer, Hilary Smith-Calais, has quite a few cowl patterns in similar shapes, some with lovely lace patterns!)
The resulting cowl is comfy and cozy and fun, although now it's going to get packed away for the rest of the summer. It's a scorcher over here and our a/c just broke!
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