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#313590 05/15/07 12:40 PM
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I can never keep track of which direction my wheel should be moving to get S and Z twist. (For that matter I can't tell you which is which when looking at the yarn.) I've always just made sure to be consistant until I get a skein, because I've never been doing anything with the yarn where it mattered, but I've been thinking about some projects for my yarn where it does matter. I recently came to the realization that if I figured it out once, I could mark my wheel. So which direction is which?

Julie

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If you always spin with the wheel running clockwise or to the right, you will always be spinning correctly.

To Ply 2 or more singles turn the wheel to the left or counterclockwise.

That will neutralize the twist in your yarn.

If you are a right handed crafter, it allows your yarns to feed smoothly into your knitting or crochet project. If you have spun then plied the other way, it will be a fight with the yarn and you will "hate" the yarn.

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I read recently (can't remember where) that if you are spinning fibre for crochet yarn it needs to be S spun otherwise it will unravel. As I have only come across this the once - is this a serious issue, or only relevent when the yarn is lightly spun singles?
Cheers, Caroline


There is no such thing as too much fibre, just not enough storage space.
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That is a very old issue. It used to be that it was thought that crochet yarns had to be S plied.

But there is no distinction in the commercially manufactured yarns between knitting yarns and crochet yarns. Can't you just see the racks of yarns being doubled in our crafts outlets?

Any crochet project needs to be finished properly or it will ravel out for sure. I have never had any problem using the knitting yarns available commercially or with my hand spun yarns.

And it isn't even very relevant when using handspun singles. I have used my singles for both crochet and knit. Yes, I was informed that my knitting would "list" in the direction the singles yarn was spun if I used it. It didn't, hasn't through several washes, and I don't believe that "old wives tale" at all.

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Its funny, I'm a member of several spinning groups, and what are old issues to you, are new to a lot of us Down Under, and vice versa. I guess its the internet that has finally allowed us to access and exchange so much more information.
Even spinning books that have been around a long time (in the States) are not that easy to get hold of here as they are very expensive (so I love Amazon) and many spinners here in Australia learned almost in a vacuum as I did. The country town I lived in didn't welcome newcomers to the crafty clique; and many of the craft guilds have since died out, despite the resurgence in spinning.
There is a new generation learning to spin who, provided they have an internet connection, can access all the information they want. The old Australian and Kiwi spinning books are falling to pieces, and many of the modern ones assume that the spinner is using prepared tops, or knows what to do with the raw fleece. Hopefully groups like this can keep a knowledge base of old and new techniques.
Cheers, Caroline


There is no such thing as too much fibre, just not enough storage space.
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Parakeet
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One of the things I keep realizing as an embroiderer is how forgiving wool is compared to other fibers. I know that when I am embroidering with some types of silk and cotton, it actually makes a difference which end of the thread you stick in your needle. And if you make a mistake, you may as well cut it out. With crewel yarn, it doesn't really matter and in fact the wool hides a multitude of errors!

Julie

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Aussie spinner it truly doesn't matter which way you spin for crocheting. I have crochet for years and been spinning for six years now and never ever had a problem. I don't know where this rumour started but i have never known it to make any difference and neither have any of the women in the spinners group i was in. Julie if you train yourself to always spin in one direction 'clockwise' and always ply 'anti clockwise' you won't even have to think about what you are doing. Thats how i over came the confusion when i was a new spinner. Good spinning everyone!

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Yes, all things old are new again. That is some of the problem with our fiber crafts. Also there are the old wives tales to contend with.

The old spinners take for granted that the younger ones know how to card wool, how to wash it, the difference between carding and combing, just loads of stuff.

Books were hard to come by here in the USA ten years ago, if one were rural. I treasure all the books I have accumulated. Some purchases and some precious few gifted to me.

Having sat here under my tree facing a burning mountain learning to spin only from books, I understand what you girls are going through down under! Yes, the mountain was burning when I was learning to spin - lightning strike. I was afraid the fire would come off the mountain and swish across the grasslands.

So ask questions, I will answer them to the best of my ability. If I don't know the answer I have a spinning mistress, by snail mail, who will answer all questions I ask her. She taught me more in a 30 minute session than I had learned in 10 years.

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I also quilt! and know that if you thread the needle wrong you get snarls in the thread that are quite unbelievable! My mother did a lot of embroidery and so does one of my daughters. When daughter was learning to embroider, some stitches were wrong and she just couldn't stand it, so would rip them out or cut them out. She is still the persnickety perfectionist in anything she attempts.

I have done some embroidery, but don't love it enough to get really involved with it. I do know if the threads aren't in needle correctly they snarl ferociously! Maybe that is why I don't care about doing it???

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Parakeet
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I'm actually interested in the S vs Z twist more for historical reasons. I have a knitting pattern somewhere for mittens using a specific traditional knitting stitch where you use the same wool spun in an S twist for one strand and a Z twist for the other (knitting in a pattern with 2 strands).

I do habitually always spin in one direction and ply in the other, that part just makes sense to me.

Julie

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