Kim's Blog

Lightweight Airy Yarn from a Forward Worsted Draft Twist

Enbarr Shawl
Féth Fíadha Shawl

In my October 5th post I promised to share:

  • how I prepare commercial roving for spinning. Posted October 29th.
  • how to spin a tweed-like yarn. Posted January 8th.
  • how to spin a lightweight, airy yarn that lends the finished knitted fabric incredible drape. Today’s post, January 27th.
  • my Énbarr shawl pattern. Stay tuned….

Each shawl above was spun using a forward worsted draft twist. More often than not, this draft technique is thought best for producing strong, hardwearing, dense sock or warp yarns. It is, however, the drafting technique that will add the most drape to the finished yarn and, in turn, fabric. So how can you use this drafting technique to produce a yarn with incredible drape that is also lightweight and airy? The key is your fibre prep.

The Énbarr Shawl was spun from Blue-faced Leicester and the Féth Fíadha primarily from Gotland (the grey frosting is Finn). My prep for both commercially prepared slivers was the same and includes 4 easy steps:

  1. Pre-soaking the commercial sliver. Post October 29th.
  2. Attenuating/pre-drafting the dried sliver, from #1 above.
  3. Dressing a distaff with the attenuated fibre.
  4. Spinning from the distaff.

My next few posts will review different fibre prep methods, the merits of spinning from a distaff and the different ways I load my distaves and why.

Cheers all!

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