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Friday, November 9, 2012

Set the Twist

I just finished spinning Simon's alpaca fleece and I thought I would show you how to set the twist. 

After you spin yarn on a wheel, you need to set the twist.  This just means that the yarn gets a bath (or two).  It evens out the twisted fibers and fluffs up the yarn a little.


Start with hot soapy water.  I use lavender Dawn.  It removes any remaining lanolin from the wool and the lavender scent helps with the lingering "sheepy" smell.


The yarn is still tyed in loops secured in four places so it won't get all tangled up.  Dump it in the hot soapy water and walk away.  Just let it relax for 10-15 minutes.  It takes that long to unwind in the tub, right?


Next up is the rinse.  Drain sink and refill with hot water again.  Try to keep the water temperature consistent.  This time add a little white vinegar ~ just a glug.  A glug is when you turn the bottle upside down and it makes a glug sound.  Yep, that's one glug.  It's not an exact measurement, obviously.



Let the yarn soak again for a few minutes.  Just a few.


Drain.  While you are draining and refilling the sink, hold the yarn up out of the way of the faucet.  You don't want to run the water on the yarn because it might felt it. Rinse in clean water again if you want.


Or if you are impatient like me just wrap it up in a towel and press it dry.


Now you want to shake out the yarn.  It will start fluffing up immediately.  I love that!  Amazing how good a tub soaking can improve things ~ even a skein of yarn.


Give it a little shake.


Lastly, it's time to snap.
Hold the loop of yarn with both hands.
Stretch the skein out between your thumbs and give it a quick snap. {Snap!} Water will splatter a little while the twisted fibers even out along the length of the yarn.


If you have done a good job spinning, the skein should hang with an open loop at the bottom. (sorry, no pic of that)
Then you just need to hang them up to dry.  I loop mine over hangers in the shower. 
Since, I'm preparing for handspun holiday gifts, there have been a few in there lately. ;)


Once it's dry, these silky skeins will be made into a wonderful men's scarf for someone I love.

{Please know that I am a beginner spinner so please double check what I do when trying this for yourself. I'm just sharing what I am learning and hoping you will enjoy the journey.}


My soul finds rest in God alone; my salvation comes from him.  He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will never be shaken.
Psalm 62:1-2



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