On my path to Corespinning Enlightenment – a balanced corespun yarn that I can knit with, I am exploring all of the ways that I’ve been taught in classes , heard about or run across in life or on the internet.
To compare the core and spinning styles of corespinning, I’ll be spinning the different styles of corespinning on my Sidekick using the largest whorl that came with the wheel. I’ll be using the same fiber in each example too, BFL top from Three Waters Farm.
Three Waters Farm BFL, Sangria and City Nights
First up corespinning on a fine 2-ply, two different ways.
Here’s what I used for a core:
Jaggerspun Maine Line
Because spinners are a curious bunch, I’ll show you how I hold my hands when I corespin.
I put the fiber supply on my left side and the core on my right side.
I let the core run over the palm of my hand
When I spin I rest the core and fiber on my index finger
When I need to draft, I drop my right thumb and hold the core and spun fiber briefly, while I draft with my left hand
I know there are spinners who don’t like to fluff, pre draft or attenuate their fibers. I love to fluff fibers, for me it leads to a more even yarn.
For corespinning I strip my top into thirds and fluff it open. I even attentuated just a little.
Stripped and fluffed
I spun 2 samples of yarn this week. Remember, my goal is to get as balanced of a corespun to knit with that I can get. One sample I spun with the core right off of the cone, which further twists an already plied (twisted) core. One sample I unplied the core by running it through my wheel in the opposite direction it was plied. Even fresh off of the wheel – the difference was dramatic.
My biggest challenge is to treadle slowly enough to not overtwist the core, but have enough twist in the core to grab the fiber. I get in to the zone of working my hands and find that soon my feet are going at a regular spinning rhythm instead of a slower corespinning rhythm.
On the left - regular spun core, on the right - unplied core
I don’t set my corespun under tension. I want to knit with it, and I find a squiggly, pig tailed yarn made to be straight by setting it with tension or weight – springs right back to it’s curly ways with the slightest re-wetting. Just like my hair in humidity.
I soak my yarn in hot water for a few minutes, snap it on my hands a couple of times then hang it outside.
The regular core yarn on the left would skew mightily when knit. The unplied core yarn on the right would play well with knitting.
Have you tried corespinning yet? What tips do you have? What do you use the yarn for?