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Yarn Structure Workshop at WGGB, Weavers Guild of Greater Baltimore

I just finished a first-time workshop named Yarn Structure.  As you may guess this combined old and new concepts.  It also proved to be a multi-day workshop squeezed into two days.  I'm posting this as a reference for my students and as a reference for those inquiring about my workshop style. 

This class focused on using the understanding of grist-density and twist tightness to effect a change in the yarn during plying.  These three self-ply yarn samples below created very different types of yarns.  However, when all of the air is forced out of each, it is apparent that they have the same density, the same amount of fibers, but are held together with differing amounts of twist.


I have always understood yarn structures as recipes, that you can substitute ingredients once you understand why that ingredient is necessary to the finished product.

Here is our first worksheet recipe using different size/density and tightness in the two plys to create a spiral.  The greater the differences the more dramatic the spiral results.

Recipe number two jumps into the area I call Illegal Yarn, which also creates a spiral or textured yarn.  I use the term illegal when putting together one effect Z-ply with one soft S-ply.  When the S-plying is done, and the yarn wet set while restricted, not stretched, you get a structurally sound, textured yarn.  This is easier for a spinner who tends to spin very softly.

Recipe number three is the standard cable yarn.  A classic yarn that every spinner ought to be familiar with.  This yarn is two plied yarns plied/cabled together.  The cable yarn requires an overply operation before it will create the braided cable look.

Recipe number four is bouclé.  I love creating this mohair and hair type wools like LiecesterLongwool or Lincoln.  I prefer using duel duty sewing thread for the binders.  Of course, if you enjoy spinning very fine, you can easily spin your binders.

Finally, I added what I call an X-cross yarn.  This yarn has the hallmarks of a cable and a bouclé, however, it is a three-ply made with two Z-plies, plied S. Then the S-plied yarn and an S-ply single are put together with Z plying. 

I also included a reference sheet to keep track of the fibers we used in the workshop.  Clearly, it was a multi-day workshop.  Next time I will be more judicious with the time allotted.

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