Last night's class was all about the short draw or inch-worming technique. The object is to press out all the air and not let any of the twist into the fiber supply. It's rather easy for me because it's what I've been using for quite some time with some modifications. Now, the key is to master this technique by next Tuesday because it is the key to spinning down type fibers. Our instructor, Rob, is going to give us some yak to spin. That is going to be neat. It is a very very soft fiber. We are also going to copy a commercial yarn.
I managed to master the technique pretty well. The only problem I ran into was clenching my jaw, tensing my muscles and some joint discomfort in my fingers after a while. To modify it I changed how the fibers were drafting. Instead of drafting forward with my active hand I pulled my passive hand then moved the supposedly active hand down the fibers pinching air out. Where I still pinch the fibers to begin the draft and keep spin out of the fiber supply, the drafting is done with the "passive" hand. Also, instead of moving back so much like a long draw I work to my waist. It works. Hopefully it'll work for the ladies in my class, too.
When I arrived at class Penny and Rob were bringing in a new wheel. It was the Kromski Fantasia. I've looked at this wheel over and over again online and in magazines. There just isn't a lot of oomph in it. Seeing it in person has a whole different feel to it. The flyer assembly is by far the coolest innovation they have come up with. It's a single drive that doesn't require a whole flyer change. It's made to pull the flyer off (held in magnetically) and slip on and off the bobbin without having to move the drive band. It is a slower wheel, though. I'm not really up on the modern look of it, but if it was a little more traditional looking with that flyer assembly it'd be mine in a heart beat, money providing of course. Then again, I'm hoping for a good saxony wheel within the next year or maybe a drop spindle.
Again, everyone spinning that night was on a Kromski Sonata. Penny took photos of us all spinning on our wheels to send on out to Tim. :) That was very cool.
Stay tuned for next week. Down fibers and duplicating a commercial yarn.