You know the saying that when the student is ready a teacher will appear. Well, since I wrote about my recent spinning troubles, I have had great help from a few different sources.
Firstly, Barbro from HillevisThreads, who is a spinner from Finland with several decades worth of spinning experience, offered me some helpful comments on the post. Since then we have also had an email conversation that has been incredibly useful to me in improving my spinning. So thank you so much, Barbro, for your kind help!
With Barbro’s tips I managed to develop my own style of spinning combed top with a sort of semi-long draw. I spun some lovely Finnish Sheep’s wool, which definitely is my new favourite type of wool. It feels soft like Shetland wool, but in my sample at least it was slightly shorter which made the long draw easier and smoother.
Barbro also recommended to me a fantastic spinning video that was just what I needed at this stage. It’s the Spinner’s Toolbox by Judith McKenzie (which you can purchase and download from Interweave). Judith McKenzie is of course a very well known spinner from the US who has published several spinning books and videos. In the Spinner’s Toolbox she demonstrates six different drafting techniques that cover the whole spectrum of yarn types from worsted to semi-worsted to semi-woolen to woolen (as well as a “slubby” yarn and a very cuddly looking boucle). She shows how all these techniques can be applied to combed top – so useful as combed top for some reason seems to be the most common type of pre-prepared wool you can buy.
If you are a spinner who has just learned the basics and are ready to improve, I can’t recommend this video highly enough. It contains an incredible amount of information and tips – you will probably end up watching it several times just to absorb them all.
This was exactly what I needed to improve my technique at this point and move past my long-draw troubles. I am now spinning small amounts of Shetland wool using all of the techniques on the video just to go through them systematically. I’ve done quite a lot of spinning in the last two weeks or so and I am already noticing a big difference on my spinning. It’s definitely been worth the time and effort.