I’ve been teaching a drafting class for a little while now. Every time we talk about short backward draw I say how it makes less of a worsted yarn that short forward draw and isn’t as consistent.
Today I was spinning some Spunky Eclectic dyed Wensleydale and decided to show the results so here they are in this somewhat fuzzy photo (I waited until dark to take pictures)
All three yarns were spun at the same ratio, same treadling speed, same drafting length. The only thing that changes is my hand movement.
The top yarn is a short backward draw where I draft back short lengths at least 3 times before I feed any yarn onto the bobbin. This is the yarn with the most inconsistent twist and more thick and thin areas. Part of the problem with this method is If I draft back three equal lengths then I need to allow this yarn to draw onto the bobbin which takes time and additional twist builds behind my pinchy fingers of my front hand. When I go to draft again this additional twist make a bit of a thick spot there even though I am pinching.
The center yarn is a short forward draw where the yarn is allowed to draw onto the bobbin between each draft. This one is much more consistent. There is a bit of inconsistent twist but not too bad. This yarn has a lot more loft than I would expect in a worsted yarn.
The bottom yarn is the true worsted spun yarn with a short forward draw. This is the yarn I expect from a worsted drafting method. It is compact and smooth with a lot less halo than the other two.
Any of these drafting methods are fine to use but they each make a slightly different yarn. This again shows the importance of sampling to make sure that in the end you will have the yarn that fits your project.
This Drafting class will be taught at several Fiber Festivals and retreats this year along with a few other fun classes.
It will be at Stringtopia in Ohio
The Carolina Fiber Festival in Raleigh, NC
Michigan Fiber Festival in Allegan MI
and the New York State Sheep and Wool Festival in Rhinebeck NY.
Or watch the classes page of the Spinning Loft Website for offerings in Howell!