Thursday, May 10, 2007

National Spinning, Weaving and Dyeing Week

I'm really into the construction of yarn, and whenever companies like Rowan bring out a new line I stand in John Lewis and surreptitiously tease the ply apart to see how it's been constructed. One of their 2006 summer range, Natural Silk Aran, was so incredibly detailed. Four-plied, with one of the plies highly coloured with tiny little flecks. How they get machines to manufacture it I just can't imagine. I think a trip to Rowan HQ may be in order, perhaps a mini-break idea for 2008........?

I used to think that high-end yarns like Colinette and Rowan were really expensive, but now I'm involved in the whole yarn making process, I realise the amount of effort that goes into some of these products.

I've had this book for a long time, but dug it out last night determined to immerse myself in some technical detail in honour of National Spinning Week.

The Yarn Book by Penny Walsh has just the right mix of history, technical detail (for yarn geeks like me) and technique. There's a fair bit about S and Z twist and their effects in plied yarn - something that I'm still not sure I've grasped completely. Lots of different types of fibres and techniques for making snarled yarns, over twisted, boucle effects, some colour effects in the carding process too. All in all a really good little reference book which I recommend.


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