Vampy and Sojourner on Spinning Superfine
Updated: Aug 8, 2021
Vampy has been spinning a lot of extremely superfine spinning to push Sojourner to her limits to see what she's capable of. It's wonderful to see how far Sparrow can be pushed to spin such fine yarns. Absolutely incredible spinning! Wishing you all Happy Spinning and Bird Watching!
"I decided to try and put Sojourner through her paces and spin as fine as I could on her. 'As fine as I can' is pretty fine, I enjoy entering longest thread contests even though I don't have any use for yarn that fine, I just love the challenge of trying to get finer than I did before. Recently I realised that if I spin silk rather than wool, I actually do have a use for it after all, I can use it as embroidery thread. Silk is also much stronger than wool of the same thickness, so it's a good fibre to start out superfine spinning with, it lets you play around and adjust your tension without it breaking so often. I generally work with home made fat core bobbins with a very small brake band surface to further reduce the takeup, so trying this on an unmodified wheel was an extra challenge.
You can see my findings in the video below, in summary I found that even once the brake band was off, starting at about 60% speed, the bobbin had enough air resistance that it began to provide takeup itself, which increased greatly as the speed increased. By the time it was at full speed, the only way to mitigate this takeup was to crosslace several times (a fat core bobbin also would have helped).
I was able to spin several metres, but the tension was still higher than I would have liked, and re-threading after a break was rather time consuming. However, this was ridiculously fine yarn, far finer than most people want to spin.
After pushing her to her limits, I decided to go for something a little more fun, and a little more useable.
Sojourner kept me up past my bedtime making this embroidery thread. Eri silk, 2 ply, 245m 9.8g. I decided to see how fine I could enjoyably spin on her with no modification; no cross lacing, and not having so much takeup it wasn't fun, and this is the result. I spun at 100% speed with no brake band on for the singles, and a very low brake tension for the plying, almost at my regular drafting speed for the singles, and a more leisurely speed for the plying. For a finer yarn, as well as needing some way to mitigate the takeup, I'd need to remember to slow down my drafting/wait for twist to build which I am notoriously bad at, so would love an espinner of this size or even smaller that went even faster. This is about as fine as I'd be likely to want to knit with, but for embroidery it would be nice to have a finer thread sometimes.
I just can't stop! Sojourner looooves spinning embroidery thread. I used a little of the last skein I spun, and it was perfect for cross stitch, but a little thicker than I wanted for embroidery, and I wanted a little more twist, so I made this. Eri silk, 274m, 6g.
The following is an estimated schedule. We have built in time for shipping however as with any adventure there's always a bit of uncertainty. Updates about Tweety and Sojourner's travels will be shared on our Instagram and Facebook page/group.
Lorrie G - Alaska - July 22-Aug 8
Krystal P - Washington - Aug 13-29
Jessica C - Washington - Sept 2-19
Nancy T - Washington - Sept 23-Oct 10
Esther E - Idaho - Oct 15-31
Susan L - Idaho - Nov 4-21
Leigh W - Oregon - Nov 26-Dec 12
Desiree G - Oregon - Dec 16-Jan 2
Valerie S - Washington - Jan 6-23
Vampy - UK - July 22-Aug 8
Kathryn F - UK - Aug 12-29
Jan H - UK - Sept 2-19
Liz T - UK - Sept 23-Oct 10
Eve W - UK - Oct 15-31
Teresa P - UK - Nov 4-21
Jessica D - UK - Nov 26-Dec 12
Su J - UK - Dec 16-Jan 2
Sophie L - UK - Jan 6-23
Follow the Migration!
To keep tabs on the adventures of these two Sparrows follow us on DaedalusSpinningWheels on Instagram, Daedalus Spinning Wheels on Facebook, as well as this blog. All spinners participating on this program are encouraged to use the following hashtags on social media. #DaedalusSparrowMigrationProgram