Long draw spinning in 2 days

Long draw spinning in 2 days is a remarkable achievement, especially when you consider Ann had no previous experience when she started her two day course last Tuesday. The following day she had become so skilful I awarded her one of my Long Draw Spinner rosettes. It was all very, very pleasing. Even her first long draw spinning was the best I had ever seen – but she had booked two full day’s tuition so was under guidance throughout which most pupils do not have. Most pupils have a two hour lesson and then go home and, I suspect, struggle a fair bit before sorting it out for themselves. Ann lives a three hour drive away and has her own sheep, and hence fleece; she booked two full days for spinning lessons and fleece prep tuition and stayed at The White Horse, Stoke Albany which is a five-minute walk away from my studio.
Our programme was
Ann – 7-8th August 2018
Hand spinning – Getting Started
10.00 Spinning Without a wheel
11.00 Fleece – Finding the best
12.00 Spinning on a wheel – hands only
2.00 Fleece – Washing
3.00 Spinning on a wheel – hands and feet
4.00 Plying & practise
10.00 Spinning -getting started (as Tuesday)
11.00 Fleece prep – carding and rolags
12.00 Spinning – hands and feet
– fun – fun – fun – fun –

Spinning lesson plan had to be changed, because by the end of the day on Tuesday Ann had already mastered Wednesday morning’s session. So on Wednesday morning she learned how to treadle very slowly to avoid over-twisting (the most common problem) and it all started to fall into place. Hands and feet in harmony, making twist at the speed at which she was using it. When the balance between fibre and twist is just right the thread will draw out up to an arms length at a time. It feels stretchy what I call ‘the chewing gum moment’ when the fibres are free to attenuate into an even thread. It was all very satisfying and the predicted ‘fun’ for the afternoon was a glorious time spent experimenting with colour, fibre and textures.

Long draw spinning is the hallmark of achievement in hand spinning. I find that once a spinner has mastered this technique they can spin any fibre, even staple length of <3cms, and can spin on anything from a drop spindle to a great wheel. I find a lot of long draw spinners eventually choose a double band drive wheel, but I was more than happy to know Ann would continue on her Ashford traditional wheel. It suited her very well. It is important to me to see that a pupil finds the wheel that is right for them, and I ensure they try different wheels before making a purchase. Happy Days.

1 thought on “Long draw spinning in 2 days

  1. This looks like an amazing couple of days.

Comments are closed.