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Twist workshop

03/02/2016 –10:00 - 16:00


Twist workshop. Learn how to tell the difference and how to Andean, Navajo and novelty ply. Y spin Z?

Why do we normally spin Z and not S? Can you tell the difference? What is Andean plying or Navajo plying? And which does one use when, and why?  All these questions will be answered in the workshop and spinners will leave with the basic skills of Andean and Navajo plying, an understanding or what to use when, and why. And most of all be able to tell at first sight whAether a yarn is S or Z.

Spinners will be able to identify twist with ease and understand the historical, cultural and economic reasons behind how we spin today. My key to memorising how to tell S from Z is based on childhood games and reading – very easy to remember. Easy when you know how! Does it matter if you can’t tell S from Z? possibly not if you live in a vacuum and do not interact with other yarn or spinners. But we don’t live in vacuums and as spinning skills develop it becomes essential to to be able to differentiate S from Z as this dictates how one plies or produces a boucle or core-spun yarn.IMG_1141

For the academics amongst us there is the question: How do we know what was traditional anyway? The workshop will explore the variety of historical evidence which spans the northern hemisphere over the millennia. But until one can identify Z and S these academic questions are irrelevant…

At base a spinner only needs to remember to ply in the opposite direction to which they spin – operative word: remember. Remember which yarn, on which bobbin, for what purpose, months, even years later? No hope of remembering; In practice spinners find life much easier if they spin Z and ply S. (I used to think that if I turned a Z-spun yarn upside down it would look like S! Sad really.) There are those who think ‘turn the wheel clockwise’ is all you need to know – well, this works for the person turning the wheel: but to those looking at it, the wheel appears to be turning anti-clockwise! What a muddle. If this sounds confusing A-Z of Twist workshop will be time well spent. One day, and no more confusion – ever; tell straightaway whether a yarn is spun or plyed Z or S. No messing. And the key to this is a simple childhood game…

Andean and Navajo plying will also be taught – with Andean plying one can ply straight from the bobbin or spindle on which the singles is spun. Invaluable! With Navajo one can retain the natural and changing sequence of colour and avoid creating mud-cloured yarn from dyed fibre. Or add in other things… Simple things, once learned, never forgotten. A fun workshop with a meaningful purpose.Ashford tensioned lazy kate


10:00 - 16:00
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Pam Austin
01858 535466


Knuston Hall
Wellingborough, Northamptonshire NN29 7EU United Kingdom
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01604 362200

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