I know….why am I telling you? Especially since most of you have a miniSpinner.
Well, the fact is that though you know in your heart that you need, want and love your miniSpinner, it may be hard for you to articulate the reasons.
It also may be that there are other reasons of wonderfulness that you aren’t aware of. And I want you to appreciate them!
Let’s start with ergonomics.
That’s designing and arranging things we use so that we can interact most safely and efficiently with them.
It’s very obvious that once we’re released from the demand
of treadles we can
stand to spin and ply. We can use chairs of any height or style. We can sit at any angle. All
these things reduce the strain from long periods of spinning activity.
But how many of you take advantage of these advantages?
I’d suggest starting now!
- Try plying standing.It’s more fun and less boring, AND good for you!
- Evaluate the chair you are using. Is it really comfortable? Does it allow you to maintain a tall posture, while allowing your shoulders to relax?
- Move your chair back and try some different angles. You may discover that you are able to better relax your shoulders. No one likes that knot you get near your shoulder blade, right?!
- If you favor long draw, experiment sitting at various angles to your spinner to reduce extention of your shoulder as you draw your arm back.
Making some of these changes and finding what works for you means more spinning, more yarn, and more pain free fun!!!
Long draw alternate position. The first picture shows the strain on the front of the shoulder. The position in the second picture is much less stressful.
Make better yarn easily.
With your miniSpinner, you can concentrate on handling your fiber. You can evaluate your drafting. How much fiber are you letting the twist into? When is the twist entering? Is it happening in a controlled way, when you want it? Or is twist getting into your fiber supply without you being in command of it?
Now that the rhythm of your feet isn’t involved, you can fine-tune your drafting.
If there is too much twist in your singles or yarn, you can back down the speed of the flyer a tiny bit at a time until you get what you are looking for.
Not enough twist; your single isn't holding together, up the speed of the flyer a notch or two.
You’ll notice I haven’t said a word about controlling twist with brake tension. This is because there is no need to fiddle with your brake tension unless your single/yarn isn’t being drawn up onto the bobbin. In contrast, fine-tuning twist on treadle wheels requires increasing brake tension to reduce over twist.
One of the joys of the miniSpinner is that you can run a very light tension (just enough to move your yarn onto the bobbin), which is so much nicer/easier on your hands and wrists.
More consistent speed and therefore, more consistent twist makes a better yarn too. No matter how hard a person tries, keeping the treadling speed the same is a challenge!
Spin any diameter of yarn.
Yes, you can! It’s not a mystery...not with a miniSpinner. Once you understand that controlling diameter is merely controlling amount of twist to amount of fiber, you can control diameter of your yarn effortlessly.
Want to spin a bit thicker yarn? Start by drafting out more fiber, but keep the flyer a bit slower. The thicker the yarn, the less twist it requires. When you are just beginning to learn to spin thicker, it’s easier to control this with a short forward/worsted type of drafting. In order to change flyer speed you just need to advance or reduce your speed knob.
Now, you want to make a thinner yarn? Draft out a bit less fiber and turn up your flyer speed. It makes sense, doesn’t it? As we said above, the fewer fibers in your yarn, the more twist you need to hold them together!
Do an exercise where you
spin a few yards of one diameter yarn. Then go up a millimeter or 2 for another yarn. Practice until you have samples of 3 or more yarns between lace
weight and worsted weight.
See that wasn’t so hard!!!
This is pretty obvious,
right? Take away treadling and so many
more who want to spin would succeed!
Not all of us are coordinated enough to pat our heads and rub our tummies. In the case of spinning, the real control of our yarn comes from our hand coordination.
Look! With a miniSpinner even kids can take off and spin!
Since speed is controlled with a knob, there is no need to understand how ratios work, or to do the math to adjust the speed of the flyer. Of course, this is nice for even experienced spinners.
There you have it!
Now take advantage of your little marvel, and happy spinning!!!