Friday, April 08, 2011

Super Coils!
Made with Heathered Cyndi's Suitcase
combed top

Alas, I was determined to achieve the distinction of spinning a full bobbin of "balanced" super coil yarn. This was the elusive novelty yarn I've been coveting for some time now. I could make a super coil yarn--it really isn't all that difficult--however, my skeins always turned out overspun and full of active twist. After playing around with some different techniques, I finally created a balanced super coil yarn. I'm so proud! I think I'll display it in the living room for all to see.

First, I started by spinning a firmly twisted single on my Schacht Matchless wheel. I used a 4 ounce braid of one of my new colorways, Cyndi's Suitcase, in a heathered BFL. I spun it into a thick and thin somewhat sport-weight yarn.

For the core I chose some ecru crochet thread. It really does not take much core to super coil 4 ounces of wool. It is surprising how many yards of wrapping yarn one needs to spin in order to get just a few yards of super coil yarn. Anyhow, I wound off a little ball of the crochet thread containing about 30 yards. I attached it and the wool to the leader on my Lendrum Bulky flyer setting it on the largest whorl. Treading very slowly, I held the wool singles at about a 60 degree angle to the core and allowed the wool yarn to spiral around the core. After 3 or 4 treadles I would push the spiral yarn up towards the orifice to completely encase the core.

During this process, twist builds up in the core yarn. To counterbalance the built up twist I did a couple things with the core thread. First, I placed a piece of tape on the small ball of thread so it would dangle freely from the spinning wheel and not hit the floor. Every time I would push up the spiraling wool yarn, I would gently let go of my grip on the core and allow the hanging ball of thread to freely spin and release the extra built up twist. After performing several "push up" procedures, the hanging ball of core thread would need to be unwound to give more length. I simply removed the piece of tape from the ball, unwound a few feet of thread, and replaced my tape. This was a bit cumbersome, but soon a rhythm developed. In the future I think I will try winding the core thread on a small bobbin used for knitting intarsia. I welcome any suggestions here!

When the yarn was completed I noticed that it was still not perfectly balanced. There was quite a bit of live twist. I decided to run the yarn quickly through my Lendrum wheel to remove the excess twist. This only took a few minutes and VOILA! perfectly balanced Super Coil Yarn!

I ended up with about 26 yards of fabulous art yarn. Move over flower arrangements and coffee table books, this yarn gets center stage on the living room table!


Joey Ford said...

Fantastic job and gorgeous yarn!!

Angora Acres said...

Beautiful job! I'm trying my first super coil yarn right now and I think I'm going to try Sarah Anderson's suggestion to store the core yarn on a drop spindle that will dangle and spin and release that extra twist.

Well done on your solution too, I think I have a couple of small shuttles too, that might be another way to store the core yarn. Anything that will dangle and let that twist release.