My lovely Louet and I are definitely starting to get to know each other better. My attempts over the last few days have been gradually improving, and I’m starting to feel a bit more comfortable. Many thanks to all of my wonderful readers for your encouragement and advice!!! Most notably, the advice from Empress Fibers to practice treadling without fiber until I feel more comfortable stopping and starting has been VERY helpful. While I was doing this, I realized something about my wheel that I’m not sure was intentional (probably), but the big hole in it helps me to quickly see which foot to use to start up again in a clockwise direction. If it’s on the right when I stop, I use my right foot, and on the left, my left foot. Clever. And the advice from ilikecolors has been invaluable as well. She recommended drafting backwards at first… as far as my hands will go while gradually letting in twist before allowing the wheel to take up that length. This feels more like using my spindle, and I can more easily see what kind of twist I’m putting in. I also found two really great books at the library that have been very helpful, as well as fun to look at: The Complete Guide to Spinning Yarn by Brenda Gibson and Spin Control by Amy King. These are full of knowledge about fiber and different spinning techniques, and I learned from them that the easiest way for me to draft right now is from the fold, tearing off a chunk of fiber, wrapping it around my left index finger, teasing out a tiny bit (the amount I want to draft) from one side, and going from there.
I feel more control over how much I’m drafting this way, and it will produce a semi-worsted yarn… not quite so heavy in tightly knitted garments. I also hear this is a great way to spin fine slippery fibers… which I plan to do a lot of. 😉
So, all of this is starting to result in better looking singles… I think. Once I feel a little more comfortable, and fill up 2 bobbins, I will try plying it.