This week’s Tips And Tricks Thursday is all about spinning semi-worsted yarns. This style of spinning is one that I am quite comfortable with as my favorite yarn/fiber store carries a ton of delightful fibers and keeps me inspired. As with semi-woolen, this type of spinning covers a range of different spinning techniques but some of the key features are:
- Traditional woolen prepped fibers or carded fibers are used
- Twist does not enter the fiber between the hands
- A short draw is used (sometimes called the “inch worm”)
So the fibers you would tend to look for with this type of spinning tend to be the ones that are prepared in a less orderly manner. Carded fibers, rolags, and fiber batts all work very well with this style of spinning. Fibers on the shorter end of the spectrum can be used but you can also get away with spinning more of the medium staple length wools to long staple length wools in this manner as you are using a short draw for your spinning.
Semi-worsted yarns appeal to me because the have many of the characteristics of worsted yarn that I love blended with the woolen. It is like a “best of both worlds” scenario for me. The yarn spun this way tend to be:
- smoother but less elastic than their woolen or semi-woolen counterparts
- they are quite durable and show off the luster and shine of longer wools and silk.
- they are a bit softer and fuzzier than the woolen yarns
- they tend to be a bit warmer than worsted yarns
The short draw technique for semi-worsted is very much the same (or the same) as worsted spinning. You can draft either forward or back but the hand movements are small and precise, hence the reason some call this draw “the inchworm”. The twist stays between the forward hand and the orifice and I like to smooth the yarn as it slips through my fingers. Here is a great example of semi-worsted spinning:
If you’ve never tried this style of spinning, I highly encourage you to give it a whirl. Happy crafting all!