Yarnspinners Tales's Podcast
Exploring the world of fiber, one draft at a time.
YST Episode 42 Spinning Wheel Experiments

Two spinning wheels and the same experiment, spinning a specific diameter of yarn by changing only the tension on the wheel.  The first wheel used is the Roberta electric spinning wheel and I talk about that experience in the first part of this podcast.  In the second part I record the experiment as I am trying it on my Haldane spinning wheel.  In both cases I found that it really does work, and can change the way you look at your spinning wheels' capabilities.

Photos of the samples spun on both spinning wheels can be seen on my blog.  And if you want to try it yourself, the same fiber is for sale at my artfire store, Zavagantstudio as well as other wonderful fibers for spinners and handspun yarns for knitters.

And it's Christmas, well almost and I can not pass by the opportunity to share some of the music I found and loved for the season.  All music comes from the podsafe music network Music Alley and is full of the season's wonderful sounds.

Opening song is Carol of the Bells by Inner Splendor Celtic Christmas.

Interlude song is by a husband and wife harpist team, Two Harps who play Twelve Days of Christmas.

The closing song is We Wish you a Merry Christmas by Rusty Bladen.

And there's a bonus track, by the great music collective the FuMP called Santa's going to telecommute the Christmas.

Happy Holidays, and happy spinning!

Direct download: YST_Episode_42_final.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:30pm EDT

YST Episode 41 Understand Grist

Got grist?  If not, this podcast will help you understand just what this spinning term means, how it is figured and why it's an important part of spinning a specific yarn.

This episode continues the discussion of spinning a certain type of yarn, regardless of the fiber you choose.  This time we are not going to just copy a commercial yarn, but start from nothing but the idea of spinning yarn for socks.

A very important link on the web was mentioned in the podcast and it can be found here.  It is the work of Llyn Payne, and is a listing the the characteristics such as YPP and WPI of commercial yarns using the standard numeric system available on ball bands. From this information we can find the target range of these figures to use in our calculations for creating similiar yarns.

I would like to take a moment to explain a calculation that I mention in the podcast that did not get enough explanation.  The discussion was covering how to determine the amount of fiber needed to spin a project (in our example we were saying socks)  The formula uses grist, weight length and the number 16 (oz to lbs conversion).  It looks like this:


where G=grist  M=16 for US weight or 1000 for metric  W=weight and L=length

Normally this calculation is used to figure grist (because we have the weight and length already) If we want to find out how much fiber to buy to make a certain yards of yarn at a certain grist we can do some algebraic magic and solve for W.  I did this in the podcast without really explaining how I got the amount.  Here's the actual calculation:

If I want to spin 450 yards of 2 ply sock yarn and look up in the above chart to see that sock yarn has a range of 1675 to 2100 YPP (which is the grist and I will take an arbitrary middle of the range figure 1800) it would be solved like this:




Multiply both sides by W



This means W (your weight of fiber needed) is 4 oz  I very conveniently choose a number that worked out evenly, it will not always do that, and the spinner should always round up to be sure to have enough.

A big thank you to my daughter who was in college more recently than myself and so could remember how to solve algebra equations.

Music today is from Mevio a podsafe music network.  The interlude music was by Kumpania Algazarra and is called Skabicine.  The closing song is Hardly Enough by WAZ 

As always a big thank you to Clare Dowling for the spinning song.

Direct download: YST_Episode_41_final.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 6:42pm EDT

YST Episode 40 Spinning Specifically

It was suppose to be yarn for socks, but....  How often do we say that as spinners.  If you have found a specific project that you want to make from hand spun yarn, and you want some tips on how to spin the yarn the right size, listen to this podcast.

My blog can be found here.

I now have a website studio on Artfire which is called ZavagantStudio.  I have lovely fibers ready to spin, and even a sampler box of fibers, that allow you to spin a variety of fibers.  And for the knitters and weavers that listen in who haven't learn to spin yet, I have my handspun yarn for sale.  Please take a few minutes to check the studio and my products.

All music today is from Mevio's Music Alley  formerly the Podsafe Music Network.

The wonderful interlude music is by Alimagne and is called Solo.

The closing song, Let's Eat Home is by Linda Baker

Direct download: YST_Episode_40_final.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:15pm EDT

YST Episode 39 Storing fiber

This podcast continues the discussion of how to buy fibers for spinning and then store them.  I first talk about what to look for when purchasing the non wool fibers, like alpaca, mohair and angora.  The second part goes into how to store your fibers until you are ready to wash the fleece or spin them.

I have more photos of a recent fleece that I was prepping for storage on my blog.

I could not ignore the holiday though, and since it is Halloween, my yarnspinner tale is an original ghost story I tell just for this podcast.  It is called The Haunting of Sara Jane.

A big thank you to Clare Dowling for her Spinning song used in the podcast intro.  All music is from the podsafe music network now known as music alley.  Musicians in today's podcast include:

New Band demos  with Halloween

the delicate art of noise pollution  with Spooky Funk

If you are a spinner or knitter and would like to support this podcast please check out my Artfire studio.  I have fibers for spinners, and handspun yarn for knitters available for sale at that site.

Direct download: YST_episode_39_mp3_final.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:15pm EDT

YST Episode 38  Selecting a Wool Fleece to buy

Buying a fleece straight from the sheep is the true starting point for many spinners.  In this podcast I talk about thinking through the process before you actually go shopping, and then what to look for when you are finally ready to buy.

I would like to include references to two books that I mention in this podcast:

Turning Wool into a Cottage Industry  by Paula Simmons

In Sheep's Clothing by Nola and Jane Fournier

Music is from the podsafe music network  and was the instrumental Change of Autumn by Brian Turner.


As promised: a listing of sheep breed based on the softest possible micron count (the number listed after the name of the sheep):

Sheep breeds softest to roughest listing

Reference  In Sheep's Clothing  by Nola and Jane Fournier

Fine wools                                                                                                      
Merino 18  
Rambouillet 19              
CVM 21                                                                                    
Cormo 21                                                                                    
Polworth 21                                                                          
Romeldale 21                                                                  
Targhee 22                                                                          
Polypal 22                                                                        
Bond 23                                                                            
Columbia 24                                                                            
Corriedale 26                                

   Down Breeds              
  Shetland  23
  Southdown  23
  Clun Forest  25    
  Montadale  25            
  Tunis  25      
  Black Welsh Mountain 26 
  Ryeland  26
  Shropshire  26
  Suffolk  26
  Cheviot  28

 Blue faced Leicester 24                        
 Texel   26                                                  
 Gotland   28                                                  
 Perendale  28                                                      
 Teeswater  30                                               
 Wensleydale 30                                        
 Romney 33                                             
 Cotswold  34                                          
 Coopworth  35                                        
 Lincoln 36                                                
 Border Leicester  37

Direct download: YST_episode_38_final_mp3.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:06pm EDT

YST Episode 37 Sept 2009 Spin In

The wonderful fluffy sheep is one of the breeds I talk about in today's spin in podcast, the Polworth.  I also discuss the Southdown sheep breed.

I've put in a small segment for beginner spinners on just how I fiddle with my spinning wheel when starting to spin a new to me fiber.

And if it is a spin-in then there must be a story, and today's yarnspinnertale is about sense of humor.

Here's the promised links!

Here's a good link for more information about the Polworth sheep.

I have a group on Ravelry, listed as yarnspinnerstales spin-in.  Search in the groups box and come join the group.

I have a fiber sampler box of 10 different fibers for sale in my Artfire store, ZavagantStudio.  Check it out now and then, I will continue to add items for sale there over the next two months.

All music is from Mevio's Music Alley (formerly the Podsafe Music Network). Today's theme:  Humor!

The first song is by Marc Gunn, a podcaster of Celtic Music (The Celtic Music Podcast Show) and writer of very funny songs, often about cats.  Today I chose What Do You Do With a Catnipped Kitty.

The very unique 'singing' of the Miranda Rights is called the Miranda Lullabye, and is sung by Paul and Storm.

The show closes with The Recycle Song by Bill Bates.

As always, a big thank you to Wren Ross for Baa Baa Black Sheep and Clare Dowling for Spinning Wheel.

Happy Spinning!

Direct download: YST_Episode_37_Final.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:23pm EDT

YST Episode 36 Spinning on a Charkha

It's like a spinning studio, in a book size box.  That's how the charkha spinning wheel is described in the podcast.  Along with many fun stories involving spinning on this unique spinning tool, we also try to give you specifics on just how to spin on one yourself.

Every now and then it seems that the pictures really will speak louder than the words, so to help you understand just what we are talking about we have posted a video on Youtube.  Here's a direct link for it.  You have to pick which to do first, listen to the podcast, or watch the video...just don't do them both at the same time!

I have lots of links about charkhas. You can find lots more through Google I am sure.  If you want to join the discussion, come on over to Ravelry and join the Yarnspinnerstales group there.  We'd love to hear from you.

Thank you to Elaine Benfatto for her DVD Charkha Spinning: Tips and Techniques, which I review in the podcast.

Thank you to Jonathon Bosworth, for making not only the charkha we talk about, but many other lovely spinning tools.

Thank you to Gokul Salvadi for all the music in today's podcast.  The interlude was Plucked Sitar and the closing song was Traibal Dance.  His music can be found at Music Alley, formerly the Podsafe music network.

Here's lots more links






http://www.charkha.biz/Charkha/tools.htm  advertises tuned indian charkha

http://www.woolery.com/pages/charkhafr.html  has video I reviewed

http://www.paradisefibers.net/CHARKHA-SPINNING-TIPS-DVD-p/999131.htm  also has video

http://halcyonyarn.com/spinning.php  has video

http://www.yarnbarn-ks.com/CHARKHA-SPINNING-TIPS-DVD/productinfo/VS-DX417/  has video

http://www.dyegarden.com/2009/05/cigar-box-charkha-building-and-dye.html  building a cigar box charkha

http://www.woolworks.com/Shop/Videos/Spinning  has video

http://fiberdrunk.blogs.se/2007/09/16/charkha_plying_solution~2990381/  cool upright kate


Direct download: YST_episode_36_final_mp3.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:15pm EDT

YST Episode 35 July 2009 Spin In

It's July and the spinning is easy.  Grab your fiber and favorite spinning tool and listen in as I talk about washing alpaca fiber, keeping angora bunnies cool in the heat.


Music used in today's podcast in from Music Alley, formerly the podsafe music network.  A big thank you to all the musicians that put there music out there for us to hear, we love you for it!

Summerfeeling is the name of the interlude music and it's by Dreamweaver.

Triple6fusion played Night of the Dancing Guitars.

The wonderful closing song for the podcast is by John Voorhees.

Don't forget to check out my new Artfire store Zavagantstudio. Fibers with lots of luxury for spinning are currently available.

There are not really any photos for this podcast, but feel free to check out my blog anyway.

Happy spinning!

Direct download: YST_Episode_35_final.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:44pm EDT

YST Episode 34 Carding and Blending Fibers

This podcast talks about carding with handcarders, or a drumcarder.  Not only is it a wonderful way to get your fiber ready to spin, it is also a very useful tool for blending fibers or colors.

Carding with handcards is shown on this video. We made this video when we were podcasting about cotton, but the concept of carding is the same, and I thought it would be good to include the link again.

There was a big announcement quietly made in this podcast: My new online shop! This shop will be a place for selling fibers and other creative pursuits that catch my fancy.  You can find it at  ZavagantStudios at the Artfire website.

If you want to see other carding that I have been doing, check out my blog. 

The music used in today's podcast is from a podsafe music network, mevio (formally the podsafe music network site).

The interlude music is Summer by General Fuzz

The closing song is Midsummer Night by Robert Walker.

And as always a big thank you to Clare Dowling for the spinning song that I use as my podcast theme song.

Happy blending!

Direct download: YST_Episiode_34_final_carding_fibers.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:51pm EDT

A big thanks to Ravelry's Kashimama, for putting this list together for our Ravelry group's reference.  I thought it would be a good idea to put the list here and occasionally update it to keep it on the current page.


Episode 1 Using Combs / Shetland
Episode 2 Spin In
Episode 3 Raising Angora Rabbits
Episode 4 Christmas Music 2 episodes
Episode 5 Spinning Angora
Episode 6 Spin In Border Leicester and BFL
Episode 7 Skirting a Shetland Fleece
Episode 8 Spin In Cheviot and Corriedale
Episode 9 Washing a Fleece
Episode 10 Spin In Finn and Perendale
Episode 11 Book Reviews
Episode 12 Cotton Dyeing Part I Chemical Dyes
Episode 13 Cotton Dyeing Part II Natural Dyes
Episode 14 Spin In Cormo and Montadale
Episode 15 Cotton Spinning/Preparation Techniques
Episode 16 Spin In Romney and Targhee
Episode 17 Andean Plying, Picking a Fleece, Spinning Bulky Yarn
Episode 18 Spin In CVM and Maine Island Sheep
Episode 19 Wheels: How they work
Episode 20 Spin In Navajo Churro and Jacob
Episode 21 Felting a Fleece
Episode 22 Spin In Alpaca
Episode 23 Drop Spindles
Episode 24 Spinning and Dyeing Silk
Episode 25 Spin In Cashgora
Episode 26 Spinning Woolen vs Worsted
Episode 27 Spin In Tunis and Karakul
Epidose 28 Dyeing Wool / Discolored Fleeces
Episode 29 Spin In Wheels at the Woolery / Spaelsau and Icelandic
Episode 30 Plying
Episode 31 Bamboo and Tencel
Episode 32 Silk, Soy and Milk
Episode 33 Spin In Dog Hair / Spinning Designer Yarns and The Intentional Spinner

Category:general -- posted at: 11:54am EDT