Something New Today

I am really going to love this spin!

The way the colors change is really exciting! ๐Ÿ™‚

At the end of this length is some pink! I can hardly wait to see it overlap the rusty green that is coming up in the next inch or so.

But my color love really is not new is it? ๐Ÿ™‚

What I was really going to talk to y’all about today is this contraption.

That is a VIP Spinner’s Control Card I got from an etsy shop called Art Club. I have had this tool for a good while. But I used it for the first time today to check to see if I was getting laceweight.

Um…No. Not quite. But that is pretty darn close to what I would want. This is my default yarn. According to this card, because it is measuring my singles at around a size 32 wpi, a 2-ply of this would produce a 16 wpi yarn (16 x 2-ply = 32 singles wpi). That makes it a sportweight yarn or a fingering yarn depending on who you ask (I dont know who yet, lol). That’s actually not too bad to me though. I can live with that. ๐Ÿ™‚

I figured I may as well learn a little more while I was at it…

It was taking forever to spin across the length of the bobbin! Coupled with the fact that I am going to be spending a lot if time with another monochromatic spin…eight treadles for every little inch was beginning to unravel the little bit of decorum I have left at the end of a long day, lol. So, I decided to just go for it!

Do you see the little beehive-looking thing to the right of the bobbin?

There’s also a smaller one at the back of the rear maiden. They are called whorls (or pulleys since whorls usually refer to weighted devices in handspinning).

The Ladybug comes with a medium and fast whorl (seen connected to the wheel). But, I also got the faster and slower whorl for a total of four whorls…only since I have never changed the whorl, I have never used the last three. Yet.

Now, this is how I understand it..The whorls designate the ratios a spinning wheel is capable of operating at. Ratio has to do with the number of twists that are inserted into the fiber being spun. So, for instance, a ratio of 8:1 means every time the spinner treadles once, the wheel inserts 8 twists into the fiber. If the fiber was spun so that an inch was being drafted per treadle, the resulting yarn would have 8 twists per inch throughout.

I usually keep my ratio around the same on both wheels I own. I only move the drive band a notch in either direction on either wheel, if I change anything. But, due to the overwhelming nausea experienced by having to treadle 8 times for every inch drafted, I changed that whorl with flourish today. ๐Ÿ™‚

With the medium and fast whorls, the Ladybug comes with ratios 7:1, 9:1, 10.5:1 and 12.5:1. Incidentally, that is pretty close to the ratios for the Joy (6:1, 8:1, 11:1, and 14:1), though with the Joy, the permanent whorl is not able to be swapped out for another size. Because I have kept the medium whorl on since I got the Ladybug, I generally spin at the 7:1 and 9:1 ratios (very similar to what I spin on the Joy). That really is home base for me when I spin. But, usually, to get the amount of twist I need to keep the singles from drifting apart, I only have to treadle 2-4 times as I draft fiber. That is a comfortable treadling pace for me. So, what’d I do?

I switched to the fast whorl today. And do you know what happened? The singles started accumulating faster! The singles had the twist integrity needed within my normal drafting and treadling pace before being wound onto the bobbin. It worked out perfectly!

Here you can see the minimal progress on the left before I changed the whorl. That was spun over two days for a total of maybe 40 minutes. Compare that to the right side in the photo. That was spun over 20 minutes total. Not bad for one minor adjustment!

And it makes sense. I started this post by showing you my current wip on a spindle. The singles are about the same size. But the whorl is significantly smaller on my spindle than the medium whorl on my wheel. Changing to a faster (smaller) whorl on the wheel corresponds, in a sense to what is going on with the spindle. Bouncing around sure has its perks!

You really do learn something new everyday. ๐Ÿ™‚


  1. The yarn you’re spinning is a lovely colour!

  2. B. Morgan Joy says:

    Glad you went for it! 8 treadles for every inch sounds like a recipe for frustration and sore ankles.
    Your gorgeous spindles always make me curse the terrible posture that makes drop spindling so difficult for me. Maybe a supported spindle someday soon.

    • I have only spun a yarn on a supported spindle once. It took some getting used to, but it was cool. Do you know which supported spindle you will try?

      • B. Morgan Joy says:

        I just sent a request for information on a Gripping Yarns Russian spindle. I imagine the learning curve is a bit steeper for such a slick tool than for the toy-wheel drop spindle I started with, but I think persevering might be a bit easier if I can’t stop touching it.
        Have you had a chance to check out the iSpin Toolkit? I’m not sure how accurate the WPI gauge is, but it’s a lot easier to keep track of my phone than a bit of transparent plastic that my kittens will steal, hide under one of the couches, and pine after while staring into the narrow abyss no paw or arm can penetrate. I’m thinking about comparing the app’s WPI gauge to an actual wrapping on a ruler, but if it’s right I think I’d better get some other things done first, ’cause I’ll be wrapping for a WHILE.

      • Lol! Yes, I have it. But, I lost my iPod touch! It’s either wait until it turns up or get a brand new one…wrapping on an iPad is not an option. ๐Ÿ™‚

        Gripping Yarn has a great set of spindles! Good luck! I have a Russian by Enid Ashcroft yet to try. But, I haven’t found a fiber I want to go with it yet. So much to try!!

  3. This is great. ๐Ÿ˜€
    I love the colours on you handspindle, but I have to confess, that I though: ยปOh … more green … yeah …ยซ But that’s just because I’ve knittet SO MUCH in green lately that I’ve become a bit fed up with it. I like green, though. ๐Ÿ˜‰
    That card to check your spun thread seems something really useful! Sometimes, the easiest things are the best.
    But I have to admit, I understood only 1/4 of what you wrote about the whorles … Maybe some other day. ๐Ÿ˜‰
    Have a great day!

    • Thank you! I’m beginning to see green everywhere myself! Definitely have to go crazy when I choose a color next time. ๐Ÿ˜‰

      No worries. I only understand it a little bit myself, lol!

  4. Wow that is such a pretty green! That card looks pretty nifty too.

  5. Ordered the card! Thanks for the info. ๐Ÿ˜Ž What brand of spindle is that? My beautiful stone doesn’t work well so I need to order another one. ๐Ÿ˜Ž

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