Why is my yarn so twisty and hard?

If your yarn is hard to the touch, ropey, generally unpleasant to touch, and begins to coil on itself, you’ve got too much twist in your yarn!  This is a problem you’ll see more with wheel spinning than with spindle spinning, but it can happen with any tool, especially when you first start!

There are a few things you can change to help cope with this.

Fixing it After it Happens

If you look down and your hand is full of coiled ick there’s two things you can do to fix it in the moment.  First, you can stop treadling or park your spindle.  Draft more fiber and allow the twist you already have to travel into the new length of yarn.  This works well if you have just a little bit of coiling.

If you have a very coiled yarn, the other technique is to remove your fiber supply, let the end of your yarn drop, and allow it to untwist.  With a shorter strand, this works well.  If your over-twisted area is too long, this may cause tangling.

Fixing it Before it Happens

Some adjustments can be made to your wheel to help prevent over-twisted singles.  If you find you are over-spinning, try to move your pulley to a slower (larger) whorl.  Likewise, with a spindle, you may want to move to a spindle with a larger whorl.

Increase the tension of your break band or tension strip.  Yarn will be pulled onto the bobbin quicker, which can help keep you from building up twist in one section.

As a last resort, practice treadling slower or drafting faster.  Both of these techniques take a lot of work and are prone to falling victim to your default spin.  Try making adjustments to your wheel before you try making adjustments to what your body is doing.

 

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