This is something that I talked about in my Craftsy Class.
That’s a $20 off link by the way, just in case you haven’t taken the class yet.
It’s also something that I’ve talked about in my book Spin Control or also formatted for your Kindle. That’s e-print so you can download it now!
It’s something I’ve talked about in many classes. Particularly, if you’ve taken a class with me about having better control of your yarn.
I have a thing for these little Personal Control Cards. I lay more stock in them than I do in WPI guides and Spinner’s Control Cards. I am in no way saying that the tools that are available to us have no value. They absolutely do have value but they’re not magic.
First let’s play.
Take a sample of Wensleydale and spin it. Match it up to the spinner’s control card and check the WPI. Make note of that. Ply it, make notes of how you did that as well. Take a sample of Targhee and spin it the same way matching it up to exactly what you did with the Wensleydale. Now wash them. Let’s test them again for WPI and see where they end up on the Control Cards. Different right? Washing changes everything sometimes. Or changes almost nothing in the case of the Wensleydale.
How taught do you hold your yarn against the Spinner’s Control Card?
How taught is your yarn when you check the WPI?
Most people have their own personal way to hold their fibers when they measure. I have my own personal way too. I can tell you my way but you might find you slip into your own personal default. So what I’m going to suggest is that you have your own default and you stick to it. Unless you’re writing a pattern or an article that needs to be in some kind of standard then you don’t need to worry if your way is a little off the main.
So can you see why I suggest a Personal Control Card?
If I make a sweater in BFL and I want it to be sport weight (I have 2 or 3 sweaters like this), I only need to make my PCC once. I can replicate this yarn as many times as I want by following my own card. If I wanted to switch to a fiber that is not in my own set or a different grist then I need to make a new card when I get the yarn I want. Sometimes just sampling out a fiber to make a yarn will make me 2 or 3 new sample cards. BONUS!
With my control cards I have all the information about the wheel, the TPI (twist per inch, I’ll talk about that another time), and the WPI. I can see exactly how taught my yarn is wrapped on there as a single and match that when I’m testing to see if I’m spinning the same. I then have a plied (unwashed) sample on there so when I ply I can see exactly how I did it and replicate that. Then the washed sample, that’s purely there so I know what yarn I’m going to get in the end. Which you can see in the picture up there that I didn’t add that on yet. This is an extra teaching card and I was making a new set to following me to teaching venues.
If you had your own personal set of cards and you wanted to duplicate a yarn, think how excellent and easy it would be. I’m all for spinning without a plan. Just making some yarn because you want to is one the greatest joys of being a spinner. I’m saying if you want to duplicate and control your spinning, then sampling, documenting, and making PCCs is one of the best ways to go about it.