I really enjoy spinning, but sometimes it makes me want to tear my hair out.
This weekend I made a discovery to help me avoid tangles such as this. Normally when I finish spinning a spindle-full of singles I wind them off into a center-pull ball and ply from either end. This method works well to use up every single bit of spun yarn, but it does result in rather a lot of tangles since the inner and outer plies are not held at the same tension and because at some point the center of the ball will collapse. I recently read Spinning in the Old Way and the author suggested that a spinner ply with a nostepinne inside the the center-pull ball to prevent this collapse. I don’t have a nostepinne, so I improvised with a US 35/19 mm knitting needle that I bought once on a whim.
This solved the collapsing problem, but not the tension problem, and I ended up with ever so many tangles. I was keeping the ball on the floor at this point. Everything changed when I decided to hold the ball on my lap where I could tension the strands very close to where they came off the ball. Voila! My problem was solved!
As I got to the end of my singles the spindle became very heavy, making it hard to wind on. Instead of holding the weight of the spindle in my fingers I began to wind from the ground. Much more comfortable.
Soon almost all my singles were gone. I realized the center-pull ball wasn’t much of a ball anymore. And it was very stretchy.
I guess I’m a sucker for portable spinning.
Here is the finished skein ready for a wash.