Last month I talked about consistency and gave you a couple of my favorite tips but I left out the one thing I do at the start of every project. I make a sample card.
I know that lots of people love those spinner’s control cards with the diffeerent line thicknesses to compare your yarn to. I have a couple of those laying around but I find I am more consistent over the whole project if I make my own and it only takes a minute.
I find it easier to compare the singles this way. My eye can see it easier and I spend less time trying to figure out if I am remembering the correct line or if the yarn was slightly inside the line or not. Check out my card. This is the card I used for the columbia yarn I am using for the skirt I made on my floor loom and the one that is currently being woven on my rigid heddle loom. So that’s about 10,000 yards of 2 ply that I needed to spin. Obviously, consistency of yarn was pretty important. And it all was spun using this lowly card as a reference.
This particular card is done on a blank index card. I also use those large shipping tags which are easy to attach to my wheel if I have a long term project happening.
It’s pretty simple. I take the singles and wrap them around the card several times. I just tie the ends together on the back. You can tape them but tape doesn’t necessarily staty stuck forever. This is my reference during the spinning of the singles.
I punch 2 holes in the card and make a ply back sample that is 2 ply and 3 ply. These are my references for a balanced ply. I don’t always match this exactly but it is my starting point. If I want a more drapey yarn I may put less twist and if I want a sturdier yarn or a more elastic yarn I might add more twist than the balanced angle. But I always have this reference of fresh twist as my refernce.
I make both a two ply and a 3 ply sample regardless of what my plan is for the yarn because I save some of these cards for future reference so I can avoid all of the sampling that happened before the start of the project. I have a lot of these cards.
On the card I write the kind of fiber and the preparation – this card should say roving but I neglected to write that. I write the spinning method and often I will add the rhythm I’m using like 12 inch draft to 5 treadles. Again, I didn’t write that here but let me give you a photo of a card I did the right way. This Corriedale project card has all of the information I need to reproduce this yarn. Often I attach it to the swatch or sample I made with the yarn to make sure the yarn would work. All of these samples go into a bag with that breed so I can find them later.
I hope this extra little tip has helped. It’s so easy and has made a huge difference in my spinning projects that require more than 4 ounces of yarn.