A Little More About Consistency

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 IColumbiasamplesmall 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 corriedale1but 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.