Wraps Per Inch {Spring Through Your Stash}

So we’ve reached the end of this year’s spring craft-a-long.

I failed miserably. Terribly, horribly, miserably. However I did put out a lot of fiber off of my wheel, and my purchases all took place on Saturday while we were at the fiber festival. I’m not sure that I hold myself responsible for the universe scheduling a fiber festival at the tail end of my no-buy. Ahem.

Speaking of which, I have a new link category on the side bar-fiber producers and sellers that I support. This are producers that I have purchased from (sometimes repeatedly, and sometimes for years). If you have a producer that you really like, I’ll take a look. I let myself get fiber with overtime money.

wpi

You have your finished yarn (or your finished singles) and you have no idea how to go about measuring them.

Or you have a final weight range that you would like to spin for, and no idea how to get there.

Is there a way to go about measuring your spun wool to give you at least a general idea of how heavy your spinning is? Or how to measure your default single?

Wraps per inch can help you figure out the basic weight range of your spun wool, helping you either label the general weight (light fingering, fingering, cobweb, etc), or determine what needle size to start gauging with for a project.

One of the strengths of this method is that all you need is a ruler, and maybe some tape. It doesn’t even need to be a foot long ruler, though I like to measure for at least four inches.

To measure wraps per inch (wpi) using a ruler, take the finished yarn and wrap it firmly around the ruler. This is part of the controversy of wpi, because what’s firmly? Firmly is pack the wraps so they touch, but not so close they overlap. I wrap for at least four inches. After four inches worth of wrap, count the number of times you were able to wrap the yarn around the ruler and divide by four. This gives you the wpi- and the longer you measure it for, the more accurate it will be. The higher the wpi, or the more times you can wrap it, the lighter the yarn.

Then you can take your determined wpi, and compare it to one of the dozens of wpi charts online to figure out its rough weight. This is the bigger controversy for me; what the chart says seems to vary by who’s writing it. One site, for example, claims that a sport weight or dk weight yarn will give you a wpi of 11-12. Another says that it’s 18-24. That’s a huge variation. The best advice that I can give you is to remember that wpi gives you a rough guide, and stick with the same chart.

Wpi can be helpful when trying to spin to a certain weight. If you want to a finished yarn to be a certain weight, then you need to decide how many plies you want the finished yarn to be, and what the final target wpi is. If you determine that you want a worsted weight yarn with three plies, each ply needs to be three times the final wpi. Remember, the higher the number, the lighter the yarn. So if you are trying for a final project with a wpi of 8, then each single needs to be roughly 24 wpi. Some people really like this method, but I spin by feel, taking the general wpi of the first single and then aiming for a single that feels roughly the same weight. It was something I picked up when I still spun off of a drop spindle exclusively, and I still spin that way.

Bloggers-I have started a new group board on Pinterest. Open to all DIY, craft, food, or other creative blogs, I would love to have you join. Joining instructions are posted on the board-join here.

Please, stop by this week’s Inspired Weekends!

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