When I was young…until I was around 12 or 13 I think…My dad worked at a company called Control Data/Computer Peripherals in quality control. That was back when computers were room size and you didn’t just carry the thing around in your pocket or a messenger bag. There were four kids in my family. I am the oldest. We never had much extra money but the company had a family day each summer at Dorney Park in Allentown PA. That was our family vacation and my sister (one year younger) and I loved it.

Alentown PA was about an hour away from our house.  When my dad was leaving for our vacation in the morning it always seemed like it took forever to get there. Then on the way home, it always felt like the time just flew by. I learned later, when I was older and began to pay attention to my dad’s driving habits, that on the way somewhere he drove the speed limit or under but on the way home from anywhere he seemed to develope a lead foot.

I’m not talking about mom right now cause she always has a lead foot no matter what and has since the day she learned to drive – I know that because she didn;t get her driver’s license until I was a few years old.

What made me think of this was I was spinning and getting to the end of my length of fiber and my yarn started to get thicker. and then a tiny bit thicker.

Thicker yarn fills the bobbin more quickly, just as peddle to the metal gets you home more quickly. When I get to the last 1/4 of a bobbin I have to pay closer attention to the thickness of my yarn. Especially if it’s for a big project like I’m in the midst of right now.

In order to keep track of how thick the yarn should be I keep a card with my wheel with singles wrapped around and at least one plied sample attached. I’m not a giant fan of those plastic wpi cards because I have a hard time knowing which line the yarn actually matches. If I have a little wrap card it’s easier for my tiny brain.


It doesn’t have to be complicated. I make a few notes to keep me on track in case I need to change projects in the middle. With just those 4 lines and a tiny bit of yarn I can remake the yarn or continue a project any time. Even if I walk away for months. I just put the card with the fiber I’m spinning and it’s all good!

This card is actually missing one line that I usually include which is the treddle to drafting ratio which I know is about 4 treddles for every 18 inches. I should write that down. I know it and I expect to keep spinning this yarn but I have more projects coming up in which i will use a different kind of wool but try to get a similar yarn so the fabrics in the end are similar. Adding that information would be helpful since I may not start spinning that yarn until December or January.


The plied samples are just ply back samples and I’m not very worried about how pretty they are. I just need a reference for what the balanced ply looks like when I go to ply – because my yarn is not going to be fresh when I ply and so I won’t be able to tell what ball park I’m going for from the yarn that is on the bobbins. These samples were made from freshly spun singles right after the yarn was made.

So there it is. One of my secrets to consistency throughout a project and especially at the end of each bobbin as I try to rush to fill it.

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