Sunday, September 03, 2006



I finally figured out how wpi (wraps per inch) works.

I realise that this is not really that ground-breaking, and that most people will be saying 'and...?', but this has been a real confuddlement for me since I started spinning in February.

So. To determine wraps per inch you wrap your yarn round a ruler, and see how many wraps there are per inch. Simple right? Well, for some reason I had a massive brain fart with this, because I just couldn't understand it: surely it depended on how wide the ruler was? I used to lie awake at night trying to figure it out: how can everyone use wpi as a generic guide if they're all using random rulers? Or maybe there's just a spinning ruler that everyone knows about but me and no one mentions it because it's so obvious? Let me emphasise this: I have been wondering about this for seven months. It was getting to the point where I was going to have to ask on a spinning list (and I am soooooooooooooo glad that I didn't!) - I was so perplexed that no one else had asked this, and I've been reading spinning lists for seven months, and surely other newbies must not know about the special spinning ruler?

Of course, I could've just tried it, but without the special spinning ruler, I didn't see the point.

So. Anyway. Yesterday I decided on a break to do a little spinning, to see whether I could still spin thicker yarns, and I also decided to read Mabel Ross's 'The Essentials of Handspinning' again, because I need to start being more technical in my spinning. Darnit - I wanted to figure out wpi!

And then it clicked: it really doesn't matter how thick the blimming ruler is!

(rest of world chorus: 'and...?')

I think I was getting confused with length and wraps (as in, you'll get more wraps from 10 inches of yarn around a pencil than you will a ruler, and more round a ruler than you will a mug, etc). (Yes, OK, and I was just being stupid)

Now then. What's grist?



Blogger The Sanguine Gryphon said...

I confess to having had the same conceptual difficulty - though for more like 3 seconds than 7 months, but who's counting? Grist is yards/metres per pound/kilo of a finished yarn.

8:37 pm  
Blogger TheKnittingBee said...


11:43 pm  

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