Worsted Weight Yarn

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Knit Gauge Range to 4 inches: 16 to 20 sts
Recommended Needle in Metric Size Range: 4.5 to 5.5 mm
Recommended Needle U.S. Size Range: 7 to 9

Crochet Gauge Ranges in Single Crochet to 4 inch: 11 to14 sts
Recommended Hook in Metric Size Range: 5.5 to 6.5 mm
Recommended Hook U.S. Size Range: I–9 to K–10 ½

Worsted weight yarn is often twisted double or two-ply, and sometimes three- and four-ply. Considerable worsted yarn is used for ornamental needlework and knitting. Much of the worsted yarn goes into knit goods and underwear, but the greatest portion goes into the manufacture of cloth for women's dresses and for men's suits. The carpet wools are generally worked up into worsted yarns for the better grades of carpets and rugs; some good rugs are made from woolen yarns also.

When all the parts of a spinning frame have been put together, and the machine fitted up, and the belt is running, it is the easiest thing in the world to make worsted yarn, so some people say. But there are a hundred and one things that are conducive to making good or bad yarn.

It does not matter as much about the speed of the frame, as it does about its condition, as a rough cap, a snip on the edge of the cap, or a cracked pot eye will cause the end to keep on breaking, and no matter how good the stock is, or at what speed the frame runs, if there are one or two on one side, it will keep you constantly on the run, and nearly every end that comes down is the same. Time and time again, therefore, you have no time to clean, and consequently the rolls and carriers get mucked up, for if there is a small lap on one of the carriers it will make the yarn uneven, as the roving has to pass over it, and that particular carrier, being so much bigger with the lap on, will cause the roving to rise higher than the other carriers, and then, the wood carriers swing all the time on the roving, causing uneven yarn, and if it is short stock, it will in many cases break; in the other cases it is the same end that is down time after time, until the lap is cut off. Great care should be taken in cutting laps off the carriers, for if the knife marks the carriers, it will be lapping all the time. Another point is to keep the machine well lubricated, especially the spindles and back rolls; if the back top rolls get dry they bind and go more slowly, which will cause the roving to run offside.

Still another point is to keep the spindle strictly plumb, with the pot eye in the wire board. If it is not plumb, there will be a constant jagging on the end, which will be constantly breaking.

Then there is fly spinning. Flyers do not run as fast as caps. The common spindle runs as high as 3,000 revolutions per minute, but some spindles will run as high as 4,500. The greatest point about fly spinning is in putting proper washers on to regulate the drag, and keeping the spindle plumb with the pot eye, and the carriers and rollers clean, and the machine well lubricated. Ring spinning runs faster than fly spinning, but not so fast as cap. The ring will run as high as 6,000 revolutions for worsted; it might run faster for cotton. The spindle must be plumb with the pot eye, and in the center of the ring, or, as in cap and fly, there will be a constant jagging on the end, it will cause the traveler to wear out more quickly, and the ring to wear on one side, which will spoil it completely. Great care should be taken with the travelers, as the yarn will wear a nick in them in time, and then it will rub the yarn up and make it all thick and thin.

So the only way to make good worsted yarn is to keep the machine in good order, clean, and well lubricated. How is this to be done? Anybody can walk up and down a room, and if she sees an end down, call the spinner's attention to it. But does she try to find out what is the cause of the end breaking? It is impossible for her to go and see every end that is down, but if the overseer, second hand or section hand had to go into an alley occasionally and piece up an end, no doubt in many cases she would find a rough cap, or a snipped cap, or a nicked top roll, or a carrier lap, or a small piece of waste between the back rolls, or a dirty cap, or the spindle out of plumb, or a cracked pot eye, or a small roving, and there are many other things which will cause the end to come down and make you more work, and produce inferior yarn.

Worsted spinning is one of the best jobs under the sun!