Spinning roving

When spinning roving,
how do you keep the yarn twisted and spun??
Without some other force, a twisted string of yarn will unwind by itself…
How do you keep the yarn together?

Roving by itself, without any twist in it, will fall apart. When you put twist into roving, it makes it stronger and it will not drift apart.

If you take a single strand of fiber out of your roving, (if it is wool), you will see it has crimp.

For a balanced single strand of yarn, you should have a twist at every crimp. Pretty hard to do.

There are so many variables when spinning roving … the first being what type of fiber your roving is from. Long wools need less twist than a fiber that has a shorter lock length. Bast fibers (like cotton) need more twist per inch.

Long story short, you have to know the fiber you are spinning.

In general, you will keep your spun yarn under tension until you ‘set the twist’ by introducing the yarn to water.

If spun balanced, then your yarn will be straight and strong.

The thicker your yarn (or the longer the staple length), the less twist you need to introduce into the roving. For thinner yarns (or short staple lengths, or or singles that will be plied), the more twist you need to introduce into the roving.

Are you spinning with a spindle or a wheel?

Folks have been twisting fibers together (and having them hold together to be made into garments) for centuries.

My problem is with setting the twist.
I am using white wool roving.
and I have used a drop spindle but for simplicity I sometimes set the roving at my feet, and use my hands to twist some yarn.
But I cannot set the twist.
I am unaware of using water as a method for setting the twist, so my question is really what are ways of setting the twist?

You need to keep the twisted yarn under tension while you spin by putting it on some sort of bobbin (the drop spindle will work great)

Once you have spun all your roving, remove the yarn (keeping it under tension) to a niddy-noddy of some type. You can buy a NN if you want, but what I used when I first started was a metal hanger bent into a square. Another simple way to skein off your yarn is wrapping it between your elbow and hand.

Once it is all skeined off, tie it loosely in at least 4 places to keep it from becoming a tangled mess.

Fill a sink with warm, soapy water. Place your skein in it, let it soak for 5-10 minutes then swish it around. This not only helps set the twist but removes any dirt that has accumulated during spinning.

Drain the sink and refill with warm, clear water to rinse your skein.

Remove from water and squeeze (don’t twist) the water out. At this point some spinners ‘thwack’ the yarn on a counter. I don’t. I go outside and swing the skein in a circle. This helps not only to remove more water, but helps redistribute the twist. I hold the skein in various places when swinging it.

Then, hang it up and let it dry. Some folks weight their yarns to dry, but I don’t like doing this. Yes, if the yarn is overtwisted, this will make it hang straight. Once it is knitted/crocheted/woven and the yarn has gotten wet again, it will kink up to however it was before you weighted the skein.

Better to leave the skein unweighted while it is drying and work with the ‘energized’ yarn in its natural state.