Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Wooly Words of the Week: Grist, WPI and niddy-noddy

As part of this blog's resurrection, I am reinstating Wednesday's posting tradition of a Wooly Word of the Week.  Each Wednesday I will post a definition of a word (or words) that applies to fiber crafting in some way.  The following week, that word(s) will be moved to the glossary page of the blog and the new word(s) will be posted. 

Since yesterday's post mentioned how calculating the statistics of a finished skein of handspun yarn is important to me, I thought I would make the tools of calculation this week's Wooly Words. 

Grist: The thickness or weight of a yarn, usually expressed in yards per pound or meters per kilo. 

WPI: wraps per inch.  This is a simple, inexpensive method of calculating the thickness of a yarn for a handspinner.  The measurement is how many yarn diameters add up to one inch.  You wrap yarn around a ruler or other tool for one inch and count how many wraps it took to fill that space.  Really bulky yarn might be only 6 to 8 wraps per inch, while a gossamer thread might be 80 wraps per inch.

Niddy-noddy:  A tool that allows for measurement of the yardage in a skein while forming the skein.  The most common skein diameters created on a noddy is 1, 1.5 or 2 yards, but there are miniature versions as well.  The length of the yarn is wound around the four ends of the niddy noddy.  The number of times it has been wound multiplied by the length of the niddy noddy equals the total length of yarn in the skein.  Here is a picture of an Ashford niddy noddy that has yarn wound on it:

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