Thursday, April 9, 2015

Knots In Yarn - We Talk To An Expert

Knots In Yarn  

So you are in the middle of a row of knitting and you come across a knot in the yarn!.
What now?

We hear this frequently from knitters ''why is there knots in my yarn?'

We decided to look a little deeper into this. Knots in yarn are a natural occurring problem. This is mostly due to the length of the staple. During spinning there is a process for joining fibres together called the weavers knot. As you can imagine during the process of spinning the fibres will naturally thin out which means this particular 'knot' or 'joint' is then used to reconnect the yarn.

To find out a bit more on this subject I spoke to Mr Frank Malone from Tivoli Spinners an Irish yarn company based in Cork. Tivoli has been serving knitters with top quality yarns for years. Tivoli Spinners was established in 1973 and is one of Ireland's best known yarn manufacturers.  

''Tivoli offer a variety of yarn qualities from 100% pure wool, woolblends, 100% cottons to man made fibres. Their yarns range from Double Knitting, Aran and Chunky through to Super Chunky.

Frank is an industry expert in yarn manufacturing having used a spinning machine himself, you can take it from us he knows what he's talking about.

Q). 'Is the problem with knots in yarn natural or a mechanical fault?'

A). 'It is a natural occurring problem, the wool goes through about five processes during spinning. During the spinning process the wool will go through up to five machines and each machine operator is trained in a skill called 'the weavers knot'. Theoretically this knot is supposed to be very small and perhaps unnoticeable. To give a better idea on this specialised joint take a look at this video:

Q). What would be an acceptable amount of weavers knots in terms of industry standards?

A). You could have ten balls of yarn that will not have any knots. An important point is that knots do not occur in every ball. The industry standard is up to three of these knots.

Q). What should a knitter do if they discover one of these knots?

A). All knitters are going to have knots anyway when joining a new ball, some will cut out the original knot as they may be very good at their own weavers knot. It should be pointed out that its a good practice to learn this joining process.

Q). Is it possible to ensure a customer a ball of yarn will have no knots at all?

A). If we could guarantee each ball of yarn knot free, then that would be a very costly ball of yarn. So in reality there is no guarantee'.  

So to all knitters and crocheters out there, knots are here to stay!
 A lovely conversation I had with Frank from Tivoli Spinners. Some really interesting points about the whole knots in yarn topic.
I hope you find this useful in your understanding of the yarn spinning process. 

Thank you to Mr Frank Malone for taking the time to chat to me.

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