Twist Gauge

I’m back to spinning merino top for the Spin-Off magazine and remembered that I’ve been meaning to share the latest in my twist saga.

Did you notice the picture a “Twist Gauge” on page 68 of the latest Spin-Off magazine? Well being the yarn techie that I am, I noticed it right away.

I’ve had a weird fascination with the subject of yarn twist, ever since I found out that I was putting too much twist in my yarns, causing them knit up into a tough dense fabric. This photo of a twist gauge  intrigued me because it looked like such an easy tool to use. I immediately e-mailed Amy, the editor, and asked where this came from.  She said that it’s from an article called Measuring Yarn by Rita Buchanan in the Winter 1993 issue of Spin-Off.


Well, I finally got my hands on a copy of this issue and here is the twist gauge in action.

It is easy to use. I just take a piece of my hand spun yarn, line up the twist ridges of the 2-ply yarn with the lines in the middle of the gauge and then read the angle indicated on the outside of the circle.

I think It would be easy to make one of these gauges using a protractor to draw the circle and mark the angles.  Once the circle is drawn, add vertical lines inside the circle which are  a millimeter apart.

8 thoughts on “Twist Gauge

  1. The following web site has instructions on making a notecard twist angle measurement tool and a lot of other cool info.
    Good Luck with spinning a softer twist. If you can find Paula Simmons book on Spinning for softness and speed, she has some good pointers. Unfortunately the book is out of print, but it can be found sometimes as a used book.


  2. Thanks Elayne, I figure there’s got to be someone else out there that might wonder about these things or might be interested.
    Veronica, Thanks for the link to HJS Studio. I found this website a several months ago and think it’s great.
    I picked up Paula Simmons book from the library a while ago and don’t exactly remember what she says, but I think she has a unique technique for spinning soft yarns. Doesn’t she just kind of let the yarn spin itself by barely holding the fiber in one hand and not using the other.
    Deb Menz mentioned that she learned how to spin from Paula’s book and that Paula doesn’t actually ply her yarn!


  3. Yes, Paula just gently holds the fiber in her hand and it drafts itself – so to speak. I haven’t had a chance to read all of her book or practice her techniques. Most of the time my tpi is around 20 to 25. May be because most of the time I do a short draw, just haven’t perfected my long draw yet.


  4. I envy you the class at Weaving Works. I am toddling along, taking baby steps into spinning, and would love a structured class that provides that sort of education.


  5. Hi Veronica, I just discovered your blog- I am a total beginning spinner, I have had ONE class on drop spindle- I learned to weave a few years ago and now belong to 2 guilds and am the editor of the newsletter for one guild. I have been knitting for 40+ years. Your blog is SO informative and your descriptions are so vivid- thank you for taking the time to share your knowledge and experiences. XO Gail & Fog NYC


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