I've been practising my unsupported long draw, so that I can demonstrate it properly for my beginning spinners and improve my charkha spinning.
Long draw can be extremely fast and is a wonderful technique for production spinners. I rarely measure my speed when spinning; it's the journey, not the destination that's important for me. For teaching purposes, I kept track of my mileage with this spinning session and was amazed: I could produce 75 metres per 10 minutes, using alpaca/flax roving and my 30 year old Ashford Traveller. Plying a bobbin full of 2 ply yarn took 10 minutes total for a 225 metre skein. I have no idea if this is fast for anyone else, but it's very quick work for me. Here are the results, 450 metres of 2 ply yarn, weighing 225 grams:
At 900 metres per 450 grams (1 pound), the yarn is in the heavy worsted weight range, but it's soft and lofty and will knit up into something warm and cozy. What that is has yet to be determined, but we'll be heading into cold and snow soon, so whatever it is will come in handy.
Like so many things, the secret to successful long draw, apart from working with suitable, well-prepared fibres, is to let go. If you trust that the process will work for you and you are willing to accept some failures along the way, the technique will come.
Fibre work reminds me of how fortunate I am to be able to practise the things I love and enjoy them with my friends. I'm grateful for all this, grateful to be with family and friends when opportunity arises, grateful to be here.
Life is wonderful; I wish you all the best moments in the time we have.
Happy Birthday to my sister, Nancy!