Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Going for chunky: adventures in 2-ply

been spinnin' again
I haven't spun for over a month - since plying up this little lot (about enough for one sock), I have been actively avoiding making enough for another sock. I don't know if it's the fibre prep, or the fact that it's been stored for too long in a too small box - but I found it a bit of a pig to spin; it wouldn't seem to want to draft smoothly. But - being project monogamous - I haven't wanted to start spinning anything else. This seems silly. I like spinning, so I need to spin the top, or spin something else. So I decided to spin it differently. I tried for a heavier weight yarn; I've been playing with some Debbie Bliss Maya, an aran weight single, slightly thick and thin, and I was wondering if I could spin something like that. Turns out I have difficulty spinning thicker. And putting up with variations in thickness of my singles. I didn't manage to make singles *that* thick - or even that consistent - and I was definitely overspinning, so I plied it:
Because plying is done in the opposite twist direction to spinning singles, it removes some of the twist from the singles. I think I'm used to spinning singles for plying, and it's now pretty much balanced. There are thick bits and thin bits; barberpole bits and bits where two sections of the same colour met up. The unevenness of the yarn is pretty obvious, but I really, really like it. Some of the most interesting bits happened when a thin bit of single met a thicker bit. When this happens, the thin bit seems to travel closer to the axis of the plied yarn, and the thicker one spirals around it:
'parallel' strands in the left box; not on the right!
I found I can control - or eliminate - this effect by gripping the thicker strand more tightly than the thinner one. Then, the two strands twist evenly again. I like this. The more tension I put on a single, the closer to the axis of the finished yarn it will lie. That means that I can produce a spiralling yarn from two singles of equal thickness, an even yarn from two differing singles, or, at the extreme, wrap a single or an unspun fibre around a core fibre - to make a corespun yarn. Cool.


Anonymous victoria said...

I love what you've done! I, too, have a hard time spinning singles thick enough for worsted weight yarn. I'm going to try plying with 3 singles and see how I like that.
keep up the good work! I love reading about other peoples spinning!

11/23/2006 06:54:00 PM  
Blogger KnittyOtter said...

Oh Wow! That looks like a lot of fun.

Glad you learned a few new things. I can't wait to see what your next spinning looks like. :D

11/26/2006 04:55:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey, that's a good tip! I've gotten thick and thin on purpose, but on plying I'd like to have a fairly even yarn, so the tensioning on the thick yarn is a great idea.

- MJ

11/28/2006 05:59:00 PM  
Blogger Poshyarns said...

Wow, I learned so much reading this post, thank you! Looks lovely too.

11/28/2006 09:04:00 PM  
Blogger Poshyarns said...

Thanks for sharing your lovely button story. Memories like that are so priceless.

11/29/2006 07:53:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Looks like Desert Rose to me _ funnily enough I have some yarn that looks exactly the same.

12/09/2006 03:19:00 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home