Short Track Medal

Short Track Medal

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Navajo Plying

I have been spinning. I have been spinning on my new fast flyer. (love the grammer, I have been reading too many Kindergarten books!)

Let's discuss plying. You spin singles and you have to either ply them together with other singles or ply them back on themselves. Using a single to knit is usually not the desired route. A single will untwist, possible produce a fabric that is biased and not behave as a plied yarn will. Now, after carefully weighing out half of my fiber in one fluff and another half in another fluff, I still am not a machine. I will never be able to spin two singles that are the same by weight and by length. It just won't happen and I hate winding up with 23 yards on a bobbin that I refuse to part with yet can't really use other than to tie the skein together. Toss it? Give it to the kids? Get a cat and let it play with it? Learn to Navajo ply? So, I decided to practice Navajo plying.

For the past three nights, I've been spinning some black (or very, very dark brown, can't tell because the sun hasn't come out all this time so we live in the dark here in NY...) Shetland wool. From roving, not from top so it wasn't as smooth as it could be. It had little fuzzballs in it here and there but very little vegetable matter and no Shetland Sheep poop. I spun this on my fast flyer on the middle whorl, I guess that would be 15:1. I then attempted Navajo plying but didn't do it right. I got decent yarn but with many coils. I'm not sure, but I think that I would've done better had I went back to the slow flyer and did this slowly. The loop closed up way too quickly and I was nearly finger chaining at some points instead of big loop chaining. I used my right hand to do it and shouldn't have done that because I got coils.
Coils are loose spots in the yarn. Ugh...

It's sloppy.

It's sloppy but it is truly three ply yarn!

Today, I watched a very good tutorial which demonstrated Navajo plying. I highly recommend you watch this before and after you try Navajo plying. It's great! I was just pulling up a loop and trying to do everything with my RIGHT hand and had major tension issues which caused an unbalanced skein. I will do it correctly next time! I was always under the impression that I would feel the bumps of the chain in the finished yarn. I couldn't feel a thing. My yarn was nice and smooth. I was imagining irregularly spaced little knots and that wasn't the case at all. Hmmnn...

I have one bobbin of Mixed Berry Merino all spun and resting on the bobbin for several days and may Navajo ply it tonight. No sense in filling up the bobbin because it won't all fit on the bobbin when I ply. Another advantage of Navajo plying: barbershop pole yarn is reduced. For the most part, color changes will happen nicer than they would if two or more singles were plyed together.

In other news, when I'm not spinning and I'm letting the house go to pot, I'm knitting this beautiful baby afghan. I love it! Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece rocks!

Back to the grindstone!

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