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Thursday, May 31, 2007


I finished spinning the last bobbin of my handdyed GCNI/Mohair yesterday, so last night I started plying it. When you ply a standard yarn (novelty yarns are a whole different set of rules), you want the singles to twist together at the same rate, under the same tension. You don't want one single too loose or it wraps around the other one(s) instead of twisting together like it should. Obviously, it's easier to control only two singles and make a two ply than it is three or more singles. I've never been particularly happy with my three plied yarn because I have trouble keeping all three singles at the same tension. Well, that was before I took my spinning class with the Amazing Judith MacKenzie McCuin! (The woman should probably wear a cape at all times - maybe with a little sheep on it - but the cape would get in her way and of course we all learned the danger of capes in The Incredibles and I wouldn't want her to get sucked into a jet turbine because her cape got tangled up, but she should have something to indicate her superhero status, don't you think? I digress.) OK, so in the spinning class she showed us how to hold our hands when we plied and using her technique you can control the tension on up to 5 singles at once (she wasn't lying, she had us do it in class, it really works) and you don't even need a tensioned lazy kate! (Her plying technique is probably in her book, I didn't check, but I can't imagine writing a book about spinning and not covering plying.) So last night I sat down to ply my three bobbins of singles together and it still worked! (We've all had things that worked in class, but when you get home they just don't seem to work - not this, baby!) I really love the way this three ply is looking and I am so excited how it's coming all together and twisting at even tension and turning into a lovely, round yarn, and that's not even talking about the way the colors are mixing and blending. I just couldn't stop plying and so I kept going and going and marveling at the way the finished yarn is looking - and then the brake band broke on my wheel.



Blogger Carrie said...

MELANIE!!!! Oh, that's horrible - poor thing.

Can you tie off that bobbin and keep plying on your other wheel?

I THINK Judith's book does cover plying, unless my eyes are playing tricks on me. I love that book - I can only imagine what the class must have been like.

8:40 AM  
Blogger Sereknitty said...

Could you show us a photo of the hand holding technique? I too ply two ply because I haven't yet mastered a three or more ply that I'm happy with.

10:19 AM  
Blogger Rachel said...

You're so funny! I love the comment about the cape, hee hee!

Gorgeous yarn, and it looks really lovely plied!

10:39 AM  
Blogger Sherie said...

ARGH! The brake band broke? Bummer! But your yarn is looking fantastic. Loving the consistency of the final yarn.

11:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

At least you had a new brake band!! Yarn is beautiful!!!

11:29 AM  
Blogger Kristi aka Fiber Fool said...

Love the cape comment, LOL!

The plying hold technique is in her book. I've been hooked on three ply for that last several months now. It is just so pretty and dimensional when you knit with it. Enjoy it!

12:58 PM  
Blogger Barbara said...

oh no! I hope you were able to improvise a new brake band and finish up the plying.

Lovely yarn - I really like the roundness of 3 ply - especially for socks.

4:19 PM  
Anonymous Diane said...

Ouch! Not what you want in the middle of a 3-ply job :-/ Hope it got sorted easily.

Love the look of the yarn, the colours are blending so beautifully.

2:34 AM  
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