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I Ply

May 29, 2005

I spy a 3 ply yarn. This is an astonishing development, believe me.

What’s even more astonishing is that once I’d fine-tuned my wheel setup, I think it won’t be that difficult to finish the batch.

I really wanted to stick with scotch tension for plying this – I don’t want to have to go back to double drive for anything. This means that I use the larger bobbin end – more surface for the brake band to grab on. At first I left the small whorl on – reasoning it’d give me more twist more quickly. However, I soon decided that was not the best decision. In order to keep the whole flyer going around with the brake band set for a strong takeup, I had to screw up the wheel tension so much that it was getting hard to treadle. When I switched to the larger whorl, I could relax all that, and the reason was the same: more surface for the drive band to grab on. Once I got there I was fine.

I did break my hemp brake band in the process, but a quick trip to the drawer for cotton twine fixed that.

The spice cap was an incredible thing – I am not sure I could have managed this otherwise. With the spice cap I could always see the little triangle where the twist was taking the singles, and manage it evenly. And, if I had to stop I could push it all the way down to the lazy kate and it would stay put. This was a good thing, as at this gauge it took me about 2 hours total to fill that bobbin.

I plyed hard, so when the hank came off the niddy noddy it had quite a torque in it, but a very hot bath and good tension while drying straightened it out nicely.

In the end I got about 320 meters of yarn and I’m guessing it to be fingering weight. If I keep up at this pace I should get 1500 or 1600 yards of yarn, which would be quite respectable and useful.
I’m sort of amazed by this whole thing. There was a beautiful hank of natural-colored fingering weight corriedale yarn hanging up at a booth in the main building at MS&W and I said to Sam, “This is what I want my cormo to be like.” It is actually coming out kind of like that. The experienced spinners will laugh at me, but when I looked at the hank all dry, I thought for the first time as a spinner, “I would actually buy this yarn.”

It will probably be a month before I can show you a whole pile of little hanks like this, but won’t it be delicious when it happens!

13 Comments leave one →
  1. Sam permalink
    May 29, 2005 10:15 pm

    Holy cow, Caroline – that stuff’s *gorgeous*!!!! You know, if you can’t think of a durned thing to do with it, I know where it could have a happy home. 😉

  2. May 30, 2005 5:49 pm

    Very nice. A thing of joy!

  3. June B. Potere permalink
    May 30, 2005 7:49 pm

    Oh Man, Caroline! You have definately outdone yourself here!! I only hope to get there one day. . .

  4. May 31, 2005 7:15 am

    Gosh Caroline I don’t know how you could make that better! It looks perfect to me! Congrats!!

  5. May 31, 2005 3:33 pm

    Oh my goodness, how gorgeous and perfect! Are you just going to squeeze it over and over and over? Never having done three ply (I do not feel the need) I am wondering why there is such a difference with keeping the bobbins under such a confinement as you did with the little diz kind of a thing? Didn’t that add more friction to what was happening with the yarn? Were you finding that you could not control the three strands with your hands? I would think that a person that plays the piano and fiddle would have that dexterity OR is there something that I am missing? Do the plies get out of control without the spice cap? No matter…you have mastered the ability to make this perfect stuff. I give you a deep bow. Mwah!

  6. Katie permalink
    May 31, 2005 5:03 pm

    Oh my gosh, that is GORGEOUS!! I am green with envy. Congratulations!

  7. May 31, 2005 6:27 pm

    That is some gorgeous yarn!

  8. Roi permalink
    May 31, 2005 8:26 pm

    Caroline I can’t believe how far you’ve come in such a short time with your spinning proficiency! I think I’d want to frame it -maybe in one of those window box frames.

  9. May 31, 2005 9:42 pm

    It’s really lovely.
    It took me about 15 years before I made three-ply, so I’m kinda jealous 😉 Good work!

  10. junieann permalink
    June 1, 2005 1:46 am

    Gads that is lovely. I wonder if it is too late in life to learn to spin? I would love to be able to do what you do.

  11. vanessa permalink
    June 1, 2005 8:09 am

    caroline, that is simply gorgeous!!!

  12. June 2, 2005 8:21 am

    Such beautiful yarn.Gorgeous !

  13. June 10, 2005 8:32 pm

    Do you know that the LiveJournal syndication of your blog is broken? Apparently you moved… I was starting to *wonder* why there weren’t any updates!

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