Yeah, I know I’m doing things out of order and I’m missing an “O” post, but I have the “P” post ready and don’t want to wait to post it until I come up with a suitable “O” post. Sorry!
As alluded to earlier, I plied my first yarn* this evening.
First, here’s a shot of the singles. Again, this is superwash merino lambswool in “steel”. The singles were a little rough in spots, but it was mostly pretty consistent. The weight varies from laceweight to near fingering weight throughout the skein, but I was hoping plying it would even most of that out.
I didn’t take any pictures as I wound the “bracelet” for Andean plying, mostly to spare anyone what could be interpretted as an obscene gesture. *smile* I wound it up on my hand, but by the time I was finished, there was no way it was going to slip over my wrist. I ended up just sliding it off my hand and it held together well enough that I just spun from it as if it were a center pull ball. It worked pretty well, though I did run into one rather large tangle that took a bit to work through.
As an aside, a full drop spindle’s worth seemed an awful lot to try to wind around my hand. As I neared the end of the winding, I was afraid I was going to start losing loops off my thumb or the end of my middle finger. I think for smaller amounts, winding around the hand will work okay for me, but I’m going to try Rosemary‘s paperback-and-popsicle-stick trick next time (isn’t her red yarn beautiful?!).
The hardest part was that I couldn’t remember which way I “normally” spin the spindle. I’m pretty sure I spun the singles clockwise, so I plied the yarn counter-clockwise and since by the time I reached the end of the “bracelet” the yarn was more or less naturally plying in the same direction, I’m guessing that was correct. But it’s something I’m going to have to remember to make note of until I learn to tell just by looking at the singles themselves.
Because of the tangle it took me a little longer than I wanted to wind the “bracelet” and ply the yarn – pr’bly about 3 to 3.5 hours total (we watched one DVD of Aeon Flux and one episode of Carnivale, which I think works out to just over 3 hours). Not the most time efficient, I’m sure, but not too bad for my first time plying!
I feel like I might have overspun the plies, but I’ve been warned that when plying if you don’t spin it enough it will fall apart. I’ve also been warned that plied yarn grows when you wash it, so what might look like overspun yarn turns out to be just fine.
You can also see in this picture the vendor information and the rest of the roving I have yet to spin. I really can’t recommend Ursula’s Alcove enough – she’s a very knowledgeable spinner and terribly friendly and helpful, especially for folks just learning. Nor can I complain *at all* about the price for this roving (especially after some of my more recent purchases!).
There’s still some residual twist in the yarn – not sure if it’s from overspun singles or overspun plies – so I wound it off onto my little niddy noddy and will steam it to set the twist in the next day or two.
In the end, I’m happy with the plied yarn. It’s slightly thicker than I’d been aiming for, but still well within sock knitting weight. It’s much softer than I thought it would end up, too, which is good. I’ll pr’bly run some reinforcement yarn in the heel when I knit them, or drop down a needle size to do the heel flap so it’s a more dense fabric, but otherwise, it should make lovely socks.
And since I steam set the twist on the most recent skein of Shetland singles so I could use my niddy noddy, here’s a shot of those, too:
Still haven’t figured out what to make with the Shetland – I have quite a bit of it, but as it’s really my first handspun, I’ve found I’ve been terribly picky about what I consider suitable for it.
* Or at least, my first successfully plied yarn!