Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Navajo-plying: Mastered

Something I wanted to be able to do ever since I started plying my handspun yarn is to Navajo ply (n-ply, also known as chain plying). While I was only using dropspindles, this seemed far too much of a hassle and I didn't bother trying it. With my wheel, however, I finally had the chance to give it a go - and what a disaster! My first attempts just didn't get anywhere at all and I was about ready to give it up and resign myself to forever plying separate singles together.

 But then Purzel came to the rescue! This lady from Ravelry sent me a box full of fibre samples (and yummy edibles) so that I could practice some more. Thanks to her, I have now mastered the art of n-plying! This skein consists of about 100 g of Micron Falkland tops from Mandacrafts and it was fantastic to spin. It still needs to be washed, weighed and measure, but apart from that it's done! I love that I was able to ply it in a way that would retain the colour changes in the yarn and I can't wait to knit it up. It seems to be fingering weight, but I need to check that. If this yarn were superwashed, I would so knit them into socks right now.

 I honestly did not think it would work and was reluctant to n-ply this yarn. Obviously, it worked out fine and was worth the risk. My very first successful attempt was okay, but the fibre had been really coarse with such short staple length that I was forced to spin a much thicker yarn. Therefore I assumed n-plying only worked because the singles weren't as thin as the ones I normally ply with. Luckily, it all worked out fine in the end. I still wonder what fibre the coarse one really was. Purzel couldn't tell me so I will ned to have a browse through one of my books to see if I can find out.

But I am in love with the latest result, I must say, even though my shoulder and core muscles were killing me by the end from just sitting at the wheel for hours. If I continue to spin at this rate, I will run out of fibre very soon. What will I do for the rest of the year? I've already used up all of mine with the exception of some undyed fibre still waiting for colour, and Purzel's remaining samples. 

Wonderwool can't come soon enough!

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