Sunday, January 14, 2018

Rocket Science

It's been awhile since I've done any spinning on the Ashford Traditional wheel. I was in a holding pattern because all of my bobbins were full so I needed to do something if I wanted to spin more fiber.

Gray Romney & White Bluefaced Leicester Handspun

I had two options: (1) I could wind off onto plastic weaving bobbins (and have it disappear in my stash) or (2) I could go ahead and ply the singles together. It was early evening so I went with option two and decided to ply.

Like I said it's been awhile since I sat with the Traddy and I was enjoying getting back into the rhythm of the wheel and playing with my handspun, la-la-la-la-la.

I think I plied for about two hours. It's slow going, kind of a slog really. And every once in a while I stopped to check the twist of the plied yarn and let it twist back on itself (just like I'm supposed to). And every time I checked the twist I thought, hmmm, it seems a little loose but I'm sure the twist will even out when I give the yarn a good soak, la-la-la-la-la.

That night, just before falling asleep, I suddenly realized what the yarn had been trying to tell me all evening, "Hey you, you're going the wrong way!"

Uh, oh.

Guess what, I had been plying the yarn in the same direction that I had spun the yarn. To ply, to twist the two yarns together, I was supposed to have changed the wheel direction and spin counter-clockwise.

The next morning I looked at my non-plied two-colored yarn on the bobbin and thought about my options: I could knit with it and then felt it, or I could unwind it from each other into two separate balls. Again, option number two.

It's going slowly. Very very slowly. But here's the good news: (1) my spun singles are holding together nicely even with all the manipulation it's going through so I guess I spun the yarn tight enough, (2) I didn't care for the Romney and BFL yarn and will probably not ply them together the next time, and (3) now that I've made my newbie mistake, I don't think I will be making the same mistake again. I should've known there was something wrong with my loosey-goosey plied yarn. It ain't rocket science, after all.