>> Monday, October 26, 2009
I was right, spinning has proven to be very addictive. This is my first ball of yarn. In case anyone is wondering, I did the whole first skein using "park and draft". I tried spinning and drafting at the same time and just couldn't manage it.
Near the end I was starting to think I could but I didn't want to mess up my first skein by trying to move beyond park and draft. This first ball of yarn is quite thick, mainly because when I started that's all I could do, but also I wanted to keep it consistent so by the end I was trying to make it thick to match.
For my second ball, I did spin the roving into a thinner yarn and started to spin without having to park the spindle all the time. Anytime I had trouble drafting I'd park it to catch up. I had a small piece of pink roving and a small piece of orange, so I spun them up so that I could try plying.
This is what I ended up with:
One reason to ply is to create thicker yarn. It can also strengthen the yarn, and even out thicker and thinner areas. But my favourite reason is that it balances out the yarn so that it sets the twist for you. No need to soak and wait for your yarn to dry in order to set the twist.
I loved plying because it goes a lot faster than spinning. It's quite satisfying. All you do is spin your drop spindle in the opposite direction (ie. spin clockwise, ply counter-clockwise). Once you've done a length, you can let it hang down and if it stays in a smooth "U" it's perfect. If it twists up on itself you can add or decrease the amount of twist until it suits you.
Next I used a large piece of orange/brown/purple dyed roving to practise spinning without parking the spindle. I really have the hang of it now. It helped to pre-draft the roving by pulling it gently into thinner strands. I also learned to gently wind the roving around my wrist to keep it out of the way while spinning.Then I used a youtube video to learn how to wrap the yarn into an Andean bracelet. This is a way to wind the yarn so that you can pull from both ends and ply together until every bit is used. This way you don't have to try dividing your yarn into two equal parts before plying.
This is how that yarn turned out:
My latest spinning project is using a larger amount of roving (almost 4 ounces) of green/brown/blue roving:
I should have enough to knit some socks with it. I love wool socks and they can be expensive so it's a good way to practise spinning while creating something I'd actually really like to have. This roving made such pretty yarn, with strands of green and brown and blue:
I'm not sure whether or not to ply this yarn. I like the way it looks now, so I suspect not. Right now if I wind it around a ruler it comes out to about 22 wraps per inch (WPI) which is lace weight according to charts I've found online. Now I just have to find the perfect sock pattern!