Not spinning but plying


Long long ago, way way back in the year 2008, I started to spin. And way way way back in 2008, actually just before I learnt to spin, I bought

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Well all of this, but the this in particular is the braid on the far left hand side.

And in October (ish) I started to spindle spin this beautifully dyed BFL. I divided it into three (as accurately as my scales allowed) and before I became immersed in Christmas knitting in December I had spun two little bobbins, or rather straws.

Now there are many things that I can do, but it is clear that one of them is not to sit and slowly spindle spin the third bobbin of sock yarn with a beautiful new wheel sat in front of me! After a bit of wrangling we managed to work out a way to get the bit of spinning on the spindle onto a wheel bobbin and from then on I spun the rest of the roving on the lovely Sonata. I finished it on Sunday.

Do you need to ask what I did yesterday?
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One bobbin of three ply BFL. I popped the straws on knitting needles through an old ice cream tub and used the lazy kate on the wheel for the wheel bobbin.

It turns out that my ability to split 100g of roving into three is not greatly assisted by my kitchen scales and my spinning has got finer as I’ve practiced more – particularly the last bobbin that I did on the wheel, so my first straw bobbin, whilst roughly similar in weight to the other two, was quite a lot shorter in length!

I was going to try a two ply but the straw bobbins just got hopelessly tangled so I ended up cutting out a good few impossible tangles along the way, and in the end abandoning the last little bit of that bobbin.
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The rest of the wheel bobbin was unwinding freely though so I had a whirl at chain plying. I have absolutely no idea whether I was doing it right or not because I just went for it as an experiment, basically putting twist into a series of highwayman’s hitches. It gave me this:
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I skeined up both bobbins separately and gave them a hot soak followed by a good few thwacks on the kitchen door. Both of them looked overtwisted straight off the niddy noddy, particularly the chain plied mini skein but they relaxed beautifully after the soak and neither of them show any sign of overtwisting.

So today I have this:
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About 270 yards of heathery 3ply and
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about another 75 yards in a sort of stripy 3ply.
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It’s all going to make a rather uniquely fraternal pair of socks – probably toe up to use every last bit of yarn. I love it unreservedly and I am quietly suppressing unreasonable urges to run around the village waving it at passing strangers, shouting


It was only this afternoon, as I gathered my shawl to head outside that I noticed just what I have made:

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Sock yarn that matches my favourite shawl!

  • Caroline M 13/01/2009 at 8:54 pm

    Who’s a clever girl then? Wait until you’re knitting it and someone asks you what the yarn is and you get to glow with the achievement all over again.

  • JL 14/01/2009 at 1:37 am

    loved them all.

  • Rachel 14/01/2009 at 6:23 am

    One day, I’ll try my hand at this part of the fiber world. Cool that you matched your shawl! And I say don’t repress the urge–go wave and shout! 🙂