Plying My Homespun Yarn – Part 1

One of the ladies on a FB spinning group suggested that I try different types of spinning but in smaller amounts.  This will be good practice for me without having to go through lots of roving or batts as I will be mostly using the yarn for felting until I feel that I am getting good enough to make yarn for knitting.  I have been enjoying myself with the spinning as it gives me something else to do.  I wrote about spinning, but I also need to ply the yarn.  Right now, I am going to focus on making 2-ply yarn.  No need to run before I can walk.

Spinning 2021Here is the first yarn I ever spun on the wheel from roving ( on the left) before my friend Anna came over to teach me.  It is thick, thin, and very twisty.  Anna suggested that I ply it with thread as it was quite chunky.  I found some orange thread as that is what I had the most of.  I was able to put the thread spool on the lazy Kate and plied the two together.  However, before I did that, I watched a YouTube video by Jillian Eve on how to ply yarn.  She was making a 3-ply, but what I got the most from the video was how to tell if the spin was balancing the yarn, and then how to balance it if it wasn’t.  I am not sure my technique was entirely accurate, but it works for me and I managed to balance the yarn!

Spinning 2021Here it is on the niddy noddy, washed and dried, and a close-up.  The yarn weighs 63g.  I really like the texture of it.  I knitted a sample that will eventually be used for a blanket.   It is a good way of working out the gauge. IMG_0774This square is approximately 7×7 inches.  I cast on 18 stitches and started knitting with an American size 9 needle.  Almost all of my needles are American as that is where I learned to knit in the early 80’s.  After about an inch, I changed over to 10.5 needles.  You can see that the piece sits flatter with the larger size.  I finished the square as I started so I can use it in a blanket.

IMG_0776Here is the other side.  It reminds me of some yarn I used back in the day.  I tried it against my neck, and although not too itchy, I wouldn’t use the yarn for a scarf.

Spinning 2021I then plied these two together.  I had actually made more of the yellow after this photo was taken.  These two singles were spun from rolags. 

Spinning 2021Here it is plied and ready to be washed.  As you can see, there is still a little bit of a twist here, but not too bad and it came out after washing.  I thought I did reasonably well considering this was my first time plying two twisty yarns.  This is currently outside drying before I make another sample.

IMG_0772

This is the blue Corriedale roving I had used for the rolags.  I don’t have a huge amount as you can see.  It came in a mixed bag of wool from WOW.  Although I had trouble trying to spin the gold roving when Anna was teaching me, I decided to give spinning from roving another go.  I split the roving in two and then drafted it out.  

IMG_0773Although this is still thin, it is much thinner where I started on the right.  I found it easier to spin from the roving this time, though I might try splitting it in thirds next time.  I had some of the yellow blend left on the bobbin and plied the two together to get a small skein.  

IMG_E0764There was a fair amount of twist in this when I took it off of the niddy noddy even though I was checking regularly. 

DownloadsHere they are both dried.  The twist has come out.  You can see the difference between the two in the colors.  I still have a fair amount of the blue blend, so I will spin up the rest of the blue Corriedale from the roving and ply it with that.  You will be able to see these on Instagram and Facebook.

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