Saturday Morning…Plying

April 6, 2013

I’m always amazed when I see what my handspun yarns look like when they are plied. It’s kind of like blocking a lace project when that strange looking pile of knitting suddenly transforms before your eyes. Three bobbins of singles which on close inspection do have their own flaws and inconsistencies that I could go on and on about (yes, I’m my own worst critic) come together into one beautiful even yarn. A two ply yarn would probably have been just as lovely, but I like the extra roundness and evenness that the addition of the third ply provides.

I started plying Tuesday evening on my Dutch wheel. Its enormous bobbins make it an excellent wheel for plying, but it has only one ratio (5:1) and combined with the big bobbins plying can be pretty time consuming. I finished the first bobbin Wednesday evening and wound it off on to a niddy-noddy. The first skein weighed a little less than 5.5 ounces and measured approximately 387 yards. It still needs a wash and set which will affect the yardage somewhat, so I’ll have to measure again when it’s dry.

I plied the second skein on my Lendrum last night and I got roughly half of what I was able to get on my Dutch wheel, but it took me a fraction of the time. So in the interest of making the process go a little quicker, I’m going to continue my plying this morning on my Lendrum using the regular flyer. The regular flyers ratios range from 6:1 to 10:1. Using the 10:1 whorl I can treadle half as many times as my Dutch wheel to ply the same length of yarn. I can also treadle faster on my Lendrum which also speeds things up a bit. But if it weren’t for my time constraints I’d continue using my Dutch wheel to get those big skeins.

I’ve never been very happy with most of the photos that I take around my house. Lighting is often less than ideal and finding a suitable place to set my yarn or fiber and not have the colors affected by the surroundings or the light is practically impossible. So, on Thursday evening I finally took the advice of a dear friend and built a small photo box using a corrugated cardboard tri-fold display and a sheet of heavy duty white poster board.

I’ve seen a few variations of these made from a full box with the sides cut out and lined with white tissue paper and lights on either side. Some were even lit from overhead. I built what I felt would best serve my needs without having to worry about having to worry about buying or setting up additional lights. I think it’s going to work out quite nicely. I took a few shots last night right on my kitchen table which has always been one of the worst places for me to get good pictures. These were taken with only the camera on my iPhone.

That’s it for now. I’ve got to get busy emptying a few more of my Lendrum bobbins. My next spinning project has a deadline and I really need to get started on it. &nbsp

Have a great weekend everyone!

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