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Saturday, September 23, 2006

MG: zero to sixty

from knitting stagnation to two knitalongs: i've joined Socktoberfest 2006 and Zimmermania. Zimmermann-worshipping and project details over here.

bluefaced leicester spun thinly for practice and stress-relief. spun and plied in what's becoming my default techniques: from the fold, point-of-contact longdraw; navajo-plied 3-ply; varying grists of laceweight; about 320 yards. for scale, the index card in the photo is 3" by 5".

my navajo-plying is better! after good advice from Andrea about not overthinking, i returned to the basics. i reread the Plying Chained Singles article (scroll down), treadled slowly on the largest whorl, and carefully watched the forming twists. my weakness lies in maintaining adequate tension on all three strands at all times and stopping/starting the travel of the twist while making the chained loops. and in general, i feel extremely unsure about how much ply i would like in my yarns.

query: when you check balance by the number of times a hank twists on itself, do you do it before or after setting/washing the yarn? if before, wouldn't the length of time the singles and/or plied yarn sat on the bobbin affect the amount of active twist seen? i'm thinking if i work for a balanced skein coming right off the wheel, the hank might actually be underplied, since my singles usually wait on the bobbin for a long while. what do you think?


  1. I'm terrible with that stuff because I just spin.. period. I don't really care how many wpi it is or if its over or under-twisted or really what I could make from it. I just like to spin.

  2. Oh, beautiful stuff. Are you going to dye it or leave it in its virgin state? Either way, great plying! It pays to be patient and pay attention!

    - MJ

  3. zero to sixty absolutely! i'm so tempted by zimmermania, but my plate is a little full right now and i have a good half dozen projects that are 90% done. i'm determined to get them finished before i leave.

    i agree with you on plying - i'm unsure often too. i see so many different types between advanced spinners, even for the same kind of yarn, like merino dk. i'd rather err on the overplyed side, but still, it'd be nice to know what's the real difference. all the more we all just have to go to SOAR one of these days ;)

    i check the balance before and after washing (i always wash my yarn to set the twist). i tend to trust the before more for some reasons, and i never weigh my yarn down, so there's no real reasons. good point about the time delay though - it definitely *would* affect the twist. as to whether this is a temporary change or a permanent one is interesting though - could this be a way of 'fixing' overtwisted singles or overplyed yarn? hm.