Tuesday, March 22, 2011

We’ve got yarn!

IMG_8580 Here is my 3-ply BFL yarn.  I spun this roving on my high speed whorl at the 14:1 ratio.  It measures about 216 yards and weighs 90 grams.  Because I plied from 3 separate bobbins, the finished yarn has a barber pole effect.

IMG_8571 I’m really not sure how it will look knit up.  Each section is a little different, depending on the colors of the 3 plies.  There is one section with two plies of that deep wine color that looks pretty dark overall.


Even though I divide my fiber into 3 sections by weight before beginning to spin, I never end up with the same yardage on all 3 bobbins.  I decided to practice my Navajo ply on the leftovers.  The first batch came out pretty well (this little skein is only 20 grams and 56 yards):IMG_8583 Navajo ply is really a chain ply technique where you pull the single from one bobbin and pull it through a loop that allows 3 singles to twist together.  Two are going in the same direction, and one is reverse.  I’ve read that if you want to preserve the color changes in the singles yarn, this is the way to do it.  You can see how most of the finished yarn is one color at a time (all 3 plies are the same color).  Here is a close up of these first two skeins side by side:IMG_8584The Navajo plied yarn off the other bobbin was a bit of a mess.  It twisted up on itself WAY more when I took it off the niddy noddy and only partly relaxed after its hot water bath.  You can see how twisty it still is here:IMG_8587I’m not even sure that yarn is useable.  Luckily, it’s only 10 yards (5 grams).

Notice also how the angle of twist differs on these 3 skeins.  The big skein was balanced when I first took it off the niddy noddy and it behaved even better after its bath.  The second one twisted at first but relaxed after its bath.  The third one was way too twisty.

I read a little more about plying and decided that next time I Navajo ply, I’ll go up one whorl size so that the plying happens more slowly.  That should help me not overtwist, I think.


  1. I never realized the different plying methods would look so differently.

  2. Yes, and that roving could have been spun differently for different results, too. I don't understand all that yet, though!