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In Which the Pirate Plies.


With only a month and a few days before the annual Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival, I thought it would be a good idea to get back to some of my spinning projects. I don’t want to buy more yarn and fibre until I’ve used up some of my stash – but I’m going to MDSW with a couple of friends this year, and I know it’s going to be nearly impossible to buy nothing. Goodness knows I’ve rationalized and enabled lots of people to buy yarn and fibre in previous years!

This is merino from Pucker Brush Farm that I bought at MDSW in 2010 as eight ounces of pencil roving. I wanted to keep the colour progression, which meant learning to chain-ply. My first few attempts didn’t go well, and I set the singles aside until I was ready to try again. Today has been quietly gray and misty, and it seemed like the perfect day for a cup of hot tea and a few hours of spinning.


It’s going much better this time. I still like spinning singles better than I like plying, but I can get into the rhythm of pulling loops through and letting the twist roll down. If the singles had been spun a little more tightly, I think they would break less often. I can sort of get the loops going again after a break, but I think there’s probably some trick to it that I haven’t quite mastered yet.

I’m very much looking forward to having this yarn finished! …and then moving on to the next bobbin of singles that’s destined for chain-plying.

2 Responses

  1. Aradia says:

    I have to say, I was only able to follow about half of that since I don’t spin on a wheel and I was a bit lost for some of the terminology. But I love the yarn, the colors look great! And now I want a spinning wheel even more…what type of wheel do you use?

    • Pirate says:

      I have a Kromski Sonata, which I love! Chain-plying is a technique to make a three-ply yarn (Okay, technically it’s not a true three-ply yarn, and there’s a truckload of argument there, but it’s *basically* a three-ply…) from one strand, which is really useful when you’ve got all your singles on one bobbin and don’t want to try to re-wind it into thirds. It’s also great for keeping the color progression together so you end up with stripy yarn instead of barber-poling yarn.

      You can do the chain-ply thing on a spindle, too. I haven’t tried it on a spindle, but I found a tutorial on it here: http://tinyurl.com/7gkn94n

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