Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Andean Inspired

When I first started spinning, I didn't want to spin two different singles and ply them together to make a two ply. I was afraid they would be different lengths and I would have waste. So I learned how to make a plying bracelet and Andean ply. Similar to chain plying (one single into three) it takes one single and lets you ply it against itself to make a two ply.

I wanted to do something similar with the last (and oldest) of my cotton singles. But with the plying bracelet, your project is stuck on your wrist and you are generally committed to spinning the entire thing in one go. I didn't want to do that. So I took my nostepinne and wound a center pull ball on it with my singles.

It was fantastic! The cotton didn't collapse onto itself when I was spinning and I was getting a nice two ply out of the tiny singles. Everything was going just fine for a while until I put it down and came back to it two nights later. The center of the ball had collapsed the next time I sat down to work on it and I didn't notice it until I was getting massive tangles.

Well, after the third tangle I was annoyed and decided to jam the center pull ball on my finger. I found the middle (where one end was feeding out) and popped my finger in there. I started out on my pinky, but eventually decided that my pointer finger gave me the best control of the yarn.

It worked.

Having a temper tantrum and deciding that it wasn't worth struggling anymore actually worked. I was able to control the inner and outer yarns better and got the rest of the yarn plied up onto my spindle. And best of all, I had no more breaking problems with either of the singles (they came before my cotton practice).

The tangle of singles beside my spindle was the only bit of cotton I lost from that batch. In the grand scheme of things, it wasn't that much yardage. I would have been more annoyed if I had just given up and thrown the rest of the ball away.

Now I have three skeins of cotton all spun up and waiting for me to finish spinning my cotton/denim blend. Then they will be going to the boiling pot so I can try my hand at actually finishing cotton properly. Since all of the cotton I have spun is naturally white, it won't be changing colors like colored cotton, but it will get all the wax off so it will be absorbent. And I will see if my artist ink is colorfast or not. Then I will have four little skeins of cotton ready to be knit with.

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