Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Andean plying

What if you have a little bit of fiber to spin, or want to make a sample - how does one ply it? Andean plying is generally used by folks who spin on spindles, not spinning wheels, but it's a great technique. Here's how to do it:
First, secure the end of the yarn under
your ring and pinky fingers.
Don't lose that end!

Wrap the yarn around the back of your index or middle finger, and then around the back of your hand.
Continue in this fashion. . .
. . .until you have all the yarn wrapped
around your hand! Try to wrap fairly loosely, or else you'll wind up cutting off your circulation, and don't forget to always wrap the yarn in the same direction.

Next, slip all the yarn around your wrist,
making sure you have both the ends  secured.
If you don't feel like spinning right away,
you can slip the yarn on to a stitch holder.
Next, attach the ends to a leader on your bobbin as you normally would. The only thing different about plying this way is the bit of trickiness involved in slipping both ends off one's wrist gracefully. At first, it's a good idea to pull back a long ways with the wheel stopped (hopefully without a cat trying to ply play with one's yarn):
This fiber is a an alpaca, wool, and bamboo blend, and what was left on the carding drum after making up a big batt.

Here's the finished product (before the cat attacked it):
Click on the photo to see it in more detail.
This was certainly one of the more subtle batts. More photos to come. . .We are making all sorts new things for Spring!

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