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Topic: Plying with a Drop Spindle  (Read 1104 times)
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« on: April 28, 2007 12:13:34 PM »

I have two things I'm still kind of unsure about. any help would be awesome. Smiley

1) Is it OK to wind your un-set singles into a ball right off the spindle? Won't they get all crazy twisty and tangled?

2) When you're plying, do you really need to spin the spindle? Wouldn't the force of the existing spin in the yarn drive the spindle? I'm thinking just letting the spindle hang until it stops spinning on it's own would give you perfectly balanced yarn. Am I not considering something?

Thanks in advance.
« Reply #1 on: April 28, 2007 02:44:43 PM »

As far as I know, you can wind the singles into balls to ply or you can put them on used toilet paper rolls to keep the singles from tangling up.

If you let the spindle just spin all it'll do is unwind the singles and drop. You won't have generated enough counter-energy to twist the yarns the other way more thoroughly, which is what you'd need to ply. What I used to do when plying on spindles is to check the balance with each length before winding on.. It's slow going, but it helps to ensure you have balance. I spin with a wheel now, but I still stop treadling every now and again to check the twist.


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« Reply #2 on: April 28, 2007 10:49:35 PM »

the first time i plyed with a spindle, it was a disaster!  the yarn turned out fine, thank goodness, but it was so slow going.  I wound my yarn into a center pull ball, but the two ends kept getting spun together before they reached my spindle.  ug.  yeah, those were the days of the "highly energized" singles!  Now if I have to ply with a spindle, I make sure no mini-twists are allowed to evolve.  a center pull ball works great if you can master it however:  you use every last inch of your precious fiber!

i'm not sure what you mean by #2, but if you are doing center-pull or andean plying you'll get a pretty well balanced yarn, even if you have "highly energized" singles.  once i got the hang of it, a spindle works pretty well actually.  It will definitely feel very satisfying plying your singles into usable yarn!   If you get frustrated, just sit down, take a breath (a sip of wine here and there is also useful!) and start again.  The first time can be a little hairy.  but don't let that scare you:  after all, you learned to spin on a spindle, and thats no easy feat!  plying is just a different (and far easier) beast to tame.

jump right in!

« Reply #3 on: May 08, 2007 06:03:17 AM »

Well, I just spun and plied my first yarn, and this is what I did:

I took each single and wound it into a ball and then I placed each ball in a separate bowl.

I then plied the yarn.  I did spin the spindle because otherwise it would not have turned out very good.  I just took a nice length of each ball and plied them together.  I took my time to eliminate tangles. 

To me, it is not how fast I get something done; I just want it as close to perfect as I am able to acheive.

Good luck! 
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