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Topic: Any tips for spinning a novelty yarn?  (Read 2564 times)
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« on: December 30, 2008 03:40:02 PM »

For years, I've just spun regular yarn.  I've tried to make it a consistent thickness (or maybe I should say thinness), and I've never really branched out.

Now, I'm ready to branch out.  I've looked around on various websites and at different yarns, and I'm excited to try it out!  However, I don't have a bulky flyer (in fact, my wheel is an Ashford Kiwi), so I can't go TOO thick. 

I think what I will do is spin up a single ply of wool and ply it with ...oh, I don't know what to call it, but it's a ball of thread with sparklies that stick off.  I've previously used it simultaneously with spinning, so that the sparkles are incorporated, but it never worked out well (maybe because it's meant for plying Tongue).

Anyway, I'm wondering if there are any wools that lend themselves well to being spun into novelties.  Ideally, I want to dye the wool myself, although I am by no means against pre-dyed wool.

Thanks in advance Smiley

« Reply #1 on: January 01, 2009 12:34:52 PM »

Just about any wool will work ... we had a local study group in '07 that worked through Pluckyfluff, and I must have put a bit of everything in the different novelty yarns I spun:

Shetland, Tunis, Merino, Superwash, alpaca, llama, mystery wool, even some blends with silk and viscose.
« Reply #2 on: January 02, 2009 07:14:29 AM »

Those look lovely!  I'm going to try plying with thread in the next few days and see how it turns out.

« Reply #3 on: January 03, 2009 10:45:44 AM »

Here's how that thread-ply ended up:

It wasn't what I was looking for, but it's pretty nonetheless.  I think the yarn should have been thicker, and I should probably have plied differently.  I let the wool be loose while I held the thread tightly.  When I get around to spinning more of that roving, I'll try again!  Experimentation is key Smiley

« Reply #4 on: January 06, 2009 01:19:34 PM »

I like it ... and you're right, experiment! you never know how it will come out.
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« Reply #5 on: January 06, 2009 01:53:35 PM »

Make sure you put enough twist in the single.

When I'm plying with thread and beads, sometimes it'll catch on the flyer and bunch up. What I do to prevent this is wrap the thread around my fingers and keep it taught so it won't take up, then I ply it while leaning back so that yarn accumulates between the orifice and my hands. Then, I take up the spun section with almost no tension on my end, so there is minimal friction on the yarn. This mostly keeps it from bunching. In addition, having the thread wrapped around my fingers that much allows me to space the beads nicely.

« Reply #6 on: January 06, 2009 05:46:23 PM »

Thanks for the tips!  Here are a couple of pictures of my first "real" novelty yarn (a wool strand plied with some FunFur-type yarn).  It's probably my most favorite yarn that I've ever spun!  Successful, if I do say so myself Wink

When I was spinning it, I tried to put a little bit extra twist in, and while plying, I held the draft out long enough that most of the kinks from twist disappeared.  This gave me a fairly balanced yarn, without counting!

I'd love to do beads or sequins next, but I don't have roving that I like for such a project at the moment.  I want to find something colorful and fun!

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« Reply #7 on: January 07, 2009 07:37:26 AM »


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« Reply #8 on: January 09, 2009 05:59:51 AM »

These are all beautiful!!

Experiment with the angle Ito the yarn) you hold your plying thread also.  The plying at different angles will give you different types of affects.


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« Reply #9 on: January 09, 2009 11:36:53 AM »

I hadn't thought of that.  Thanks for the pointer!  My jumbo flyer should be here soon for my wheel, and then I will experiment away Cheesy

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