Rhymes With Fuchsia

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Fear of Plying

Linda, the lovely woman who sold me Wendy (that sounds like it should be illegal, doesn't it?), was kind enough to throw in some nice gray roving that she'd provided for people to try the wheel out with — since I bought Wendy approximately twelve minutes after the Frolic officially opened, there was quite a bit left over, and Miss B and I have taken turns using it to get acquainted with her. Earlier this evening, though, I decided that I was ready to move on to Blue Moon. This meant that I had to get the gray singles off the bobbin, and, since I'd been wanting to learn Navajo plying for a while, I figured, why not give it a whirl. After watching this short video to refresh my memory of the technique, off I went.

The first ten feet or so were hilariously bad. Look at the outermost strand in the picture (click to embiggen): see all those lumpy knots? At first I didn't get the trick of controlling twist with one hand, chaining with the other, so I was chaining with both hands, which left the yarn free to back-twist and tangle around itself, which in turn made lumps so big that they got caught on the flyer hooks, so the yarn got way overplied into the bargain. I wound it onto the bobbin by hand and kept trying.

By the time I got to the end, much less than a full bobbin's worth, things were looking a good deal better, although I still wouldn't call myself exactly skilled. All the same, my loops were smoother and (more or less) the same size, and the resulting yarn was much more uniform. I'll definitely want to use this technique in earnest at some point. I do plan to practice some more before trying it on merino.


  • I'll see your "fear of plying" pun and raise you a "lipless duck".

    By Blogger Danielle, at 9:54 PM  

  • Ahhh, the learning curve. Sometimes, it requires a good sense of humor along with persistence and practice. At least, in my case, it does. I applaud your progress.

    By Anonymous Chris, at 6:54 AM  

  • Ahhh, I remember my first attempts at Navajo plying. I got all tangled up and kept treadling. The chains were locked around my fingers, and began to turn DARK purple. That's when I knew it was time to give up and cut my poor fingers free. ;) Good for you for sticking with it. And to Miss B for joining you in the spinning.

    By Anonymous Dave Daniels, at 7:48 AM  

  • It's a tough technique at first. Now I do it so easily (after lots of practice) and love doing it, too!

    By Blogger Margene, at 8:14 AM  

  • I'm sure that your finished yarn looks better than mine would look. Remember what we tell our kids? You need to practice... :-)

    Have a great weekend!

    By Blogger AngeliasKnitting, at 11:55 AM  

  • Oh my god! You mean you didn't do it absolutely perfectly the very first time you tried it? Well thank god for that! I was about to put you on a marble pediment and start sacrificing spiders to you.

    Of course, you caught on so darn fast that the spider in our house are still living in fear. Good lookin' yarn, lady!

    By Blogger Roxie, at 11:03 AM  

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