Playing with plying

I finally finished spinning my pink (colorway Rose City) Shimmer merino/silk that I got from KnittedWit last summer at Sock Summit.


I spun most of it last year, and then set the spindle aside. Last week I got a bee in my bonnet to finish the spinning, and then I knew I had to ply it because it was so thin. I keep accidentally making laceweight. I had two center pull balls off my Turkish spindle, so I used my Kundert top whorl spindle to ply them together. The 2 ply is the bigger skein on the left.


The singles had been sitting around a long time, so they weren’t very energized any more. This 2 ply is fairly loosely plied, but it didn’t seem to want to be more twisted than this. I like how the color changes cross each other, at least in the skein. This barber poled/marled look is sweet. The yarn is still pretty thin, though.

2ply close

The two center pull balls weren’t close to each other in length; there was a lot left in the second ball after the first was gone. I decided to try Navajo chain plying with the remaining single. It’s basically making long crochet chain with the single, and putting twist in it to hold it together. Jenna showed me how last weekend at OFFF, so why not?


I love it! The three strands in the chain plying make this a more rounded, fatter yarn. And because chain plying is so linear, the color changes keep to themselves; there’s no barber poling. I’m sure there’s a lot more finesse to this technique; I’m still playing with it and learning how it works. I think I could make the chain loops a lot bigger as I do this, but haven’t figured it out yet. But I will.

4 responses to “Playing with plying

  1. With all the money I have invested in sewing machines, fabric, yarn, and needles and hooks, I’m afraid I would have to find a new place to hang my hat if I took up spinning and weaving like I want!

  2. gosh! i think i’ll have to pick up the spindle and try again after all. it didn’t take you long to pick up, did it?

  3. SWEET. Love them both, 2-ply and n-ply. It reminds me of sweet pea. The sheen came through gorgeously. I imagine it will make some boo-ti-ful lace. Have you washed it since plying? Merino blooms. What a natural spinner you are! Great spun.

  4. Love!

    You’re doing so well. You’re going to keep at it, yes?