Tag Archive: stripes


Mischievous Old Lady


Why, hello there! It’s so lovely to be back. And look, I have a finished yarn to show you! Here is the first skein of Topsy-Turvy, as dyed by KnittyandColor, and double-chain-plied by me. I don’t mind telling you, I’m very excited to see how this knits. I think the fabric will be very exciting, and I’m toying with different ideas to really show off the spun-in stripes.

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The technique went well, on the whole, except that I had difficulty spinning the black Ashland Bay merino with a worsted draw, so ended up doing a mix of semi-worsted and supported long draw throughout, which led inevitably to a considerably finer single than the coloured blue-faced leicester single. This caused me some problems during plying, but leaving aside the dozen or so breaks in the black single that I had to repair at some cost to my spinning serenity, I’m pretty pleased with how it worked out. And how fun is this yarn? It’s quite fine – about an 8-ply weight, I estimate – and ever so bouncy-squooshy.

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And yes, that is a technical term.

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Spinning for Stripes


So you remember last time we spoke I was about to launch into an adventure in plying? Well, I’ve finished my practise run today, and I’m over the moon with the result! I don’t know that you’ll be able to see the effect as it’s very subtle in the yarn and the swatch, but it does prove the concept (and more importantly, proves that I’m capable of doing a double chain-ply!).

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I chose two samples of Ashland Bay for my practise run; one in a charmingly background shade of bleige, and the other in, I believe, the “Daffodil” colourway. I’m not generally a fan of AB top, because I find it to have a “dead” feeling in my hand and it clumps together strongly during spinning and gives the kind of dense yarn that I generally try to avoid. But the AB line fills what I think is an important niche, catering for the batt-making artistes whose work I enjoy so much, and anyway, for the purpose of this exercise it was adequate.

I won’t go into detail on the process – chain-plying (also and erroneously known as Navajo plying) is well-documented on YouTube and the only point of difference here was that I was pulling alternating singles through the loop as I plied, carrying the unlooped single along with the loops. Boring, no? No big pitfalls – have a tensioned Kate, set yourself and your wheel up before you start, and try to keep your loops the same length.

Now to the interesting part – the pictures!! Singles, plied yarn on the bobbin, washed skein and blocked swatch. It’s probably hard for you to see the striping but it is most definitely there, albeit both shorter and more subtle than I intended. The four-ply yarn came out to an 8-10 ply sort of weight, or DK to worsted.

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