This week, I answered a question about spindles – what if any pause is there between spinning singles (first elements) & plying. It’s a great question!
The original Q&A is in the Ravelry group, Spindlers in the decade-old Stupid Questions thread (post no. 8,515 starts) if you want to check it out.
You can imagine my jar in its usual home of our fireplace mantle. There are 5 singles balls of Targhee, the bright blue in this jar that are an example of a 2018 work-flow with a single spindle.
Blue Mahoe blue Targhee project arc
My last TKK post had this project’s 6th cop shown on a park bench. Let’s go back to the beginning, a very happy mail day in January.
A wonderful ending to a long & at times frustrating search was being quietly offered this good-as-new Bosworth skinny Midi 22 g spindle in Blue Mahoe. Thank you, kind Raveler!
When I decided to add a second wood-whorl Bosworth it had to be one of their Blue Mahoes. This tree, Hibiscus elatus is indigenous to Jamaica, is our national tree, and we planted one at our childhood home.
One short skip later, I was spinning from the 8 oz of Targhee dyed in “The Water” by Mandie at Sheepy Time Knits for the Hobbit Club. The notes have my timeline, starting January 9, 2018 wind-off dates & weights are:
- February 9 – 24 g;
- February 19 – 26 g (prize for most spinning!);
- March 28 – 26 g (aquas showing);
- April 30 – 25 g
- June 13 – 27 g
No top is being weighed and parceled out. I am just spinning by feel – when my hands feel a difference in the spin, I wind-off. The how is by balancing the spindle in a shoe-box, pushing it away, and winding myself a ball.
Using a single spindle for a longer-term project takes an important bundle of skills. It means managing those singles tangle-free over time. Developing different paths from a full spindle to re-filling the spindle to completion is a personal journey. It boils down to achieving consistency.
Here, I kept my options fairly open with separate singles balls. After lunging to start, I pretty much had to. Besides, winter is not my best planning time.
The current idea is to move towards a 3-ply yarn when I am finished with singles. The yarn is under tension, all in one spot, dust/pest-free, and encourages me to keep going. The outside of each ball is the first-spun of that batch. You can even change that if you please.
One point in my answer this week was that it’s worth noting our whole process. All of the singles in my jar have been “resting” – some all year. When I get to the last of this fibre it will get some “rest” too, typically overnight. When I get to the plying steps – there will be more than 1 skein for sure – is anybody’s guess. I can pace that too as the boss of my own yarn!