Random thoughts of a fiber enthusiast - mostly fiber related, sometimes coherent

Month: December 2002 Page 1 of 4

More Navajo Ply

Navajo Plied SkeinsHere’s the finished result — 3.25 oz of navajo plied merino. I haven’t counted the yardage. It’s approximately fingering weight.

After looking at it in day light, it didn’t look as bad as I thought it was. I think I might be able to make a pair of socks with this (I’ll use something else for the heels and toe that is a little more durable). I love it!

Thank you wendy e for your encouraging words. I took things a little slower with the second skein and really paid attention to what was happening. You are right, there is plenty of time to stop and untwist, if necessary. I didn’t have an opportunity to test out your suggestions for restarting the loops after a break, since the second skein didn’t break (and I wasn’t brave enough to purposely break the yarn just to test it out!).

Here are a few things that I’ve noticed while plying the second skein:

I need to be more consistent while spinning the single. With navajo plying, any thick spot is 3x as thick just because they become juxtaposed when plied. When plying from 2 or 3 singles, these thick and thin spots even each other out, since it is highly unlikely that you will get 2 thick areas on the singles at the same time.

Also, when moving from a thick area to a thin area, the transition is very noticeable at the end of the crochet loop.

But there is something really mesmerizing watching the flow of colors. Once you get into the rhythm of making the loops, you don’t have to think about that and you can start focusing on other things. Like the amount of twist that I’m putting in.

EliSpot with skeinI wasn’t the only one that really liked the feel of the merino yarn. EliSpot helped herself to the finished skein and started to play with it (on the dog blanket). Of course, when Martin grabbed the camera to take this shot, she gave us the feline version of the finger.

I’ve been re-reading (aka “looking at all the pretty pictures”) Twisted Sisters. Yesterday, I took some white rovings that I had a did a little Kool-Aide dyeing. I tried the spot method (page 24) and nuked them in the microwave (3 minutes on high, sit for 1-2 minutes, 3 more minutes on high). They didn’t turn out as dark as I would’ve like it. And it was more stripes than drops. Oh well. They should make nice socks nonetheless.

Navajo Ply

I did my first successful navajo ply today … as in, it didn’t turn out as a big knotted mess. The first skein today was over twisted (cat toy now). The second skein was with handpainted roving. Wow. What a difference that makes to the finished yarn.

I didn’t try to stop the colorways exactly at the end of a loop, but let the color “bleed” into each other. This resulted in a blended color transition instead of sharp color changes. This worked because the roving had soft color changes.

Questions for the masses:

– Do you make clean color breaks when navajo plying? How do you do that? Do you treadle very slowly, stop and align the yarn “just so”? Or do you just let it happen?

– What do you do when the single breaks? How do you restart the crochet loops? This was driving me nuts. Perhaps I didn’t have enough twist in my single, but it kept breaking/pulling apart. Do you need to have more twist than you would normally put in?

Anyway, I’ll need to practice some more before I can knit with any of these finished skeins. Now that I can see what the end result in handpainted rovings, I can go back to beast for practice.


Silk on drop spindleEver had one of those days? A voice in my head kept screaming at me all day … “must spin silk … must have silk … NOW!” It was getting quite noisy in my office with all that screaming. It made it darn difficult to work. I left the office as soon as it was deemed appropriate, dug out some silk I had in my stash, a drop spindle, and aaahhh, the voices stopped. I can hear the cat beating up on the dog again (EliSpot missed Waldo while he was at the groomer today.)

Christmas BeanieHere’s a Christmas beanie that I made last year. I wore it today, and remembered why I didn’t wear it last year … my head is too big or hair is too smooth/slick for it to stay on. I do like the fake rolled edge though. I think I’ll have to make another one, a little bigger this time.

The sweater vest is almost done. I pieced the shoulder seams last night and knitted the neck ribbing. I just need to seam the sides and knit the sleeve ribbings tonight, now that the silk spinning demands have been somewhat satisfied.

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