handspun · spinning · yarn

mixing with twist.

So I finished plying this amazing Hedgehog Fibres’ Fibre Club that I’ve spent the past week working on and blogging about – are you sick of it yet? At least I can finally show you some finished yarn and then I’ll be able to move onto the second 125gm (I had to free up these bobbins before going on to more fibre).

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Fibre :: Hedgehog Fibres February 2015 Fibre Club – Merino, Silk, black Alpaca + Sparkly blend

Colourway :: n/a

Finished Yarn :: Navajo-plied, ~ 235 yards, 13 WPI (sport)

Ravelled here.

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While this still completely reminds me of Christmas, as per one of my previous posts, I also am completely smitten the the Bollywood colours of this yarn. Living in a very multicultural area of the world and having many Sikh friends, we have attended a few Sikh weddings. This yarn totally reminds me of the colours of the sari’s worn at those events.

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Due to the alpaca content in this yarn, it has a lovely halo as well. I’m really interested to see how this will knit up. I am looking for a lace garter-stitch shawl … Any suggestions?!

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My final thoughts on this yarn are surrounding Navajo or chain plying. I have a few opinions about navajo plying … they are entirely my own but I think at some point, someone said, “Be careful not to over twist when you are navajo-plying.” And then someone else repeated it by saying, “Never over twist when navajo-plying.” What I hear ‘out there’ in the spinning world is this consistent message when people talk about navajo plying. Personally, I don’t like the look of under twisted navajo plied yarn – I think the ‘evidence’ of where the loops appear are even more evident when there isn’t enough twist. And when a yarn comes freshly off the wheel perfectly balanced, it will probably be under twisted once washed since water takes some of the twist out of our yarns.

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So personally, I actually prefer the look and feel of Navajo-plied yarns that have slightly more twist as I like the look of the yarn better. As well, I prefer working with slightly higher twist yarns – I like the appearance and feel of the knitted fabric more. I’m not saying put a crap ton of twist into Navajo-plied yarns but maybe play around? See what you like? Put more than you normally would and look at those loops in the finished yarn – are they slightly less visible? No difference? There are so many possibilities!

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It is so important as spinners that we don’t pigeonhole ourselves into a bunch of rules based on preconceived ideas – I think trialling what we think might work, sampling, re-working previous ideas will help us all move the craft of spinning forward!

I’d love to hear your thoughts! Have you had any complete disasters when you were trying something differently?

Happy Spinning :)

4 thoughts on “mixing with twist.

  1. Thanks for your commentary on twist in Navajo plied yarn. I’ve been struggling with my n-ply and I think now it might be from underplying! As for garter shawls, good luck! There’s so many good options out there, I don’t know where to start.

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  2. I definitely agree with you when it comes to twist for chain plied yarns. Compared to a traditional 3 ply yarn, I tend to put more twist into my chain plied yarns because I like a higher twist yarn and I don’t want the bumps to show prominently in the yarn.

    Spinning is a lot like knitting, there are many schools of thought on what materials to use, how to do a certain technique, etc, but at the end of the day you should do what works for you. You can knit handspun socks out of 2 ply yarn, you can mix worsted and woolen singles together when plying, you can choose not to count the number of treadles for each section of fibre you draft :) That’s my two cents anyways :D.

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    1. I totally agree with you Nika! I think you hit the nail on the head in terms of lots of things working, even slightly unconventional ideas!! Sometimes those are the best ;)

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