Do you ply on your spindles?

Yes, I do ply on my spindles. That's my favorite mindless trip task -- way more fun than stockinette sweater bodies (which may be why there are no stockinette sweater bodies from my summer travels!)

I'm often asked, more specifically, "Do you ply from 2 spindles to a third, or back onto the spindle the singles were done on?"

For me, it depends. I've done most of these:
  • If I'm single-spindled (on a trip) and have spun all the fiber up onto the spindle, I may use an Andean plying bracelet and ply the single spindle back onto itself.
  • Plying on the RoadWhen I'm spindling at home, or for a larger project, usually I fill 2
    spindles and then ply onto a third, larger spindle if I'm spinning 2-ply. For that, I'm a huge fan of Abby Franquemont's true Andean plying method: wind the two spindle-fulls into a two-strand ball, and ply from that. It takes a little practice to get even tension through the ball, but the plying is so smooth! It's worth it!
  • If I'm three plying I tend to just ply back onto the original spindle
    using Navajo plying, rather than fill 3 spindles. That's partly due
    to my love of Navajo-plying and partly to my lack of getting used to using a spindle-kate.
    Bosworth Spindle and Tea

There's also the question of whether my plies are the same -- for a past silk & wool ply project, it's necessarily 2 spindle-fulls being plied together, one with silk and one with wool. I slipped them onto knitting needles and ply from those as described in Priscilla Gibson-Roberts' High Whorling. It worked, but I think now I'd wind that two-strand ball. Less to juggle than with the two knitting needles.

And then there are the days I'm just spinning for singles :-) Then, if the spindle is full, I'm done! Yay!
Wolf Creek Singles


Do you ply on your spindles? or have a question about spindle plying? Tell the Belle (that's me!) ~ Thanks!


Dave said...

Mmmm, those singles look nice -- I yet to graduate to that level. :-)

I am three-plying using Abby's method, tho -- winding my singles onto three tennis balls, re-winding them all together into a big ball, and then plying them -- it's extra steps, but it works wonderfully, and you just have to concentrate on thing at a time.

Anonymous said...

For best consistency I use a spindle. I have much better control. (Lately I've been in too much of a hurry to spin and have been neglecting my spindles except when I'm out and about.)

If my center pull ball(s) look like a challenge of snarls then I'll do the two singles wound together on a felted ball, especially when plying silk.

It is worth the extra time. Having the singles come off the ball together in even tension makes plying with a spindle fast and almost mindless.