"How hard could it be?"
How many other words have you uttered and regretted later? I uttered these very words last Friday when I spun the last of my alpaca/merino roving for Tour de Fleece. I've only ever plied yarn once before, and it was a dawdle. You take two balls of yarn, and you twist 'em together. Bada bing, bada boom, two-ply yarn. This time, my singles were thinner, but hey, I figured it would only take an hour or so to ply them with my spindle.
On Saturday, I prepared my singles into two balls to get them ready for plying. On Sunday, after walking my dog before the heat of the day, I brought out the two balls and my spindle out and thought I'd be done before I went swimming later that morning.
I started plying. Swimming time came along. "I'll get it done after lunch," I said to myself.
After lunch, I continued. Two hours later, I said, "I'll just take a break now."
I took a short nap. I continued plying afterwards. Four o'clock came around. "I guess I'll get some things ready for dinner." My arms were aching by then.
An hour after dinner, I finally finished. I soaked the yarn, set the twist, then left it to dry.
Presenting: my handspun two-ply alpaca/merino blend yarn. Approximately 220 yards of fingering weight.
The white pieces of string are the bits of string I used to secure the loops of yarn so they wouldn't get tangled whilst soaking. It's a darn good skein of yarn, if I do say so myself. It's so smooth and soft, and the texture after plying is quite pleasing, like tiny soft beads on a strong. Those alpacas and merino sheep oughta get together and breed more often.
I know, that's not what happened, but how did you enjoy that mental image?
I know there are plenty of other spinners who have spun way more yarn than I have during the Tour de Fleece, but a plied skein of yarn in two weeks is really fast for me. I'm very proud of this yarn, and I'm glad I challenged myself to spin it. I'm still working on some of the dyed merino yet, and I still have some challenges left that I set for myself at the beginning of all of this. The Tour finishes on Sunday, so I don't have much longer now, but I think I can still fit it in.
How hard could it be?