Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The Plyin' ain't Flyin'

"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?


  1. Wow you have beautiful new yarn that you made, boggles the mind sometimes doesn't it. "I made that, how cool am I?!"

  2. It turned out lovely, spindle plying can be tricky. 220 yards is quite a lot too. Sprint down the Champs Elyseés tomorrow with your spindle!

    (tobysmum on ravelry)