Wednesday, June 30, 2010


I'm now a member of the Woodland Weavers and Spinners Guild of Damascus Pa. On the 19th I went my second meeting. The topic of discussion: Finishes. Everyone had tips and tricks for working with and finishing knitting, spinning and woven items, as well as neat tools and make-shift gadgets that will come in handy in pinch. Like making a center pull ball with a toilet paper roll.
singles center pull

One member demonstrated Navajo plying on the fly. A very skilled drop spinner, she made it look effortless and magical. I had to try!

On the ever useful internet and found "Tammy Rizzo's Ply-on-the-fly technique" which also has a link to her blog were she updates the technique, making it even easier.

Here is my hand spun, Navajo plied-on-the-fly yarn. First I did a Navajo ply with already spun singles, which was awkward because the center pull ball i made was very light and it was difficult to get a smooth chain going, without the ball jumping around. The second and third yarns were done on the fly. I spun a bunch of singles and then wrapped them on my fingers and plied them, then repeat.
coopworth plied
2 ply drop spindle

I also tried plying with a spinning wheel, which i borrowed from my neighbor. It was great using the wheel. Spinning goes much faster but I did have a hard time plying. I found the wheel really didn't want to go in the opposite direction. But I did get a sense of the kinds of things I would want in a spinning wheel when I'm ready to get one. After that short adventure, I returned the spinning wheel to my neighbor in favor of my drop spindle.
spinning wheel

Having finished the green roving, I knit a hat with the plied yarn. There was only about 53 yards of yarn so no ear flaps.
Coopworth ply hat

The rest of the green un-plied yarn, will probably be used in a weaving a project. For now anyway, its just a part of my stash.


Guzzisue said...

Hi, I spin and ply on both spindle and wheel except navajo which I have no problem with on a spindle but on my wheels? no chance!!

Digital Leaf said...

Oh, I'm glad it not just me. But it's possible, because this girl has it down pat! I wouldn't believe it if it wasn't on video :-)