Plying Variegated Yarn

October, 2019

I've been loving my new spinning wheel (a Louet S17 that I finished and painted). Its maiden yarn project was this fabulous mohair mix in orange, green, yellow, purple, and red. Perfect fall colors without resorting to browns and golds. I really liked the colors and I didn't really want to lose their impact by plying them together willy-nilly. I also didn't really want to make singles because they are more of a pain to finish and work with (plus I'm not that great of a spinner, so there's probably some skinny spots that would benefit from plying). AND I'm tired of chain-plying everything! So .. what to do?

I decided to try out splitting my roving in half and spinning them as evenly as I could onto two bobbins, then plying the two bobbins together... In theory, the colors should match up and I'd get some nice solid color gradations. All in all, it worked!!

Problems I ran into were that I am not that even of a spinner, and I certainly didn't split my roving perfectly either. So, as I spun, the colors would shift as they no longer lined up with each other. I ended up "plying poorly" by holding one of the strands back and letting the other ply around it. It made me feel bad, like I was plying poorly on purpose. You can see the effect in the picture above where one strand is still tight while they other is looser and fluffy.

I ended up breaking off the skein after about half the bobbin and pulling the rest off as singles. The colors were just too far off from each other to easily bring them back into line. If I was committed to the process, I would have sacrificed a portion of one of the bobbins to bring them both back into line and started again. I decided that this would give me a chance to play around with handspun singles anyway. It was fun, but not something that I would plan for again in the near future.