Friends, yesterday was glorious. The Fiasco was out all day and I spent nearly the entire time relaxing on my own here:
|My happy place. Picture me there instead of Calypso.|
Glorious. Don’t get me wrong, I love my Fiasco and I love being social and having busy weekends, but I don’t think I’ve had a day to myself since we moved almost two months ago! I needed a day to just zone out, to ignore the chores and the bills and the phone and the computer and even the obligatory knitting. I need to get down with my introverted self and just make something for no reason whatsoever. And it was awesome. I baked some cookies, caught up on about half a dozen episodes of Grey’s Anatomy, and I spun my little fingers off.
First, I broke this blue-purple-green gradient braid into three sections and carded and spun each section into singles. I wanted to experiment with chained yarns, which take two plied yarns and then ply them back onto each other. So I turned the blue into a 2-ply yarn and then plied it with some 2-ply white wool I had spun from the fiber that had come with my wheel.
|First chained yarn.|
It made a very thick, very springy yarn that I swatched a bit:
|Eek! My eyes!|
Plying such high-contrast colors together makes a marled yarn that can be a bit difficult on the eyes in certain stitches. For instance, the bottom of that swatch is garter stitch and it pains me, I hate it. The stockinette is a little bit better and the ribbing (I think) looks best of all. I decided not to ply the rest of the braid with white and just wing it. So I spun the purple and green as singles:
|So pretty, so quick…|
Then I went crazy with the plying. I plied some of the purple with some of the remaining white. I plied the rest of the purple with some of the green. I plied some of the green back on itself and had some of the original blue 2-ply left over.
|So many bobbins!|
To make a chained yarn you need to make sure your 2-ply yarns have lots and lots of extra twist, so I ran them through the wheel again (you can see how the blue bobbin has a tighter twist than the rest, it had been through twice already) and joined the purple-green and all green yarns into one continuous strand and the purple-white and all blue yarns into another. FINALLY, I plied the two strands of 2-ply yarns together in the opposite direction. So the singles were spun clockwise, the 2-ply yarns were spun counter-clockwise, and the final chained yarn was plied clockwise.
Isn’t it cool looking? All that plying made for some really interesting color combinations in the final yarn. I especially like the sections that are purple-green-white! Now instead of being overpowering the white is a neat accent. I ended up with about 99 grams/ 116 yards of bulky yarn (7ish wraps per inch) that I think is going to make a fantastic winter hat to coordinate with the new purple coat I received for Christmas. Yay for handspun! Yay for wheels! Yay for alone time on the weekend! 🙂
Have you tried making or knitting with chained yarns before?
Oh! I almost forgot! The winner of the little sampler of longwool fibers is Ivy from Pumpkin Spins. Email me your address and I’ll mail them off straight away!
I've never chain plied yarn before. And now seeing you yarn, I have no idea why. I think I know what I'll be doing in the future.
Wow, you really took advantage of your spinning time! I haven't ventured into the chain ply world yet, but I will definitely add it to my list of experiments to try.
Sounds like a wonderful day, I love your seat of bliss, looks like a lovely spot! Gorgeous yarns, I love that green!
I did a chained yarn with my merino/tencel last summer and I loved it. But this is just stunning! Simply simply stunning. You are just having too much fun with that wheel!
I am completely jealous of your day off, since I got back to college I can't remember the last time I was able to just relax. That yarn turned out cute and funky, I can't wait to see it knit into something super fun.
It was fun to try! I'm curious to see how it knits up.
I think lots of fun could be had with color effects.
haha, thanks! 🙂 It is blissful.
Thanks! It's so easy to get stressed, it's good to take a break now and then.
Thank you! I am. 🙂
Congrats to Ivy!! Wishing you more days like the one you just had … We all need “me” time every now & then.
Glorious is right! I absolutely love all your yarn, especially the blue-green cabled yarn. Gorgeous!! 🙂 And I agree, it's nice to be social, but there's nothing like a quiet day of spinning and cookies to soothe the soul.