Friday, November 18, 2011

Spinning Kai: Plying and Skeining

This is the process of spinning Kai llama's fiber, continued. You can see all the previous steps here.

Once the yarn is spun, it winds around a bobbin. When each bobbin is full, I replace it on the spinning wheel with an empty one. The full ones go on this holder so that the single strands can be plied, or twisted together. The strands are plied in the opposite direction that they were spun, so if the wheel was turning clockwise to spin the single strands, I turn it counterclockwise to ply the strands together. 

In this instance, I am making two-ply yarn, but three or more strands can be plied together. Most commercial knitting yarn, of the sort that I used to make little kid sweaters, is four-ply. 

In the photo below, I am controlling the amount of twist as the two strands are plied together. 

In the next photo, you can see (although the focus is poor) how the strands go together.

Next, the plied yarn is wound off the bobbin on the wheel and onto the niddy noddy, a nice old-fashioned tool that holds the yarn taut while it is being wound into a skein. I measured the length of one wrap around and found that it was about one yard, so I counted as I wound to get a very approximate measurement for the whole skein. I wanted Kai's yarn to end up in 50-yard skeins, but there were a few odd ones from the end of each bobbin.

Once the skein is made, the beginning and the end are tied together, and the skein is secured in several places with some string. Then the skeins are all ready to be washed. Stay tuned--we are getting near the end of the process!


Ms. Becky said...

this is so interesting. I'm glad that you're sharing the process - from raw product to finish! it's a lovely yarn, and I'm not familiar with the plying part of it all. not only that, I was distracted by your gorgeous tile floor too. happy weekend to you Clairz.

Joyful said...

Very nice work and explanation.