Are You Single(s)?

The Spinning Odyssey Continues

Singles are the proto-yarn that first hits the bobbin.  You take your prepped fiber and spin it into singles.  Why singles?  Because they're a single strand.  You can work with them as is, but they'll be stronger and more pleasant if you ply multiple singles together.

After I spun up the tuft of pink from the last post, I grabbed some practice fiber and spun up a full bobbin of singles.  The fiber is mill ends that I got very inexpensively.  The good thing is that I have many, many pounds, so I can use a lot of fiber experimenting without running short.  The bad thing is that it's inconsistently prepped.  That means that either I have to spend time prepping fiber that's mostly already ready to go, or I have to deal with the frustration of everything going smoothly, then suddenly there being an uncooperative chunk.  I tend to use a hybrid approach where I spin what's easy right from the bag and set aside problem bits to be dealt with later.

Singles on the Traveller

This bobbin was a little less-good than I generally expect from myself because a) I was getting my hands back into spinning mode after a long break and b) I was trying to spin somewhat thicker than my default.  Still, I filled it quickly and was hungry for more!  The next day I spun a second bobbin of singles.  This one was a little better than the last - hoorah for progress!  And on the third day, she plied.

Plying on the Joy

I ply on a double treadle Ashford Joy.  This was my first wheel, and I really love it.  The action is nice and smooth, I can set up just about anywhere, and the double treadle gives me good control when starting and stopping a lot.  The reason I usually ply on the joy is simply that it is the only wheel for which I own a jumbo flyer and bobbin.  I like to spin full bobbins of singles, then by plying onto the jumbo I can usually fit all of the yarn on in one length.

Once the yarn was all plied, I skeined it off onto a Niddy Noddy, washed it, and thwacked it.  Thwacking is when you beat your finished skein against something - a bathtub works nicely; I used the deck railing in this case - to help the twist to distribute evenly and encourage the yarn to fluff up.  Then there was nothing to do but wait for it to dry.

Finished Skein

This skein has some definite problems.  It's seriously underplied, meaning that there is not enough twist holding the two singles together.  It is also somewhat thick and thin, which is not inherently problematic, but since it wasn't what I was going for, it demonstrates a lack of control.  The quarter in the photo is to help give a sense of how thick the strand is.  There's a lot of yarn here!  174g made 288 yards.

Stay tuned because I have a plan for this yarn...and I'm not remotely done spinning yet!

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