Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Making yarn

To me, spinning fibre is very different from plying singles.  When you spin fiber you go from fluff to string,

but it's string that's very easy to pull apart if you just untwist it again.  On the other hand, when you ply that string together...

You get fully recognizable yarn.  Even two strings plied together is a lot stronger than one, which is to say, it's much harder to break, or even pill.  Probably not a coincidence that DNA is pictured as two strands twisted around each other, you know?
Of course, your plied yarn is only as good as your spun singles.  And as I mentioned, some sections of one of my 'Ranger' singles was more than a bit overspun.  Plus, I never seem to get all the colour sections in the different lengths of fiber to be the same length, so I ended up with a lot of barberpole.

While I was plying this on the weekend, a non-crafty neighbour dropped by and asked what I'd do with the finished product.  I have no idea, I told her, and felt a bit stupid.  I mean, there's making for a purpose, and making for the satisfaction of making, which is a purpose also, but was I even achieving that?

In the past, I've found that a lot of the yarn I make in summer becomes my priority material for gift production in winter.  And maybe that will be true with this yarn, which I was able to ply with minimal disruption from the overspun bits.  If that's the case it won't matter that I didn't get to read as much as usual with this batch of fiber (thank you, kindle app on cell phone, which perches so neatly on my leg while I spin) or that I feel I failed by not having a lot less barberpole.

At least the beginning and end of the line will be solids, right?

And at least I turned something soft and vulnerable to breaks into something strong and resistant.  And compact, which in my current situation is a definite advantage!


Lisa said...

The yarn is beautiful. I like the barber pole effect.

Mary Keenan said...

I need to think like you Lisa - barber pole is kind of the hallmark of handspun yarn after all! I would so love to line up the colours to a perfect transition from one to the next though...