I haven't spun for over a month – since plying up this little lot (about enough for one sock), I have been actively avoiding making enough for another sock. I don't know if it's the fibre prep, or the fact that it's been stored for too long in a too small box – but I found it a bit of a pig to spin; it wouldn't seem to want to draft smoothly. But – being project monogamous – I haven't wanted to start spinning anything else.
This seems silly. I like spinning, so I need to spin the top, or spin something else.
So I decided to spin it differently. I tried for a heavier weight yarn; I've been playing with some Debbie Bliss Maya, an aran weight single, slightly thick and thin, and I was wondering if I could spin something like that.
Turns out I have difficulty spinning thicker. And putting up with variations in thickness of my singles.
I didn't manage to make singles *that* thick – or even that consistent – and I was definitely overspinning, so I plied it:
Because plying is done in the opposite twist direction to spinning singles, it removes some of the twist from the singles. I think I'm used to spinning singles for plying, and it's now pretty much balanced. There are thick bits and thin bits; barberpole bits and bits where two sections of the same colour met up. The unevenness of the yarn is pretty obvious, but I really, really like it.
Some of the most interesting bits happened when a thin bit of single met a thicker bit. When this happens, the thin bit seems to travel closer to the axis of the plied yarn, and the thicker one spirals around it:
I found I can control – or eliminate – this effect by gripping the thicker strand more tightly than the thinner one. Then, the two strands twist evenly again. I like this. The more tension I put on a single, the closer to the axis of the finished yarn it will lie. That means that I can produce a spiralling yarn from two singles of equal thickness, an even yarn from two differing singles, or, at the extreme, wrap a single or an unspun fibre around a core fibre – to make a corespun yarn.