81) And so to plying

The Titania batts:

Yesterday, I realised that I'd managed to fill my lovely Bosworth with Titania-singles to the point where it isn't really behaving itself any more.  (Of course, like a good blogger, I forgot to photograph it).  My original plan had been to spin all the singles, sliding the cops off onto storage devices, then to wind plying balls like I did for the last of the tussah silk and ply.  But this project has sort of migrated itself to work, where we have no spindle-kates, no handy pieces of cop-storage material, nothing.  And I wanted to spin.

So I wound a plying bracelet, reasoning, in the finest traditions of self-justification, that the whole point of this exercise is to find out how the batts work when spinning lace.  Therefore, I should get this lot plied as soon as possible, so I can knit a wee sample, yes?

And I realised that its a very long time since I spun much wool on a drop-spindle.

For the last few years, it's all been silk – except when it's been cotton.  Silk and cotton are both really, really twist-hungry, so I've learned to use a thigh roll to start the spindle.  Rolling the spindle shaft down your thigh gives a much faster spin than flicking it with your fingers.  This is definitely an advantage when trying to fill up silk or cotton singles with twist, but the downside is that wool doesn't need anything like as much twist.  Too much, and it's going to get wiry and scratchy on you – and, ultimately, break.

I can now get a spindle spinning faster than my fingers can draft wool to keep up, and as a result, I've had a *heck* of a time trying not to overspin this wool.

(Close up of the singles – see the sparkly bits??)

You can see how active the twist is, even after sitting on the spindle for a week or so, in these photos.  Every time the tension comes off the singles, they try to kink up and loop back on themselves.  Those bits in the second photo where loose singles have plied back on themselves are really quite tightly twisted, which indicates how much energy is squirreling around in there.

Looks like I'm headed for quite a high-twist laceweight here, then.


  • Gorgeous colour!

    4th November 2010
  • Love both the purple and the sparkly!
    I noticed in my spinning that I put a lot more twist in spindled singles – otherwise the spindle keeps going *thump* on the floor.

    5th November 2010

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