Monday, November 21, 2016

Plying Balls

I had a question over the weekend about plying from center pull balls.  How risky it was to do that - would the yarn get all tangled up...?  I'd actually taken some pictures a few weeks ago that I'd forgotten about never shared that demonstrated my favorite way to ply from center pull balls.

If I'm spinning a lot of yarn for a big project (remember when I used to do that?!?), I wind each bobbin off into a center pull ball and then at the end of spinning all my singles, I try to pair up the fattest singles with the skinniest singles so my plied yarn all matches...as best it can.

The other time I use center pull balls to ply is if I have a small bobbin of something and I just want to ply it back on itself.  In this case I'd discovered a very old ball of some Petunia that had been languishing in my stash for no good reason.  


I found the end buried in the center of the ball and the end wrapping around the outside of the ball.


And in my typical redneck style, I tied the two ends together.  Is there a "correct" way to do this?  

You can see how things could get really messy, really quickly, so I pulled out a trusting plying ball. This one is made of felted wool, but could be a cat toy, wadded up kleenex, whatever you have handy.  


And started winding the two strands side by side around the ball.


Nice and tidy.


And there's the center of the single strand, ready to safely start plying.

If you are plying two or three (or more) singles together, you'd just take the end from the center of each ball and treat them the same way as above, holding them side by side.  By using the center pull ball to get everything sorted ahead of time, you not only make sure your yarns are not going to get all tangled, but it also helps keep the tension even between the strands.

Thanks for the question!  It was nice to think about spinning for a change :-D.  Maybe this week I'll get to do more than just think about it!


15 comments:

Buttons Thoughts said...

Oh dear my first glance at your title was "Paying Bills" I like this post way better :) Hug B

Adriene J said...

That is really interesting! I've been looking for creative ways to ply, as I have yet to figure out a lazy kate-type contraption for my spindles. That's a great idea for small bobbins of singles!

Far Side of Fifty said...

My wheel is up an running or it could be if I were gutsy enough to try. I am not sure what to start with, but I have been too busy to do much of anything...I did dust that old spinning wheel yesterday:)

Michelle said...

Interesting; I just grab the inner and outer ends and start plying!

thecrazysheeplady said...

You have a wheel??? I'd be happy to send you something to start with!!! :-D

sophy0075 said...

Helpful! I am one of those OCD types who wonders what to do with the "leftover" bit on Bobbin #2 after plying it with Bobbin #1, and #1 has been used up. Andean plying has never worked for me, so I've done some crazy things (wrapping the remaining bit of singles around every piece of furniture in the room) to control the ply energy and then tried to ply the singles on itself. Sometimes that works, but mostly the singles wins, and contorts itself into the most unholy tangle. I will try your approach. It sure beats turning my craft room into looking like a crazed giant spider's web.

www.bergamascosbabydollbrigade.com said...

I like this post. :-)

YarnKettle said...

Yes! This reminds me that I was going to try that. I've plyed from the inside and outside of the ball. So much time spent untangling. I also know of a couple cat toys that have been rejected. Do I get bonus points if I use one with a jingle ball inside?

Bee Lady said...

Thank you for the lesson. I've always wondered what to do with the leftover thread on the spindle. Now I know! I've been spinning lately and enjoying getting into the relaxing rhythm of it again.

Cindy Bee

T.L. Merrybard said...

Gee that Petunia is a lovey colour, like caramel!

Sheepmom said...

You are a way more careful spinner than I am. I just grab the inner and outer ends and adjust my hands as needed when any wonky twisting happens. This method looks much more disciplined. Pretty Petunia!

www.bergamascosbabydollbrigade.com said...

So, I tried this technique. My resulting 2-ply yarn is a gorgeous, perfectly balanced yarn. At least I think so. BUT...did I do something wrong when wrapping the two single skeins? While I was plying the Z-spun singles with an S twist, the two threads behind my holding hand down to the ball, which I had in the bottom of a plastic container so it could move freely, were plying too but in the opposite direction - Z twist. I found this quite annoying and had to keep stopping and messing around with the two threads that were twisting in the Z direction. Anyone else have this problem?

thecrazysheeplady said...

So both balls were in the same container and twisting down in there before they got to your hands, correct?

Janice Mars said...

I knot the ends together too. I just hold the ball cupped loosely in my left hand with the center yarn coming out between my thumb and index, and the outside yarn coming out between my middle and ring finger.

www.bergamascosbabydollbrigade.com said...

There was only one ball in the container because I had already wound the two single strands into one ball. The two singles were twisting together below my hand and I had to keep stopping a unplying them so I could continue to ply the two singles together properly above my hand.

LinkWithin

Blog Widget by LinkWithin