Friday, January 11, 2013

Intro to Spinning: Removing the Filled Bobbin and Begining to Ply

So if you followed through with the last post, we had 2 oz of single ply yarn on our bobbin. So now what? There's a few things you can do at this point. Let's first talk about what a ply is.

The ply of the yarn is referring to the individual spun lengths of yarn. The yarn that we spun in the last post is a single ply. I'm now going to show you how to make a second ply, and then spin these together to make a two ply yarn. In the photo, the top yarn is single ply, the bottom is 2 ply.

Yarn doesn't have to be multiple plys, although in some instances it's a good idea. There are many beautiful yarns that are single ply and can be knitted or crochet as is. In determining whether to ply or not to ply, I consider the fiber's tactile properties, or it a slippery fiber like Mohair or Angora? Or is it something with a bit more grab like Merino? Some fibers are "grabbier than others, which also makes them ideal for felting.

We talked about the "tooth" or microscopic barbs in my post...Mohair doesn't have a lot of grab, which is one of the reasons it is so soft. It will hold together in a single ply yarn, but the fibers can begin to slip if handled too much. It does better if it is slightly over spun or plied.

To ply we must first remove the full bobbin. To do this, remove the stretchy drive band that connects the treadle to the fly.

You can just lay it on the front of the wheel.

Then loosen the tension by turning the knob in the front.

As you turn the knob the tension spring will release,

And you'll be able to remove the tension cord from the back of the bobbin.

Like this.

The fly and the bobbin are removable. You can slip them both off, or just the bobbin.

Here it comes.

A bobbin filled with 2 oz single ply yarn.

You can store this on the Lazy Kate while you spin the second ply.

This is the fly and the new bobbin ready to be filled.

Slide the empty bobbin onto the fly,

And slide the fly onto the wheel.

Re-attach the tension cord.

Tighten it up a bit.

And replace the drive pulley.

Thread the wheel with your starter yarn (For help with this read Threading the Wheel.)

And your ready to spin your second Bobbin.

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