I have paused from what has turned out to be a mammoth plying task. I’m working on the last stage of the 3-ply crepe yarn. I started working at about 8pm this evening, setting up the skein of (deliberately) over twisted 2-ply onto the swift and the thin z-twist single onto the built-in Lazy Kate of this wheel. I eventually stopped about halfway through the plying at 10:30pm when my neck was starting to feel achy.
When I started the plying I had to fight the wheel while I persuaded it to take up the yarn (all previous spinning on this wheel has had me fighting too strong take-up and having to lace the singles once or twice between the flyer arms to get a reasonably gentle take-up). I swore when the yarn jumped out of the open flyer hook (there is no orifice on this wheel) and tangled up instead of winding onto the bobbin. I was worried that working from a skein of yarn from the swift would give me problems, but this has worked well. Sometimes my single and two ply has got a bit tangled, so next time I’ll set up the swift on my right-hand side instead of behind my wheel.
Anyway, I eventually managed to get a balance between twist and take-up and I started being able to think about the yarn I was producing. It took quite a while to get the right way to work on this. I say the right way, but until I’ve washed and set the twist it’s going to be difficult to tell if it’s completely right. However, the yarn does seem to snap into place when it’s going correctly. I’m not holding the yarn in the way I would normally when plying (the single I’m holding fairly straight and the 2 ply I’m feeding in at a slight angle). I’m working at it slowly so that I can control the amount of twist. This means that I’m taking much longer to ply this yarn than I would normally take.
My yarn is not yet consistent, but as you can see when it’s working it’s very pretty. I’m looking forward to seeing this washed and set.