Sorry I’ve been absent for a while, life took a left turn when I wasn’t paying attention. But I come bearing crafties! I’ve discovered and am working furiously to perfect my Navajo ply, a three-ply style that plies the thread with itself as you go (rather than needing two other threads to ply with or trying to roll the spun thread into a ball and plying the ends together.)
I can’t explain it so I’ll show you a video I found. Thing is, watching the video, I was convinced I would need four hands to pull this off because she’s using a spinning wheel and I only have spindles and you need two hands to work the thread and then one to work the plying spindle and another to keep the source spindle from getting tangled.
Well, I figured out how to do it using two spindles and yet only two hands! And… I am utterly failing at trying to explain how so I’ve drawn really bad diagrams to help:A: start by making a small loop or slipknot in the end of your thread to anchor it to the plying spindle. Draw a length of thread from your source spindle and pull it through the loop.
B: hook the length of thread you pulled through the loop back over the shaft of your first spindle, holding the original loop open with your fingers (keep the yarn from plying that loop closed or you’ll be fighting it the whole way.) This will keep all your thread under enough tension so it won’t knot on itself. As you turn your source spindle, the set up will act like a pulley system, as you unwind the thread it will run through the loop, around the shaft and to the second spindle.
C: when you’ve drawn out as much as you want, use the hand holding your first spindle to pinch the three portions of thread about an inch or two out from your first spindle and then use the second spindle to ply the lengths. Wind the yarn onto your plying spindle, then carefully unhook the loop from around your first spindle shaft. This becomes the new loop in figure A, draw a new length of thread through and start all over.
This is so simple and quick and such a beautiful result! Wanna see?
Oh yeah… I spun cotton! IT WAS HARD! The staple length is so terribly short you have to be *really* careful how you draft it or you’ll lose it. But I have my first ever tiny little batch of cotton yarn now! And so fluffy white and ready to play with vegetable dying 🙂 I have some beet root that I think will make an excellent first try.
So now that I’m just blowing through the spinning and plying, I have lots of fiber to use for (drum roll, please) WEAVING! I don’t have a full loom set up, yet, but I’ve started making bookmarks on my bead loom.
And then I decided to do a little longer piece and made it a choker:
I’ll be making bracelets for my sister and brother-in-law as well. Oh, there’s another story. Okay, so my sister took me out to lunch/dinner the other day to this place she raves about but I’d never had the opportunity to try, Boundary Bay up in Bellingham. It was quite good!
My sister had steamers (clams) and I got a to-go box and took home her shells. They scrubbed up beautifully and then I used my uncle’s drill to put a couple of holes in them. Voila! I now have pretty clam-shell bead, pendant, button, whatever! So I picked out what I felt was the prettiest shell and the two halves will go on their bracelets as a matching pair.
So this is what I’ve been up to, lately. I’m laughably behind on NaNoWriMo. Ah well, there’s always the whole rest of the year. 😉