Plying your yarn is a great way to create a stronger string to use in your crafts and knitting projects. It is gratifying to note how the yarn evens up and improves in appearance when plying. Here are some basic tips to get started on plying your yarn.
Plying the yarn
- Put an empty bobbin on the wheel with the leader. Take the two ends from the other bobbins on a lazy kate and hold them between your thumb and forefinger of your front hand, overlapping them with the leader. Begin treadling anti-clockwise and pinch the leader and the two ends until they twist together. Rest your back hand on your hip, allowing it to remain stationary for the whole process. The two strands are separated and run through the fingers of your back hand to maintain a light tension.
- When the singles and the leader are twisted together, propel the two strands towards the orifice. Check that the yarn has sufficient twist. If there is not enough twist, add more treadles to each length.
- Release the pinch of your front hand slightly and let the twist run back, supporting and accompanying the twist with this hand until both hands almost meet. Remember that only the front hand moves.
- Repeat steps 2 and 3 until the bobbin is nearly full. You may need to adjust the tension as the bobbin begins to fill and becomes heavier. Move the yarn frequently along the hooks to avoid a buildup in one area.
Washing the yarn
Yarn should always be washed after spinning and plying to help set the twist.
- Tie the hank in two or three places before removing it from the niddy noddy to prevent tangling.
- Then immerse the skein in warm, soapy water for a few minutes before rinsing it and hanging it outside to dry.
- Do not rub the wool or it may felt, and never dry the wool in a tumble dryer.