Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Un-Plying Yarn

I know you have all been in this same boat - you've plied something, and it just doesn't work for you. How the heck can you undo all that plying? Well, here's Steph's method.

First, you need a wheel, then a raddle or something to divide the plies, and finally, a yarn blocker. The blocker may be hard to improvise. Come to think of it, I might have to invite a couple of friends and their ballwinders over!

Unplying yarn, pt.1
Originally uploaded by OriginalTwistedSpinster
Set up the wheel to spin in the opposite direction of the ply. You're untwisting the ply, after all. Then, as soon as you have enough untwisted, use the raddle to divide the plies.

Unplying yarn, pt.2
Originally uploaded by OriginalTwistedSpinster

Keep untwisting the plies with the wheel, drawing the yarn off the bobbin as it's untwisted. When you have enough, tie the loose ends onto the middle axle and start winding around the blocker. Notice that there are two ends - each is going to have its own section of the blocker.

Unplying yarn, pt.3
Originally uploaded by OriginalTwistedSpinster
Wind the separated plies around the blocker as you untwist with the wheel. Then, just keep untwisting, and winding on as you go. It's important to keep an even tension on both plies - I can see where it might be difficult for two people with ballwinders to stay in synch.

Unplying yarn, pt.4
Originally uploaded by OriginalTwistedSpinster
Here's a side view of the operation.

Unplying yarn, pt.5
Originally uploaded by OriginalTwistedSpinster
Here's a straight-on view of what's going on. Obviously, I don't have pictures of the next steps, which is winding each ply onto a bobbin or whatever treatment logically comes next.

I'm in a bit of melancholy right now... I think it's mainly from overdoing this weekend. The inlaws are going to be stopping by this weekend on the way to Sacramento, and we're still getting most of last year's garden cleaned up. So, after lots of activity, the fibro flares.

But I am spinning through those punis I carded last week. They're not drafting as easily as I'd like, but they spin much faster on the SpinTech than on the tahkli!


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