I have this tendency to tackle huge long term projects, so it seems I get nothing done at all. To revive my interest and confidence, I decided to do a little project with the bits of Targhee I dyed as color testers for October’s Tiger Club. This will also give me a chance to show you a little photo tutorial about plying using a ‘bracelet’, also known as Andean plying.
I had about 1.2 ounces, a poof of each color. I opened the top into a flat strip, then split the piece in half, and set one aside. The other half, I divided again. The idea….to make two mostly matching skeins, and I’m going to make a two ply yarn that preserves most of the striping without being obsessive about it.
I spun each quarter color in order, then reversed color order. You could spin the two repeats separately, but this is such a small amount I didn’t want to have leftovers (not obsessive, remember?).
Then I wound a plying bracelet (sometimes called Andean Plying). Since the kids are around, and the phone continues to ring and ring (I think all the other companies are making up for the election being over!), I used a little hardback book and a popsicle stick so I would not be trapped. I also tend to cut off the circulation to my finger if I use my hand. Anyway, hold the end in the middle, then come up and around the stick, down and around the back, then up and around the other side of the stick. Continue until all the singles are on there, and I knot the two ends together so they don’t escape.
Then slip your hand under the yarn on the back of the book, and wiggle it down onto your wrist.
And gently pull out the popsicle stick. Pull the ends, and they will orderly peel off.
And then rinse and repeat….
Here’s my finished yarn…..it came out quite even for just eyeballing, and the lengths of the two skeins are only off a few yards.
I then sat down with a ruler, a piece of paper, and my calculator. My yarn ended up about 14wpi, which is the same as most of my sock yarns that I have experience with, so I skipped the swatch.
I figured out where I wanted the top opening to end, distance to my thumb, distance to my wrist, and how quickly I’d need to decrease to make it happen.
I knit these top-down on my knitting machine, so that I could use every last inch of yarn. They turned out pretty well, I think, although I have ideas to improve the pattern, and may dye and spin a little more to put thumbs on these (the poor things are cold!).
And now the kids want some! They were quick and fun, so I think I can honor that request. In the meantime, I’m queuing up my next big project. There’s 8-10 hours of car spinning coming up, plus hanging around with my parents who live in front of the TV. 🙂