Sunday, April 21

Rolags and navajo plying

There are certain things about me as a person that roll over into my extra curriculars, like spinning. I tend to find a way that works and rarely deviate from that particular path. As I sat here browsing spinning groups late one night I decided to try something new. Enter this fiber: nothing new but it was about to be used in a new way. Both are merino. The red is about 6 years old at this point and the yellow is only slightly newer at about 2 or 3 years old.

I pulled out the hand cards and got busy making some rolags.

There was no pattern with color placement. I layered as I saw fit and in a way that looked pretty. "Pretty" was my motivating factor here. I watched a couple videos that showed me how to do it to make sure I was right and quickly had a pile of rolls.

Some came out bright and varied while others came out more muted and dull. It was a lesson in patience and remembering that you won't always get what you envision. Having never made or spun from rolags before, I wasn't sure what I would get. Some were dissapointing. Others I loved so much I wanted to hang them in a frame.

Last night, long after kids were in bed and long after I should have been in bed I finished my single (624 yards!), got it on the lazy kate, and got ready to ply. Since the single itself had a wide range of color variations (some solids, some gradual shifts from one color to the next, and some completely blended) I knew it had potential to be busy looking. I had planned on navajo plying it from the very beginning. Having only tried it one other time with horrific results, I wanted to make sure I got it right this time. I watched a few videos and read a few links. I ended up using this one as my go to.

I'd like to say it went off without a problem but I'd be lying. I had the yarn break on me a few times. I had yarn break and then refuse to rejoin more than once. I have a small pile of scrap sitting on the table in front of me that came from needing to break ends to get a clean start. Was it frustrating? Absolutely. Was it worth it? So very much. The key, for me (and Yarn Harlot apparently), was to keep my lazt kate in front of me between my feet and to constantly keep the tension on it juuuust so. Too loose and it kinked up on me and refused to accept enough twist. Too tight and it would snap while resisting being drawn in. If I had to adjust the lazy kate chances were that the wheel needed adjusted ever so slightly as well. Now that I have the technique under my belt (or in my hands as it were), I can't wait to do more. Such a satisfying way to finish off a yarn!