Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Navajo Ply, certainly not on the Fly.

After watching Cathy navajo ply on her spindle, I was tempted to try the "non fly" method on my spinning wheel. (Navajo plying a yarn allows you to turn a single strand into a 3-ply yarn.)

I started by picking out the roving below -- kettle dyed Jacob Humbug roving by Shunklies Jacob sheep are rugged, beautiful two or three toned animals that often have 4 horns. Their fleece is rough and tumble as well. It's not soft and plushy like merino, but certainly seems to be hard-wearing stuff. This particular roving has been dyed to create a perfect ombre from color A to B to C, then C to B to A. I really didn't want to disturb the way the color was dyed, so I went ahead and spun a single ply, then used the navajo method to create a 3-ply yarn. The final yarn was wound into a ball, and it certainly reminds me of a ball of Noro's Kureyon or Twisted Fiber Art's Dutchess once wound. This was spun around the time that my niddy noddy broke (it was used-- not that nice to begin with, and the wood split where a screw was holding it together), so I have no idea what the yardage is. I'm guessing that it's around 110 yards, and it's a worsted to aran weight yarn.

With it's rugged-ness I'm not sure I'd like to wear a hat from this yarn unless it was lined with something lush. An alpaca, angora, or cashmere/merino blend would be great!
You might remember the roving below from March. It's Bluefaced Leicester superwash (BFL- "the poorman's cashmere") inspired by spring flowers, even though I dyed it the previous fall. I don't know why, but I created seriously long repeats! Whenever you dye superwash roving, it has to be braided first (or set in a crochet chain). If you don't do this, the fiber can (and often will) detach from it's neighbors, and you won't have roving anymore!

Here's another look at the seriously loooooong repeats when the yarn was just a single:
The resulting yarn is fantastically soft, and is a dk weight of unknown yardage. I think this yarn is destined to become a pair of mittens! I think there might be enough for another small project, too. Perhaps I should set a goal to knit with my handspun!


Deenz said...

I am in serious love with that Shunklies colorway. I need to get some spinning on soon!

*pops over to etsy*

Cathy-Cate said...

Yes, the Jacob is rather, um, sturdy, but it looks SO lovely! A double-layer hat sounds like just the thing: provisional cast-on and there you go. Extremely warm, but you know January in St. Paul....

The second experiment in Navajo-plying is looking awesome too: your own dyeing?, how fun!

Yes, some knitting does seem like it needs to be happening (which of course it is, but some non-sock knitting, too!) Tell you what, I'll knit you a hat from the Shunklies if you want....I have some local alpaca; some local alpaca/angora (though that's white, but SO soft); some Cashsoft Aran too, I think. Any of those would be snuggly next to the skin.

twinsetellen said...