Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Teaching the old dog new tricks

It happened! Tuesday at the Beanery, it happened! I learned from the great and wonderful Evilneice how to Navajo ply.
Off and on during my years of spinning, I have witnessed and tried to do this with my hand spun singles. I really like the idea of a yarn that comes from one bobbin. No more worrying about how much yarn is on the bobbin, dividing it as close to the halfway point as I can or even if I have ENOUGH bobbins to spare for this job!
It did not happen all at once, nor was it clear and easy at first. I am still hoping that I can actually do this again, now that the rhythm is gone from my one on one instruction. But my friend encouraged me..she did what a great teacher does, she watched me and figured out what the heck was going on with my awkward posture and arm motions that were accomplishing nothing.
The key for me was this:

The right hand pulls the loop open and holds the plies waiting to be spun together. The left hand needs to be more passive, it is the guide to get the three plies to join together happily and evenly. Then, repeat the process.

I did this. I kept doing this. In the end, I finished plying a ball of yukky hand spun single yarn that I debated about tossing. It is not gorgeous, but it is plied. It is ok. Maybe a bit curly (over spun is and understatement!) Stay tuned for Navajo plied yarn pictures, I am sure that I will do this again, and will share the evidence.

As I said, I have tried this before. More than once. The point is, I did not give up on the idea and hope that I should be able to Navajo ply my yarn. Persistence and a good teacher were the winning combination.

Now lets see what I can do without my coach.

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