Sunday, March 04, 2018


Just before Christmas one of our former guild members e mailed to say that she was selling some of her late mother's spinning and weaving equipment. I was the lucky first one to reply so as well as various warping pegs I soon became the happy owner of a lendrum with plenty of bobbins. All thanks to my past self who was wise enough to save birthday and Christmas present money instead of frittering it.

I knew exactly what fibre I was going to use for my first spin as I won a raffle prize of Babylonglegs fibre at a spinning day. As Sarah helped me check my new wheel, it only seemed fitting.

As the fibre came in three lots, I decided to spin a three ply (as a hat tip to Sarah's preferred yarn structure). I also decided to play with fractals using a one, two, three split. So, the first ply was spun across the top; the second was split in half along the length and spun and the last was split in thirds. With each ply I tried to keep the colours clear.

As always with Sarah's fibre, the spin was smooth and pleasurable and soon I had three bobbins of beauty which I was excited to start plying.

Which is when the problems began.

Everything started off fine, but then I realised I'd snapped a ply and been making a two ply for a couple of minutes. I couldn't just take that part out because of the sequencing, so I laboriously started unplying and rewinding. It took hours. It took the twist out of the singles. It made my arms and shoulders ache. I couldn't let it defeat me.

Once I had the plies unwound the only thing I could think of doing was to respin the singles to get the twist back in. However that meant I had to then spin again to get them the right way on the bobbins. I even did the same to the third bobbin to make sure it had the same amount of twist.

I joined all three plies back on and with a sigh, restarted. Five minutes of plying and the end of the bobbin popped off. By this time my shoulders were around my ears and I was tempted to cry or throw the whole wheel across the room. Instead hubby tried to help in various ways. None of which worked. Eventually, I had a strop, snapped the plied yarn and did the spin and respin thing onto more bobbins. Thank goodness this wheel came with lots of them.

Heartily sick of it all, I put the whole lot in the naughty corner and stewed for a couple of days. I came back to it and this time the plying went well, but I was really disappointed that I couldn't get all of the yarn onto one bobbin. I made this into a positive and decided to chain ply the remaining singles, just to see.

Cute enough on the bobbins, so winding them onto the niddy noddy then into skeins was very exciting. 

I'm so pleased with how these turned out, despite the wheel related difficulties on the way.   I've learnt a lot and resolved to use my Sonata for plying larger quantities. (Thereby taking a step to understanding multiple wheel ownership.) Next is finding just the right project I guess.   No rush! 

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