Time to Navajo Ply

For my new spinning project, I am spinning to really focus on the plying. One way to make striped yarns is to avoid the barber-pole effect you get from fractal spinning and have clean color changes. To do THAT, the best plying technique is Navajo plying (aka chain plying). This technique uses one spun singles to make a 3-ply yarn by chaining back on itself.

I’ve done this before, but I’m not very good at it. The correct tension eludes me and I end up with overplied yarn that is not balanced and has to be fixed. So I’m devoting a whole 8-ounce braid of BFL-silk blend fiber to practice on. The color changes are subtle – champagne and dusty rose – and the silk shows as light-colored streaks. As you can see in today’s picture, it’s quite pretty.

Another fun thing you can do with this technique is add beads into the yarn as you ply it. I haven’t decided if I want to do that this time, because it interrupts the process that I want to focus on. So maybe I’ll save that for a future project.

Until next time.

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