Sunday, July 22, 2012

plying woes

I chain-plied the first bobbin of superwash merino that I was spinning for the Tour de Fleece and it turned into an adventure.

I blame this:

It was for sale at my chiropractor's clinic and I decided that I could sit on it while spinning to strengthen my core.  I had tried using an exercise ball in the past and while it worked okay when I was treadling with one leg while the other was on the floor for balance, I couldn't use it when double treadling because it kept scooting away from me.  So when I saw this one on its base I figured it might be a solution.

Now a smarter person than myself would have probably known that it would be a good idea to slowly build up time using it; I got on it and proceeded to ply the whole bobbin (116 g to be exact).  It didn't feel too bad when I was doing it but I was sure sore the next day!  Apparently my core muscles have been on vacation in Tahiti for a few years and didn't appreciate being called back to actually do any real work.

Not only that but the yarn was poorly plied.  I guess I was working too hard to balance myself and not paying enough attention to the consistency of my plying which I had been chain-plying to boot.  For the most part, I decided that it looked over-plied so I ran it back through the wheel to remove twist before giving it a bath to set the twist.

Unfortunately the bath removed even more of the twist and it was terribly under-plied in spots by then.  The wise part of me knew it would.  Finishing yarn always removes a considerable amount of twist and I preach to anyone who will listen that your skein needs to look over-plied before finishing if you want it to be balanced afterward.  I don't know why I ignored the wise part of me that day.  Maybe my brain messages were drowned out by my screaming core muscles.

If you look carefully at the white yarn in the middle of the ball you can see that the plies are not even twisted together in places. 
So back to the wheel I went to add more twist.

Here it is again after finishing for the second time.
 It's slightly over-plied now but I can live with it.  There are 148 yds. of it, 10 yds. less than when I first finished it.

While I was taking the first photo of the exercise ball chair I realized that I haven't taken any pics of my lovely cherry Matchless yet.

It was a limited edition and I've had it since March.  We are getting along famously.  I have no idea why I struggled with the maple Matchless that I had three years ago.  I don't find the cherry wheel difficult to treadle at all.  The pretty little bag is from Blue Mountain Handcrafts.

I had trouble getting the picture of the wheel.  Here's why.
Cooper does match the cherry wood nicely at least.


deborah said...

Your yarn turned out nicely. The wheel and the dog are lovely, too.

Grace said...

I think your yarn turned out well enough to work for you! The cherry Matchless is beautiful! I had the privilege of learning to spin on one; it is a very nice wheel.

Lynn said...

Cooper is a very handsome dog!