Proper planning

As I mentioned in my last post, I’ve been really drawn to spinning during the past couple weeks. The Cheviot I bought for my spinning classes at Rendezvous has been calling to me, and visions of a cozy, rustic sweater have been dancing in me head.

To get that cozy hand-spun look, and because I’ve been having such fun with it in my last two spinning projects, I decided to spin this project two-ply. That in itself is simple, it just involves a bit more time and some patience with my wheel (another post sometime soon on how to get the footman peg to stop unthreading itself when I spin counterclockwise). However, in my excitement to get as much done as possible, I neglected to think about the fact that I only have four bobbins.

So I loaded them all up with lace-weight single-ply. They look great, and I’m pretty happy with the evenness of my draft.


But of course, that means I have no more bobbins onto which I could combine these single-ply strands.

I thought about all the tools at my disposal. I have all the drop spindles I could ask for, but they can’t really process enough length to be efficient. I have a ball winder and a yarn swift, but combining strands really needs to be done on the wheel. So, as delicately as I possibly could, I wound the single-ply yarn from one of the bobbins onto my ball winder to make a center-draw cake.


This single-ply is very thin, and it was pretty nerve-wracking to wind it… But we made it. I was able to free up a bobbin and still have a usable, not-guaranteed-to-tangleĀ configuration of my single-ply from which to spin.


There were a few snags when pulling from the cake/ball, but it was pretty easy to wind the ends back in and keep going. Since this yarn is for me, I’m not as concerned about little slips like that- when knitting, I’ll make sure it all hides inside purls and I’m sure it’ll be fine.


Once I combined the strands, I had the same issue of not having any free bobbins. But this time, with the exception of needing to switch out which bobbin gets to hang out on the lazy Kate, it’s easily solved. Since the two-ply is considered “finished,” I’ll just do what I would normally do with finished yarn- wind it up and store it until I have enough (or almost enough, if we’re going on past performance), then knit it up.


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