My Red Yarn




My red yarn is dry, and in skeins, and look at it! Just look at it! It's pretty, yes? My friend, Peggy, dyed this for me - varying shades of red - and look at it! I love the barberpole parts! Most of the yarn is a nice, medium red, but some parts are a really deep red, and look how it looks plied! I'm so happy that I decided to use this 2-ply method, because it came out really pretty. I can't wait to spin the rest of this batch of roving, and then.... get knitting!

I resisted and resisted and RESISTED learning how to spin. Why? It's a blast! I'm glad that I finally gave in.

My Lovely Red Yarn

Two skeins, plied, washed and hanging to dry! (I’ll post pix of the completed skeins once they are dry. Can you contain your excitement?) I just checked on my babies, and they are drip-drying quite nicely, and they are hanging nice and straight with no twisting and I’m a happy spinner mama.

Yes, I’m quite new at all of this, and yes, I’m thrilled with myself! I MADE YARN. I made *red* yarn! Now, how cool is this?

Back to my Andean Paperback Ply – the first book I selected was not actually a paperback, but a child’s picture book, If I Went Sailing Out to Sea, which has a “waist” measurement of about 12 inches. This one worked out nicely, but it was a bit large. The next one I tried was Letters From the Earth, with a measurement of approximately 9.5 inches. It was OK, but just a tad too small for my rather large hands. Next time, I’m going to try using Lonesome Dove, which measures about 11.25 inches, and I think that this one will be Just Right. The Popsicle stick worked well, too, but next time, I’m going to sand it with fine sandpaper, as it was a bit rough.

Also – it defies reason, but these Andean Ply Bracelets are really tough! I slid the things on and off of my hand, numerous times, each time certain that it was going to come apart, but it never did. The wool must Velcro together in some magic way. Hmmm….

Someone on the Spindlers list mentioned that she’s had trouble with Andean Ply and the single getting tangled up inside of the bracelet. Well, ignorance is bliss and all that…. This is only my third try, and so far, I’ve had no problems. I am still amazed because it *does* seem like it ought to create an awful mess, but the single just slides off of the hand and voila! Yarn…

I agree with that emailer in that I much prefer the Navajo ply, but I really wanted to learn how to do the Andean method. This, plus the fact that I really want to make a thin vest out of this red roving, and I didn’t think that I’d be able to spin this particular roving thin enough to end up with a thin, Navajo Plied yarn.

I have so many projects in front of this vest, that I wonder if I'll ever get it done? It's certainly fun to dream about it!

Andean Plying Bracelet, simplified

I really like to ply the Navajo way, but I thought that it was time that I learned how to do 2 ply, as well. As you saw in my post below, I made a plying paddle out of Brio Mec, but that was such a little bit of yarn, and it completely filled my little Brio paddle, and then, I couldn't get the resultant "bracelet" over my arm. So, after much head scratching, I came up with this idea, and let me tell you, it works perfectly. Yay!

I simply took a paperback book, stuck a popsicle stick in the middle of it, and wound and wound and wound. Then, I removed the stick, put the "bracelet" over my arm, and plied the yarn. It worked so nicely! However, this particular paperback was a touch small. Even though I was able to slide the resultant bracelet over my hand, I was a bit nervous that the whole thing would pop wide open. If I do this again, I'll be sure to use Lonesome Dove which should make a plying bracelet which is *plenty* large enough, lol.

Edited, July 20, 2007 - one doesn't need to use a popsicle stick - a dpn works great, too. Or, a pencil, or a spoon, or anything else which can be stuck into a book and has a nice smooth shaft from which the yarn can be removed. I've used this method about 10 times now, with 100% success. Try it!

Edited, March 7, 2009 - Please click here for another post about Andean Plying on a paper back book.  The Twain book in the post you are reading now is way too small - the post I'm sending you to features the proper sized paperback for most adult hands.

The thought of winding a plying bracelet on my hand makes me nervous. What if I need that hand to do something? I wound and plied a similar batch of yarn last night, and the whole winding, and then plying operation took about 2 hours. That's a long time to have my hand wound up in a batch of yarn! I like this method better, thank you very much! I can put everything down if I need to.

Once again, that person up in the Andes, who figured out this plying method, is a pure genius! It works very well, and it's very easy, too!