Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Plying: Andean and Navajo

I learned how to Andean ply last night. On Saturday when we were at Table Rock Llamas I saw an Andean plying tool and couldn’t figure it out from looking at it. So I went on the Internet and looked it up. What I discovered was a very handy way of plying with a drop spindle. I can see why it was developed since the Native Americans living in the Andes do all their spinning using a drop spindle and often do it while on the go. It is very practical since it wraps the fiber around the wrist and leaves the hands free for spinning.

It intrigues me that people are using it to ply on a spinning wheel. I don’t quite see the practicality there since a center pull ball works very well, but I’ll have to try it and see what the attraction might be.

If I’m doing two ply yarn from the same fiber/color, than I will usually use a center pull ball to do it. If I’m doing three ply yarn from the same fiber/color than I will do a Navajo ply. Since my tendency in spinning is toward fine the Navajo ply helps me to bulk up the yarn when I need it heavier for sweaters or caps.

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