Monday, 15 January 2018

Plying workshop with Katie Weston (Hilltop Cloud)

On our first Sunday meeting in 2018 we were delighted to see Katie Weston once more, this time for a workshop concentrating on that all-important step in yarn production - plying.  
Katie took us through all the stages of producing a consistently plied yarn, and provided excellent, clear tuition at each point of production.  We learned the difference between freshly spun singles and yarn which has been left to rest on the bobbin, and the usefulness of obtaining a "ply back sample" from the freshly spun yarn - and the importance of keeping it for reference!  We also discovered the miraculous regenerative powers of warm water on tired singles.
Katie touched on the use, or otherwise, of counting treadles while spinning and plying: those who already do it will continue, and those who don't need to won't. 
We plied our own yarn, and Katie's, and other people's (a bit daring); learned or revised "Andean" and chain (Navajo) plying; and finally some of us had a go at making a cable yarn.
This really was a brilliant day and we all - beginners and more experienced - learned a great deal.  Now we have no excuse for producing  underplied fluff, or overplied rope.....
Thanks to all who attended, and those who helped organise the day, and of course especial thanks to Katie for yet another excellent session.
Freshly spun and plied Blue Faced Leicester - the same fibre in each hank, but each hank is unique.

A simple way to demonstrate plying twist.

All agog...

Taking into account the importance of ply when knitting - twist will affect the drape of the finished garment, and the number of plies in the yarn will influence the effectiveness of lace or cable patterns.

Chain plying

Katie in action...
...And the traditional cake - sorry, biscuit - picture

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