February is spun from 100% wool, dyed and sold by Creatively Dyed. The above yarn was 2-plied and came to about 572 yards. It was very close to sock weight after spinning, but did a lot of blooming after the bath and thwackfest. It’s probably DK/sport weight now.
I did weigh this roving before spinning so I could divide it perfectly in half, and yet I still managed to have a boatload of single left on one bobbin when I was done. That, combined with an inspirational photo of navajo plying on Ravelry made me decide to give this mysterious plying method a try.
In Navajo plying, you work from only one bobbin. Before, I’ve used 2 bobbins and plied the singles from them together, holding the two singles and trying to keep the tension nice and even as they twist together. With Navajo plying, you work your singles through a series of large loops, very much like chain-stitching in crochet. You end up with a 3 ply yarn.
So here is the remnant of February, my first attempt at Navajo plying:
And here’s try #2, worked on a roving sample by Twisted Fiber Arts’ Meg, in the Ankh colorway.
Here’s a picture of the two methods, side by side, from the same roving:
I’m not sure my picture shows the difference well, but one fascinating aspect of Navajo plying is the ability to have more control over the colors that are coming together at one time. When I’ve 2-plied, I’ve been at the mercy of whatever colors happen to be on the 2 spools at the time. You get some combinations you might not choose, and many times, that’s a very interesting thing! With Navajo plying, I can pull as much or as little off the spool through the loop as I like, meaning I can be more choosy about what colors go together. It’s not as noticible with February, but you can really tell with Ankh, as that roving has fewer total colors, and they are dyed in pattern. I was able to keep greens with greens and browns with browns, allowing for a nice transition between them. One negative is that you end up with less total yardage in your finished skein (3 ply vs. 2 ply), but it certainly opens up new possibilities for plying!
And here’s the latest sock on the needles, Firestarter, using Twisted’s Netherfield (how cool of a name is that???):
This is a side view of the sock…the cabling is on the sides of the toe, and the gusset is made by increasing the purled section between the cables. Very cool.
HATATTACK update: 305 on the battle roster…