Time to go back and visit the single that I spun from the fiber that I hand carded. I did a lot of work to create a gradient, or ombre, in that single and I want to maintain those color transitions in my final yarn. To do that I’m going to Navajo ply my single. This is also known as Chain plying because you are basically making a crochet chain with your hands instead of a hook! You can see how to do that in the 6 images below.
1 – I like to start with a leader that ends in a loop, then I catch the end of my single between the strands but keep the loop of the leader open with one hand.
2 – With the hand that is holding the loop open reach through the loop and grab your single
3 – Pull the single through the loop while continuing to hold the loop open
4 – Pull your new loop so it’s rather large and let the upper part of the loop start to ply together with what remains of your leader (that’s your 3 strands!)
5 – Here I’ve paused so you can see just that little bit of leader that’s left
6 – And now you’re right back to where you started.
Keep repeating these steps until you’ve used up your whole single and you’ll have a beautiful 3 ply yarn that keeps the integrity of your ombre spin. There’s are lots of tutorial videos out there for Navajo and chain plying, and lots of variations on the technique. Find the one that works for you and go for it!
Here’s my finished yarn. Because I spun this worsted from rolags, my single was slightly underspun and I over plied by just a bit to help it all stay together, then I fulled the yarn in the skein. For those of you that don’t spin, I basically felted the surface of my yarn! I know that sounds scary but it really helps to finish a woolen spun yarn. I dropped my finished skein into a bowl of hot water with dish soap and squished and agitated it around for about 30 seconds, rinsed it in cold water and then repeated the wash and rinse twice more. Then I let my yarn soak in a tepid bowl with Eucalan for about 15 minutes, squeezed out the excess water and hung it up to dry. I’ll be crocheting a simple shawl with the finished yarn so you can see those beautiful color changes. Look for that post in mid-October!
Have you ever used Navajo plying? Are you ready for Spinzilla yet? Just one week to go!