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How to Spin Three-Ply Yarn

4 of 5

Once you feel comfortable spinning two-ply, you can add in one more single to make a three-ply. If you are plying on a wheel, you should place the extra single over your index finger on your fiber hand. To make a three-ply on a hand spindle, you can make a plying ball as you did with the two-ply, but wind three singles together instead of two.

1

Put the three bobbins on the kate, and place the kate on your fiber side.

Remember, to make a plied yarn, the twist must enter all of the singles that make up that yarn at the same time.

2

Place the three threads across your thigh. With your fiber hand palm down, place your index finger between the first two threads, and place your ring finger between the second and third thread.

There is an interesting difference between a two-ply and a three-ply that makes the three-ply a knitter’s best friend: unlike a two-ply, a three-ply has a smooth, round surface. When you use a three-ply for knitting, it does the opposite of a two-ply, by opening up in the knit loop and filling up the stitch. In traditional knitting this is called blooming in the stitch, and it means that you are able to use less three-ply than two-ply yarn in a knitting project.

3

Rotate your hand toward your knee.

Your thumb will slide under the first thread.

4

Pivot your hand upright. Fold your third and fourth finger over the threads as they come from the bobbins.

Maintain an even tension.

5

With your spinning hand palm up, place your middle finger between the first two threads and your fourth finger between the second and third threads.

This leaves your index finger and thumb free to guide the twist into the yarn and to make any necessary corrections to the threads.

6

Start the wheel, just as you did for a two-ply.

This time, the plying will be even faster (about thirty percent faster than two-ply). To make sure that the bobbin does not fill up too much in one place, change your hooks often.

Practice adding singles one at a time until you can do a five-ply. You will notice that each time you add a single, the yarn becomes rounder and more even. There are yarns that have more plies than five, but you must use a special device called a plying template to hold the threads while you ply. Spinners often use a weaver’s warping paddle as a template to help separate threads during the plying process.


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