July’s spinning is pitiful: only 1 ounce that I spun relatively thickly and Navajo plied so I would get some practice (and, frankly, so I wouldn’t have to deal with multiple bobbins that day because I was feeling lazy).


This fiber felt rougher, longer, and more crinkly than the natural white merino top I spun a few months ago.  I don’t know whether this is because of the individual sheep’s wool or the top’s preparation, or whether natural moorit merino is simply different in texture than natural white merino.


Fiber: 100% merino moorit top
Colorway: Moorit
Quantity: 1 ounce
Finished yarn: 1 skein, 32 yards, worsted weight
Spun at 12:1 on 7/6/2008, Navajo plied at 8:1 on 7/29/2008

This is my first mostly successful Navajo ply project. There was no cursing involved (!) this time around, simply because the singles never broke. I recently bought Judith MacKenzie McCuin’s Handspinning book and it both has photos of how to start a Navajo ply and offers the tip of pulling through several loops before starting the wheel. This did the trick for me. Usually what happens is I break the strand over and over, trying to get the chain started. I call this project “mostly successful” because the chains are not even and the finished yarn is both lumpy and overtwisted. In other words, I made yarn with character!

I did have one area of trouble while plying. I use my right hand to chain and the left both to control the singles coming off the kate and to smooth out any chains as necessary. Doing this, my left hand constantly was in the way of the right and I had to twist my body. With only 1 ounce of fairly thickly spun yarn, though, plying went quickly so I wasn’t too bothered. Now, had I been able to read bowerbird’s post that includes a little sentence about keeping the singles on the right (about 1/3 of the way down that post) before I tried this, or even thought about perhaps MOVING THE KATE TO THE RIGHT SIDE OF MY BODY when my hands were running into each other (duh!), I wouldn’t have had this problem. Location, location, location. Next time I’ll know better

On the wheel for August: traffic-cone-orange merino that I will spin 2 thin singles of, to ply with 2 thin singles of Grimace-purple merino. Wish me luck; the last 4-ply I did took me 6 months.

The Prezioso sweater was nearly done but I decided on the bus yesterday that I really didn’t like the neckline, so I ripped out the last 2 inches and it now looks a little shorter than this: