Tour de Fleece Plying From a Center Pull Ball

This morning I finished the first of my projects that I have given myself for the Tour de Fleece.  I did pick the easiest one first, which gave me a bit of a jump start I guess.  I had already spun one skein of this fiber, and only had the other to do.  As is the case most times when I have a half finished spinning project.  I just love love love the color that I am working with, I spin one skein, then I love even more the next color, so I have one skein spun of lots of different colors and have to go back to finish all the half dones.

This was a batt that I made containing wool, alpaca and a little angora.

I wanted to show today how I ply yarns.  There are different methods for doing this, but I like to fill a bobbin 2/3 s of the way, then wind it into a center pull ball, then ply it back on itself.  Doing this means there is no waste.  This works if you are plying one type of fiber back onto itself.  If you were using two different colors, you would need to do something different, like using a lazy kate.  But it works when using only one fiber for both of the plies.

Anyway, in the back ground is the spun single (one ply) on the bobbin.  First I make the center pull ball on the ball winder.  When I bought this ball winder, maybe 7-8 years ago, it was $40.  Today, from  knit picks they are $19.99.  But even at $40, I have used this thing a million times.  Even if you don’t spin, it is a great tool to buy.  When your man-about-the-house won’t sit still long enough to help wind a ball of yarn, this is the best tool.

Finished center pull ball.

Take both ends, the one from the middle and the one from the outside and match them up.  Then feed them onto the leader line of the bobbin.  Ply away.

This is how I’m holding the ball as it plies back onto the bobbin.  I hold it loosely but with enough pressure that the whole thing does not turn into a tangly mess.  See how my pinkie is acting as a tensioning device?

All plied and onto the bobbin.  I like this method because there is no waste of your spinning time.  Every inch of the yarn spun is plied back on itself.  If you try other methods, like weighing out fiber, or measuring singles, and plying them together, they will never never never match up.  There will always be a little more on one ball or bobbin than the other.  But this way, since you are essentially plying back to the center of this ball of yarn, it is all used up each time.

Boy, I just re-read that, and if you don’t spin that just doesn’t make any sense at all.

Two finished skeins.  3 3/8 oz for both skeins combined.  And a combined yardage of 224 yards.

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3 thoughts on “Tour de Fleece Plying From a Center Pull Ball

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