I finished the Malabrigo Merino braid I was working on.
I am so pleased with the singles. They are as fine as I want to get I think, though I do know that with a little work, I can get them finer. This weight should produce a really nice fingering weight 3 ply or a decently fine 2 ply lace weight. Not that it is perfect. Not even close to perfect but it is pretty good and I am very pleased.
I really do enjoy spinning and flush with the success of my singles, I wasn't quite ready to leave the wheel. I decided to ply it.
I did a chain ply to keep the colours together. I focussed on the speed at which I worked. My pace plyng is usually too fast and it feels like such an out of control process. I treadled slower and tried to stay in charge. I kept tension on the yarn in my hands better in part, by plying from my other wheel. By plying off my stand in lazy kate, off the small wheel, the Victoria, and on to the big wheel, the Julia, I could keep a little bit of tension on the bobbin. It really seemed to help. After sitting on the bobbins overnight, the yarn seems to be fairly balanced. I'm not sure if that is how it will end up after its bath today, but so far so fair.
While I felt much more in charge of plying this time, I still need a lot pf practice to feel competent. I but I also found that I need practice at much more than just plying evenly.
Plying brings out any of the 'softly spun' sections too. There are less of these than the last time I plied a chain ply, which means my spinning is improving, but it still needs work.
This photo really shows the ply twist/spin twist unevenness. Coordination between my hands and feet is always a challenge for me. You can see how the ply twist (and likely the spun singles twist too) changes with the rythym treadling when I focus on pulling the single through the loop of chain playing. I think it is going to be a matter of smoothing out my rythym overall and practising having hands and feet work together. That has always been a bit of an issue for me. Still, with as little plying experience as I have, I am feeling pretty darn good about it all.
By Monday this will be a finished yarn and I can't wait to see the final result. There is a bit of a stockpile of things to ply around here and I'm going to keep working this technique with some of it. Like anything else, practice makes better. Not perfect. Never going to get there, but better is a goal I can do.