That was kind of a long break. Things got away from me a little.
Actually I was busy. See?
Fern is coming along beautifully. I thought this would take me forever, but no - the end is nearly in sight. I'm 3/4 done the first sleeve.
The ends will take me a fair few days to weave in, though.
I finished spinning the purple top, and ended up with two bobbins of nearly the same size. I let them rest for a couple of days, during which The Intentional Spinner arrived, and I got to read all about plying.
Judith tells me that you should rewind your bobbins before plying - that it evens out the twist and makes for a smoother finished yarn. Yes'm, boss, I said, and, not having a bobbin winder, spooled it onto my ball winder over a TP core to keep the centre from twisting inward.
It turns out Judith was right - I could feel the twist running up and down the length of the single "like water", as she promised. The singles were much more even afterwards. And if you're going to try this, you get the best results with a long distance between the lazy kate and the winding device - I placed mine about seven or eight feet apart.
I popped the two balls of singles onto the lazy kate, and started plying. HORRIBLE MESS. The TP core wouldn't spin properly on the shaft of the kate, so the singles started slipping off the edge of the ball, and snarling themselves around it. Then they'd break, or too many strands would slip off at once and they'd become hopelessly tangled in plybacks. I had to break out quite a few sections of singles, and couldn't seem to get them to splice together properly. I got very frustrated.
When I say I got very frustrated, I mean I almost went off in an apoplexy.
I put the balls of singles into two separate bowls, and let them roll around while I plied. Still not an ideal solution - I think I'll be hunting around for a bobbin winder.
I started out by adding approximately the same amount of twist as I had put into the singles - did this for about 25 meters before I tried hanging a loop, and realised I was putting in about twice as many twists as I should be.
I ended up putting in four foot-beats per arms' length of yarn, then two to reel it onto the bobbin. That seemed to work out well, and before long (actually it was exactly the length of Batman Begins) it was all done.
I skeined it
and it's soaking now.
Until it's dry and swatched, I won't know if it's at all useful or successful. I can confidently say, though, that I spun this too hard. Being a novice, I did what felt right. This turned out, on further research, to be the "worsted draw"...easy to spin, but man does it kill all the softness in the yarn. Live and learn, though - I'll be working on my woollen draw for the next project, the Romney.