Saturday, July 10, 2010

Navajo Ply

The Masters Spinners program expects you to be able to teach, hence an assignment to teach a 5 minute lesson.  Mine was to be Navajo Plying on a spindle.  Last year when I bought my first spindle from Knotty by Nature, Stephanie showed me how to Navajo Ply on the spindle.  It was too much for me to contemplate so early in the game but I stored the idea away and then a few weeks ago decided it was time to learn it.  With trial and lots of error and lots of help from Google and Youtube, I managed to be able to do a few small skeins.  So when each of the class members had to pick a topic and spindles was one of the areas, I volunteered to organize my learnings and pass them on.  So here's some notes and pictures and links to help others.

What is Navajo Ply?
It's a type of 3 ply which resembles a chain stitch but plied. Think of a chained warp, or a crochet chain stitch.

Why would you Navajo Ply?
1. It is good for colour separation in striped roving/top. Creates areas of clear colour.     It allows you to maintain colour continuity, just make sure you spin your color stretch in your single about 3 times as long as you want the stripe to be in your finished yarn. Eg. For a 12” solid colour stretch, make sure your single has 36”- 40” of solid colour. In the photo you can see the colour separation in the Navajo Ply (at the bottom, subtle but it does show colour separation) whereas the regular 3-ply above it, mixes the stands of colour.

2. You can do it on a spindle where you ply a single section, then Navajo ply it, then make another single section, ply it etc. No need for first doing the single, then taking it off the spindle while you do another single so that you can start your plying.  You can do it all on the same spindle without taking your yarn off.The yarn is complete, no need for handling it again.

How do you Navajo Ply on a spindle?
a. Spin a single three feet long (or a longish comfortable length). Spin Z
b. Fold it in thirds and it makes a loop at the spindle end.
c. Put that loop under the hook and spin the spindle in the opposite direction. Spin S
d. When you get to the end by your hand, unhook the yarn and test for balance.  If too tight, hook it back on and unspin for a twist or two and test for balance again.
e. When you are happy with the balance, wind the yarn on.
f. Pull the single through the loop to create a new loop and then put the single under the hook.
g. Spin another length of singles Z-twist, but now wind it between your thumb and elbow to hold it while you create the new loop.
h. Repeat from C – G.

It's much easier to see it being done.  Here's a video on YouTube:

No comments:

Post a Comment