I’m spinning and knitting and fair amount of my holiday gifts, all accessories because I’m not completely crazy.
Right now I’m working on a scarf for my father-in-law. It will have a cable running up the center of the scarf. The same cable that will be on my mother-in-law’s mittens. They will notice and they will get misty over it. I know! Just the type of folks you want to spin and knit for.
For the scarf I’m using some New Zealand gotland. It’s commercially prepped roving. I want the cable to be smooth so I spun it worsted (don’t faint). I want the cables to pop so I spun it 3-ply.
I’ve always heard and read that a 3 ply makes a nicer, more defined cable. I had some singles left after plying my 3 ply (because my bobbins never match up), so I plied the leftovers 2 ply, and knit cables with 2 ply and 3 ply yarns.
Here are the pictorial results of the, Cables: 2 ply or 3 ply ?, smackdown
I was really struck by how much hairier the 2 ply is than the 3 ply. They were spun exactly the same. The 3 ply seems to trap and tame the fuzziness of the gotland.
I used a six stitch cable crossed every 8 rows for both swatches. I used a needle one size bigger for the 3 ply swatch.
A nice cable, fuzzy but clearly a cable that pops even with the halo.
What a difference! Even taking into account that the yarn is bigger by one ply, that is a meaty cable. The rounder yarn makes that bad boy stand up and wave.
Here they are side by side. I would use the 2 ply cable for a softer look, like on a slouchy beret or a soft looking sweater, but the 3 ply is the look I want for my scarf.
Here they are shot from the side, the 3 ply is definitely a crisper cable.
I love experimenting and swatching. It always makes me excited all over again about spinning.
Jillian is the author of the best-selling spinning book Yarnitecture. She is the editor of Knittyspin and Developmental Editor for PLY and PLY Books. She kinda loves this spinning thing and wants everyone who spins to love it too, so she teaches and writes a lot. She knits, weaves, and stitches and tries to do as much of it as she can with handspun yarn. She's always cooking up all kinds of exciting and creative things combining fiber arts.
She likes her mysteries British, her walks woodsy, and to spend as much time as she can laughing.
Spy on her on her website jillianmoreno.com