When I’m spinning I constantly have questioning flying into my brain – why is it that way? How can I make it another way? If I change these things what would happen to my yarn?
I was happily spinning samples this weekend and I thought – How much does chain plying shorten a color run in a variegated yarn? It would shorten it more than 2 ply, but what about 3 ply? It sat there knocking and would not get out of my brain. So I spun to answer the question for myself.
I’m not a technical spinner. I didn’t measure the fiber in grams, I didn’t measure WPI or TPI, grist or count treadles. I am happy with an ish answer almost always.
When I have a spinning question I spin with the exuberance of the perpetually curious. I want my answers fast. If I’m not satisfied, I may do it again.
I lined up the color run in the fiber – it was a ABC-CBA (blue, green, dark fuchsia- dark fuchia, green, blue) repeat. I divided it in half width-wise, rechecked that the color run lined up, then divided each piece length-wise by how I would ply it. Then I spun.
Each of these is 2 ounces of fiber, spun heavy worsted to chunky. I decided, in my Quick and Dirty scientific method™ to just measure the dark fuchsia color in all three, since there was the most of that color in a chunk. See, quick and dirty .
I don’t even have to measure to know that the 2 ply has the most yardage. But the 3 ply and the chain ply looked close. So I measured with a measuring tape. The 3 ply is 5.14 yards, the chain ply is 4.67 yards – the 3 ply is a littler chunkier than the chain ply, so if it were spun with more attention to the technical as opposed to the Q&D method, it would have more yardage. Even more yardage for both the 2 and 3 ply becasue I did some splicing in my plying to keep the colors matched up. The two ply has 8 yards.
This answer satisfies me. I’ve always thought that chain plying eats up yardage, but it’s so easy to keep colors together. Now I know if I want clear color runs and yardage, I’ll be plying to match color instead of chain plying.
Do you chain ply or match colors in a 2 or 3 ply?