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Spiral Ply

Great trick for beginner spinners!

Here I’m working with an irregular thick and thin handspun, it looks a tad bit like a lot of beginner’s handspun, but plying with a commercial can lead to a glitzy finished look for your yarn as beautiful as any practiced spinner. Yarn spun thick and thin showcase the visual effect and the texture of spiral ply better than a perfectly even yarn.  I believe everything looks better with shimmer, so here I’m working with Rowan Anchor Artiste Metallic Knitting Yarn in Bronze.

The first thing you’re going to want to do to take your commercial yarn and add twist, so you have a full ply and not an auto-wrap. Leave your commercial yarn on the bobbin, if you try to have a center-pull ball you are more likely to have tangles, and be frustrated, I know.

Spiral ply is adapting the angles the yarn is held at. When you ply regularly, the yarns are relatively straight with the orifice of the wheel, in contrast the strands with a spiral ply, one is tensioned straight with the orifice and the other is held at an angle.

By using different angles you can create different effects in your yarn. If your thinner yarn is
held to the outside of the orifice, it creates the effect of thin wrapping around the yarn, to spiral ply you want the thick and thin handspun to wrap around the thinner single creating purposeful varied textures.

A true spiral ply is always the thicker yarn wrapping around the thinner, often the handspun at an angle while the commercial is straight from the orifice. The angle between 45° to 90° changes how the handspun will ply and the texture of the effect.

This is really a style that once you try you’re going to want to try again and again with different handspun and commercial yarns!

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