Some of the most lovely posts written in the Hilltop Cloud Ravelry group are by the people just starting down the slippery path of spinning. Usually they're rather uncertain of their finished skeins, and a bit worried that they're not very good.
Of course their skeins are often far better than they think, and usually it's just a case of practise makes perfect. As I say on the insructions I include in the Learn to Spin kits... the sheep keep growing more wool.
Now no one could accuse me of not practising; in fact the amount of yarn I spin in an average month is usually pretty high, given I only spin in the evenings after I finished working, and I also knit and weave in that time as well.
However, sometimes, it just all goes a bit wrong, in fact it went wrong 2 skeins in a row.... oh dear!
This one is a skein of Cable Plyed yarn. You create a regular 2ply yarn with twice the amount of plying twist, then ply it back on itself. The fibre was some lovely BFL/Silk from Freyalynn, I bought it from her at Fibre East last year, but didn't really have any plans for it, so reached for it when I knew I wanted to try out something new. In part I hoped to jumble up the colours a little as it was all a bit stripey for my personal taste.
Well in places it all went swimingly.
Those lovely little bumps are exactly what you're meant to end up with, you get a very round yarn, but it doesn't have much stretch and give due to the way the fibres interlock.
In other places though... oh dear, it's kinky and over twisted and just a mess. I think from dissecting it that in some places I rushed the extra plying this yarn needs at the 2-ply stage. The temptation is to only ply a bit more than you would do normally, so when you ply it again in the opposite direction there's far too much twist, as you're plying in the same direction you spun the original singles.
However, all is not lost, this skein has gone in to the big bowl of odd skeins, and I'll probably weave with it at some point, and most importantly I know where I went wrong!
Then following close on the heels of that overtwisted mess, I then proceeded to do the exact same thing with the next yarn I spun. In my defence going from spinning uper fine high twist singles for the longest thread, and jumping staright to Aran weight lofty singles was probably a bit much for 8pm on a work night...
However in this case I knew how to fix it. I've read in a few places about fulling yarn like this really aggresively, and then you run the yarn back though the wheel in the opposite direct and take out nearly all the twist. Definitely not my original idea, but I can't for the life of me remember who I should credit with it.
End result, a lovely yarn. that should actually wear pretty well despite being a single due to the rough treatment it's already had locking down the individual hairs.