Mom asked me the other day if I ever thought about making a three-ply yarn, instead of my usual two-ply. I said, “Of course. Then I thought about the extra 33.3333333% more fiber we’d have to skirt, pick, wash, card and spin.” I said it nicer than that, obviously, or she’d have knocked some respect into me.
Well. I am a doofus. We often buy colored roving (because I still haven’t figured out how to dye our white roving…oooo….there’s a story there, later). That roving has already been skirted, picked, washed and carded. So all I really have to do is spin it. Sometimes we even buy alpaca yarn. Mom knits faster than we can do all the other steps, so she often goes to friends for yarn from their alpacas. I could actually make three-ply and above yarns just by spinning my usual two-ply and then plying it with existing yarn.
This kind of yarn is called “cabled” yarn. It’s durable, which is good since alpaca fiber isn’t, and has a round, clean shape. The lady who made that yarn spun one bobbin full of two-ply white yarn and another of two-ply grey yarn, then she plied them together. Last night I finished making a two-ply grey yarn that I’m planning on cabling with a black yarn. I’ll update you as I experiment with my first cabled yarn; I think we might have to discuss “twist” in more detail as well. I’ve mentioned it in passing, but it’s rather fundamental and probably deserves its own post.
Plus I’m out of time before work! Sometimes, when I parallel park, I’m all like “Bam! Bam! Bam! That’s right, Bertha the land whale is docked. Did you like that, homeless guy?” but usually I’m more like “Two inches forward, two inches back, three inches forward…is that my boss watching me park? How long have I been trying to do this?” Today was one of those mornings, so I’m running 20 minutes of parallel parking late.