Our March Box was a Lucky Charm Explosion! Members received 3 brand-new, exclusive fibers and two dazzling colors of Angelina! We celebrated the 2018 Pantone Color of the year in this box, Ultra Violet, and took a straightforward approach to spinning the fibers. I will show you the fibers included in the box, what members are saying, and what I did with the fibers this month. You can find the inclusions of this box available for purchase on our website.
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Spinning Commercial Top
There are many ways to spin commercial top, but my favorite way is from the fold! This allows you to keep all those gorgeous colors in the top from blending together while you spin. To do this, simply unfold your top to make it as wide as you can without it breaking. Split your top into 6-12 inch pieces. Split these pieces in half lengthwise in order to fit over your index finger. Fold a piece of the top over your fiber hand index finger. For me, I draft with my right hand, so my left is my fiber supply hand. Attach the right side (closest to your finger tip) of the fiber to your leader and begin spinning. The fiber will draft right off the tip of your finger like magic! Continue with this drafting in a worsted method and you will have vibrant color blocks in your finished yarn!
Chain Plying Sparkly Unicorn Fiber
I used the above technique to spin a single of the Ultra Violet and the Glitter wool and I plied the two together to create a St. Patricks Day Inspired skein of yarn. I used the Paradise Fibers Blending Board (90 TPI), our Unicorn Multi Merino Top, and Angelina Glitz to create a sparkly unicorn center pull rolag that I spun worsted style. Check out our previous months blog posts to see how to do this. I decided to chain ply the unicorn yarn to create a mini skein.
Ok I’ll admit it, CHAIN PLYING IS REALLY DIFFICULT, at first. I watched several tutorials on youtube. Luckily my friend, who is a much better spinner than I, showed me some tricks to help me get started. Chain plying is essentially creating crochet loops that you pull through each other and add twist to create a 3 ply yarn. It takes practice to get your fingers to do the right movements. I will do my best to break it down step-by-step here or you can check out these extremely helpful videos I found on YouTube:
Step one – Take your freshly spun single and place it in a lazy Kate. If you do not have a lazy Kate, a center pull yarn ball will work just fine.
Step two- Create a loop at the end of your leader and attach your yarn a few inches above your leader to secure it in place. A regular knot will do just fine.
Step three- Pull your single strand of yarn through the loop of your leader to create the first loop of your chain ply. Essentially you will be doing this step over and over while introducing twist.
This is where the placement and movement of your hands is crucial.
Step four- With your right hand’s index and thumb through the loop of your yarn and your left hand pinching and controlling the twist on the left side, holding tension, grab your yarn supply with your right hand and pull through the loop to create another loop.
Step five- Release your left hand, keeping tension with your right hand, allowing the twist to go up your yarn. Keep your right hand fingers through your loop so it doesn’t close.
Step six- Pinch the yarn with your left hand at the base of the loop before the loop gets too small. Keep your right hand index and thumb through the loop in order to keep it open.
Step seven- With your right hand grab your yarn supply and pull your loop through toward your left and bring the loop back toward the right to create another loop. Keeping tension.
Step eight- Release your left hand to allow the twist to go up.
Step nine- Repeat this process until your bobbin is used up. Wind your yarn onto a niddy noddy, count your strands, soak, thwack, and TADA! Your very own chain ply creation!
TIPS: Make sure you control each strand with your fingers so your loops don’t close up and tangle before you can create your next loop. Keep your tension and introduce more twist than you think you need. To prevent the “sawing” of the yarn as you pull your loops through, pull the new loop toward your already plied yarn, not toward the single. Practice makes perfect!
Magically Delicious Hat
This month I used a from the fold technique and a chain ply technique to create 3 unique skeins of yarn! I plan to use all three skeins plus the Targhee featured in our January Box to knit the Magically Delicious Hat by Tanis Gray. What will you create?
What is your favorite way to spin commercial top? Share your successes and failures in the comment section below! Be sure to check out our Ravelry Group to see all the different ways club members spun our March Box! I hope to see you next month 😀
Bobby aka heavyworsted