I promise I won't always post problems, but until I learn more.... :=)
I have a skein of yarn that I spun, wound from the bobbin onto a niddy-noddy, hung and steamed with a clothing steamer, and now tried to rewind back onto a bobbin for plying. Now, I'm one of those people who should never have any contact with long, straight things: garden hoses, Christmas lights, yarn.... You get the picture, I'm sure! My yarn is now a bundle of knots and gnarls, half-wound onto the bobbin and half wadded up on the table beside me. My Spinning Book doesn't cover this part of the process. How do you rewind your steamed yarn back onto a bobbin without tangling it all up? HELP! <img src="/images/graemlins/frown.gif" alt="" />
The best way is to use an umbrella swift. There are both wooden and plastic versions available. I have a wooden one and I absolutely love it! (For one thing, it looks nice enough to leave in the living room all the time. A plastic one I'd feel like I had to put away each time.) You simply drape the skein over the swift and adjust the size. Then pull from the end and never a tangle! (Works MUCH better than hubby holding out both hands... much, much, MUCH better.)
You can acheive a similar effect by using a 4-legged chair turned upside down if you're lucky enough to have a chair and a niddy-noddy that correspond in size. The chair won't spin, like the swift does, but it is workable.
As a very last resort, you can coax hubby or an unsuspecting teenager to hold out both hands with the skein between them while you wind it off. This can be dangerous to a marraige, however (worse than hanging wall paper together) and you can rarely catch the same teenager to do it twice.
Oh, my hubby would NEVER do that so I drape the skein around my knees, pull it tight enough to keep it from slipping off, and sit and watch TV as I roll it up. I roll mine into balls though and put the balls in a waste basket as I ply them. I have too many balls waiting to be plied to put them all on my bobbins. Is there a reason why I shouldn't be doing it this way? I new at this so please tell me if there is something I'm missing.
No reason at all! I used to drape mine around an upside down kitchen chair and it worked. But the umbrella swift is SO nice! Once you use one you'll never want to go back to your knees <img src="/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" /> And it depends some on how large your skeins are. With my Majacraft bobbins, my skeins are much larger than when I was spinning on an Ashford. I can't imagine trying to keep one of my large skeins from tangling up without the swift.
Not with most fibers, no. Letting the singles rest on the bobbin for 24 hours before plying will set the twist enough to make plying smoother and easier. Steaming is usually just recommended for cotton, since cotton can have a mind of it's own. But if you've badly overtwisted any type of fibers, steaming can help keep them from taking on a life of their own when you try to ply them. Plying in kinks when you don't mean to is very annoying.
If you over spin the wool you use as singles i understand you steaming it to set the twist. But i don't understand why you would steam it before plying? I have never heard of that here in Australia anyway. The plying takes some of the energy out of the singles. I wouldn't recommend steaming singles before plying to a beginner anyway.Do you have a guild nearby where you can go for advice? Otherwise you maybe should invest in a wool winder and ball it up to ply it.
I don't steam or wet my yarn before plying. I ply from two bobbins on my kate, then put in warm to hot water that has vinegar in it, and then hang to dry with a weight on it. This has seemed to work for me. I have used this method with wool, angora, alpaca, and mohair.
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