Dyeabolical has something new in her shop! Rolags made from a blending board! So cool!

Ever since I saw the resurgence of blending boards as being “a thing” I’ve been interested in trying some fiber blended on a board. I wasn’t really convinced it would be a lovely experience. I wasn’t sure of the point of it, though it was intriguing and I was curious to know what yarn spun from them would be like.


I think I get it now. I’ve got some rolags from dyeabolical and spinning them is a dream! A great deal of fun! These that I have (and please forgive them for being jumbley, they were dropped, it happens, they don’t spin any worse for it!) work super well on a support spindle.

I finished up the singles from the corgi hill batts. I planned to continue on the saxon, but it has been a super busy week at work and at home. I was so tired and I had a bunch of chores, and so when I did get a chance to settle down, the newness of the rolags called to me and I couldn’t resist trying them.

I am not sure I’ll have much time for spinning this evening either. And I know I’ve got some other stuff to get done before I can ply the corgi hill batts. But once I do have time again, probably this weekend, I think we are going to see a bunch of yarn all at once from me!

In knitting news, I am quite excited to report that I picked up a 2 colored shawl I had set aside for awhile, figured out where I went wrong, and am well on my way to finishing. This is pretty exciting for me since I haven’t really been doing much in the way of knitting lately.

Now for the question of the day. You know, I was struck by the fact that not one, but two people suggested chain plying that caramel colored saxon wool. The reason it struck me is because I don’t generally consider chain plying at all unless I am trying to preserve color changes or make stripes, or too lazy to figure out what I want to do about color changes before I start spinning. Being that chain plying makes a weaker yarn, I am not sure what the advantage there would be? Also, I’ve always heard that chain plying “eats” singles. Now, I am not sure if that is in comparison to a 2 ply or in comparison to a traditional 3 ply, though I suppose this would depend on how long you made your chains. So I am curious, what are your reasons for choosing to chain ply over other plying methods? And do you choose chain plying for wool that is all the same color? If so, why?


6 thoughts on “Jumbley!

  1. I can’t really answer your chain plying question as I have only done it twice. But I did do it recently on a multicolored yarn (not a gradient). It gave it an interesting look. I’d do it again.

    But my question to you is why does it make “weaker” yarn? I haven’t heard that one before.

    • Yep, that’s a pretty common and tested wisdom. Since the yarn is chained, if one of the singles breaks, the entire yarn can break. With a traditional 3 ply, if one ply were to break, the other two would keep the integrity of the yarn. Additionally, the link in the chain can be a spot which will rub and if that spot breaks, you are immediately down to a single ply. This should not be a problem for any ol’ regular knitting. Some people don’t choose to use a chain ply for socks. In fact, a chain ply is still considered a single, not a 3 ply. While it is an awfully fancy single, it is still considered a single.

      The other thing that chain plying will do, which can make it weaker overall, is that it groups the thicker spots and the thinner spots, rather than distributing them throughout the yarn as with a traditional ply.

      That being said…I totally would use a chain ply in socks. That’s just how I roll!

  2. Thanks for the tips on chain ply (posted in the comment above) I never realized those attributes of the chain ply, but it makes sense now. I can say that I have used the chain ply method on solid colors, but it was more out of an effort to learn how to do it (for some fiber with a variety of color later on.) Since I am still new(er) to spinning I don’t have as many of the “extras” that more experienced/endowed spinners might, for instance I only have the three bobbins my wheel came with, and the attached Lazy Kate. Because of this I often opt for the chain ply because in my mind it was a 3 ply (aka rounded) which I thought was a good idea for a sturdier yarn. I have recently gone back to two-ply and am loving the yardage I can get (helps that my singles are more consistent and thinner.) I can see the advantages of chain ply when it comes to keeping the color, but after being enlightened by you (thanks again!) that it isn’t as structurally sound I might revoke my previous vote for it. Thanks again for a thought provoking and informative post!

    • My very first spin, 8 oz of ashland bay merino, all blue, I chain plied. I’d heard over and over how very hard it was. So I figured I’d just get it out of the way, you know? That was the ugliest yarn ever. I threw it out. But I didn’t sit about worrying about chain plying, so I guess it was effective.

      Chain plying certainly has its uses. However, I love a traditional 3 ply. I love the way the colors play on each other. Don’t rule out letting a bobbin of singles rest, then winding it into a ball so you can use another bobbin for your 3 ply. In that case you’d be plying 2 singles from a bobbin and one from a ball. It takes a little time, but no reason it can’t be done.

      As far as what should be done with the saxon? While I was double checking my chain plying statements, I came across something that blew my mind. I think I’ll try that with the saxon and then blog about it. We shall see if other people are as blown away as I was!

    • I would! Then again, I would recommend a wide variety of preps to a new spinner. They might spin differently than you are used to, but they are quite wonderful once you get the hang of a new prep.

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