There’s been a lot of plying going on around here lately. Both completely full bobbins of laceweight singles have become skeins of laceweight yarn, and I’m pretty happy with them.

At least, I’m pretty happy with the first one – the one you saw on Sunday. The one I finished today after three episodes from the first season of SG-1… I’m not so sure about it.

So as I started spinning the singles, I was filling up the bobbin, starting from the inside, building up layer upon layer of singles on the bobbin until it was full. Logically, then, the inside of the first bobbin contains the first of my singles. However, when I ply, I start by pulling on the outside of each bobbin, so the first yarn that I ply is the last yarn that I spun. Get it?

When I first started spinning this Merino/Silk blend (back in December or something… *choke*), I’d never spun lace, and I’d never spun anything with silk in it. It stands to reason, then, that it might take me a while to get consistent and thin. So it would be perfectly understandable if my second plied skein, which includes the first of my spinning, would be a little more inconsistent and thick.

I knew this was coming, but I was surprised how big a difference a little experience and a lot of time can have on a spinner. Remember my first skein? That one was 1.7 oz. and 670 yards. The second skein was 2.1 oz. and 603 yards. Less yardage in more weight means a thicker yarn.

The question is, how much thicker? And does it matter?

These are the two skeins – unwashed. The one on the left is the thicker one – the one that contains my first singles but that I plied second. The one on the right is the thinner one that you have already seen. I think you can see some difference even in this picture, but it’s hard to tell how much. So here’s a closer look:

See? There’s definitely a difference… but it’s really hard to tell if it’s going to be significant. I could probably still use them in the same project – say, use the thickest one as the last skein in a triangular shawl, so the thickest part would be on the outside. But would that even matter? I would probably have to knit a gauge swatch to tell. If anyone with experience on the subject is reading, I’d love some input.

I’ll take another look at them after they finish drying on the most convenient skein-drying rack in the house.

7 thoughts on “Consistency

  1. I don’t think it will matter, but I also like my laceweight to be cobwebby and uneven. I would go with the swatching idea. Swatching and blocking. The blocking fairies will do a lot for those who swatch. (Do you have any patterns in mind? It might depend on the pattern.)

    And then there is my cure-all: if someone notices and mentions it and you don’t want them to, scream and run away.


  2. Whenever I worry about subtle difference like that, I use both yarns at once, alternating them….2 rows of one yarn then 2 rows of the other yarn. (Remember I did that when I knit the back of Dad’s sweater with 2 lots of Mano brown.) If you did that, it most definitely would not show.
    I think both skeins are gorgeous and extremely well spun!
    Hugs, Mom


  3. IF (if if if) I somehow muster the patience to spin up the other 2.7 oz of this roving in the same itsy-bitsy manner, i will have enough for a truly enormous shawl. I’ve had my eye on the Crown Prince Square Shawl on the cover of Nancy Bush’s Knitted Lace of Estonia; I’d love one day to do either that or to design my own with the same construction and the patterns she gives at the back of the book. If I don’t do that, it’ll probably be a big triangle or circle, in which case I can easily enough save the thickest one for the outside, and wind it right so I get to the thickest part last.


  4. yeah, i think crown prince is pretty much on my bucket list, or some variation… you can bet I will document it 🙂 the hardest part right now is trying to figure out how much yardage I will need as folks on ravelry seem to be +/- 1000 yards!!!


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