The Thirteenth Blendling: Recombined

The Blendlings are a series of small skeins of handspun I am making, in order to study color, learn combination drafting, and improve my spinning by studying and adjusting my practices in small amounts. For a fuller project description, click here.

It was nice to see how the two pre-spun yarns could look better with a bit of extra ply twist, but I really want them for their color. To play with their colors any more, I would have to deconstruct them. In other words, I took the other half of the two pre-spun colors, and un-plied them.

Measuring 12″ for each two treadles.

I’ve unplied before, and it’s a pain in the neck. After some trial and error, I decided to just untwist the plies onto the bobbin first. Meaning, I calculated the original twists per inch, and fed the yarn through the wheel in the opposite direction for the same twists per inch.

Unplied yarn, ready to be separated. For the whole length of yarn, the two plies are just lying next to each other.

Once the yarn was untwisted, it was ready to be separated it – one ply onto the wheel again, another pulling away onto my ball winder. I’m not entirely sure why, but I had to spin my wheel back in the direction the yarn was plied in order to get the plies to keep coming away from each other. This meant I had to keep the brake on hard and make the whole process go pretty fast, or I’d actually be putting more ply twist back into the yarns I was supposed to be pulling apart. It was all pretty confusing, and I’m explaining it badly because even as I was doing it, I didn’t understand why it worked this way.


For the salmon, this went really well. For the gold, not so much.


I’m not sure what I did wrong, but I couldn’t get into a rhythm, and quickly there was so much ply twist back into the yarn I was trying to un-ply that I spent the rest of the time fighting with the snarls.

But I persevered. In the end, I had four separate plies to show for my efforts.


For my first attempt to play with these two colors, because I wanted some quick results, I took the two plies on the bobbins and just put them together.


Because the singles were different thicknesses, however, this made the yarn quite textured. I’m not sure I love this, though it’ll probably be much less noticeable knit up.

Colorwise, I like how the analogous colors kinda mute each other. They almost want to blend, to my eye, to make a sort of terra-cotta. The value difference is a little too strong, though. Compare it to the original colors to see what I mean. The dots are too big to really mix, though they are trying.



The Nerd Numbers (Blendling #13, Recombination)

Ply #1: Gold, ~20 WPI
Ply #2: Salmon, ~16 WPI
Spinning style unknown
Plying Ratio: 11.5:1
4 treadles : 12″
Z twist, S plied
Yardage: 24 yd after finishing
Weight: .5 oz
Appx. Grist: 768 YPP
TPI: 3.5 before finishing, 3.7 after finishing
WPI: 10 before finishing, 9 after finishing
Angle of twist: 35 degrees before finishing, 38 degrees after finishing

Tune in tomorrow to see what I did with the last two singles from the rescued yarns.



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