Time again to share one of my all-time favorite spinning tips.
I had a beginner spinner come to the booth this weekend, and they were looking at fiber to go with a single they had spun. They were most concerned about the weight, because they wanted to make sure the length of their plies matched up. You don’t want to waste a single just because one side runs out first.
This is a very common thought for beginners spinners, myself included. However, in the decade that I have spun yarn, I have plied perfectly matched singles a grand total of one time. It felt like I won the lottery. What is the answer, you may ask? Enter the plying bracelet!
This technique (often called Andean Plying, but that’s a misnomer. So, let’s quit doing that) creates a “butterfly” over your wrist that allows you to ply two sides of the same single. I wouldn’t recommend it for a large amount of fiber, but for finishing off half of a two ply yarn, it’s perfect.
First, to wrap the butterfly. I always hold the end of my plied yarn in my left (non-dominant) hand, and start wrapping from the base of my thumb, over and around my middle finger, and then under my wrist. The first wrap is the trickiest, because that working yarn will want to get in the way. Just wrap over it, and it will be fine.
Once you’ve reached the end of the single you’re wrapping, take the loop off your middle finger. I am usually able to accomplish this by pulling the main loop of the bracelet up a couple of inches. Then, with the bracelet on your wrist, overlap the end of the first ply with the now-accessible end of your wrapped single. Continue plying. Rotate your wrist to release more of the single, and continue until this single runs out!
I made a quick reel of this, if you would like to see it in action. Go forth and spin without the stress of perfectly matching the length of your singles!