The Plying Game

Plycrastination: the struggle is real. 

But I may have realized why, with all the time I spend spinning, I continue to dread the process of plying my singles into a finished yarn.

Apparently … don’t laugh … it helps to plan how you’re going to ply before you start spinning.

That’s what I get for being a “process” spinner. Decadent fibers and beautiful spindles inspire me to start a new project, rather than needing a specific yarn for a specific project (knitting or otherwise). Any given moment my hands are idle, you’ll find me rummaging through my stash for something exciting to touch, new colors to try. (Bonus points if the spindle and fiber match!) I absolutely CANNOT knit and carry on a conversation, so spinning is my default activity for social gatherings or public spaces.

This means full spindles pile up in odd corners here and there because I have no clue what to do with them next.

Take my current dilemma: six spindles of a beautifully colored polworth, bamboo, silk and sparkle blend. (Hobbledehoy, of course.)

The Plying Game ... what I am supposed to do with this?
The Plying Game … what I am supposed to do with this?

Six spindles, each with a different yardage. I move onto the next spindle when my hand gets weary, not when I hit a specific weight of fiber. Since each spindle weighs a different amount, I have no idea how much fiber is on each. And no, I don’t know how much the spindles weigh; at least if I did, I could do math to approximate the fiber amounts.

(Note to self: inventory and weigh spindles; hide the evidence from Mike.)

To complicate matters, I put ZERO thought into the order of colors in this fiber, so I don’t know how the various pinks and browns will align in the plyed yarn. My best bet for color transitions I like may be chain-plying, but I grow weary of that technique. I am prepared to be disappointed.

Also, I may need to (re)invest in a spinning wheel, because plying four-plus ounces of singles at one time is painful using only drop and supported spindles. Yes, you can do it by plying separately and then joining the plyed yarns (I did it here, for instance) but that is very tedious. And I hate weaving in lots of fiddly loose ends when I am knitting. It’s probably my leading cause of unfinished knitting WIPs!

What strategies do you use to make plying less of a chore? Or am I the only one struggling with plycrastination? 


  1. Sorry Peahen, a wheel. A wheel could definately change your mind about plying -making it a pleasurable experience rather than one to avoid.

    I sure can relate to being a process person, same here!

    Liked by 1 person

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