Friday, February 07, 2014

Real, hand spun, 10-ply Aran yarn

Plied up from worsted singles that I spun over the last 4 years. It is it 211 yards of hand spun 10-ply weighing 196 grams (504 yards per pound.)  It can be done.

Plying was done on an Ashford Jumbo flier running about 300 - 400 rpm, so plying took a couple of hours.

The singles were on bobbins held by a new Lazy Kate:

In use, it was clamped to a foot stool.

Most of the effort in this project was adjusting the LK. The concept was designed for 5-ply and 10 ply required some thought so the yarn paths did not cross and interfere.  And the original design was for smaller bobbins. Thus, a second set of taller dowels had to be made and finished.  And, I had to compensate for the differing twist in the various singles being used.  This is done by putting in 2 or 3 dowels, and weaving the single between them to provide tension. All in all, these were all lessons that would have be learned sometime.

Over all there are ~4 hanks of 10s in the project, so hence forth the time from fiber to finished 10-ply is about 12 hours of spinning and 2 hours of plying per 200 yard skein.  Time to spin/ply the 1500 yards of  full worsted, 10-ply yarn for an Aran sweater would be ~100 hours.  This time can be dramatically reduced by not producing true worsted singles.  Some of these singles were spun before I got the Alden Amos fliers, and thus they took longer to spin.

Fibers in the various plies include Cotswold, Romney, Suffolk, Merino, and Rambouillet. There are 2-plies of navy blue, 2 plies of light blue and 6-plies of natural white. This was as we say, "A stash buster."

I can get a full hank of  5-ply on the Jumbo Bobbin, so a lot of my 10s are on larger bobbins that will hold a full hand of single.  However, since the Jumbo Bobbin will only hold ~ 1/2 hank of Aran, in an 10-ply project, I would just work with smaller bobbins.

It is now a cake ready to knit.

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