Saturday, April 26, 2014

More Plies

I was sorting through swatches to take to CNCH, and the effect that gobsmacked me was how much more elastic yarns with many plies are.

I look at my spinning books and my knitting books and I do not see much discussion of the effect.

Certainly, I have been knitting gansey yarn for years without the effect seeming so noticeable.  Part of this that for a long time, I was knitting very tightly for warmth, and those fabrics did not display the yarns elasticity to best advantage.  Part of it is that I had to have tools for making better high-ply yarns see , and with the accelerator, I can drive the jumbo flyer at 1,000 or even 1,600 rpm, so I can get the job done.

Most bobbin tension devices on Lazy Kates cause that the tension of the singles changes as the effective diameter of the bobbin decreases as the singles spool off the bobbins.  A tension box device as shown
Making 10-ply with blocked singles.

eliminates this problem and ensures more uniform tension.   It is scalable and works for 2-ply just as well as it works for 10-ply.

For 5-ply

Other view showing final tension system. Note that no perforated plate to separate the yarn strands is required.  I stop twist from running back to the lazy Kate by running the strands over a quarter inch dowel held a couple of feet from the orifice.

 Other modern lazy Kate bobbin tension devices change tension as the effective diameter of the bobbin changes. This device does not. The one above is my prototype.  It is not pretty but it works very well.  For very high twist singles, more dowels can be added to increase more tension.

Will Taylor was back from his bird watching, and loved the fabrics made from high-yarns and this design for lazy kates. If you want one, ask Will.

More plies does make for better knitting yarns. More uniform tension among the singles makes for better yarns.

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