Fiber Arts Friday: To Ply or Not to Ply?

12 Nov

That’s the big question around here this Fiber Arts Friday!

I’ve spent the last few days spinning this amazingly bold and colorful single from Bohemian Knitter Chic Spins.

I know I want to use it to knit a shrug for Jillian. I also don’t want that process to take forever. So I want this gorgeous single to be thicker, but I don’t want to lose yardage. It was only about 3oz to start with, so if I ply it on itself I know it’ll be pretty short for a shrug.

Then I got this fiber in the mail from a prize drawing, and I had inspiration. See how good the two fibers look together?

I had decided to ply them together, which would give me the thicker and longer yarn I want. Now I have two singles:

And now I’m worried about plying. I have seen gorgeous yarns with one rainbow ply and one semi-solid, so I’m hopeful. But I’m also worried that plying might dull the awesome vivid brightness of the rainbow yarn, or that the two colors won’t combine the way I hope they will. Which will set me back to my previous dilemna.

I’m hoping to ply these tonight, and if I don’t like it after a few yards I’ll just unply and re-think. At that point I can ply them each on themselves and use the two yarns to make a stripey shrug, which I may or may not like. Or I can keep the rainbow yarn as it is and just make something smaller, though I don’t know what because Jilly doesn’t like “itchy” yarns next to her neck area (I can’t really get her to wear a scarf at all, regardless of how soft it is).

So wish me luck, fellow fiber artists, on my plying adventures! And after you’re done, go on over to Andrea’s Blog and join the rest of the Fiber Arts Friday fun!

7 Responses to “Fiber Arts Friday: To Ply or Not to Ply?”

  1. Kathryn | Alpacamundo November 12, 2010 at 11:30 pm #

    Eee, I don’t know. I always have the same question.

    What I can tell you is, that in my little experience un-plying is a lot easier said than done.

  2. Word Lily November 12, 2010 at 11:52 pm #

    I agree with Kathryn; unplying is pretty messy in my experience. I think they’ll look good together, based on your pics. But regardless, good luck with the plying! I’m coming up on a similar dilemma myself, maybe this weekend!

  3. Lindsay November 13, 2010 at 12:22 am #

    Well they do look great right next to one another. What’s always interesting is even yarn spun up with 2 different colored plies look even more different when knit or crochet up in a project. Often I like the look of them better because of the complexity. I think your 2 colors will turn out to be a wonderful project!

    I’m currently having the same problem. I have a beautiful single of dark purple, reds, golds but it’s not enough to do anything with it if I ply it to itself. I’m thinking of plying mine with a solid black alpaca but haven’t decided fully on it yet.

  4. Jessica November 13, 2010 at 1:18 am #

    The colors are beautiful. I have no opinion on your plying dilemma as I have no idea what it entails. Hope you figure it out!

  5. Wonder Why Gal November 13, 2010 at 2:50 am #

    Ply! Ply! Ply!

    I hate singles! I finally broke down and made a yarn out of singles after someone begged me to. I don’t know what I would ever knit out of it. I love my 2 ply.

    Those colors will be gorgeous together.

    Ply!
    There, I voted!

  6. Stephanie November 13, 2010 at 9:38 am #

    It will be muted, but more pink instead of white to tone it down. Tough to say how muted, but definitely brighter than the pink. If you want to try it before you ply, you could always just take the two ends and wrap them together around your finger a few times to get an idea. I think you should do it though, because your spinning will have some over-twist in the singles most likely, and it is easier to break yarn when knitting with singles.

  7. kathi November 13, 2010 at 9:57 am #

    try plying an uneven sort of ply-letting the rainbow sort of coil here and there-it will definitely show up more–good luck-be sure to show us what you end up with.

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