I'm a librarian, spinner, knitter! This is my blog for crafty things, updates to my shop and more.
You can check out my handspun yarns here - Kitty Grrlz Hand Spun Yarns and my hand knit items here - Kitty Grrlz Hand Knits

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Navajo 3-ply Yarns

Currently, I am running a featured yarn ad on Ravelry for my Navajo 3-ply yarns. I learned how to Navajo ply in the summer of 2007, I believe. It took a bit, but finally, one day, I just sat down and said, "I AM going to do this." I used Lynn's (aka the Yarn Wench) wonderful video and tutorial that can be found here. The key was I needed both the video AND the description to help me finally get it. Once it clicked, though, I was so happy and spun 3plys nonstop for awhile!

There are two main reasons I like the 3ply over the 2ply. The first is that I like how it keeps the colors together a little better. It doesn't dilute them or mix them quite as much as a two-ply does. I love the colors in Lynn's roving, and Navajo plying helps keep the colors a little more solid and intense. The effect of a two-ply can also be really beautiful, but it tends to mix the colors and dilute them. So, Navajo plying is what I do when I want to maintain the integrity of the colors.

Plus, it is sort of easier to spin - all you need to do is spin ONE single ply strand and then Navajo ply it into the 3ply! You only need two bobbins and you never have any "left over".

The second thing I really like about it, though, is the roundness of the yarn and how it looks when knit. I remember reading early on that 3plys are preferred by some because of the even, round nature to them and the fact that they really show off the knit stitches. I didn't really believe this until I actually knit with one of my 3plys. Then, I realized and could see the difference between something knit with the 3ply versus the 2ply. I think both have their purposes and everyone has their preference - but I think I prefer the 3ply now, too.

The one downside for me about Navajo plying is these types of yarns take me *so long* and you always get less yardage from the fiber than you would if you spun a single or even a two-ply. And, it isn't actually the plying that takes the longest - that is actually pretty smooth, fun and easy - but spinning the single is what drives me crazy! I've been spinning a bit bulkier lately, but usually I try to spin a really really thin single to end up with a thinner end result. It's spinning that single that seems to take me longer than anything else! But, I do still love spinning them!

My preference of fiber for the Navajo 3-plys is the merino/silk blend, or the SeaWool fiber which is wool and seacell. Though, I think the merino/silk works better for this type of yarn. I also like using merino and Falkland.

Here is a mosaic of some of my newest Navajo 3-ply yarns - all of which can be found on etsy HERE.

I am hoping to continue to list new 3plys through the end of the month. I have lots more merino/silk I'd like to spin this way, and will have at least one more skein of the SeaWool spun, too!

And, what do I like to knit with the Navajo 3ply yarns? Wristwarmers or Fingerless Gloves! While fairly basic in design, I really do love how the 3plys work for them. I can get a small pair out of less than 2 oz of yarn, usually two pairs from one larger skein of Navajo 3-ply. I also prefer to knit them on double-pointed needles so that I don't have to seam up the side. Here is a mosaic of some of the ones I've done. (Some of these are available in my Kitty Grrlz Knits shop HERE.)
That's all from me today!