The Week of the Navajo

Spring vacation is here (yay!!) and I have unplugged my alarm clock in celebration of its arrival!

My only assignments this week are to get these gifts I have finished in the mail and to learn how to n-ply (aka navajo ply, aka chain ply, etc, etc., ad nauseam).  I probably will try fractal spinning again too.  But this week’s emphasis is going to be navajo plying simply because I have the time to devote to it.

So, without further ado, meet my first skein.

I had a ball of singles of some Cyndi’s Suitcase by Greenwood Fiberworks leftover from my first colored spinning and knitting project on my spinning wheel still hanging around.  So, I decided to just try to it out.  In a navajo ply, it’s helpful to know a little bit about crocheting…particularly making a chain.  I don’t know terribly much about crochet, but apparently, the n-plying technique is based on that very concept.  To begin, a slip knot is usually made (or some other kind of loop).  The loop of the slip knot is used to start the whole process.  Once, the loop is pulled through the leader and the treadling starts it’s twisting action, the spinner reaches through the loop to the strand leading to bobbin that is being plied and another loop  is drawn through.  As the loops are drawn through, care has to be given to control the yarn that is being made as there are three strands you’re working at the same time (two from the loop being worked, plus the one strand being used to draw the next loop).  This part of the process is the segment I need to work on.  The control. But all of this pretty much continues for the length of the yarn.  Here is an excellent video that shows the entire process.  I was pretty much fumbling making this yarn, so my technique wasn’t as pretty as hers, lol! But I dug through my stash and found I had more of that fiber left, so I’m going to try it again. 🙂

Technically, this skein was spun up the day before yesterday, so it doesn’t count as a Spring Vacation Spin.  This one had some inconsistencies and I think that had to do with a few things…One, how large the loop was at the time I was making it.  On my Joy, I was trying to pick up a rhythm between my treadling and forming my loops to pull through….I didn’t feel I was really getting anywhere with that until closer to the end of the spin.  So at times the loops were as big as my hand, sometimes as long as my forearm! Two, I also think it had something to do with the fact that I really had trouble trying to figure out how to control all three strands while still pulling up that loop! But the fact that a skein did come out of it let me know that I am able to learn the whole operation over this break.  I think it’s a good start and I love how the colors all swirl around and around the skein.  Such a sucker for color am I.

See? Loves!

And since I have to eventually find some knitting projects to knit these multi-colored skeins with, I picked up a copy of Knit Noro Accessories at the LYS (a completely non-yarn purchase 🙂 ).  It’s full of beautiful projects using Noro yarns.  I have always loved Noro, but SWS stopped selling it, as far as I know.  Noro yarns doesn’t sell directly to consumers, but it’s so popular it’s easy to buy it online.  Unfortunately, my stash won’t allow, lol! But, the patterns look really friendly to multi-colored yarns and, handspun or not, I have plenty of those!

Spring break is going to be a blast!


  1. That is some very pretty plying. Can’t wait to see more!

  2. That color looks ver spring-y. How very appropriate.

  3. You’ve definitely got your Spring Break cut out for you. Mine seems pretty packed too, but my focus right now is on creating a space so that I can better create. Stay tuned!

    BTW: I have two beautiful, beautiful skeins of Noro that I purchased with the help of Groupon (otherwise, it would have stayed right there – lol). I haven’t touched it, I just look at it and wonder what to make. I may have to check out that Noro book. 🙂

  4. That yarn came out beautiful. Great colors and everything.

  5. Gorgeous!


  1. […] think these look better than my first attempt at it. Well, except for that white one on the side there. On the other two, I actually tried the method […]

  2. […] very close to the side of the wheel and I kept getting the singles caught in the flyer. I had some difficulty chain-plying on the Joy at first too, as I recall, so I wasn’t very deterred. But, until I figured I could sit right up on […]

  3. […] very close to the side of the wheel and I kept getting the singles caught in the flyer. I had some difficulty chain-plying on the Joy at first too, as I recall, so I wasn’t very deterred. But, until I figured I could sit right up on […]

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