I have finally finished plying all three singles for my little experiment making a 3-ply yarn. The first single flew off my spindle. The second single ate all my mojo. The third single brought back my mojo with some to spare. I used a smaller spindle that weighs just over an ounce and is just the right size to slide the cop - the mass of single or plied yarn wrapped around the shaft - off to a straw.
It’s really funny how quickly a new tool can change a process. My first favorite spindle weighs 2.2 oz and has a shaft too large to slide a straw over. Every time I finished a single, I’d let it rest overnight and then wind the single onto a small dowel (a ball would work too). It’s more time consuming but worth the effort to get an empty spindle.
Trying to ply three separate singles from three separate straws is just a recipe for disaster but all three plies on a single ball is much more manageable. This method also works well with two singles but I’d hesitate to wrap more than four since it would be harder to keep all the strands evenly tensioned. Also, just wrapping a single around a ball would be a nice way to store it for later since the ball is an easy and tangle free way to start wrapping.
I’m using a styrofoam ball since I have them on hand but tennis balls and felted beads work too.
Gather up all your ends and start wrapping. A pail or box will keep the singles from running off to the four corners of the world.
Keep wrapping until you come to the end of a single and cut the rest to match. If you have extra like I do, you can wind them onto another ball to make a cute little mini skein.
Next up, plying!