Thursday, February 15, 2007

Advisor? Not me.

Mary-Heather asked a question and my answer got a bit long for the comment section so I will post it here.

Referring to my recent spindle spun 2 ply, Mary Heather asked:

When you ply together two full cops, how do you store the cops?

Are you at a point where your cops end up the same length, so you don't waste any singles?

My response:

Ha, ha. If you are looking for advice, have you ever come to the wrong place Mary-Heather! This was the very FIRST time I have ever plyed two cops so I am really not qualified to give advice. I have navajo plyed from a spindle to a wheel, but other than that I have very little experience plying from spindles.

I'll tell you what I did this time though. I slid the cop off onto plastic drinking straws, set them into seperate containers, and plyed to my wheel. Sorry. I have a wheel and I'm not going to struggle plying to a spindle when it's so much easier on the wheel. Spinning the singles on a spindle is different in that I can spin little bits throughout the day while I'm waiting for supper to cook or something. It's those stolen bits of time where I wouldn't/couldn't go downstairs to spin at the wheel that really add up.

As for your second question, about estimating length so that none of the singles are wasted, I actually weighed the spindle with the cop on it, using a food scale, and then spun the second cop to about the same weight. My spinning must be fairly consistent because it worked. I only had about 6 inches difference between the two cops.

For better information about spindle spinning try this source, where I found some good advice about how to handle plying from a cop -- or several.


Mary-Heather said...


That is good advice! Thank you. The tip of weighing the singles on the spindle is a good one. I'm still getting used to spinning consistently, but I think I'd like to try plying from two cops to get a longer skein!

Thanks so much for you reply!

Mary-Heather said...

By the way - I have a Spindlewood Co. spindle and I *love* it. It's beautiful and spins forever. Yours is so pretty!

Lauri said...

The times that I have plyed on my spindle (I don't have a wheel - yet) I have moved the singles to a spare knitting needle. I have then put my mom or friends to work - holding the needles and making sure that things didn't tangle...Other than that I have Navajo plyed it.

dragon knitter said...

what i do when i'm plying is go as close to the end of which ever bobbin (i have a wheel, and i don't have any spindles, but it's the same concept) i wind the other into a center pull ball with the center being the long end. i then spit-splice the shorter ply with the end of the longer ply, and go from there. i think this would work with spindles as well (maybe even better, who knows?)

Alison said...

Okay, I've been spinning on a wheel for thirteen years, and I'm clueless: what's a cop? I mean, I can guess from the context, but I'm sitting here going, how could there be a spinning term I don't know?!

Marlene said...

If you've been spinning exclusively on a wheel Alison, you would likely not come across the term as it applies only to the spindles. A cop is the cone of yarn that builds up on the spindle. It is not a PART of the spindle, but a term referring to the build up of yarn.

AlisonH said...

So there's a word for that! Cool, thank you, and yes, I tried a spindle once--a really clunky, large, heavy one--decided there was a reason it was a "drop" spindle, and went straight for the wheel. Never did give the spindles a serious try again, although I look at some of the gorgeous ones out there a bit wistfully.

Marlene said...

I started with an homemade spindle and within a week or so was using a rented wheel. Now that I can spin well on a wheel, the spindles are also more fun. I've found there is a place and purpose for both. The wheel is better for production, large-quantity in one sitting type spinning, but the spindle is ideal for little moments throughout the day when I'm wanting a short "fiber-fix".