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When I first learned to spin, plying seemed like an afterthought. I worked so hard on making a yarn that didn’t overtwist or fall apart, and then a colleague said, “And then you twist it back together,” and that was it. I later took a spinning class where the subject got the attention it deserved, but at first it just seemed like a bothersome necessity that took up time and ate up yarn.

A friend (and very good spinner) recently told me, “Plying is so boring that I need all the help I can get to stay awake.” It seems like the Rodney Dangerfield of spinning—plying gets no respect.

But I’ve changed my tune, and now I love to ply. Here’s why:

1. It makes the yarn look better. The plumpness and energy of yarn comes out when it’s plied and finished. When I reach out to squish a yarn, it’s probably because of the voluptuousness of the ply twist.

2. It goes fast. Singles that took a week to spin up can be plied in a matter of hours.

3. It clears off the bobbins. Singles can languish for ages, making it hard to start a new project. But when I ply them up, they practically jump onto the niddy-noddy and make room for some brand-new spinning.

Happy spinning,

Anne Merrow


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