A friend emailed me this some time ago. I haven't tried it yet. Just wanted to know if anyone else has and what the + and - are about it or whether I should even bother.
Here's how, in a very abbreviated
write-up. These instructions are for top whorl drop spindle.
Starting with new fiber and an empty spindle- spin your comfortable
length, fold it in thirds, connect the resulting extra loop under the hook, and
spin the other direction, just like you would ordinarily do for plying - spin in
one direction, ply in the other.
Take the result off of the hook, and begin to wind it around the shaft,
just like it was a "regular" length of freshly spun singles yarn. Wind it on the spindle, but hook the loop over
the hook and shaft, and then, wind the singles around the hook as you normally do.
Spin another comfortable length. Instead of winding the result onto your spindle,
wind it around your fiber-holding hand. Wind it almost all the way to the hook.
Fish through the loop which is around the shaft of your spindle, and
pull out a new loop of fresh singles. Hook
it somewhere on your left hand. Unwind about
3 inches of *plied* stuff of the spindle, and wind it around the hook. Get the new loop over one of your right hand fingers,
grasp the old loop between the finger and thumb of your right hand, and move the
right and left hand in opposite directions, unwinding the singles off of your left
Drop the "old loop" holding the "new loop' in your right
hand. Let the spindle slide along the new
length of spun singles until it's about half way. If your spindle is heavy enough, it will slide
on it's own. I like to use tiny, light spindles,
so it won't go by itself very easily, so I grasp it between my knees and pull it
that way. Oh, for a third hand!
Transfer the loop from your right hand to your left hand, making sure
to keep it open. Spin in the opposite direction
to ply. Actually, if you are patient, you
don't even need to spin it, it will go by itself, only very slowly, so I zip it
along my thigh, because I am NOT patient!
When you get to the end of your
roving, you are DONE! Your roving is spun, plied, DONE!
Cool or what?
I found that for me the big disadvanatage is that the spindle fills up very quickly, and splicing becomes a problem, unless I've missed something very obvious?
There is no such thing as too much fibre, just not enough storage space!
There's a good utube video for this called "Tammy Rizzo's Ply-on-the-fly technique" (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Eunrqj97lLU) as demonstrated by my friend Rosemary (who taught me). I love it! I haven't had any problem splicing in new yarn, but if it slips apart, try a "russian join" technique; that may help.
Have you tried it yet? I only did it once to use up some leftover single (one too long to just hang a spindle in the middle of it and ply it to itself), and I used a bottom whorl spindle instead of a top. This made 3 ply yarn, which if you don't spin fairly fine makes a pretty thick yarn. One thing that was nice about it is that it will make hand dyed yarn that stripes instead of tweeds because the colors mostly ply only to themselves (that is, if you change color frequently when you're spinning and usually end up with tweeds).
This is actually one of my favorite plying methods.
Your spindle will fill up more slowly, actually, as it takes more time to do it. But, once your spindle *is* full, then you are done. You don't have to go back and ply. In fact, you can knit right off of your spindle, if you like.
That is awesome! I would've never thought to ply *as* I spun. Thanks for sharing, I think I'm going to have to go try this technique:)