All the yarn I have spun so far has been plied. Even my very first attempt at spinning was plied, albeit with the skill one would expect from a complete beginner. After watching some online videos recently, I was inspired to try spinning singles that would remain as singles. I don't often knit with singles yarn, and I do like a nice tightly-twisted yarn so this would be a different direction for me, but I also wanted to have a go at some of the techniques I had seen in the videos.
I was given this fibre for Christmas and it's been sitting in my stash for over two months now because I had no idea at all what to do with it. I don't even know what it is - it came in gift packaging with no information about the fibre content. The only thing I knew was that it would felt - and that was only because I rubbed a small amount between my hands in hot soapy water to see if it would.
I decided if I was going to experiment with a new technique I may as well use fibre that I didn't mind if I messed up with. I could practice and experiment and if the whole lot ended up in the bin it would all be a learning experience and I wouldn't have wasted any favourite fibres.
I started out setting my wheel on its largest whorl, which is 6:1. I usually spin very lightweight yarn, but I knew that the low twist required for a singles yarn would be more stable in a thicker weight with more fibres drafted together so I decided to aim for something closer to a DK. Then it was what to do about the colours. After stripping the first section of the fibre to try to isolate each individual colour, I decided the pink was just too loud and in too large a proportion of the total amount of fibre for my taste. Then I tried combination-drafting two or three of the colours together in different combinations until eventually I ended up just drafting all five together at once to see what happened!
The entire 100g was spun in less than one afternoon. I just managed to squeeze it on to one bobbin!
Next step was to wind the newly spun yarn off the bobbin and into a skein, hoping it would hold together. I'd done lots of ply-back tests throughout the spin, trying to avoid overspinning it. Low twist really isn't my default spinning style but I was worried I'd overcompensated for my usual high-twist and had underspun it and the whole lot would fall apart! There are some areas of inconsistent thickness but to my pleasure and surprise the yarn held together at least for long enough to get it skeined up.
I ran hot water in the sink, as hot as the tap would go so it was ok to dip fingers into for a second but I couldn't hold my hand in the water. I also had a basin of cold water, as cold as the tap would go. Between us, he and I dunked the yarn into hot soapy water and then into cold water, back and forth a total of three times.
Finally it was snapped to even out the distribution of any remaining twist, and hung to dry. (The yarn, that is, not my son!)