Friday, August 10, 2012

ply on the fly, unplanned projects and hot sox

First, I am getting caught up with spindolyns, and should be able to get back to making specialty spindolyns by next week, yippeeeee!!!! Thank you all for your patience and encouragement  ; )

~the evolution of a random knitting project~

When you are laid up, you sometimes get so discouraged that you almost  don’t even feel like playing with fiber…almost. At these times, I find that starting a random, unplanned project that has no deadline, no commitment is a no pressure way to slide back into getting your serious spinning and knitting groove back. Working on perfecting my “ply on the fly” technique on the spindolyn™ sounded like an entertaining task. (first incidence of randomness)

In a sort of  sulky mood  I looked around for some fiber to spin using this variation on the Navajo three ply technique that I wouldn’t feel destroyed over if I, well, destroyed it. But I didn’t want to have to gather up my crutches and hobble in to the living room cupboard where my main stash of fiber and spindles live. Day to day living, and making my way too and fro out to the shop is enough hobbling for each day (hence the sulky mood.)

Peaking out of a basket in the corner of the office I spied this plastic bag of great, fluffy roving that I got from Susannah at SAFF last year. It is a hairy, cheery blend of bright yellow, orange and hot pink. I like how the colors look together, but the hot pink is a bit hot for me, so I  separated it out from the other colors, thinking it would be a good fiber to sacrifice on some “risk taking” sort of spindling. (second incidence of randomness)

I commenced the ply on the fly, taking a few minutes to get a rhythm  and technique going that seams to work best on the spindolyn. (I will get a video up of this some time soon) It was pretty mesmerizing and in no time, I had this much spun and plied and ready to knit. I could have packed more onto this “melody” size spindolyn™ but it was starting to slow a bit from the weight, and I was anxious to get to knitting, because it seemed “ripe” to knit.


That is the whole fun of “ply on the fly” it is ready to knit, right off the spindolyn™ and that is a pretty instant gratification! But how much can you knit from this amount of spindling? and what to knit? It is a pretty hot color and it occurred to me, that I am going to probably need something “hot” on my poor toes of my broken foot, as it will probably be extra cold this winter, and a sock toe would make a good swatch (third Incidence of Randomness; or I will call this 3rd I. R.)

So I decided that the hot part of the color should be on my toes, and toe up socks would probably be the way to go. I could see how far one spindle of Navajo plied yarn would get me in knitting a sock. Next step, see what size yarn we are talking about. 24 wraps per 2 inches. Now this was pretty silly step, because once again, I didn’t want to go look for needles, and the nearby ones were a set of US size 2 double pointed bamboos. Those’ll work. (4th I.R. )



I cast on using “Judy’s Magic Cast-On” and started knitting a toe.


And this is when I really got excited about ply on the fly. It does seem slow when you are doing it, but then, like magic, you are ready to knit!!! that will keep me going while I am recouping.

And this is how far that the this amount went in the knitting…



And now that I look at it, I think I will spin the next spindle full with a bit more of the orangey, then ending with the yellowy (5th I.R.)

And this is how an unplanned project full of random decisions has turned into a planned pair of hot sox.


  1. Catherine,
    Neat! Lovely color! I wish I could knit socks that fast! My two at a time that I started 18 months (?) ago, are still at about that degree of completeness.

  2. Would love to hear more about this ply on the fly technique cause I get spinning done but stall in the plying....

  3. Do you do any wholesale?
    I'd be interested in carrying them At Nice Threads- a fiber arts gallery and studio in Black Mountain NC


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