Thursday, February 12, 2009

Singles vs. Plied

So I've been having some issues recently regarding the spinning of singles yarns. Singles are unplied yarns that still have some energy, even after setting the twist. An example is my "Simple As" yarn, which I spun super thick/thin with superfine merino wool.
My issue with singles yarns, though I LOVE the texture of them, is that they just don't seem as stable as plied yarns. I worry that they may felt too quickly. I was reading Judith MacKenzie McCuin's new book The Intentional Spinner recently...she writes that plied yarn should always be a spinner's default position. She might have a point. I think I may start spinning singles yarn from primarily bluefaced leicester wool, which is next-to-skin soft but has a long staple length, in order to help counteract disadvantages such as rapid felting or fibers working their way out of the yarn (aka pilling). Falklands wool may be another's a merino cross rather than straight merino. What do you think? Do you have any strong feelings one way or the other on this subject?


idyll hands said...

Hmmm - I have a nice scarf knit up from some merino spun into singles (I bought from hobbledehoy) that has held up VERY well - no pilling - and it gets worn under the collar of a wool coat.

Now, knit up into a sweater might be something else. I buy singles a lot - not because they cost less than plied yarns, but because I like how they look knit up. So there you go.

Nicole said...

I know, I love how they look knit up, too! I spin plenty of singles...and apparently worry too much. :)