Combination Plying

Of late, I have seen some beautiful yarn produced by combination plying. The end result looks a bit like fractal spinning, but the technique is even simpler. Now, I’m guessing many of you have another name for this technique–if so, please share in the comments so that we can all learn!!

Very basically, you choose two braids of fiber that have complementary or contrasting colorways; you spin each onto a bobbin as a single; and then you ply the two together. I’m going to try this technique with two braids from my stash–more on that in a future post. The main issue for me is that I have a less developed sense of color . . . so, I’m hoping these braids DO, in fact, complement each other. If not, I’ll have some muddy 2-ply OR I’ll have a couple of pretty singles that I can chain ply. Without experimentation, where would we be??

As part of my planning, I asked a few of my spinning groups for examples and advice–in fact, one group had just sponsored a monthly spin-a-long on this topic. Desiree Ross, who is an excellent spinner located in the UK, agreed to share her own spinning projects with me–and with you!–and I am very excited to feature them here as inspiration. All photographs are courtesy of Desiree Ross.

First up, from braids to skeins:


Finally, some beautiful knitted objects made with the yarn!


How cool to see these projects from start to finish. An excellent way to learn about a new technique. Thank you, Desiree!

This entry was posted in community, handspun, plying, spinner, Spinners Speak, spinning, technique. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Combination Plying

  1. It’s really interesting to see those yarns knitted up. I’ve been thinking of trying something like fractal plying but while I enjoy the ‘candy caning’ in the skein, I’m always worried how it’s going to look in the final product. Those two though look absolutely gorgeous. Think there’s going to be some experimenting at the wheel coming up!


    • lissymail says:

      Oh good! And thanks to Desiree–her yarns and knits are gorgeous! I loved your “DIY Raddle” post, btw–my husband made one for our new-to-us loom and it works great!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Alina says:

    This skein is not just yarn, but a piece of art!


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