Since last spring, all of my spinning has been done on spindles. I love them - I can keep a spindle & some fiber in my bag and enjoy spinning whenever and wherever I want. But I also have a gorgeous wheel that has been ridiculously neglected and it's time to rediscover it. I know that I want to use my wheel to spin Pixie Girl's fleece, so I'm trying to think ahead and get the wheel ready for this project.
The last spinning I did on my wheel was with 12 ounces of dark mill ends (I don't know if the fiber color is natural or dyed). I have four bobbins of these mill end singles and it's long overdue to ply them and finish the yarn. And I need the bobbins for my next project!
The singles have been on bobbins long enough that the twist has gone dormant. I refreshed sample strands of the yarn in hot water to determine what a balanced 3-ply yarn would look like using these singles. I learned this technique on Rita Buchanan's DVD "How I Spin." Rita is fabulous, using a common sense & analytical approach to spinning yarn without losing the art of it by over-focusing on calculations. The refreshed sample serves as your template that you can use throughout the plying process to make sure that you're staying on target to create a balanced yarn.
I got to work plying the singles, and because the plying twist is the active energy in the skein, the yarn was very curly and kinked up on itself when it came off the wheel. At the beginning of my spinning days, I would've been dismayed and convinced that I had messed up. Now I understand a bit more about the twist energy in yarn and I was actually happy to see the curly plied yarn.
I had enough singles on my bobbins to get three skeins of 3-ply yarn, and still had enough singles left on two of the bobbins that I thought, eh, what the heck, let's finish those with a 2-ply yarn. Now it's off to finish the yarn in hot water, give it a few good thwacks & hang it up to dry.