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 3-ply cable yarn
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e_looped
Seriously Hooked

USA
712 Posts

Posted - 10/21/2005 :  2:03:57 PM  Show Profile  Visit e_looped's Homepage Send e_looped a Private Message
I thought I would be brilliant and to make the yarn stronger for socks, I would do a 3-ply cable yarn.
http://static.flickr.com/24/54667023_2686556677_m.jpg
So I plied two singles (spun clockwise - Z) together for a standard 2-ply yarn (plied counterclockwise - S). Then I thought I would just ply the two-ply with an extra single (spun clockwise - Z) for a 3-ply yarn. But I was reading in the Winter 2004 issue Spin-Off about a 3-ply cabled yarn and the author mentioned that the third ply should be spun counterclockwise instead of clockwise. And I've already spun three singles all clockwise. So does anyone have any advice? Should I just leave it 2-ply and use the yarn for something other than socks? I have about 450 yards on the two bobbins and still have a third bobbin that hasn't been plied yet with about 350 yards right now. I was going to finish spinning the third bobbin to get 450 yards to ply with the other two. I'm so confused and irritated right now. But I'm willing to just leave it as a 2-ply yarn and make something else other than socks with it.

Thank you for any advice ahead of time.

erica :)
leetle knits blog
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Lissa
Permanent Resident

USA
4942 Posts

Posted - 10/21/2005 :  2:11:04 PM  Show Profile  Visit Lissa's Homepage Send Lissa a Private Message
Each step is the reverse of the last. So, for 3 ply, you'd spin 2 singles Z, ply them S, then ply an S-spun single with the 2ply Z. If you ply your Z single with the 2ply as Z, you'll overtwist your third single. Of course, you can always try a couple of yards and see...

BTW - the standard nomenclature is Z and S - it'll help us understand your questions better if you use them instead of clockwise, etc.

Lissa

During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a
revolutionary act. -- George Orwell


Oh, and I now have a blog:http://knittnlissa.typepad.com/knittnlissa/
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RoseByAny
Permanent Resident

USA
12598 Posts

Posted - 10/21/2005 :  2:12:36 PM  Show Profile  Visit RoseByAny's Homepage Send RoseByAny a Private Message
Do you have any more of that fiber? You can spin another batch, ply that with the remaining single, and then spin those together, thereby making a 2x2 cable.

Otherwise, I wouldn't try to add the third single in.

"Choose your friends by their character and your socks by their color. Choosing your socks by their character makes no sense, and choosing your friends by their color is unthinkable."
http://RoseByAny.BlogSpot.Com
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Shelia
Permanent Resident

USA
2367 Posts

Posted - 10/21/2005 :  2:13:54 PM  Show Profile  Visit Shelia's Homepage Send Shelia a Private Message
Erica, when you spin 3 singles all clockwise, you can either ply them all together at the same time; or spin two clockwise, then ply the two counterclockwise, spin the third counterclockwise and then ply the 2-ply and the single together clockwise. In other words, you need to have the last thing done to each be in the same direction, not different directrions.

If it were me, I'd just use the 2-ply for socks and do something else with the other single. I use 2-ply for socks all the time, and they look fine (one pair just took a blue ribbon at Rhinebeck, so I know the judge agrees that they look fine) and wear well. I think that the tightness of the knitted gauge has more affect on the werability than the number of plies, at least for me.

I'm sure the socks will be great!

Shelia
www.letstalkstash.blogspot.com
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e_looped
Seriously Hooked

USA
712 Posts

Posted - 10/21/2005 :  2:19:26 PM  Show Profile  Visit e_looped's Homepage Send e_looped a Private Message
So you think that 2-ply is strong enough for socks? I was just concerned that they would wear out quickly. I know that I can always reinforce the heel and toes for wearability. I know I have enough yarn to make socks, I just thought I would try something new. I guess I should have read the article throughly before setting out on my new plying adventure. :) Also when I was plying the yarn, which was hand-painted, I loved the way it looked and was afraid a third ply may drastically change the look of the yarn.

Thank you all for your comments. I truly appreciate them.

erica :)
leetle knits blog
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petiteflower
Chatty Knitter

USA
297 Posts

Posted - 10/21/2005 :  5:22:49 PM  Show Profile Send petiteflower a Private Message
I agree with Sheila that you can knit very serviceable socks with 2- ply. Adding another ply will not only change the look of the yarn that you have already gotten from your hand dyed fiber, and which you are very pleased with at present, but it will give you a thicker yarn. And thicker is not always better at all when it comes to socks. A tighter knitting gauge (achieved by using smaller-sized knitting needles) adds very much to wearability, as Sheila pointed out. Socks should be knit fairly tight, and knitting tightly with a thick yarn can result in a fabric that is stiff-looking, even if the yarn is ultra soft and the socks feel OK. Plus, the socks you knit from thick yarn are going to fit inside a very limited range of your footwear. Even if you love love love ultra thick socks that are stiff as cardboard that you can't fit inside any of your shoes, it is always nice to have at least one pair of socks knit from fairly fine yarn to add versitility to life! I recommend keeping your yarn how it is. Reinforce the heels and toes, this is always advisable. And practice proper sock management: don't keep wearing and wearing your socks between washings as this compacts the fibers. A gentle bath refluffs the fibers. Also you get rid of the dirt so that IT is not grating on the fibers. And here is a helpful tip...keep your toenails clipped! They are like little razor blades you know. And think about tube socks. This model is the only one that I will knit up for my husband because he can motor through a pair of socks made with heels in no-time flat, yet his tube socks last and last. He turns them every day so that he's wearing on a differnt "heel" area, then when the socks have made the full circle, they get washed (gently, by hand). He wears a pair of boughten cotton ones inside the wool ones and in the sock-wearing time of year he wears sandels around the house and boots outside. I am sure that my tube socks are what keeps him tied to me throughout the years because it is hard to imagine what his life would be without them!
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