To all of the spinners out there, how do you determine, while you are plying, that you have a balanced yarn? I know that there has to be a way.
Im still on a spindle...and I just did my first successful ply yesterday...I dont worry about the yarn thickness so much, I figure being even will come with practice and experience. Besides, uneven yarn kinda looks funky and cool. How are you enjoying your Kromski? Im trying to decide on a wheel for when I get home..been looking at Kromskis and the Mach II from Spinolution.
If I'm trying to make sure the ply is balanced, I pause from spinning, pinch the yarn a bit above the spindle with my free hand, bring it up so the twisted length to be tested is horizontal, and allow slack into the yarn by bringing my hands together. If the bend in the yarn twirls up on itself, it is over- or under- twisted, depending on the direction. If it's balanced, it should just hang in a relaxed loop.
I don't get too hung up on this, since setting the yarn helps a yarn that is not necessarily 'balanced' according to this test. Then there's the issue of personal preference...some people like it tight, y'know?
Yes, I agree with WillyG. If you're on a wheel, pinch the plied yarn it before it enters the orifice in one hand, and grasp the other plied end (where the two strands come together) in the other, and bring them together.
In my experience, however, I never get a balanced ply on the wheel - it's always just a little tight, but as soon as I wet the finished yarn and set it, it relaxes and does not twist on itself, so the setting is really important.
Jonathan in DC
Think less, enjoy it more.