Chain-Ply with a Turkish spindle!

Another month sliding past almost too fast to comprehend. These summer days need to take lessons from cats: leisurely stretch and lengthen, and languidly lounge about.

We’ve been blessed with one of the most pleasant summers in years. Once the rains and drizzles of June dissipated after the 26th and not yet returned. We had one week were the temps got up into the 90s with the humidity in our house at 98, but fortunately the night time brought cooling relief. We’d run around first thing early in the morning opening all the doors and windows with fans blowing in the cool air then when the temperature outside matched the temps in the house we shut all opening and closed the blinds , curtains and drapes to ward off the heat as much as possible.

This week could have been another barely bearable hot one except for the daily layer of marine air that moved in from the Pacific with the dawn and rarely burned off before 10 am keeping the afternoon temps in the 80s. Pleasant! There was even slight misting during my morning walk the last two days. Refreshing!

The most exciting event of July has been to finally get a recording of chain-plying (aka Navajo-plying) with a Turkish spindle uploaded to YouTube. Figuring out how to spin then ply in one spindle full had been a goal of mine for ages. In January the first baby steps took place followed by an ah-ha moment in February when it all clicked together. Off and on since then I’d been spinning to perfect the moves and technique until I felt ready to make an instructional video. That turned out to be full of challenges! After a week of video editing deadends, refusals to recognize formats, disappearing sound and numerous retakes we resorted to the iPad with Ed sitting, across from me, arms outstretched while recording. The very real possibility of shaking arms if I took too long made for a quick demo. I’m tickled that the video is finished and on YouTube!

Wonder no more if it’s possible to Chain-ply with a Turkish spindle! It’s quite easy once your hands and brain get comfortable with the new movements.

Wait, there even a bonus trick! A nifty way to start your leader! This has got to be the slickest, simplest way yet. Judith MacKenzie McCuin figured it out. In turn she showed Morgaine of Carolina Homespun who showed it to me.

Please check out the video and let me know what you think!


Author: Wanda J

I never dreamed my life would be entangled with fiber and the tools used to produce fibery items. When I bought a boat shuttle used in weaving Ed looked at it, decided to make a better one and the rest is history. For a decade he made shuttles, crochet hooks, knitting needles, until his spindles became so popular that he had to devote his time to making them, as well as Walking Wheels. Free time is spent reading, trying to coax food from the ground, and playing in the creek near our place. I love long walks and camping far from crowds. Playing a fiddle beside a stream or with good friends brings sweetness to my soul. Sundays are set aside for worshiping God with our small Quaker meeting.

5 thoughts on “Chain-Ply with a Turkish spindle!”

    Each of your fingers have their own job and does it very well!
    You must play the violin! hee heee.
    I love that leader method and will try to adapt it to my support spindle.
    As for summertime…I think Gershwin had it wrong….Summertime and the living is easy? No, Summertime, and the living is nuts! Busy time of year at our house.
    When we have reached the same temperature inside as out, we call that “equalibrium”. fun.
    Thanks for the video. Another fiber classic!

  2. Oh, it sounds wonderful up in your neck of the woods now. To be able to open the windows in the morning! That won’t happen til November round here. At least we have actually had rain this summer. It cooled temps down to the 90s! Haha!

  3. What a fabulously useful video! I love this new way of starting the leader, and the whole idea of being able to chain ply as you go is quite enticing, too. I think I’d need to practice it quite a bit before I could do it smoothly and efficiently, but it’d be worth it! Thank you very much, Wanda, for taking the time to make that video and sharing those techniques with us. You’re a gem!

Comments are closed.