This spin was a bit of an experiment. The plans for this fibre had changed a few times over the years, but I was not fully satisfied with any of them. When I came across this technique (link to Ravelry), I knew it was just right.
You take one hand dyed braid, tear it in half horizontally. Spin one half as it is, then chain ply it. Tear the other half into three strips vertically, spin those into singles, then do a classic 3-ply. And this is what you get.
Two coordinating skeins to make stripy goodness with. Knit, crochet, or weave, the two yarns will look different because of the different ways the colours have been handled while spinning. But they still look alike because they are the same colourway. Fraternal twins, if you will. I have no plans for the yarn at the moment, but it is most likely they will become striped socks.
I attenuated the long half twice to make it draft more evenly. The braid had been tightly chained and it was like this for years. The fibre had compacted a bit, attenuating took care of that. Tearing the other half into strips loosened it up enough, so I attenuated those only once. Compared to merino, BFL (Blue-faced Leicester sheep) wool positively glows. Look at those colours! A bit more purple than I would buy today, but so gorgeous.
Spinning the singles took no time at all. I loved how the BFL felt in my fingers, that it was not dull like merino. It is not as soft as merino either, but it is soft enough to next to skin items. One thing I learned during this project was that I should mix up the three singles more. I started spinning all three from the same end, but I should have flipped one, and mixed another one in some way. That way there would have been less matching colours in the the classic 3-ply.
Plying was not without its troubles. I did not rest the singles long enough because I was so impatient to see the final yarns. That is also something I'll do differently next time. Wrestling with super coily singles while trying to do a 3-ply with two singles coming from the Andean plying bracelet was not at all a pleasant experience.
I won in the end, but there I was at one point holding two snarls of fine singles while simultaneously untangling those and plying them with a third ply from a bobbin. Never again! I'll let the singles rest for a week if I have to. Chain plying gave me some grief too, but it eased when the singles got to the more rested parts.
Despite the plying nearly defeating me on this spin, I am definitely going to use this technique again. I know what I can improve and the results are so worth all the bother. I love how it turned out.