While we were at the trade show last spring, debating other points of the army-green test vest one night, Bristol Ivy taught me something so simple and so wildly valuable. It’s a spinning trick called Navajo Ply or Chain Ply, and it may come in handy if, as one example, you’re swatching for the knitalong and have chosen the DK held-triple option.
Any time you’re knitting with three strands held together, yarn management can get tricky. You can wind three balls and pull a strand from each. Or you can wind three skeins together into one mega-cake. But what if you only need a little bit of yarn? Like for a swatch or a just a wee bit of colorwork? Winding three tiny balls is tedious — and either way, how much do you wind? With this trick you can turn a single piece of yarn into three strands, just like magic!
Step 1: Make a slipknot and pull out a big loop. (It can be much bigger than the one I’ve made here — I was trying to fit this all in the frame.)
Step 2: Reach into the loop, grab the working yarn, and pull out another big loop. Repeat step 2 as often as needed.
What you’ve basically made is the arm-knitting equivalent of a crochet chain, and when you put tension on that chain to work with it, you’ve got three strands of yarn. The little spots where each loop is bending back on itself are completely undetectable in the knitting. I’ve used this trick a few times since learning it, and I pull out BIG loops — like 10 or 12 inches each — so three loops are enough for me to knit across one row of the knitalong vest. I’m telling you, magic.
It’s a little hard to photograph, but if you pull out a ball of yarn and give it a go, you’ll see what I mean. Thanks, Bristol!
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