Spinning socks on the fly

Spinners: Are you impatient, or possessing a short attention span? Do you tire of long stretches of spinning, eager to see how your yarn will knit up? Do you have a small spindle or bobbin, which holds hardly any yarn?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, then this "socks on the fly" technique is worth a try.

Socks on the fly navajo chain ply on the fly drop spindle two-at-a-time magic loop socks handspun technique

First, prepare your fiber. If you want your socks to match, split the braid in half lengthwise and predraft, or at least give the fiber a little fluff. Separate your fiber into pile A and pile B.

Begin spinning from pile A, using the Navajo ply on the fly technique. This is a fantastic method, and I wouldn't navajo ply any other way! Once your spindle is full, you will have a cop full of 3-ply chain-plied yarn. Wind it off the spindle into a ball, and begin knitting Sock A.

Sock A is on the needles, now start spinning from fiber pile B, chain ply on the fly, wind off, cast on Sock B. Lather, rinse, repeat until you have a new pair of handspun socks.

I started doing this because I am an impatient spinner, who takes ages to spin enough yarn for a pair of socks, always wants to see how my yarn knits up, and my spindle is tiny. When I was spinning for my Gail, I had to wind off the spindle 4 times, for only 2 ounces of fiber! So, if I was spinning it all first and then knitting it, I would have to keep joining the skeins anyway.

I'm loving this project. I get to knit and spin at the same time, I get both socks at the same time, and my stripes match (mostly). You could even adapt this method to knitting the socks 2AAT magic loop, but I don't like 2AAT, so I just put each sock on hold when it comes time to knit on the other sock. If you have two sets of needles, it's even easier.


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