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Elasticised Yarns with Tutor Emily De Rango

Synopsis by Linda (Linda attended the Majacraft Australia Camp 2024 – YMCA Lake Dewar Discovery Camp in Victoria)

This workshop was heaps of fun and something I never would have considered doing myself, except perhaps in error! It has added another whole new dimension to spinning and plying singles to create a unique elasticised yarn suitable for beanies, socks and other projects that need to be stretchy and or close fitting.

In essence a minimum of three singles are required. Usually we spin for a balanced yarn as such we would spin all singles clockwise or with Z twist and balancing them by plying all of them anticlockwise or with S twist.

However elasticised yarn becomes a bit of fun

– 2 singles are spun evenly with Z twist

 – clockwise 1 single is then spun evenly with s twist

– anticlockwise or the ply direction.

In our workshop we used 2 white singles and one black which made it easier to see the effects.

All three are then plied S or anticlockwise – a fairly quick wheel take-up is required and tension needs to be kept on the singles threads to prevent them tangling together – a tensioned Lazy Kate also assisted with this. The plying puts more twist into the S plied single.

Once skeined up on the niddy-noddy it was important to tie it off in numerous places, this became apparent when it was removed from the niddy-noddy as it all sprang together into a bit of what looked like a mess! Oh dear! However the mess was what we were supposed to achieve.

The yarn then needs to be finished by wet blocking or steaming. Clothes steamers were on hand (I had never seen one before) we had to be careful with the steam and hold the skein taught within the steam and rotate it (it seems a kettle can be used also).

Additional kinks and twists in the yarn after blocking or steaming is indicative of its elasticity.


When knitting with these yarns stocking stitch will show a bias similar to knitting a singles, so

garter stitch or a combination of Knit and Purl stitches is best for knitted objects.

More fun could be had than we had time for by varying the number or singles and the number of S spun singles as well as single grist and fibre type. The more S spun singles in the group to be plied the greater the elasticity of the yarn – hold onto your skein! It will bounce away.

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