After that first plying adventure on Friday, I wanted to try again, better, so I got a better beginner’s spindle.  I marked it up a little so I won’t spin in the wrong direction again.  (At least not until I get a fancier spindle that I can’t rubber stamp.) 
It is “s” for spin direction and “p” for the ply direction.  Vocab lesson: Spinning is when you turn the roving into a “single,” or one piece of yarn.  Yarn is made up of at least two singles, or three, possibly four.  Plying is when you spin singles together.  That is done in the opposite direction of the spinning, which makes the whole thing stay together. 
In this photo, the top sample is the first yarn I spun, and the bottom sample is the second try.  I made an effort to make the singles for this second sample much looser, and I think even in this picture you can tell that it looks more like yarn and less like some kind of trim for the sides of a pillow. 
I still have yet to wash either of these, which I’ve heard is what makes them actually look like yarn, similar to blocking a sweater.  How annoying, to have to block the same fiber twice.  But now I’m trying to think up a simple project, besides just a gauge swatch to make with this stuff, and I’m also thinking how nice it would be to spin some chocolate brown wool.  I think it is good to use this variegated stuff to learn on, because I feel like all my mistakes show, and so I work harder not to make them, but by that same token, it would be nice to use something monochromatic that would be more forgiving. 
As an addendum, I do have a cute little knitted t-shirt with saddle shoulders that I’ve finished everything except sewing up the sides, and I’m just too nervous to do it.  The last time I sewed up sides I did it way too tight and the whole thing didn’t work out.  I knitted this garment in an alpaca silk blend, so it is less stretchy, so I think the problem of the too-tight underarms will be abated somewhat but I’m still scared.  Hopefully I will get over this fear by the next post and take some pictures.

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