As the bruises began to appear over the weekend, I set up a plying station in the hall. Attached to a bookshelf at one end is my fixed hook — follow the blue yarn to locate it. Near the shelf is a chair draped with all the yarn cut into lengths ready for plying, a stool for me to perch on while I tape and cut off the finished cord and attach the next length, a waste paper bin for the odd ends of yarn and tape, and my walking stick, which I found I could manage without for the three steps down the hall to the other half of my station. Here is the comfy chair I sit in and the extra chair on which I prop up my right leg while overtwisting the yarn with the hand drill + hook ensemble.
It was pretty slow going — what with all the hopping — but the result was 46 12″ lengths of cord, enough to last me through an evening’s ply-splitting.
I have been trying out various different designs including both POT (plain oblique twining, below right) and SCOT (single course oblique twining, below left).
The SCOT is very much faster to do than the POT so I have tended to experiment more with that. One of my favourite variants involves a central cord in the narrow part of the braid which either doubles to continue in a straight line (below right), or forks to both sides in an inverted V (below left).
I have already deliberated over the way to finish these off. All sorts of fancy ends are possible but these things are very small with not a lot of cord to spare. Also, I am reluctant to commit myself to something that takes ages (and I am quite clumsy-fingered so dainty things do tend to take ages). So for now I have persisted with binding the ends and deliberately fraying the cords back into their original strands. I still have to trim this lot, but they make a colourful heap and I am enjoying adding to it.
More sofa-based crafts to follow!