Q - Can you change a yarn even though it is already spun, plied, washed and set?
A - You can relax tight plying by removing some of the plying twist.B - You can unply a plied yarn to use as a single or reply with more plies or a different yarn.C - You can unply the yarn and draft the single thinner, you CANNOT DRAFT IT THICKERD - You can remove some twist from a single that was overspun, which may allow the yarn to puff up more andlook thicker, but that is difficult to do evenly.
Since this was a small ball of plied silk I choose to remedy the yarn with option C.
First, I treadle the yarn onto a bobbin with the flyer going Z to remove the S-ply and passing it in when just as it looks like the ply has been removed. I started with the folded end since it had been plied as a ball and I didn't want to cut it.
Second, while still on the flyer and hanging out the orifice, I split the plys and wound one end on each hand, starting around two fingers . When it starts to build I add a third finger and wind more, then I can remove a finger to keep it from getting too tight. It's an odd little hand dance, that will end with two small balls still connected.
If it had been a larger yarn I have used a second spinning wheel with a tight takeup to wind one ply and use a ball winder for the other. Or my preference when I can lock up all cats, dogs and toddlers, I have simply pulled the plys apart and let them fall in a puddle one on each side of my chair. As long as nobody messes with each puddle the ends will be on top. If it was plied from a large ball you will be better off breaking the two sections apart, so you don't disturb the puddles.
As you are pulling it apart there will be areas where you probably went too far with the Z twist, or didn't quite do enough, but with the yarn still in the flyer you should be able to turn the flyer a few times to remedy those situations.
Third, now you need to correct your original problem. My problem was too soft twist and too large slubs.
My set up:
- I set up my mini spinner on a slow Z speed but a slightly stronger takeup since I only needed a bit more twist.
- I put the yarn balls into a zip bag mostly closed so they would not be rolling around the floor to be chased by a kitty.
- After joining the end of the yarn to leader I sat about 4 feet away. The extra space allowed me to see a slub coming and to work it out before it got the extra twist.
All that remained was to re-ply the yarn and re-set the twist. Now I think the yarns will crochet well together to make narrow neck scarf to match this lovely square woven silk shawl that the yarns are sitting on. Stay tuned for the finished scarf.
This shawl was a precious buy when we visited relatives in Germany in 1989. The cousin's wife took me to a weavers studio and where I admired all of her work, but we had a hugh language barrier. The cousin bought a silk shawl for herself. After we were back at her house, her husband was able to expain how much it had cost. "Oh my! Please", I said, "Can you take me back as I also need to buy one." I have loved it ever since.