A 100g ball of Studio Donegal “Soft Donegal” tweed left over from Hillwalker Cardigan.

I have for a while experimented with different methods to un-ply yarn and I think I have finally found the easiest method. Focusing on All Things Andean lately,  and their relationship with a drop spindle, it is no surprise that thinking like an Andean Spinner, and going back to my spinning roots I would find the method of methods…


I slipped the ball onto spindle, hooked beneath whorl and secured with double half hitch at top. Twisted in reverse direction of plied twist.


Then as the yarn untwisted, I wound two balls, one in each hand.  In the past I experimented doing this with a spinning wheel, a ball-winder, and a swift, juggling all of them at once and it was quite a complicated process!

I am so pleased to discover the simple way …


Less is always more, every time.  I lost track of time but it took me less than an hour to separate the plies by reverse twisting, as I wound the singles into two 50g balls of fingering weight.  Far less time than it would have taken to spin two 50g balls, so if I consider I’m creating a yarn I want to use, from yarn that is not getting used.   I believe it to be a very economical process.


No doubt the singles of the un-plied yarn will have plenty of untamed twist but I think dying them will relax them a lot.  In fact, I ordered some dyes finally, and am going back to over-dying yarn, after a long break of doubting whether I ever again would, so I will be having fun making use of a few balls left over from my most recent Hillwalker sweaters ~~ watch this space!

See all posts about Unspun !

ps. Adele, that is the spindle you sent to me, it is the only one I own presently and it works perfect for this!

4 thoughts on “Unspun

    • Becky, having an eye for basic yarn construction is all it requires; that a basic two-plied yarn (not 2ply weight, but number of yarns) is a good way to try this . I will of course, be unplying 3 and 4 plied yarn , making fine laceweight, I’ve done this a bit a couple of years ago, with a huge ordeal using my spinning wheel, a ball winder and a skein to separate the plies. Much easier with a drop spindle. Ya gotta ‘think like an Andean!” lol. I will be posting more on this whole experiment soon, this is part in a series, and more on Andean Spinning.

    • Definitely ‘ unspinning ‘ is a good option for a drop spindle, when looking through stash of worsted & bulky yarns you’re not really using. Let your little spindle help you re-use !

  1. Whoo hoo! Never thought of using a spindle for un-spinning, Jen. Glad the little one is being used here. Looks like it’s a perfect fit for un-spinning.

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