The 16-ply cable is done, along with the extra fine cotton. I haven’t measured either, although the 50g of wool yarn won’t even begin to fit in the plastic sandwich bag. It’s huge. Much to my amazement, I had no trouble plying the singles even with the absurdly small amount of twist in them. The yarn comes out kinda square, it’s a 4-ply yarn that is then done 4-ply again with hardly any twist at all. The whole thing is felted, it shrunk quite a bit but now holds together nicely.
I skeined the extra fine cotton to wash, very carefully. Now I have to unwind it to measure. I think it will be ok, it only broke once in winding, but I’m still nervous. This yarn is much more even than the brown cotton single that gave me such trouble. Since I’m doing extra fine cotton, I’ve started on some combed Pima for the two-ply. It is breaking more than I’d like but otherwise is doing ok.
I’m trying to figure out how to describe my cotton spinning technique. I’m doing the exact same motions as for the other extra fine, but since this is combed and not carded the yarn comes out smoother. Supposedly combed cotton is to be spun “point of twist,” which is drafting while moving the fiber so it stays ahead of the twist. I do that, yes, but then I make the yarn thinner and more even by continuing to draft. Isn’t that what happens with a rolag spun woolen or carded cotton or a puni? Some people even call it “double drafting.” This is where the whole woolen/worsted thing falls apart. Cotton doesn’t handle like wool. I tried pure point of twist, with no extra drafting, and other than a thicker yarn it doesn’t look any different. But since I’m using combed fiber, supposedly the “correct” way to spin is with a short draw technique. Point of twist, with no further drafting, is short draw because it is pulling the fibers out in parallel and then immediately twisting them into finished yarn.