My spinning journey started with my interest in Orenburg lace, as I fell in love with the style and techniques that I learned from Galina Khmeleva. She has been sharing the tradition in the United States now for over thirty years. Not only is the knitting of these fabulous shawls unique, but the spinning that goes into creating them is as well. One could say that they are truly made ‘by hand’ because no feet are involved in spinning the luxury fibers that go into them. Every bit of Orenburg lace spinning is accomplished using a spindle, including plying. Handspun yarn and a fine weight silk are spooled around a plying spindle that is heavier than the spinning spindle. The tip is then rolled off the hand to create twist as the newly plied yarn comes off the spindle.
To help you get started, we paired Galina’s plying demonstration from her course Spinning Gossamer Threads with one of her beautiful Orenburg scarves. The techniques for plying and finishing your yarns is a little bit different, but Galina is here to help you learn these skills. All Access subscribers can log in to watch this 17-minute video demonstration and download your free pattern PDF. Enjoy watching and knitting your own Orenburg Scarf.
Plying Video and Pattern PDF
Here is a clip from Galina’s video Spinning Gossamer Threads: The Yarns of Orenburg where she demonstrates the plying method.