Cabled yarns are a fantastic addition to your spinning repertoire. A cabled yarn contains at least four singles plied with multiple layers of ply. An example would be if you spun a two-ply yarn and plied it in the opposite direction with another two-ply yarn. A cabled yarn could include multiple layers of twist. You could take your four ply cable and cable it with a two ply cable. You could get really crazy here.
Cabled yarns add texture to your yarn while also adding strength. A cabled yarn, while somewhat stiffer than a typical two or three-ply yarn, reduces abrasion. It also produces great stitch definition and works well for cables and other three dimensional elements and stitches.
1. Spin two bobbins of singles.
These should be your standard singles you’d spin to make a two-ply yarn. Spin these singles in the same direction. For example purposes, let’s say Z twist direction.
2. Overply them.
When you ply your singles, overply them slightly. In my example, I will ply in the S twist direction. I add additional twist so that the yarn is overspun. If I were to spin this yarn to balance, we would lose too much twist during the next ply.
3. Repeat so that you have two over-plied yarns.
Make another overspun two-ply in the same direction (S twist). Am I making this sound too easy?
4. Ply your two over-plied yarns in the opposite twist direction.
If our two plied yarns are S twist, we will ply them to balance in the Z twist direction. Blam. Cabled yarn.
The real tip here is, until you get to your final ply, over-ply your yarns. The additional twist you add becomes the counterbalance to your next ply.