Our Andean Plying Tool (named "Handy Andy") is a new product designed to make plying (using the Andean method) easier and more convenient than the traditional hand method.
The tool is shaped to fit in your hand. so you can save the wear and tear on your fingers because you no longer have to deal with excessive yarn tension wrapping around your "blue" fingers.
The tool incorporates a convenient Peg at the top which you simply pull out when you are done wrapping the yarn and the "bracelet" of yarn will fall down to the bottom of the handle. You then either ply the yarn back into your spinning wheel (or drop spindle) while holding the tool or you can place the tool in our base and then proceed to ply in the same manner as you would when using a Lazy Kate (our Lazy Kate can be used with a spindle).
Tool rest in a base for storage, resting, and plying.
The mounting angle allows the user to place the Plyer on the floor while plying back into their spinning wheel or drop spindle from a seated or standing position. Our innovative design will not easily tip over
in any direction.
Each unit is handcrafted in the USA from Maple hardwood and Birch hardwood dowels. It comes packed in a custom designed denim carry sack.
We apply a oil stain to the finish.
Andean Plying and the current state of the art
Andean Plying is normally done on the user's hand. After wrapping the yarn around the user's hand, the user allows it to "fall" around their wrist. The user then takes the two ends of the yarn and feed them back into their spinning wheel or spindle (the original users used a drop spindle).
From what would appear to be a single bundle of yarn, the user takes the 2 ends and then plies them back into the spinning wheel. If the yarn is wrapped properly around their hand, they can then literally create 2 plies of yarn from a single source. Those shepherds in the Andes mountains sure were clever to invent this system many years ago.
There are a number of limitations and issues when using your hand to perform this function, however.
Often times, the yarn gets very tight around the user's fingers and it becomes uncomfortable. Spinners often cite the fact that their fingers turn blue from the lack of circulation.
The user cannot easily jettison the yarn that is wrapped around their hand in case they (1) want to take a break, (2) answer the phone, (3) change the baby, etc. They have to take the time to ply all of the yarn back into the spinning wheel. This can be very inconvenient.
Other plying tools which do not have a base, can be put down on a flat surface while the user attends to these other tasks, however, the "bracelet" of yarn can then accidentally fall off of the handle which can be catastrophic.
Yet some other tools which can be safely set down, are often times too large which causes other constraints for the user.
Our tool solves all of these problems:
- The tool takes the brunt of the tightening yarn as it is wrapped around the tool (not the spinner's fingers).
- The user can choose whether they want to ply directly from the tool while they hold the tool in their hand, or they can place the tool in its base and leave both hands free to control the yarn going back into the spinning wheel (much like a spinner does when they use a Lazy Kate). Even if they decide to hold the tool in their hand while plying, they can always set the tool back into its base if they want to interrupt the operation without disturbing the bracelet of yarn.
- This is the only Andean Plying Tool that that has all of these capabilities.