Navajo 3-ply technique

The Navajo 3-ply technique (AKA Navajo plying, or chain plying) is typically used during the yarn spinning process, but it can also be used to triple the thickness of your working yarn without having to use 3 skeins at once.  For instance, if you have a lot of a sock weight yarn but you want to work up a pattern that calls for aran/bulky yarn, you can use the thin yarn anyway with this method.

how to do it

Set up your yarn like this:

setupThe tail end will still be the tail end, there will just be a loop joining it.  Pinch your three strands in the middle and tie a slip knot there:

slip knotNow work your crochet like normal but with 3 strands at once until you get to the end of your loop:

ready to plyNow reach through the loop with your fingers and pull the working yarn through.  You’re essentially making a giant chain with your fingers.  I usually pull it as far as my arms can reach, but for photographic purposes I made a shorter one:

pliedContinue working in this method and that’s all there is to it!






  1. Patricia Jackson says:

    That’s awesome! Thank you so much!


  2. This is fascinating. I will be keeping this for further reference. thank you.


  3. I have never seen anything like that before. How cool!!


  4. Irene Porter says:

    Brilliant that is so useful, will bookmark for future reference.


  5. Thank you for bringing us this brilliant idea from the smart Navajo people!


  6. What a great technique when one has only one ball of yarn which is too fine for a small project but too pretty not to use!


  7. Wow! I’ve never heard of that before!


  8. what’s this for? i don’t understand the difference. it just would be thicker?


  9. Hi,

    Are you able to do a pictorial on how would you join a new ball of yarn for this 3 ply technique? (:


    • Hmm, I hadn’t thought about that, but I think I would just tie the new skein to the end of the first one and weave in the ends wherever they happen to be. I’d just try to finagle it to where the knot is on the back of the work.


  10. Interesting! Was it fiddly to work with? I recently bought yarn which turned out be lace – finer than I wanted for a project. Maybe I’ll try this technique with that yarn. Thanks!


    • It’s not too fiddly, no. I made really long loops with my projects so I didn’t have to do it so frequently. I’ve used the technique with a pattern that called for bulky and all I had was sock weight!


  11. This is genius! Thank!



  1. […] that’s some nice attitude right there. The reason I found it was that someone linked to this Navajo 3-ply technique, sounds really fancy doesn’t it? You make a loop with three strands of yarn when you crochet, […]


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