Spinning Silk! Part 1

Posted: 30/01/2013 in Spinning Fibre
Tags: , , , ,

I may have developed a high tolerance to the cold but at a balmy, sunny 10C I felt warm enough to take my fibre outside to play with.  It was a little windy, but that turned out quite useful for my silk spinning, since it allowed me to let most of the piece I was working with float out of the way, and avoided it sticking to my skin most of the time.

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As you can see, there’s a decent variety of fibres to play with.  I decided to try that loose clump of fibre sitting loose on the paper in the photo above, first.  I didn’t know what it was at first, but liked how it complimented the purple custom blend.

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Photo above shared for two reasons – firstly to demonstrate how the colours look together.  Secondly, because that is the first photo I’ve taken of my purple fibre that looks true to colour.

Anyway, I opened up the clump of sticky, delicate silk to discover that it was actually a stack of about 4-5 silk hankies!  Albeit rather messy hankies, distorted from being in the container for, presumably, longer than intended, but silk hankies nonetheless!

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I’m afraid I don’t have any pictures of my drafting and spinning the hankies.  The process was too fiddly and the hankies too light for me to stop mid-work to take a picture.  But I basically followed the technique demonstrated here.  I had never worked with hankies before, so I don’t know exactly how they are supposed to feel, but mine seemed messier, fluffier and more brittle than the ones I’ve seen people use on youtube.  Not surprising, since the little packet of samples I bought was being sold by someone clearing out their stash, but something for me to keep in mind for when I buy hankies properly.  The first couple, I tried to draft into some of my merino and spin the two up together.  In the end, the merino was so much shorter and softer that I found it easier to draft the silk and then just hold some merino in my hand as I spun, pulling it out and letting it catch onto the sticky silk threads.  What I ended up with was a messy, but interesting, tiny little mini skein. Click the pictures to embiggen!

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I only made a tiny little sample, but I think it’ll be nice to try using it as an art yarn for embroidery, and try incorporating it into my samplers for February.  The rest of the caps/hankies I spun on their own, and I plan to ply them with some merino when I get the chance.  I was amazed at how thin and smooth a yarn I was able to spin from the silk, considering how inexperienced I am.  I imagine with better quality hankies it’d be possible to produce something quite lovely with relative ease.  Click the pictures to embiggen!

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I have a few different fibres left to play with, and I’ll post about them as I work with them.  I’m looking forward to seeing what I can do with the different fibre types, especially the carrier rods and throwster’s waste.  Click the pictures to embiggen!

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Comments
  1. Marissa Jans says:

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