Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Spinning Silk

Well as soon as I finished the last post the UPS truck came, which is, I suppose, one of the reasons it has taken me a while to update the blog. That and photos, I never have photos when I want them, and I just the the posts are way too boring without photos. The Cherry Tree Hill grab bag box was amazing. I don't love the sparkly stuff but the kid does, so she scarfed those right up. I got some beautifully dyed wools in worsted and bulky weight, some mohair, and two solid sock yarns amen! I love sock yarn, just can't stay away from it.

Anyway, for those of you who asked about the silk experiment - here is photographic evidence. For those of you who didn't ask, Amy's article on about spinning silk hankies is what started all of this madness. They aren't really handkerchiefs, just hankie shaped bits of bombyx silk fiber. After you peel off one hankie's worth you make a big hole in the middle and pull. Very satisfying!
A pile of pre-drafted silk roving. When I started this, I pulled 5 hankies into roving and then spun all 5, but now I just do one at a time to cut down on transient fuzzies. Note to those who want to try this - do NOT wear a fuzzy pullover during the attempt...

Below, one of the better sections so far as evenness goes. I am having a much easier time getting this to be even - even the kid mentioned that this didn't look as thick and thin as my previous spinning attempts! Mostly it is fingering weight, with the odd veer towards lace weight or DK. I really want to make this a two ply so I am trying to keep it thinnish. I keep reading online about people who complain they get too fine thread on the drop spindle, my problem is more the other direction, I wind up with super bulky when I wanted DK! But I am still pretty new at this, and know that practice will help. I LOVE my beautiful hand-crafted drop spindle with the ebony shaft. I bought it at Rhinebeck, but sadly don't remember who I bought it from. That was my first Rhinebeck visit, and the kid and I were having such a great time it is amazing I remembered to drive home.

Look - half-way decent silk single! Yay for me! I can't tell you how gratifying I find this project. I am getting about 5 feet of single ply per hankie. I keep spinning and spinning and the pile of hankies doesn't look any lower so I have no idea what I will wind up with so far as yardage goes. I want to dye it after it is plyed, more adventures. Cost effective so far as amusement value per dollar goes - I only spent about $12.00 including shipping on the hankies, and by the time I have spun them, plied them, dyed them, and knit them into something, they will have provided days and days of happy hours.

On the knitting front - three current projects on the needles and a million more lined up. I am almost to the toe decrease of the second sock in the Oak Rib socks in red Calzetteria. I am nearly done with the first section of the Guinevere wrap. Oh, and because I am insane I decided last week I wanted to make a cushy throw RIGHT NOW! I had gotten a big pile of Jaeger Chamonix on half price sale when my LYS put it on close out, and it was crying out to be a warm throw while the weather is cold. I modified the lap afghan pattern from Weekend Knitting, and since it is bulky weight on size 13 needles I am whipping right along. Will take it to SnB tomorrow night and get another chunk of it done there.

Barf Bear will be making another appearance in a day or two - turns out he loves to model the kid's clothing for the blog.

Back to work -

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