Tuesday, August 07, 2007


When I visited the Salt Spring Island Fiber Fest, I picked up some lovely silk fiber from Treenway Silks. Not a lot mind you, just three packets of 25grams each. But I figured, if I could spin it very thinly and make it into a very long thread then I could ply it with some wool (from my Golden Fleece) and make sock yarn. This is the theory anyway.

I decided that spinning silk will be more difficult than spinning wool so I started with my second favorite colour: Vesuvius Bay Ballet...

...and I spun very thin silk thread...(that's a dime for those of you not familiar with Canadian currency. It's about the same size as an American dime, maybe a bit smaller or a British five pence piece)...

...and I learnt a lot of new things. For example, silk is very slippery. If you don't put enough twist into it, it falls apart and is virtually impossible to thread through the orifice hole again. More twist = good, less twist = having to wash my mouth out with soap.

It also sticks to any rough spot on your hands. Heck, it sticks to everything. Your distaff...

... your trouser legs, your socks. It likes sticking to things with textured surfaces. I think I might buy some hand cream from Treenway if/when I order some more silk from them. I'm told it would be far easier to handle if my hands were a little bit smoother (although, they already feel very smooth, just not smooth enough for silk apparently).

Silk is also very shiny. See what it looks like with the flash on. It really is this shiny.

And lastly, I learnt that with enough twist, you can make an impossibly thin thread/yarn from silk. Over the knuckle seemed to work well, but what I did was just to split the sliver lengthways into eight, and spin them from the end, very slowly and very carefully worsted style (that is with no twist entering the draft zone).

If you have a moment, check out this site: KnitFree - they feature a listing of free knitting patterns. Not a new idea, I know, but I like her choices and the way it's presented. I also like that my elephant was featured a few days ago (so you know this site has excellent taste).


Annie C said...

Oh wow, that is gorgeous!

Miss Scarlett said...

Look at the fabulous silk thread you have created.

Oh, you spinner you. I didn't understand a word of the spinning explanation! You are an official spinner. :-D

I shudder to think of how much silk would be clinging to my disgraceful cuticles.

Thanks for the link to KnitFree.