Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Experimenting with Silk.

I have just gone back over a few of my previous posts and have come to the conclusion that I am a hopeless case. Far from actually sorting, carding and spinning the fleeces in my stash over Christmas I have just managed to increase the stash and have had to put it all back where it was after the Christmas nature table was put away. In my defence I can only say that at least I have been buying a different type of fibre – I have been experimenting with silk.

The first silk I tried was Tussah silk, a dyed top from Long Draw James. It was quite a different spinning experience – very much more slippery than wool. I think I spun it too thickly really, I should have made it go a lot further.

The single.


The next silk I had a go with was silk hankies, beautifully dyed. I think that is one of the main attractions for silk – it takes dye wonderfully and because of its sheen you can get such jewel-like colours. So the hankies were very interesting, basically a pile of single cocoons stretched out to make a square. 

I loved the process of drafting – putting a hole in the middle and gently pulling it out until I had a very long, thin ribbon of silk fibres to spin. I spun much more thinly this time and because I was spinning from hankies there were areas of very short fibres which gave texture to the yarn. This is by far the finest yarn I have spun and it needed a high twist to hold together.

My next challenge is to price what I have got ready to sell, I seem to have a real block about this next step – debates are raging on various sites about pricing policy so I think I will just have to bite the bullet and get on with it.