Saturday, September 13, 2008

A rainbow of silk

Several people have have asked me about spinning thicker singles.  Two very helpful posts that I've found on the subject are by Amy and Abby.  Besides the instruction that those ladies share, the single most important thing that I've found is that I need to decide before I even start (or through sampling) if I want the finished yarn to be singles or plied.  A plied yarn needs higher twist singles, so it's important to have this decided before I start.

Moving on to other things...

I've only ever spun pure silk once (as laceweight singles, soon after my friend Kirsten in Georgia started teaching me to spin in 2006).  From that one experience, I can remember a few characteristics about it.  Firstly, it's almost immediately full of static, so pre-drafting isn't necessarily a good idea.  Secondly, I like the shine of silk, so worsted spinning is my first choice, pressing out any air and smoothing down the singles as I go (I would do a short backwards draw).

Cultivated Silk Sliver: "Rainbow Shades", 4 oz (Susan's Spinning Bunny "Fondle This" Club)

I wanted a 2-ply to mute the colors a little, knowing that the color runs would mingle some in the plying, so I spun 2 oz onto each bobbin.

I spun the singles smooth and worsted with very high twist.  Spinning silk is kind of hard on the hands, so I was glad that there was only 4 oz of it, but it's so pretty and shiny.

Plied, similar colors often came together, yet barber-poled enough to mute the bright rainbow shades.  Thankfully, all of the colors somehow go together, so when they ply together, it works (this, of course, is always a danger when working with so many hues together).

Here's the skein on the niddy-noddy:

(I'll have to get a better shot of the true colors when I get back to Germany, but this is as good it gets for now, my friends.  The plied skein on the bobbin is more true to life.)

This little person had just done a flip off of the bed she was playing on, but immediately brightened when she was called on to help with the pure silk photo shoot:

She's got a bump on her head, but otherwise she's fine.  Silk makes things all better.  Let this be a lesson to us.  Let us buy silk.
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