Thursday, August 04, 2005

On the Spinning Front...

This may not look too exciting yet, but it will after spinning and knitting, because it's silk, one of my favorite fibers. Last year at Convergence I spent an entire day on silk, from the worm to the wheel. We learned a lot about silk, using microscopes to look at different types, watched slides and movies on the life cycle of the silkworm and the fiber, reeled silk filaments from simmering cocoons (I am so happy that I do not do this for a living!) and made our own mawatas (silk hankies) by stretching individual cocoons over a frame. In fact, we didn't even begin to do any spinning until after lunch. This all inspired me to buy lots of silk, in different preparations, at the Marketplace. I was tempted into slight insanity by a great sale on dyed silk caps, even though I know that caps are not a prep that I particularly like to spin. Mawatas, yes; caps, no.

So while taking a break from Birch over the weekend, and watching a Colin Firth movie called "Hope" (cute but not worth going out of your way for, unless you really like Colin), I stretched all of the three blue-green caps into roving. All I really need to do now is run it through the wheel and done. I haven't decided if I will leave it as singles, or ply it up. Probably singles, as the fibers are so long I can put in only a tiny amount of twist and it will hold together.

Here are the first singles that I was playing with to make my decision - great sheen, I hope I get enough out of this to make something interesting.

Pictured below is Patience, a Winsome Timbers cherry Saxony wheel that is what the silk is being spun on. I like this wheel very much, and I especially like that it is double treadle. As nice as Normie is, double treadle would make him absolutely perfect. The other nice thing about Patience is that I have a set of fast whorls and bobbins for her, so I can use ratios up to 36:1. This is a wonderful thing when you want to spin cotton on a big wheel.

At the same time I got the blue-green silk pictured above, I bought these caps, mostly because of the great bright colors. I don't know what I'll be doing with them, or even if I'll be doing it anytime soon, but I'm sure I'll have fun with them.
Birch is finished, but it was too dark to get a good picture last night when I unpinned it from blocking. I'll post something in the next few days.