Silk Spinning

I’m fairly new to spinning silk.  It’s one fibre I’ve had in my stash and always felt “I’m not good enough for that yet.”  It’s such a beautiful fibre just sitting in a roving brick, and it’s not like I have a ton of it. So I’ve looked at it, stroked it and generally thought how wonderful it was just as a brick!  I think I already said I was crazy…

I found a few jewellery patterns calling for silk thread.  I don’t have silk thread, but I do have silk fibre.  For all I would need for a necklace… So  I started spinning silk.  Tussah (wild silk) at first then some of the white roving.  It’s taken a few sessions, but I’m able to spin it as easily as wool.  And goodness it’s strong! I tried to snap off a bit I messed with.  Took a lot of snapping!  As long as there’s plenty of twist it spins soooo fine it’s a pleasure to work with.  I’m used to wool being very delicate if you draft it too fine, but the silk just doesn’t break with me.

I’m now spinning a few hanks to make a nice lacey shawl.  Then once this silk is used up, I’ll try finding some silkworm friendly stuff.  I didn’t realise when I bought this silk that the poor wee worms are boiled inside their silk cocoons.  Some silk is produced from hatched cocoons, though it’s apparently not so great in quality.  Personally, I’m quite happy to take a lower quality if the wee beastie didn’t get boiled alive!  I’ll look for worm friendly silk from now on.
The sheep fleece mountain is being worked on too.  I’ve washed a small bowmont fleece and it’s drying outside.  That will hopefully be used for a summer poncho, shawl or similar.  I’m tempted to wash some moorit and white bowmont and make a multicoloured poncho.  I make graduations in colour by plying different coloured singles.  I’ve also used fine yarns knitted double, changing one single at a time to shade colour.

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