Saturday, May 3, 2008

The Joy of Silk

I bit the bullet and got myself about six ounces of a very pale hand-dyed silk from Rose Weaving Gallery and Studio in Arvada a couple weekends ago at a discount:

This week I started spinning it on my wheel. It was my first time attempting to spin silk and it was a challenge at first. The fibers are so slippery they can get away from you quickly - and they did quite a few times! I also ended up with some areas that were as thin as a thread trying to figure out how much to draft out to get a consistent weight.

But now I'm getting the hang of it and my yarn is starting to look better:

I also discovered the belt had loosened on my wheel, which explained some of the trouble I was having with getting enough twist all of a sudden. Fortunately Jan has instructions available for download at Heavenly Handpsinning on how to tighten the belt. I followed the steps and in no time the wheel worked again like a charm.

The fibers are so slippery it drafts and spins quickly. Also because I tend to spin on the fast side as it is, the increased twist actually works well with the silk.
I'm not sure if it's the dye or something the fibers picked up in the store but it also smells very pretty.

I won't get to buy silk fibers very often but I will definitely enjoy the opportunities I get to spin this soft, luxurious fiber.

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