Thursday, April 16, 2009

Silk Spinning ~ From Loosey Goosey to a Silken Butterfly

I purchased a few hundred grams of hand painted silk a while back, one blue/green and one blue/red. They were so beautiful and were just screaming to be spun quite finely for a handwoven undulating twill scarf.

I started with the blue/green and spun it very finely trying to keep about 15 tpi (twists per inch) to achieve a soft shiny product. When it came time to ply I decided that I didn’t want to lose the wonderful effect I had on the single, so I plied it with 2/120 neutral cream silk. Horrors! As I plied it I lost more than half of the tpi and ended up with about 7 tpi, the effect was quite loosey goosey. I still had a lovely fibre, and with the commercial thread it was certainly strong enough for warp, but I was concerned that the lack of twist could allow for excessive pilling once the scarf was woven. So I decided to ply it again. Sorry about the hand hemming on the chair, what can I say - messy, messy, messy!

I made a ball out of my skein and popped it in a glass bowl and ransacking my stash came up with a wonderful 2/160 grey silk thread to ply with it. To keep the commercial silk from rolling all over the place I lifted the bobbin shaft on a Leclerc shuttle and it sat there very nicely. Since I had already plied it Z, I plied it back to S and it really tightened up the tpi.

Here it is on my plying head – looks great!

All too soon however I ran out of the 2/160 grey silk – I had a number of bobbins of pure silk sewing thread 2/80 I think.

So one after another I used them up starting with the palest blue, then a sea green and finally a medium green. I ended up with these 4 flat balls of three ply silk.

Here’s a close up and I really think that I was able to keep the wonderful variations in the yarn colour.

I will have to plan the scarf very carefully to make the best use of this absolutely lovely fibre, but that’s for another day.

On a completely different track I was plying some wool from a flat ball; you know how it is when you only have an odd single bobbin kicking around and nothing to ply it with….. And as I plied it I was amazed at how interesting and beautiful it became!

Weaving Words

The word complex is derived from the Latin word complectere – to braid together.


Kim said...

Mmmm, gorgeous color, wonderful luster, very very nice. What a wonderful job of spinning you have done!

Bruce said...

Wow Lynnette! Your silken butterfly is really beautiful. The silk thread on the bobbin has such depth and rich colour. I can hardly wait to see the scarf.

Your spinning is very nice indeed.


charlotte said...

This is a very exciting project, I really look forward to see the weaving. The yarn is beautiful! I love those green, grey and blue colors, they remind me of the sea.

bspinner said...

Beautiful yarn!! I'm sure your scarf will be wonderful.

Deanna said...

I love the effect of plying with different threads, which shifts the colors so subtly. Just gorgeous!

Sunrise Lodge Fiber Studio said...

You are really ambitious! I certainly would have given up after the boo boo;)