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Silk on the spinning wheel

I am playing with silk.  Four days ago i bought one ounce of silk hankies — silk cocoons stretched out flat, about the size of a lady’s handkerchief.

I was so stoked!  I finally have an exotic fiber to spin up.  Today is a little bit different.

you can't even see the fiber that is trying to eat me alive!

you can’t even see the fiber that is trying to eat me alive!

The biggest thing I don’t like is that it catches on everything.  My fingers are rough from all that Registered Nurse handwashing, and the silk finds any little thing and hangs on for dear life.  At one point I had silk hangiing off of both hands, wrapped around all fingers with some strands in my mouth.  I thought the silk was alive and trying to wrap me up!  If it did, would I emerge a beautiful butterfly?

This silk was dyed on two opposite corners with a blue colour, one corner had pine green — dark green which breaks with a yellow.  The fourth corner was a brown, probably mohagany.

Blue, Pine Green and Mahogany

Blue, Pine Green and Mahogany

When I wanted a short repeat, I separated just one layer.  BTW, this one layer is actually one cocoon.  When I wanted a longer repeat I used three or four layers.

See how thin and airy it is

See how thin and airy it is

Grab one hankie, make a hole in the center and pull.  Break one  side apart, attach it to the spindle yarn and spin away.  You have to keep your hands very far apart or the fine thread will cut your finger — ask me how I know.  The individual silk fibers are very very long.  Separate your hands to allow the fibers to slide.

silk work in process

It is beautiful, and I am making a scarf out of it.  I cast on twice for a shawlette, but couldn’t make it start right.  maybe I will have to break down and follow a pattern.  so, i am making a scarf.  I hope the snagginess goes away, or I will never get to wear this thing.