I was so excited to finish spinning the golden silk that I foolishly decided to go ahead and ply it as well. Disaster, complete and utter disaster to the point there is no picture because I am hoping that maybe I will wake up tomorrow and it will have magically fixed itself. Apparently plying singles is one of the things you are not supposed to do while under the influence of cold medicine. No driving, operating heavy machinery, or plying singles into yarn. Now you know . . . don’t let it happen to you.
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I just spent the last hour spinning three cocoons worth of golden orange silk with an afghan hook and a wooden wheel. First off this makeshift drop spindle spins much better than the one I made with the crochet hook. Until or if I find the wooden spindle it will do nicely since I don’t know any better anyway. It will spin until I can draft no higher.
Now spinning the silk is so different from the wool I tried. It holds the spin so nicely but I had the hardest time figuring out how to draft. The silk is so strong it needs a firm hand. Also I tried two different methods of drafting the silk hankies dyed by my friend Annie, SpinKnit. I think my biggest problem was actually separating the layers, despite lotioning up, my hands are rough from winter and yard work and getting old I suppose. I’m going to need to get a manicure just to get my hands softened up so I don’t keep snagging on the silk!
First I tried drafting from the center as many instructions on the internet recommended. Bad. Very bad. The first one I thought that I just needed to keep going and not worry about what the start looked like. The second one I was about ready to give up because I couldn’t get a consistent draft no matter how much yanking and pulling I did. So the third layer I tried a different method I remembered reading. Poke a hole in the center of the layer and pull it out into a ring and then you can just keep pulling and drafting and then pull it apart at some point and start spinning. OH! SOOOO much easier!! I was thrilled with the results. And right now I am not going to think about the fact that I’ll have to ply this if I hope to knit anything out of it using needles bigger than straight pins. Yippee! I totally blew off my list of projects in favor of spinning for no reason. I’m glad. Now I feel motivated again. Phew.
Please forgive the poor lighting. It’s after midnight, I figured a poorly lit photo was better than none at all. Hey at least it’s relatively in focus. (learning how to use that macro setting!)
I made a batch of full-size Soapfulls. These are two of my favorites. These were made using a harder soap and they were a bit harder to felt although they seemed to lather better. The veining is the hardest part to do but I enjoy working hard to create a natural “random” look. I’m going to need some more natural colored wool soon!
This is that wild idea I had yesterday in the shower. It’s certainly a compilation of inspirations from various sources. I’m sure other people have already done this but I’ve never seen any. I did these little samples and they turned out just how I thought, I love when that happens. The first set are meant to look like rocks with either veins of some precious metal in them or maybe lichens, however you choose to interpret. The second set are just vibrant colors for fun. These are soap chunks that I wrapped and felted wool around. The veins of color are wool and/or silk. Wow, that silk is amazing stuff Annie! The best method so far seems to be to wrap the soap snugly in thin layers of roving and then needle felt it quickly with the Clover tool.
Then a quick squishy bath to really set the felt. They lather really well. Maybe too well, I don’t know how fast the soap will disappear. I started with chunks of unscented glycerin melt-and-pour because that’s what I have. I think something harder would be better. What would be really nice would be some of TheJen’s baby soap. Maybe I can get her to share the recipe. (hint, hint) Cool, I get to use the “fiber” tag, lol.