Sunday, March 21, 2010

A whistlestop tour to update then back to blogging.

Poor poor blog. Lost my blogging mojo somewhere back in 2009 but I hereby promise I will hop back in the saddle.
There have been so many fibrey doings these past 6months - so much to learn, so little time!
I went on a knitting cruise around the Baltics last August with Nancy Bush and Beth Brown-Reinsell as tutors, accompanied by WyeSue. Have millions of photographs and some great memories. I learned how to do twined knitting and estonian lace and estonian mittens.
When I came back I organised a knitting retreat at Sheldon, which was FABULOUS. Also held another KTOG with the support of the Tea Shop Knitters around the same time.
I've got miles better at spinning and ventured into dyeing.
As a result I'm now the refreshments coordinator for the Devon Guild of Spinners, Weavers Dyers and on the committee, but have dropped off the planet as far as the UK guild of knitting and crochet is concerned.
My own Tea Shop Knitters go from strength to strength and are threatening to fill the Terrace Cafe at Bovey Tracey to the exclusion of all others. We also meet in Ashburton and Moretonhampstead Community Club.
I've been involved in the knitting salon project and am organising a coach to Wonderwool. I have yet to hand in the first module of the City and Guild handknitting course but I'm nearly there.
2010 has also got lots of exciting things in store - this will be the year when I shed excess baggage and achieve some personal goals. So I've joined a psychotherapy group and am about to start a foundation shiatsu course. 2010 started off with a fabulous week in Edinburgh. And last weekend I went to my third Skipnorth. Work gets in the way of all this excitement but I've got to earn some pennies too.

Spinning Silk.
Yesterday I was battling with silk hankies. I have dyed several and I wanted to learn how to spin them. Silk hankies have very strong, long staples. Take it from me, spinning them hurts your hands!

I started with this:
Doesn't silk take up the colour beautifully? This looks positively martian... (or maybe roast tomato sauce?)

Then (having checked out u-tube on the subject and looked in Spin Control for hints) I peeled off a thin layer of hankie...Poked a hole in the middle and pulled...and pulled and pulled until I got a mostly predrafted lot of silk thread. It catches on everything - my hands are quite rough! And it floats in the breeze. I tried making a nest of this roving but that got tangled so I found it easier just to lay it over my lap and on the floor to spin on Lola Lendrum.And this was the result: The thread in the middle is a single - very strong and looks like it would be very easy to use as is, but I plyed the rest. The smaller skein was andean plyed on my spindle as I had a little bit left on the bobbin. This lot weighs only about 10g but should be OK for a little bit of lace knitting.


m said...

If you haven't done it already, try rubbing a little sugar and cooking oil over your hands before spinning. However, before you do that run a bowl of warm water to rinse them in.
It certainly helps before spinning silk.

Ambermoggie, a fragrant soul said...

Welcome back and happy Equinox:) Love the silk so stunning:)

Heather said...

Lovely looking silk! Amazing the colour difference from the hanky to the skein. I have only had a little go at silk hankies and also found them quite hard on the hands, I am going to have a go at silk top next.

Anonymous said...

Hurray - a new post. You can also spin hankies by having it on a table next to you and lean on from your elbow to your fingers. Smooth hands do help...


TutleyMutley said...

ooo thanks for the welcome back and all the tips. I've got some heavy duty gardening salve that's probably similar to the sugar and cooking oil, but I'll certainly try it out (maybe a comparitive survey?). Silk top - whassat?

Heather said...

The silk top I have looks rather like wool top, and came from John Arbon (Coldharbour Mill) from the I Knit show last year (I have undyed white). I'm not sure whether it will be easier or harder than hankies, although I think it will be less lumpy (I wasn't very good with hankies).

Shani said...

gorgeous colours...