Saturday, March 8, 2014

silk hankies and spinning....

I did do quite a bit of stitching this week but cannot show it to you until next month. So I'm going to show you another experiment I did this week after reading about it online. I have a stack of white silk hankies. Silk hankies are piles of silk cocoons spread out on a square form and they are as light as a feather. I have used some in art pieces layered with other types of cloth but this week I tried spinning with them. Here is what I did:

click on the images for close-ups.

I peeled one very fine layer away from the stack...


I made a hole in the center with my fingers and started to spread it out:


I kept spreading it out from the center and then in sections when my arms could no longer reach....


I split it at some point and rolled it up loosely getting it ready to spin....


I used my tahkli spindle, which is used for cotton and fine threads, to spin it into a ball....

 
I repeated this whole process so that i had 2 balls of spun silk and then plyed them together. Plying means to join together by twisting in the opposite direction of the original spin....


I then tried knitting with it and made a small swatch....


I wish you could feel how soft it is.  My spinning is not that great so some stitches are fatter than others but I kind of like the irregularity.

This was just an experiment and I don't know where it will lead. I learned about it here. It's a short video demonstrating a silk hanky shawl being knitted with the silk roving. If you are interested in trying this, you can purchase silk hankies on etsy or ebay. I purchased mine on ebay several years ago. You can knit or crochet with the silk roving....that is, without the need to spin it. Spinning it gives it a finer look with less irregularity.

I have worked some on the Downton Abbey coat and managed to do one button hole after pulling the stitches out several times until I got it right. The next one will be easier.

Wishing you all a great weekend.

19 comments:

liniecat said...

had no idea they stretched out so far! neat idea : )

karen said...

brilliant Deanna, spinning your own yarn from the silk. I would be interested to see how a thin knitted strip would appear amongst a piece like the strip pieces we did in SS3...there could be a very interesting contrast there. Another thing, do you have very smooth hands? When I work with very fine yarn or fibre my hands are so rough it snags constantly.

Nancy said...

Oh I DO wish I could feel it! It's beautiful :)

Jillayne said...

Oh how cool is this! I've used the silk hankies in silk fusion but had no idea you could do something like this with them!

Morna Crites-Moore * Wicked Waif said...

Simply gorgeous.

margaret said...

I am amazed that you have spun like that, I too have some silk hankies somewhere. UI can imagine how soft the wool is

Jane Galley said...

Looks amazing. How many squares did you use? Can't wait to see where you take this

susan hemann said...

How clever, isn't it fun to experiment!
i am just learning to spin and find it meditative

Mosaic Magpie said...

I love the slight variation in the yarn you spun. It is amazing how much the layer of silk grew. Spinning is something I have never tried but it looks so interesting. Your hand spindle would be a nice way to try my hand at it. Is it difficult to learn?

Rachel said...

I'm certainly intrigued to see where that experiment leads you!

Anita said...

Spinning looks very interesting.I have seen machine spinning but not this..is it very hard to learn?
I don't know why but the loose silk roll reminds me of an Indian sweet called 'sonpapdi' :)

Anneliese said...

Absolutely fantastic idea - I must go deeper into this. It is great to learn something new.

Deb G said...

Oh fun! I watched someone just pull the silk from the hankie and knit with it, no spinning. Haven't tried it yet, so I can't say how it would go.

neki desu said...

i have a couple and cherish them as beautiful objects

Yvonne said...

How lovely! I know how soft this must be, as I use silk hankies in my felt work to add sheen.

Cherie said...

Thanks for showing this Deanna.
Looks so soft.
Seeing this reminds me of my silk hankies hidden somewhere out of sight. Must pull them out and play

Peggy said...

So cool! All kinds of ideas are going through my head now. Thank you!

handstories said...

Hooray for your success with silk. I have a couple of silk hankies, but my hands are so rough- they snag every time I try.

Judy said...

Wow: that is very exciting! I'm not a spinner, but I 'get' what you did and love how you plied your two strands. I also like the irregularity of the double ply - that is exactly what i would want too! You never cease to amaze me Deanna!
Buttonholes can be so difficult when knitting, but I'm glad you persisted until you got what you really wanted. it is important to be happy with your knitting results!

xxoo

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