Thursday * October 30th 2014

Curiously Addictive

EriSilkBobbins

~96 g spindle spun singles

It took me about 2 weeks to spindle spin one 100 g batt. I have 2 more from this purchase and several more in stash from another SOAR purchase.

I love this part of the process — I get to dream about what this will be when it grows up. I’ve already changed my mind at least 3 times now. Currently, I’m thinking of pairing it with a linen warp for a blouse. It’s subject to change before it’s all done.

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Eri Silk

BombyxSinglesI’ve been spinning bombyx silk on my Golding spindles on and off for quite a while now. It’s been my go-to spinning project these days.

In the past year, I’ve acquired quite a stash of dyed bombyx roving. I have no idea what I will do with the end result since I have way more than I need to weave a band or two or even ten. I have a small collection of spun bombyx singles waiting to be plied.

But as with all things, my attention wandered. I started to think about the Eri Batts that I purchased a few SOARs back (2011 and 2013). And then I had to spin some right now.

EriBattSo I went stash diving and pulled some eri batts out of stash. The staple is really short (by silk standards) — anywhere from 6-9″ long because these are made from cocoons where the silk moths have hatched. There are also some really short bits in there that create little slubs. I’ve pulled some out; some I’ve left in for visual interest.

Eri in batt form has a sheen that is similar to bombyx but with a honeyed hue. When spun, I think it has the feel and texture that is more like tussah. The singles do not have the same shine as bombyx — it looks more like tussah in that respect. I definitely cannot spin it as fine as the bombyx, but it’s definitely faster! The eri (below center) was spun in about an hour or so. The bombyx (below right) was spun over the course of a couple of evenings while watching mindless television.

SilkSpindlesIn the picture on the left, from left to right: tussah (blue-purple), eri (natural), and bombyx (light blue). All on Golding spindles.

It’s been fun spinning the eri from the “cloud.” I don’t know how else to describe it. You can’t strip it like you would normally strip a batt. There are definite bands of silk with breaks along fiber length. The “waves” you see in the batts cannot be flattened without pulling the fiber apart. So I’m just pulling them out in small bundles, fold them over and spin more or less from the fold.

Unlike silk bricks, the fiber length runs along the short way of the batt. I think it would be too fragile to dye in this form. If I were to dye it, I would do it after spinning and plying. I haven’t decided whether I will dye it or not. I was thinking of leaving it natural with bands of red eri to create stripes.

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Rug Workshop

JCRugSample

Took a workshop with Jason Collingwood this past weekend on plain weave rug weaving basics. Loved the class. I’m not sure about taking hours to weave a couple of inches though.

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Finished Cowl

InsideOutsideCowlFinished

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Inside Out

I returned home from vacation with a horrendous head cold that went into my chest.

What do you do when you are on the couch, sneezing, coughing *, wheezing, and running a fever? Plain old stockinette stitch in the round because that is all you are capable of doing. However, the provisional cast on and counting the stitches took way more brain cells than I had available after all the cold medicine!

InsideOutsideCowl

Pattern: Inside Outside Cowl by Churchmouse Yarns and Teas
Yarns: Habu Kasuri (painted) and Rowan Kidsilk Haze (silver/grey)

How do the Kasuri and Kidsilk Haze (KSH) compare?

While they are both mohair/silk blend yarns, KSH states it is a “Super Kid Mohair” and Kasuri just states “Mohair.” Kid mohair just means the first clipping of an angora goat. “Super Fine” and “Fine” are classifications of kid mohair, based on micron count. I don’t know if “Super Kid” is the same as “Super Fine” or not; however, based on my hands and eyes, KSH and Kasuri appear to of the same quality of kid mohair.

KSH put up is 25 g / 210 m. Kasuri is 14 g / 166 m. KSH costs less, even before you factor in the differences in put up.

KSH_Kasuri

Rowan Kidsilk Haze (top) Habu Kasuri (bottom)

Other differences? KSH is 70/30 mohair/silk whereas Kasuri is 60/40. The Kasuri is a slightly finer yarn than KSH.  KSH is a bouclé; Kasuri is not.

For all the differences listed in the last paragraph, KSH has a more pronounced halo than Kasuri.

Which do I prefer? This is a hard call. While I love all the individual colors in the Kasuri, I’m not thrilled with the way it puddles up. It looks like purple camo. But the hand…I like the hand of Kasuri much more than KSH. I think the higher silk content makes quite a bit of difference. In this case, less (mohair) is more.

We’ll see which I prefer once it is finished.

* When you are trying to cough up half a lung, it gives whole new meaning to Inside Out…

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