Silk and Quills

Foreground: 2-ply tussah silk. Background: 1 ply tussah silk, 1 ply baby camel down.

Done. I plied the leftover silk singles from the baby camel project on the miniSpinner. There is approximately 460 yards of lace weight 2-ply silk. I will put this aside with all the other handspun silk yarn. Eventually, I will use them to weave some silk ribbons.

Just for fun, here are the silk singles on paper quills, waiting to be plied. They are resting on a Jenny Plyer. I haven’t quite got the hang of plying from the Jenny Plyer when the singles are threaded through the pigtails without making a huge tangled mess, so I bypassed them completely.

I’ve been turning my office waste paper into paper quills. Why? Because I wanted to use my Swedish-Styled boat shuttle a month ago and found that I didn’t have any quills. I made some larger ones to test out my method and found that they were perfect for winding my stash of singles. Each quill holds one spindle full of singles perfectly!

Quill Specs:

For general spindle spinning/plying use, I cut a 8.5″ x 11″ paper in half width-wise into 2 8.5″ x 5.5″ sheets. For my Swedish Styled boat shuttle, I cut them into 3.5″ widths. Check your shuttle size, if you plan to use it for weaving.

I rolled it around a 1/4″ dowel and glued the edge. I’ve since shifted to a 3/8″ dowel since the shuttle rod is 1/8″ diameter. (The dowels for all of my assorted kates are 3/8″.) When you are talking fine yarns, 1/8″ diameter difference can turn into quite a bit of yarn. And since I changed to a smaller dowel, I also changed the paper blank size to 3.5″ x 5.5″. Why? I found that you lose some of the extra diameter gained to the additional layers of the paper as it is wrapped around the dowel. (Yes, I do have AR tendencies.) I can now get 4 quills out of each sheet of paper.