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Topic: spinning silk ?  (Read 1206 times)
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Weddy_in_Paris
« on: April 26, 2008 12:25:45 AM »

I have some tussah silk roving (about 4 oz) and I absolutely don't want to spoil it... How should I spin it ? I mean : should I card it or spin direct from the roving ?
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misfitknits
« Reply #1 on: April 27, 2008 01:11:52 PM »

i have only spun silk roving ONCE, but i found it moderately hard, at the time, being a novice spinner. i don't know you're level of experience, but there are some things you can do to ease the pain! i would say predrafting is a must here. even a little bit will help, because i found that the silk was REALLY compact, and i had to pull really hard to draft it. draft the roving out to only a LITTLE BIT BIGGER than the finished yarn you want to spin, so you can focus on spinning and not on tugging the roving. and also remember silk has a longer staple than wool, so keep your hands farther apart while spinning *i was constantly forgetting this* and the silk fibers are SO slippery, it's really tricky! but that is the nature of silk, and i don't know of any tricks to help you there, i would say predraft, and then spin a couple of yards, see how you like it.

it can be hard to make joins with silk *this was the most frustrating thing to me* so be sure to REALLY puff out the end of the yarn attatched to the bobbin when making a join, and when you come to the end of your roving, leave ample unspun roving to make an easier join *you can always draft it out, but you can't UN-draft*

THEN if you find it's still a little too difficult, you can definately try blending it with something, wool would probably be easiest. i have never spun a blend before, but i know lots of people do like mixes of silk. just make sure that what you choose to mix it with has a close staple length, otherwise the longer fiber will pull out first, and then you will be stuck spinning the shorter last. you CAN cut down the shorter fiber, but people have a lot of diff opinions about this, but it is done all the time, there are commercial blends of COTTON and silk *big diff* and they obviously cut it down, bc there are not any other options.

my final suggestion is to maybe try spinning a different preparation of silk, such as hankies or caps/bells. i have had a LOT of success with these, and they are easier and MUCH CHEAPER, and all you have to do is a little more prep. SPIN-OFF (www.interweave.com/spin/) has some articles about spinning silk hankies, and an internet search will pull up TONS of results.

just remember, the only way to gain knowledge about it, will be to experiment and practice, it can be tricky, but it's not too hard to get the hand of. i wish you LUCK!!!
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knitting and spinning and the hilarity that comes along with it:
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Weddy_in_Paris
« Reply #2 on: April 28, 2008 12:28:58 AM »

Thank you a lot for your very helpful explanations. Drafting seems a must as the roving is quite dense ans compact. I'll look for these hankies, french fiber retailers doesn't have them, but I saw them on a british website and didn't know what they were for.
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jacquiw
« Reply #3 on: May 05, 2008 08:31:01 PM »

Personally I spin Tussah silk in the fold and I have no problem with it. You can break off a small length and fold over your hand pinch from the middle and spin as normal.
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Weddy_in_Paris
« Reply #4 on: May 06, 2008 04:53:53 AM »

Personally I spin Tussah silk in the fold and I have no problem with it. You can break off a small length and fold over your hand pinch from the middle and spin as normal.
Glad to see this ! This is how I spin mostly because I find it easier to make a thin yarn.
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misfitknits
« Reply #5 on: May 06, 2008 04:52:13 PM »

Personally I spin Tussah silk in the fold and I have no problem with it. You can break off a small length and fold over your hand pinch from the middle and spin as normal.
Glad to see this ! This is how I spin mostly because I find it easier to make a thin yarn.

this is interesting, i have only tried spinning from the fold a couple of times, but found it difficult! i may have to try again, because i have been refining my technique to spin thinner yarn...... my wheels have started in motion
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knitting and spinning and the hilarity that comes along with it:
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askthebellwether
« Reply #6 on: May 07, 2008 03:34:51 PM »

Don't know if you will find it useful, but I was window-shopping on treenwaysilks.com today, and they had several FAQ pages on spinning silk, and silk in general. I found it interesting.

http://treenwaysilks.com/insideout.html

no affiliation, and all that ... if it needs saying  Wink
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Weddy_in_Paris
« Reply #7 on: May 08, 2008 06:34:56 AM »

Don't know if you will find it useful, but I was window-shopping on treenwaysilks.com today, and they had several FAQ pages on spinning silk, and silk in general. I found it interesting.

http://treenwaysilks.com/insideout.html

no affiliation, and all that ... if it needs saying  Wink
Thanks ! It's a great link indeed !
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mooshie
« Reply #8 on: May 09, 2008 09:18:30 AM »

you CAN cut down the shorter fiber, but people have a lot of diff opinions about this, but it is done all the time, there are commercial blends of COTTON and silk *big diff* and they obviously cut it down, bc there are not any other options.

what do you mean by cut down the shorter fiber? Like CUT the fibers? Like with SCISSORS??  I've never heard of such a thing  Shocked

really I'm interrested to learn what this means.  it sounds crazy, but sometimes crazy things are useful.

thanks
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misfitknits
« Reply #9 on: May 09, 2008 01:40:21 PM »

yes, lol, people ACTUALLY do cut fiber with scissors, especially  for things like silk. like i said, with the cotton/silk blends, cottons staples are soo tiny, but to make a blend that drafts evenly, mills have to cut the longer fiber down the same staple as the shorter fiber, otherwise the longer fiber will spin up first, leaving you with a handful of cotton!

but i will say I personally have never even TRIED this! but it is something mills and regular spinners do, i tried a net search and didn'tcome up with anything good, of course i'm not a good searcher, after two or three pages of insanity, i give up! i can't take it, and i don't know if it's just me, but everytime i try do a search, i come up with THE WEIRDEST non-related things! :X
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knitting and spinning and the hilarity that comes along with it:
http://www.thelandofmisfitknits.blogspot.com
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