Tuesday, September 28, 2010

I like being photo heavy

But I thought for a change I'd sorta explain what I've been doing and what I have  learned from this project so far.  I like silk blended with alpaca.

The 1st silk I got was tussah noils which are pretty rough.  I looked at them but could figure out what to do with them.  Actually they sorta grossed me out.  Spider webs are bad enough but all the grain and wool moths I've seen over the years have left me with an icky feeling whenever I encounter a spent cocoon.  That bag has sat for a while.  Noils are not even close to as good as it gets with tussah.  Anyway, they do have their place but lots of folks do not want to be bothered with them.  I think I will try to mix them with more alpaca later on.  Maybe I'll give some away to a friend.  OK, I am not big on tussah noils.

Later on I got some bombyx roving.  Now that is very shiny and sleek.  I tried spinning a bit of that and it kept catching on every rough spot on my fingers.  It has a sort of crunchy feel that I am not into.  Oh and both tussah and bombyx have a strange smell.  It is vaguely sweet yet something I can't quite place.  I haven't been into knitting the little bit I spun.  I just don't like the texture.

But mix this stuff with some alpaca, especially after dying it some bright colors and it's a different story.  Mixing it is tricky.  For me my drum carder works best.  I have found it best to start by stretching out my raw alpaca into roving and feeding that through the licker to evenly coat the drum.  Then I feed the silk roving directly onto the drum and lastly the noils.  The batt from that 1st round gets split in half then stretched out into roving which I slowly feed through the licker to evenly coat the drum.  It doen't need to be carde a 3rd time.  A lot of silk ends up on the licker but it is still nicely mixed so it has a sugary sheen that is just luscious that neither alpaca nor silk has alone.

I tend to be impatient but I am learning that sometimes patience saves time.

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