Friday, October 31, 2008

Stuck on silk, literally

Last night's spinning class was all about silk. Lesson learned: spinning silk is tricky. Silk sticks to everything! Dry skin on your hands, your pants, shirt, air . . . We played with several types of silk, some I was more successful with than others.

Here is a bit of yarn I made from a silk hankie:

Hankies are square layers of silk made by stretching out the silk worm cocoon. Pulling apart the layers is about as easy as separating layers of wet toilet paper. Oh, and did I mention it sticks to everything? But the yarn turns out so lovely - smooth with such a sheen.

This next one is recycled sari silk:

Basically a sari is ripped up and the silk strands reused. They tangle up into a rat's nest that needs to be pulled apart while you're spinning. Although, once again, the struggle is worth it.

We also tried tussah silk, which is from wild silk worms and a brilliant white. It's tough to spin without practice because it just slips through your hands.

We had a temporary distraction from the frustration when a girl in the class brought in one of her angora rabbits. They are beyond belief - a giant fluff ball with a twitching nose. And the softest thing I've ever touched. Luckily I turned out to be much less allergic to the rabbit, than spinning with its fur. We all couldn't stop petting the little guy - well, little under the ridiculously immense mound of fur!

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