34) Spinning the blue silk

At the start of yesterday evening (no, I am not always a neat, even bobbin-filler):


After about an hour and a half of spinning:


I've already filled one bobbin with the singles for this project; I'm aiming for a two-ply heavy laceweight/light fingering weight.  I'm probably about half way through the second bobbin, so I'd estimate there are 3-4 hours more spinning left.

This is a 125g silk brick I bought at Textiles In Focus.  The colours grabbed me from across the room and simply would not let go!  Now I come to spin it, though, I'm not sure I'm enjoying it all that much.  The producer of these bricks doesn't really expect them to be spun, I think.  His wife makes stunning costumes involving a variety of felting and surface embellishing techniques, and although some sections of this stuff spin beautifully, others are matted and very difficult to draft.  It's quite a workout for the hands and forearms!

I wanted a very smooth, sleek yarn, but I'm having to temper my desires with realisation.  You can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear, and nor can you spin a lumpy prep into a smooth yarn.  I considered carding or combing some of this to smooth it out, but decided that would probably blend the colours more than I want.  I'd rather keep the colours distinct, and have some slubs.  So, I'm trying to let go of my perfectionistic tendencies and let the fibre be what it wishes.  With any luck, it will have a 'charmingly handspun' quality, rather than a 'yucky mess', but I'm finding it difficult to have pride in this project right now.  I want to do better!!

Anwyay, here's what's left of my brick after last nights' efforts:


It's stunning stuff, isn't it?  I just wish it wasn't such hard work!  Oh, it turns my fingers blue when I spin it, too.  🙁

It's probably pretty clear that I'm very ambivalent about this fibre.  The problem, if such it be, is that I have another brick in my stash.  I'd been planning to spin it for weaving into a stole, but I don't know if I'm enjoying this enough to actually embark on another project with the stuff.  The slubs I'm getting in the singles would be a problem for warp yarns, so I'd have to be more careful, and progress would be very. very. slow.  Then again, I'm not sure that the stickiness is actually a property of the fibre, or whether it's been caused by this very intense dye job.  The other brick I have is much, much paler; a soft grey with hints of pink/green/purple.  Think mother-of-pearl.  Again, it's gorgeous, but I'm all about fun in my hobbies, and if I'm not going to enjoy spinning it, I might as well destash it.

I suppose all I can do is finish this up, see how it comes out, and sample the grey to see if it's the same texture.  Hmm…

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