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Show ‘n Skeins

July 29, 2008

The three silk scarves in my last post went to our local fiber guild show, and a fine time was had by all.

Although I am partial to Rose Lace (left), the far-and-away favorite of all who passed by was Gumball machine (right). Those cheery stripes are irresistable.

The show was more for show ‘n tell than for sales, and there were no prizes. The atmosphere was relaxed and welcoming for exhibitors and onlookers alike. In the company of an eclectic mix of beautiful spinning, knitting, beading, crochet and weaving, my three scarves did their part to make new friends for lace.

Ever since the show I’ve been back at the Little Gem, spinning Silkworker tops and blends. Here are the three most recent ones: Nostalgia, Charisma, and Racing Colors.

Although silk they all may be, they are very different from one another. I had fun spinning them so that their differences would be evident in the character of the yarn.

Racing Colors is 448 yd from 63 gm. It’s a carded tussah top. The website photo showed purple with flashes of gold and copper. When I opened the shipping envelope, out poured 6 batts of liquid blackberry gold. I split the batts crosswise and then lengthwise to bring random highlights to the purple depths.

Because of the carding, the yarn is finely heathered, with an even, gentle

Charisma is 586 yd from 63 gm. It’s from a handpainted tussah top with large regions of
plum and raspberry. The yarn is smooth and lustrous.

Charisma’s colors are closely related; color shifts are subtle. I think the yarn will knit into distinct color blocks, but without the sharp boundaries of a space dyed yarn. I don’t know why it wanted to spin up so fine. Now I’m glad I didn’t argue.

Nostalgia is 235 yd. from 40 gm. It is one of Carol’s 50/50 silk n’cashmere blends. In these batts the cashmere was ever so lightly carded with silk on top and bottom. I spun the yarn with a very light tension on the wheel, but with a definite pull that straighted out the drafting triangle, much as you would do for merino. To my surprise, the character of the silk dominated the spinning, requiring a looser twist than I would use for pure cashmere.

Nostalgia is the color of a newly-opened heirloom rose. The yarn is translucent, shining and utterly airy. I can’t keep my fingers out of the skein. Here…take this and rub it against your cheek…

11 Comments leave one →
  1. July 30, 2008 8:36 am

    Wow, all that beautiful silk. You do amazing things with a spindle.

  2. July 30, 2008 12:14 pm

    Gorgeous! I love Racing Colors! I’m going to have to bookmark her site.

  3. July 30, 2008 4:15 pm

    Incredible spinning! It almost brings tears to my eyes, it’s so pretty. Can’t wait to see the projects you choose for these skeins.

  4. July 30, 2008 5:21 pm

    I can almost (just about) rub it against my cheek through the screen! Beautiful work…and so different from the spinning I usually do.:)

  5. July 30, 2008 8:33 pm

    Speechless. I hope you’re in awe of yourself, like the rest of us are!

  6. July 31, 2008 3:08 am

    The yarns are lovely and the show sounded nice and relaxed.

  7. July 31, 2008 4:01 pm

    Colour me gobsmacked – those are gorgeous, and yes! I would love to rub that skein against my cheek. Your spinning is just awesome.
    Your silk scarves are beautiful and I am certain that you will have inspired people to get busy knitting lace.

  8. Roberta eaton permalink
    July 31, 2008 4:49 pm

    Unbelievably beautiful. . . not to mention my favorite colors. I’m off to Carol’s site now.

  9. Sam permalink
    August 1, 2008 1:42 am

    Jan, you just do breathtaking work. Such lovely colors. I’m awfully fond of the blackberry gold, though, I have to say. Just stunning…

  10. August 1, 2008 8:05 pm


  11. August 3, 2008 4:14 pm

    Well, I am really behind as always, but wow Jan, Wow! Gorgeous!

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