Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Spinning Silk Hankies

I bought these 25g packs of silk hankies as a spinning experiment :)

I laid out a few bits of gladwrap, and pulled apart the hankies into 12 stacks. (There were 3-5 hankies in each stack, but super-thin). I painted these with a mix of dye, vinegar and detergent.

Used yellow, teal and green from my dye kit. The hankies were light and clingy, and difficult to deal with. I later discovered that it's easier to dye the stack and then separate them! Next time...

I rolled up the gladwrap, and microwaved them, then hung them on a makeshift line to dry.

They came out a bit, crunchy, but I couldn't think how to rinse them. As for spinning, it was difficult to pull the fibres apart, to stretch them out for spinning. My hands hurt from the effort after a few hankies. Then I thought to Google for instructions, and found some good advice in Knitty.

The singles were very nubbley (from the thicker edges, perhaps) and thick and thin. But this silk has an amazing strength! You can stretch it until it looks like a dozen cobwebs, let a bit of twist up your fibre to give it strength, and it doesn't hardly ever break! My 25g of silk spun 414m of singles. I navajo-plied it, which is 3ply, but if I had 2plied it (as is usual for laceweight) it would have *been laceweight*, which is my record thinnest, I think.

So silk hankies are not my favorite thing. I didn't like the slubby, uneven finished product, the singles were undertwisted, and my hands can still remember the ache. But it is only my first attempt. I'll be trying this again one day.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Pretty fluff

I may have been to Kathy's Fibres again, and raided the shop...

Strelitzia and Envy. I've spun these both before, and wanted to do it again ;)

BFL and mohair mix, which is apparently a good combo for a strong sock yarn.

Jasmine immediately claimed this one...

...and this one!


Silk hankies

I also got some BFL and mohair and angora, just for carding together and experimenting. But I'm looking forward to trying some spinning with silk hankies. Apparently you just pull them apart and spin them into silk yarn.

Live Below the Line is going well. I'm up to day 6 of ten. The first few days are the hardest, so I'm over that, at least. The rest of the LBTLers in Australia started the official 5 days today, so good luck to them.

To be honest, I'm not sure the effort is worth it, for me. I'm not one to ask friends for money, so I'm doing it for only $30 (if you don't include the birthday money I put into it, which is really me sponsoring myself). I've sponsored other people more than that. I've had the experience (46 days-worth after this), but I'm helping people more by just giving money, frankly.

Bet I get sucked back into it next time, though. Hehe. The experience is worthwhile.

Well, tonight I get more pumpkin risotto! Woohoo :)

edited to add: I just checked my LBtL page, and two people have anonymously donated $120 between them... Should have checked before whinging, hey? I think I'll be back next year! Hehehe!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012


Tomorrow is May 2, and I'm started the Live Below the Line challenge for ten days. Here's my list of specials and bargains and cheap stuff!

2.00 Day-old brown bread x2 loaves

0.80 Near due-date milk, 1 litre
2.40 Pasta sauce, 3x450g
1.00 Tomato soup concentrate, 1 can
1.08 Pumpkin 1.2kg
1.00 rice 1kg
1.15 pasta 1kg
1.00 potato (frozen mashed) 1kg
0.45 plain flour (damaged bag) 1kg
0.40 french onion soup mix 25g (makes 1L)
1.30 lemon juice 250ml
2.49 eggs, 12
1.58 butter 250g
1.15 gravy powder (to make 4L)
1.09 raw sugar 1kg

1.11 leftover for cheap... fruit? a banana, mandarin and apple?
My plan is toast and eggs for breaky, soup or potato/gravy or pancakes/lemon/sugar for lunch, and pasta/sauce/veges for dinners. I have lemon for hot and cold non-water ;) and ... not much else, really. But there are a lot of bargains here! I have to make and freeze my pancakes today (because the milk will be over it's due date tomorrow).

All but the bread and pumpkin, I think
Here's my link, should you feel like sponsoring me. Though if you know someone doing the challenge, you should certainly support them. Or sign up! The actual challenge is only 5 days.
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