Last weekend I taught a dyeing workshop in my garden, for 6 knitting friends who hadn’t done any dyeing before.
All the dye stocks ready to go!
We mainly dyed mainly yarn, with a little spinning fibre. Thank you to my students for use of their photos, my phone decided to died half way through the day.
We had a great day, filled with colour and chatter and cake! You’ll notice that they were often inspired by each other’s colour choices, so there are some similar skeins dyed by different people.
Here are some of the students finished yarns.
Great sets of gradient mini skeins!
And using bits of left over dye from the students I dyed these random skeins and some BFL fibre.
Our local WSD guild was lucky enough to have Priscilla Lowry to visit this weekend, all the way from New Zealand.
She came to do a few workshops and give a talk on silk history.
Sadly I had to miss the silk history talk, but other guild members said it was fascinating.
We had a morning workshop on spinning lofty silk yarns for knitting, all about trapping air between the silk fibres.
On Sunday we had a full day workshop on spinning all different silk fibres, from A1 Mulberry Silk brick right through, tussah brick, short silk fibres, muwatas (hankies and caps), degummed silk cocoons, cocoon strippings, throwsters, to tussah noil a.k.a. floor sweepings.
A friend spinning mulberry silk cut with scissors into 1-2″ long pieces then spun from the fold with plenty of twist.
The resulting single has tufts of silk ends all along it’s length, well secured by the twist. Like a beautiful eyelash yarn, spun from silk.
Close photos of yarns to follow.
To almost everyone’s surprise these lesser silk products were pretty fun to spin! The variety of yarns we could produce was phenomenal.
Accompanying all these wonderful yarns and techniques were Priscilla’s stories of how the beauty of fibres from silk cocoons was discovered, how the secrets of processing silk were hidden, how silk is produced and farmed today and the differences in the fibres and how they are all processed.
Like with all these things we can believe we know a reasonable amount about subject, then we meet an expert and realise our knowledge is a drop in the ocean.
So there was lots to be learnt and I think we all had a fantastic weekend spinning wormspit a.k.a. Silk!