Time to Face the Music.
I have been forced into a decidedly shameful admission. I have tried to ignore it, tried to put it off, but there’s just no use.
My friends, I am EMBARRASSINGLY behind on my updates. I thought about doing a cleanup post, all my recent projects in one fell swoop, and yet.. That would be thoroughly out of character for my self-proclaimed laziness. I shall just hang my head in shame, confess my weakness, and continue on exactly as I have in the past. I’m too old to change my ways :P
I will at least make a dent in the backlog, by showing you this gorgeous bit of business. Take a peek!
This is really the crown jewel of my fiber stash. The fibers in it are all really unique! It’s 50% Tussah silk, which means that not only does it take color beautifully, (nothing quite like the shine and vibrancy of silk, am I right?) but it’s humane too! Tussah indicates that the silkworms were allowed to actually emerge from their cocoons, which means that the fibers are shorter than cultivated silk, where the worms are not allowed to emerge. This gives you one long continuous strand, but kills the silkworm inside. Wild silkworms, (the ones that make Tussah) have a varied diet, so the fibers aren’t quite as smooth as the cultivated stuff. Honestly though, it’s so lovely and soft and smooth, I can’t imagine mulberry silk being all that much softer.
It also is 25% yak fiber. This is the down undercoat of the yak, so it’s very soft and warm! Yaks live in cold climates, where they need an extra layer of warmth. This lovely fiber is very fine and perfect for people with allergies, since it doesn’t have lanolin like wool. It’s a very short staple fiber, so it’s good to have the longer silk fibers to keep things together.
The last 25% of the fiber blend is Optim merino. This is totally unlike normal merino, because it’s been chemically treated and stretched until it loses its elasticity, and becomes even finer than cashmere! It’s wonderfully drapey and soft and shiny, but very weird if you’re used to working with wool, since it has none of the normal qualities that you expect of wool.
As beautiful as it is, this has been just a BEAR to spin. None of the fibers have much interest in actually grabbing on to each other, they drift apart at the slightest puff of wind, and to add insult to injury, all the fibers other than the silk are quite fine and short. I initially tried to spin it as a low-twist single for shawly purposes, but I gave up and decided that I would work towards an eventual Navajo ply. This means that I am spinning incredibly fine singles, but they are soft and poofy and altogether lovely. I do have rather piles of fluff from where the fibers decide to let go of each other and the spindle goes crashing to the floor. However, it’s so beautiful and soft, I forgive it for all its crimes.
For those of you who want to know these things, (and who wouldn’t?) the fiber came from VioletLinx on Etsy, and I have another something from her as well that I am currently keeping under wraps. She specializes in luxury fibers and gradient-dyed roving (which I am a total and complete sucker for), and I just adore what I’ve gotten from her. It’s beautifully prepared and dyed, and was totally worth the cost of shipping from Russia, since for what you’re getting her prices are EXCELLENT.
That little wee spindle you see there was purchased especially to go with this fiber, because it is very lightweight, and it matches the colors :P (Yes, that matters.) It is also very well balanced, and quite reasonably priced at $13. It came from this Etsy Shop, and I may well purchase another at some point, since it has served me well.
I spun a skein of this for the Tour de Fleece, which I will show you later. Until next time!