The Emperor of Ice Cream

“Call the roller of big cigars, The muscular one, and bid him whip In kitchen cups concupiscent curds.”

I’ve always loved that poem. It has minimal relevance to what I’m going to talk about today, except for the fact that my latest handspun looks like mint ice cream!

I’m still on my Inglenook fibers kick, so I started with a pretty braid from the lovely and talented Macrina. It was about three ounces of gorgeous, smooth tussah silk.

This is what I got!!

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I attempted to spin very fine for laceweight. I got 440 yards of 2-ply from three ounces, so it really is proper laceweight! It’s the first time I’ve ever consistently spun so fine, and I am feeling rather accomplished and proud of myself. This will DEFINITELY become a very precious shawl. (eventually. once I’m done petting it) It’s hard to see in the photos, but it’s not all one color. The saturation varies somewhat, and that makes the yarn just gleam. I love this. I got a little bored while I was actually spinning it, because it doesn’t have exciting color transitions (it takes little to make me happy) and I was obviously spinning it very fine so it took longer, but the end result is just beautiful. I actually found this to be a little more difficult than my previous foray into spinning mulberry silk, because the fibers were different lengths and it took some adjustment to get used to that. However, once I figured out that I needed to pre draft if I wanted the fibers to align perfectly, it spun up like a dream. I could’ve just spun it from the roving, but I am very anti-slub. Tussah silk is collected after the moth has escaped, so the fibers are cut and some of them are quite short and uncooperative, and just want to be lumpy bits. I was having none of that, let me tell you!

Question for you more experienced spinning peeps. When I finished plying the yarn, it looked lovely. I wasn’t going for a very high twist because I wanted the yarn to be for a shawl, but it looked balanced after it was spun. However, now that I’ve washed it, it looks a bit under plied. In addition, the strands have stuck together a bit, I think because of the leftover sericin (sticky protein that holds silkworm cocoons together) in the fiber. Should I attempt to add more twist on my wheel? Should I just let it alone? Advice is appreciated :)

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5 Comments

  1. I think it looks very lovely and soft the way it is, but since it doesn’t need to be incredibly durable, I think it comes down to personal preference how much it is plied. I would knit a little swatch up and see how it feels to you. If you don’t get a lot of annoying splits, it’s probably fine. That’s my amateur opinion, for what it’s worth. ;-)

  2. Rahymah

    Oh my, what a beautiful colour. : )

  3. needleandspindle

    I read in a recent Spin-off issue that under plied yarn is perfect for lace…sounds like Destiny. I think that yarn wants to be lace.

  4. I’m not a spinner at all, but that looks so lovely! delicate and airy. Great job!

  5. Hmmm…I like the suggestions you have here. Plus, I’m a big proponent of letting a skein be the record of the time you spent with it. I think that’s just the artist in me, lol. It also lets you know next time if you need to do something differently. If you change it now and it was fine, you won’t know that how you spun it the first time was correct. If it really doesn’t work in the swatch though, you can always revisit.

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