The idea for this yarn came from Jane Deane during the Online Guild's Silk Spinning Workshop. It is a way to recycle silk fabric from old or discarded silk garments. I was able to pick up several colors I liked from a local thrift store for just a few dollars.
The first step involved cutting the fabric up into small pieces. I cut the tops into approximately 3 inch wide strips and experimented cutting scraps small enough to handcard. I decided that scraps about a quarter of an inch wide or less worked best.
These were handcarded to break them down. I found that my cotton carders worked best.
The lighter the weight the fabric, the faster and easier it was to card. The off-white broke down quickest, the fushia fabric was the heaviest and took the longest. In fact, you can see that it didn't break down very well at all.
To spin, I used the largest ratio I had (always a good idea for something new) and treadled slowly (also a good idea!) At first I tried to make rolags out of the stuff, but these didn't hold together very well, so I simply spun it out of my hand. I inch wormed slowly because it gave me the most control. I added a lot of twist to hold it together.
I wound the single off into a center pull ball and plied from that. The final 2-ply is bulky and measures 6 WPI.
It took quite a bit of work(!) so I doubt I'll spin a lot of it.
Still, it makes an interesting yarn. It doesn't have the characteristic luster of the fabric. Also, I haven't washed this yet, but I think doing so will unravel the sticky-out scraps a bit more and add more character! I'm not sure if I should try a small knitted sample or just save it for a weaving project. Most likely it will sit in my "Samples" box for a long time to come.