From messy to magical, spinning with Sari Silk… on sale for a limited time!
Inspiration struck! A while back, we wrote a post about our Pulled Sari Silk Fiber, 1/4 lb bag. The samples in the photographs spent a few days floating around here, and I couldn’t take my eyes off them. I was very excited to snag my own bag to play with at home.
What I find the most fascinating about working with this silk is the total transformation that occurs once you start to pull it apart and start working with it. I won’t lie – it kind of looks like a pile of mud in the bag. As soon as you start blending or even just pulling it apart by hand, though, it comes to life. The fiber is just a hodgepodge of recycled bits of silk in all colors, including little clumps of brightly colored bits that hide amongst each other. When you start working with it, though…
Allow me to illustrate: The very day I came home with my little bag of sari silk in tow, I got out my drum carder and went to work. I had been hoarding a braid of Maine grown alpaca, so I decided to make my own silk/alpaca blend. Fancy! I put a layer of alpaca down, and then pulled out some silk to add.
In the interest of experimentation, I tried a few different ways of adding the silk to the alpaca. First, I did it the way you usually would use a drum carder – I laid out the proper amount and fed it in. The silk wanted to stay on the licker-in, though, so I gave that method up pretty quickly. Instead I ended up using the drum as a kind of spinning blending board, taking a small amount of silk and holding it lightly against the surface. I used my other hand to spin the crank, and as the drum spun I allowed the teeth to pull the silk out of my hand, while holding on to it just tightly enough to keep the teeth from taking the entire clump. The result was nothing short of fireworks, I tell you.
So excited about what I was seeing, I hollered for my husband to come see the small miracle happening in front of me. He was equally impressed, or at the very least he did a good job pretending. As the clumps of silk were pulled apart and spread out among the other fibers, new colors were peeking out. Almost as if someone had taken a bunch of little paintbrushes, each with a different neon color, and flicked them. Suddenly a tiny patch of turquoise, pink, orange, yellow and green would appear on the surface of my batt. I couldn’t wait to spin the stuff.
I got so much enjoyment out of just preparing this silk to work with; any way you’d choose to use it would surely be as rewarding. I ended up spinning it into a 2-ply sport weight yarn, which I’m using as contrast with another color for a shawl. The natural alpaca softens the colors and the highlights from the silk really pop with the brighter accent yarns.
I encourage you to try your own experiments with this amazing, magical recycled sari silk and see where it takes you. Scoop up a bag or two this week and try it out – Sari Silk is on sale until next Sunday, April 23rd!
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