Wednesday, August 17, 2016

More fiber-y catchup

I was away in Bengaluru on a business trip for 2.5 weeks. I got a lot of knitting done. Most of the shawl I posted last week was knitted there and on the plane. But I also got the opportunity to go to the SilkIndian store. The silk here comes from cottage industries in the Indian state of Karnataka. Families specialize in various aspects of silk production - from breeding the silkworms to raising them to reeling the silk. Dyeing and spinning are usually factory operations as is weaving. But many Indian silk saris are woven on handlooms.
This weaver is doing a demonstration in an upscale sari shop but that is how traditional Indian saris are woven.

I didn't get to see all this but I got to sit and chat with the two men who run the retail store. You can follow them on FB where they post videos of the yarn and other information.

I bought some yarn and more interestingly, some fiber. I got 2 skeins of their 20/2 spun silk in a gold color. I swatched for Shleeves. I want to make a shawl that I can wear with dressy saris and other outfits in the winter.
That is the yarn on my window sill in the hotel.
The swatch I made and blocked this weekend at my son's place was spot on for the gauge. So I am ready to cast on.

I also bought some silk/linen yarn and some 20/2 spun silk in variegated colors. The silk/linen will be a summer-y top in a loose gauge. The kind of thing you throw on when it gets chilly. The variegated colors are to blend with some other silk yarn I have for woven shawls on the rigid heddle loom.
 Silk and linen yarn.
Two colors of variegated yarn on cones. The bottom one is to go with a blue (kind of turquoise but a bit more blue than turquoise) and the top is to go with a bright orange. They are still wrapped in cellophane which is why they are reflecting the light so much.

The fiber is packed into a brick so I am going to give you some different shots so you can see the colors.
 That is the plain red silk top. I have about 200 gms of it.
 I also got some carded sari silk roving. This is the stuff that sari silk yarn is made of. Judith McKenzie carded sari silk yarn and then spun it loosely to create a more lofty, tweedy yarn in The Spinner's Color Toolbox. Link to Interweave store, if interested. I'm hoping to recreate it without the carding step. I think I will have to ply it with a solid yarn to make it useful but one never knows. I have about 500 gms of this.
This is another shot that shows other colors in the roving. It is very colorful!

I also bought some silk strings. These are just lengths of reeled silk with the glue (sericin) still in them so they stick together. I am thinking of incorporating some of it into jewelry.
There are 10 colors in the package. Each string is one color.

This past weekend I also made some progress on a shawl that I've been knitting on planes for a long time. It is light and portable so I've just been working away on the body. I'm done with it now. I need to pick up sts for the lace border and edging which will get done at home. Then it will go back to being travel knitting. The yarn is Elann's Kid Silk Haze equivalent.  I bought some when they closed their internet store because I had a bunch of credits that I had accumulated. I figured I couldn't go wrong with this yarn! I have 3 balls and did the body with 1. I think I'll use one more in the lace border and edging and have the third for a scarf or something else. The pattern is Katy Jubilee.
Not much spinning going on here but i hope to change that this weekend. I have to weed quite a bit in the garden but won't be able to do much during the day so I'll work on spinning and cleaning and cooking CSA produce.

I am done with the catch-up so from now on, it will be what I've been working on during the week.

I also need to get back to spinning. I am missing it a lot. I haven't spun in over a month!

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