Chronicles of a yarn farmer, shepherdess, and fiber geek!

Chronicles of a yarn farmer, shepherdess, and fiber geek!

July 1, 2010

Fibre Week 2010 - Day 6

First of all Happy Canada Day to all Canadians! It wasn’t hard to miss with little flags sticking out from people bags. I had one too so maybe I can say I’m a little bit Canadian…at least this week I feel like one, eh :-)!

Today in class was silk day. We spun from a silk hankie, silk noils, tussah silk, and bombyx silk. Here are some pics (I know I still need a lot of practice with silk):

We also got our fingers around silk worms and, get this, worm poop! That’s right, POOP! Michelle (instructor) degummed the silk cocoons and showed us how to remove the worm and the one poop dropping that is in the cocoon (you don’t want that going into your yarn) and stretch it across a frame to make a silk hankie. Then we took the degummed, de-wormed, and de-pooped cocoon and made our own silk hankie. They’re drying overnight and tomorrow we’ll spin from them. Here are some pics:

(Dead worm and its poop on the towel, it was sort-a gross)

(My silk hankie and the worms and poop to prove it).

(My neighbor class mate, Maijo, with her silk hankie.)

We also talked a lot about how to achieve a properly spun silk yarn or thread for weaving, knitting, crochet, embroidery, and cross stitch. That’s why I think the Master Spinner Program here at Olds College is such a high quality program because spinning, which is the first step before any cloth or thread can be made, is studied and practiced for all types of end use. And I’m just showing you the nice pics of the week and talking a little bit about what we covered. What I’m not going into here is the more technical details and the formulas that we’ve studied as well…partly because at the end of the day I just want to think back and recall the spinning and colors and textures of the day, not so much the formulas for TPI and the count systems (albeit very important). But at this time of the evening my brain is burnt around the edges.

So, that said, here are some pics of the pot luck get together that we had this evening. Tomorrow at the end of class people will start going home and very few of us will be left until Saturday morning when we’ll shuttle to Calgary and catch our flights home. It’s time to get packing.

The townhouse complex where we stay. You can see the pot luck gathering across the lawn.

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