Camel and Silk

I was first struck by the “feel” of this fibre – an amazingly soft and lustrous fibre of 50% camel and 50% silk, purchased from West Coast Colour and Carding at Fibres West.  Lynne has a fabulous way of dyeing that produces so much more than “What you see is what you get”.  What you see on the surface of the roving are deep, intense colours – in this case, reds, greens, blues, pearls, pinks, purples, and an occasional flash of orange.  What I get through spinning are incredible variations on a theme and colours that do not repeat but instead change across and up and down the roving.  For me this fibre was “love at first sight.”  As I spun it made me think about a tumultuous, tumbling ride along the rapids, reaching slow, calm, waters, and then pulled into the rapids again.  I just kept spinning, eager to see where it would take me, just like being caught in the rush of a new love.

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I decided to spin this fibre fine, emphasizing the luster of the silk, intending to use it for weaving.  I got a beautiful random variegated yarn, and made a 2-ply yarn.  I used a short forward worsted draft for stability while weaving.  The fibres drafted easily creating a slippery, high luster yarn.  I continued spinning, moving through colours from fuchsia lipstick to stormy grays.  It was so interesting to spin because the colours were constantly changing.  The resulting yarn is lace-weight, and I ended up with 493 yards of 2-ply from 113 gms (4 oz) of fibre.

And so, on to the weaving.  I wanted to use the handspun as warp and I wanted to create two related scarves.  I wound a warp 5 yards long, and sett at 15 ends per inch.  I was about 10 threads shy of my desired width of 7” for the scarves, so I added 10 doubled ends of 2/20 fuchsia silk spaced out through the warp.

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Woven on my four shaft loom, I selected a broken herringbone twill.  I tried to insert a copy of the draft here, but it is in Excel, and will not copy to this format.  I need to research hows to make this work.

For weft I chose 2/20 silk in pale blue-gray for the first scarf and fuchsia for the second scarf .  Both were woven at 15 picks per inch for a length of 72 inches on the loom, excluding fringes.  The ends were twisted and then the scarves were finished with a hand wash in a warm bath with mild agitation to full the yarns, laid flat to dry and ironed while slightly damp with a warm iron set to silk.  Two finished scarves, soft to the skin, with good drape and a pleasure to make from start to finish.

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4 Responses to Camel and Silk

  1. Vicki says:

    Gorgeous Barb!

  2. KerryCan says:

    What a feeling of satisfaction this must give you! They are simply gorgeous and ALL yours!

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