Gimme spools

Originally published at WormSpit. You can comment here or there.

I’ve been working at getting ready for SOAR next month.  One of the things that I absolutely have to have, is cool, small presents – I’ve always found that I make wonderful new friends at events like this, and I want to give them little mementos.  It has to be something very cool, something very ME, and something they can actually get some use out of.

So, I now present: Gimme Spools!

A handful of samples.  I will have more colors - but these are the prototypes

I had thought about getting spools like the ones I keep in my embroidery box, but (a) they’re almost $.50 each, which adds up when you want to hand something out like candy, and (b) they’re a special order item, so it could be a few weeks to get them here.  I figured out that if I printed my information four-up on a piece of quality acid-free paper, I can cut them down and roll them up to make little quills.

An extra-nice touch – I can use my electric winder, which turns a very tedious winding job into a quick zip.

They're a fairly convenient size.  If I were just using them for storage, I might make them a little shorter.

They’re a fairly convenient size – if I were just using them for storage, I might make them a little shorter.  They’re not as strong as the Glimakra quills, but they’re pretty strong.

They've got my information on them, like little business cards.

I like the fact that I can put all my info on them, like little silky business cards.  They’re sealed with tape, which makes a nice smooth edge.  Glue stick was too imprecise to make the edge clean.

The cream colored ones have about 100 yards or so of raw silk; the colors are about 10 yards of embroidery tram.

The colored ones have about 10 yards of embroidery tram, which would be enough to embroider an initial or a small flower.  The cream ones are a bunch (100 yards? I didn’t measure) of raw silk filament, which could be thrown to make a small skein of almost any kind of yarn.  I’m honestly not sure which people would like more.  I’m hoping that people don’t decide they want one of each color… I can’t make enough for everybody to have a set.

A blog on my own site!

I’ve set up a new blog. It was tough – WordPress and GoDaddy are apparently famous for not getting along. But, finally after much finagling, I have my blog on


So… y’all go and check it out! The archives are a transfer from my LiveJournal, so that’s nothing new – just a new format and a change of address.

And don’t worry – I plan to keep checking in with my LJ friends, communities, etc.!

Tufts University invents process for silk lenses

I usually report on the silk stuff that I’m doing, myself – but this one is too cool not to mention!

If I’m reading it right, they’re using an aqueous solution of sericin. If so, it might even be possible to extract the stuff, and still have the silk for textile (or other) use.

my new reeling videos

I’m planning to put these up on the silk reeling page – the first video shows catching the strands from the cocoons, the second and third are two different views of adding cocoons to the reeling strand.

The Heminway Silk – Seller is up again.

For anyone who wanted some of the Heminway silk…

The Ebay seller where I got the 000 Sewing Silk has some more to sell – he had been out of touch, not out of stock! His computer access has been up and down, so if one sells, he can’t always immediately re-list.

You can see my work with degumming and dyeing the 000 silk here:
and here:

I haven’t woven with it yet.

Seller’s page is here:

Please let him know I sent you, if you do decide to buy some!


More of the Heminway thread

In case you were wondering (I was!) what the difference between Size A and Size 000 thread is – now I can show you.

I wanted to wait until I had some of the Heminway dyed black, so I could compare apples to apples.

The bulky stuff on the right is regular size A silk sewing thread – 50 meters to the gram. It’s what I wove the medallion ribbon with.

This one, the regular size A thread is on the left.

THIS makes me very, very happy. The silk takes color beautifully, and has a nice sheen.

THIS, on the other hand, makes me very, very frustrated. The silk is so fine that it tangles at the drop of a hat. I’ve been making 1500 yard skeins, and tying them with Figure 888 ties twelve ties per skein… and they’re still snarling up. I’m thinking shorter skeins will help; I can’t really do more ties. Currently, I’ve been getting back about 1/3 of it before it becomes just impossibly snarled. What you’re looking at is the parts that I finally took off the swift, after spending too many hours getting two or three yards at a time off it.

Heminway thread

Before degumming, right, and after, left.

I got a great deal on some VERY fine thread. This stuff is Size 000 Silk Sewing Twist – normal, regular-fineness sewing thread is Size A, and it goes thicker up to F, and finer to 0, 00, and then this stuff. TINY.

The problem is – the thread is stiff, not very shiny, not really that attractive. I thought, “hmm… maybe it needs to be degummed.” I don’t know why anyone would sew with their thread raw, but that’s sure what this feels like. It could also be some sort of industrial coating – but if so, it made it feel like raw silk.

So, I decided to degum it. The difference is AMAZING. It’s exactly what I had hoped for. Next step is to dye this stuff, so I can weave with it.

more pictures

Kosa (Tasar) Silk Sari

As I’ve said before, I LOVE getting packages from India.

This one is something that I have been looking for for quite some time. It’s a hand-loomed pure Kosa (Tasar, or Indian Tussah) silk sari. It’s BEAUTIFUL. Just a peek, before I let you see the package opening up:

But, of course, what I see first, is this:

This one isn’t nearly as… intensely packaged… as some that I’ve gotten.

Open it up… you know you want to…

Why Peace Silk Pisses Me Off

I’ve been stewing over this for a while… usually every time that somebody emails me to tell me that I’m a horrible person, and that I should only use Tussah silk, because it’s “Peace Silk”, gathered from the jungle only after the moth has flown away happy and satisfied.

It just ain’t so.

My take on Peace Silk:

Do I know any Ravelry editors?

I’m thinking that somebody out there in Friends-List Land is probably a Ravelry editor… but I don’t know who.

Somebody posted a link to my Stitch Marker Page. The Ravelry link is here.

I’d really like to get it tied to my Ravelry profile. I’d also like to be able to add photos. But, I don’t know how to manage that.

Anybody know the way to do this, or someone who could wave the magic wand for me?