Gotta share with y’all – I’m very proud of my new baby gimme spools!

see, it’s got all my info, like a silky business card!

The red and green are (appx.) 10 yards of embroidery floss… the creamy ones are LOTS (100 yards?) of raw silk filament.

42 replies
  1. dark_phoenix54
    dark_phoenix54 says:

    Why is your floss so gloriously shiny, while all the silk floss I get is matte? Even the kind that says “spun silk” is dull. I mean, I love it to death, but I wants the shiney!

  2. not_justagirl
    not_justagirl says:

    oh yeah!!! I meant to ask that too… and to find out about shipping ‘business cards’ to Canada… or a convenient location in WA state??!! I just think it’s be kewl to pass a few on to your Canadian fans!

  3. admin
    admin says:

    Reeled silk is much shinier than spun silk. This is the super-shiny untwisted stuff that is used for Chinese embroidery. Reeled silk becomes more matte, the more it is twisted – it’s easier to handle, but less shiny.

  4. admin
    admin says:

    Hee. I think we might have to work out some sort of trade agreement – like I could send you a small skein to natural-dye, in exchange for keeping a portion and sending a portion back?

  5. tilia_tomentosa
    tilia_tomentosa says:

    Wow! They look great! For a moment I felt illogically tempted to grab at least one off my screen, no kidding!
    You’re going to be a sensation at SOAR, and I don’t only have the spools in mind!

  6. admin
    admin says:

    I’m really looking forward to it. It’s not so often that I get a chance to hang out with a bunch of fiber-arts types for a whole weekend – but THIS one is a chance to hang out with many of the people that I’ve only communicated with by email for years!

  7. admin
    admin says:

    Sweet! Maybe I could do, say, a thousand yards, and you could dye it in a rainbow and split it for you and me?

    Is fine two-ply OK for you? I’ve been using mostly one-ply, but I’m thinking I need to go to 2-ply to make it tangle less.

  8. selkie_b
    selkie_b says:

    I just got my first set of Meadowlake Arts labels for clothes I’ve been sewing – with my knee all splinted up (sprained) I haven’t even been able to progress, so I haven’t shown them off yet 🙂 But but but… now I’m feeling inadequate! 😉

    (they are just those lovely high-quality woven labels from England with nice lettering and a needle and spool of thread on them)

  9. habibekindheart
    habibekindheart says:

    Ooooh, those are spiffy!

    You know…my brain looked at those and said ‘well those are pretty close to bobbins. I bet you could just make lace right off those…

    I need to step away from the crafts.

  10. admin
    admin says:

    LOL. Yeah, I bet you could… probably not the most ergonomic for heavy-duty use, but they’d do for like a class set if you don’t want to invest in the real thing.

  11. admin
    admin says:

    Hmm… The main issue is going to be consistency. I can make a silk thread that looks pretty much like perle, but it’s filament silk – has a similar ropey texture. With cotton, you’d just have to practice a lot to get good consistent size and no lumps.

  12. habibekindheart
    habibekindheart says:

    so you’re saying silk might be easier for this one?

    I do work with silk, and I love it (shame on me). What about other fibers very easy to acquire for spinning? Any experience with ingeo, bamboo, soysilk, etc? I know Caron makes a wool/silk blend fiber that I’ve used for hardanger as well.

  13. habibekindheart
    habibekindheart says:

    ugh, now I’m looking into how easy it is to get filament fibers (esp. silk). I can always count on how beautiful your silk is to cause problems for me…;)

    I wonder if other non-synthetic fibers come in filament form…

  14. admin
    admin says:

    Hmm… I don’t know if *easier* is quite the right word… but, for ME, getting a perfectly consistent yarn at the weight I want is easier with reeled silk, because I can control thickness better than I can with spinning. But that’s me. I don’t have anything more than just a touch-and-sample experience with all the novelty fibers.

  15. admin
    admin says:

    You can also get bulk amounts of spun silk, which you’d have to compare and figure to get the right equivalencies to your #5, #8, etc… and dye it. Spun silk weavers yarn is beautiful. If you want bulk (by the half-kilo), I can recommend a supplier in India; if you want small amounts, then Halcyon Yarn is quite good.

  16. habibekindheart
    habibekindheart says:


    It makes a lot of sense. I am starting to get pretty consistent with smaller weight yarns (per session though, not per skein…riddle me that one), but the cotton I have knocking about is short staple and makes me want to cry…and everything else is long. Fibers I’ve tried other than wool slide past each other with ease, making it much easier to keep good tension. I wish ingeo was more available because I love that stuff (corn silk).

  17. admin
    admin says:

    Spinning to a standard is always tough. I’m not good at it. The recommendation that I’ve usually seen, is to make a sample, wrap it on a card with your notes, and each time you sit down, check what you’re producing against the sample to ensure compliance. It sounds too corporate for me, but it works.

  18. habibekindheart
    habibekindheart says:

    I might be interested. I’m trying to figure out how much 500 grams is. I’d have more time if I wasn’t up to the eyeballs in food preparation at the moment.

    I’ll check out halycon as well. 🙂

  19. habibekindheart
    habibekindheart says:

    That’s actually a good idea for someone working for consistency. Sure, the wording sounds corporate (compliance? half my yarns refuse to comply. THE REBELS!) but it’s still a good principle. 🙂

  20. habibekindheart
    habibekindheart says:

    Ahhh, that’s the page I looked to when I said ‘dyeing is too complicated’ and then figured I should probably research it before making such an assumption 🙂

    With say, 500g…I could spin it into thread very similar to perle perhaps in a huge batch, and then just dye small batches in the colorways I want based on the project I’m looking to do…maybe? Or is that completely unreasonable?

    I am still trying to find the kind of hand- over-dyed perles I love SO FRICKING MUCH in silk.

    I find it so confusing though that silk sizes are different from cotton sizes are different from floss sizes are different from crochet thread or yarn or *brain explodes*

    Have they considered a system that makes more sense? 😉

  21. admin
    admin says:

    The silk that I’m using there, is spun from silk fluff, and it’s already yarn when I get it. I get it here:
    The owner is Nayeem ur Rahman; tell him I sent you. You probably want 2/30 and 2/20, would be my *guess* – but you’ll have to sample and see.

    You can get samples from places like Halcyon; once you find the size you want, it’s pretty standard.

    The standards used for silk previously were very confusing, and were based on the number of “spinnings” per pound… nowadays, it’s metric, and it’s meters per gram. So when you see 2/20 yarn, it’s a two-ply yarn, and each ply is 20 meters per gram.

  22. habibekindheart
    habibekindheart says:

    I’ll definitely save this comment 🙂

    That system makes far more sense than I thought it did. Now if only I could translate that to Valdani showing me a picture of ’60 weight’ thread (not silk, assuredly). I have a fabric gauge for my work. I have gauges for knitting needles. You shove them through the hole and it tells you how big they are. I can safely assume you can’t really do that with fiber, but I could be pleasantly surprised.

    Thank you for the link! 🙂

  23. admin
    admin says:

    Ask them if their sixty-weight is meters per gram. It might be, if they’re in a forward-thinking modern country that uses metric.

    However, take into account that cotton can be spun tightly or softly, and that soft-spun cotton will have more air, and thus be bigger in terms of coverage. That, I can’t help you with.

  24. admin
    admin says:

    Sixty meters per gram sounds about right for machine embroidery thread. The silk sewing thread that I usually use for my weaving is fifty-weight; the thirty-weight is also lovely, but makes a thick fabric.

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