Imagine sitting in a lovely room with a bunch of people peppered with spinning wheels and an unimaginable amount of silk fiber. Doesn't that sound like a great way to spend a weekend? Now imagine having Celia Quinn there too, sharing her insights and guiding you along as you learn new ways to work with the silk. What a wild weekend it was.
Some of the things we covered:
* History of silk
* Sericulture (the raising of silk worms)
* Good references on silk
* Making a sesame seed milk that is scentless and great for skin softening
* Dyeing silk caps and hankies (including all kinds of dyeing suggestions)
* Spinning techniques for at 8 different bags of silk fibers, each bag containing 3 or 4 similar fibers including
- bombyx & tussah
- various fibers blended with silk including yak, cashmere, camel (the camel was my favorite), pima cotton, bamboo, alpaca
- more troublesome carded silks including noil, thrown waste, etc
- spinning from dyed cocoons--strange but fun.
* Spinning caps, including a cool technique where you drape the cape over an umbrella swift
* Spinning hankies using a cotton carder to create a lovely drafting triangle
* Spinning thick yarn from hankies--my favorite technique from the workshop
* Creating hankies from cocoons
* Reeling silk directly from cocoons
Celia had displays set up all over the room with samples of her own work as well as picture boxes with a wealth of information. I have yet to acquire the skill of taking good photos that document an event. Nonetheless, here's some pictures of the caps we dyed and the resultant yarns and one of the display tables Celia set up.