As usual, this post will contain spoilers, so if you've not received your parcel you may want to come back and read this later.
This is a new round of the club, and we'll be going back to re-visit a few fibres, but there are still plenty of new fibres to explore, and there are two of them in the parcels this month.
If you liked the look of any of the fibres from last month the spare stock is now available to buy separately in the online shop.
The first fibre I recommend you try in this round of parcels is Peduncle Silk. This naturally coloured brown silk is produced by the Tussah (Tasar) silk moth. It’s unusual because unlike other species it forms a little tail that pokes out of the end of the cocoon. That tail (or peduncle) is proceeded to form this fibre. It's a much more wool-like fibre than many of the other silks, and one of the easiest forms of silk to spin. I know lots of people loved this fibre in the Tour de Fleece Non-Wool Sampler. You can spin it straight from the end of the top, or break it in to chunks and spin it from the fold. The more textured nature of this fibre means the different drafting techniques doesn't alter the appearance of the yarn as much as it does with the shinier silks.
Sari Silk fibre is created using the waste from the will weaving industry. It takes all the loom waste, and general off cuts, and cards them together to create this textured, recycled fibre. Historically this is the sort off fibre that would be described as Shoddy, but don't le the modern mutation put you off. This fibre will spin in to a beautifully textured fibre.
You can spin using a short forward draw, but will need to use an inch-worm technique, or can go for a point of twist draft. Be sure to make sure you add enough twist, the shorter fibres in this blend will make a yarn that is likely to pill.
This fibre adds real magic to blends as well. Due to the way that some of the fibres were originally dyed I'd recommend using caution when you wash your yarn for the first time. Wash it by itself, and check to see if you get any dye run off. If you do it's probably worth adding a splash of vinegar, and then heating it up either in the microwave, in a steamer, or just in a pan of water. That should set any loose dye, and mean you won't get any further problems. Just get in touch if you need any further help with this.
The final fibre for this month is Flax Tow. Once we’ve turned this in to yarn this fibre becomes known as linen. This fibre is very strong, highly absorbent, and quick drying. It’s ideal for wearing in hot, humid weather. The first evidence of mankind processing linen for textiles comes from the area of modern day Georgia, around 36,000 years ago. Traditionally this is spun in the opposite direction to normal with an S twist (with your wheel going anticlockwise), but an article in the Flax edition of Ply magazine has made me question the need to do this. You will find it helpful to wet you front hand as you go along, this really does help to smooth the fibres and to hold the yarn together. We are spinning flax tow, these are shorter fibres that will naturally spin in to a more textured yarn that you would get if you were spinning from flax strick. Repeat the wetting and smoothing procedure as you ply your yarn. I recommend a gentle boil in a mild washing soda solution to soften the hand of this yarn once it is plied.