Wednesday, 11 November 2009


Doesn't it conjure up pure luxury....cashmere......

I was very generously given a very large amount of cashmere (dehaired, long guard hairs taken out, time saver....) by a member of the HWSG. It was way to much to keep to oneself without feeling extremely selfish...sigh.....So I decided that we could have a session at Experimental Spinning playing with this beautiful fibre.

That was on Saturday and we had lots of fun. Because it is both a very expensive and very short fibre, it is often combined with other fibres. We used silk, silky wool, fine merino and even pink! Beautiful rolags were created and I can't wait to see all the resulting yarns.
I went home and decided to split my 20gms into four and spin a yarn with four different treatments.

1. Mixed with Silky wool (optim), a treated wool that I thought would work well, but it didn't really card well with the cashmere and separated a bit from the cashmere when spinning.

2. Mixed with 18micron merino. This was immediately nicer than the Silky wool and whilst there is a slight different in the pictures, both carding and spinning were much improved.

3. Mixed with Tussah silk. As you can see from the rolags it is beautiful. I wasn't sure that this would work. Even though it came in top form it was still quite long, but I suspect that the critical factor in both the carding and spinning is the thickness, or in this case, fineness of the mixing fibre. For best results they probably do need to be close in micron count.

4. I just spun the cashmere as it came.

I did wonder if I'd put in too much twist for the this skein. Too much twist and I'll lose the softness of the cashmere. I also wanted to keep the different treatments together, so I decided to Navaho ply my single, creating a relatively thick yarn.

This could be a problem as these fabulous fibres are very warm. The resulting scarf will be knitted in a very open lace. I'll show you when it's done.

Oops, forgot.....some things I'd like to try: silk noil and cashmere, what about silk waste with cashmere, fluffy around a core......what else?

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