We got Qiviut, and a hank of Tussah silk and tencel to blend. When we got done with the spinning we did Navajo-plying and here is my sample skein.
First we got to spin just Qiviut. Then the Qiviut and Tussah together, then the Qiviut and tencel (those are the shiny parts). I think my favorite would be the Qiviut and Tussah blended together, but just the Qiviut was really nice too.
This is 3-ply folks and it is as fine as a frog’s hair. I would have to measure wraps – but at 3-ply it’s still a very light fingering weight. It’s took several attempts to get this photo – apparently it also doesn’t like to be photographed.
A few things to remember when you’re spinning Qiviut are:
- It takes at least 11 twists per inch. So you need to have your ratio high enough that you get at least 11 twist per inch and then let it go on your bobbin.
- You want to keep a slack pull in. Any short stapled fiber and this is a downy fiber similar to cashmere, needs to be spun without having it pulled from your hand. Either lower the bobbin if your in double drive or keep the break a bit slack.
- Wheels in double drive or Scotch tension only please. It should have been specified before the class as two Louet’s showed up (Irish tension – bobbin led) and they had a heck of a time spinning this beautiful fiber and it quickly became a mess – so sad.
- Qiviut can be over-twisted and it will break on you and get hard like a thread. So, there is a happy medium. Like all spinning you have to find your rhythm.
- All spinning and plying of Qiviut has to be done the same day. Don’t let your Qiviut sit on the bobbin overnight or a few days… it will get loose softness.
Hopefully this will help get you all started. I know I was leary to spend the money on an ounce of Qiviut when it is so expensive and maybe mess it up. I’m totally confident now and was asking the instructor who was very nice and knowledgeable – “so as fine as I’m spinning now – how much do you think I would need to spin 1200 yards for a lovely shawl.” 🙂 She said she would think about 1/2 ounce. I’m thinking maybe just get an ounce, at some point, so you know I’ll have enough. She said definitely would be able to do singles for that project. I may like to try 2-ply though. I know when I was doing the Navajo ply it felt like it was really fragil and did break a couple of times on me. I probably should have put my lazy kate on the table, because I think the break was more the friction on the bobbin.