Drafting silk hankies

I’m playing with these hankies:

8 grams of fluff.

This stack was dyed by DutchWoolDiva and I claimed it in a swap.
I never did anything serious with hankies before. Well, I did try to spin them once, years ago, but all I got was an uneven “bonky” thread and silk cutting into my fingers. I also managed to wind the hankies onto the central axel of my wheel… because hankies will grab onto everything. And very silently too!
It was a blue mess of tangling and it could only be resolved with scissors.

But some years have past and I’ve grown a bit older, a bit more experienced and I learned a bit more about silk. For example, silk loves to get its fibers aligned: stretch it, wind it under tension, snap it while it dries. Sheen will be your award!

I took the stack of hankies and drafted them one by one and wound them onto a roll, under some tension.

Awwww… silken sheen….

And such lovely colours. So much subtlety!
Nowadays, it seems I get more and more appreciative of subtle, light colourings.
All these crayon box enthousiasts… I’m no longer in that tribe. I love the misty colours and the sandy colours and the early morning forest colours. Greys, mints, lilacs, soft greens in all variations. Lovely.
Just drafting and winding up the yarn in those kind of colours is a pleasure. Tranquility. Taking in all the colours. It’s the same with spindle spinning: you really take the time to notice and enjoy every inch of colour.

How to accurately handle silk hankies (or mawata) I learned via a good explanation here. Jayne writes about required yardage/weight and how the silk will behave, colourwise, from hankie to yarn to knitted fabric and what you can use hankies for.

My hankies get intenser with colour as I work my way through the stack:

I wind each drafted hankie unto the carton roll seperately. The last bit of a stretch of “yarn” I lie downwards with a sharp angle. The next hankie secures it into its place, leaving the end dangling (although “dangling” in the world of silk hankies means: “grabbing onto everything in reach”)

This way, when I have wound off a piece of yarn once I actually start knitting or spinning with this, I can easily find the start of the next piece. It will be the fluff “dangling” at the bottom, connected to the roll with a contrasting angle.
Me thinks me’s pretty clever!
I use this trick also on my bobbins, to make it easier to locate the beginning/end of a thread/single.

One evening and it’s done.
All on the roll, ready for knitting (or spinning). For knitting I’ll use needles 3,25 mm I think (I’m a loose knitter, other people typically need to go up two sizes)

Last hankie on the roll:


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