I’ve finally finished all the fibers, ending with cellulosic (not to be confused with cellulose made from plants) that are plant-based such as rayon but extruded. This is complex – you’ll have to read the book! The last section was on synthetic fibers – something I’m really familiar with having worked for several yarn companies who specialize in yarns from synthetics. Basic take-away on these sections is that both cellulosic and synthetic fibers were created to replicate natural fibers such as wool.
So, moving along – I can see this year of reading is going to go pretty slowly if I don’t accelerate!
Making yarn starts talking about small spinners that make yarn – sometimes for themselves and sometimes for other small yarn companies. I must admit that most of my experience is with huge companies that create tons of yarn a year rather than a limited number of pounds/kilos.
Clara added an informative page with fiber festivals throughout the US by month. I didn’t know there is one in CT in April. Will add it to my list of must-dos this year.
OK! Finally done with Protein Fibers. The last was silk. Silk is considered a protein even though it isn’t shorn or plucked from an animal. My big take-away was the two different types of silk – from silk worms that eat only mulberry leaves (bombyx silk) and those who eat all kinds of leaves (tussah silk). Obviously, bombyx is finer and fancier. Bottom line: silk is great when mixed with other fibers.
Onward! Cellulose is today’s reading (actually yesterday – but I digress). These are cotton (mainly discussed) plus linen and hemp. My big take-away: I now know why I’ve always loved mercerized cotton the best – shiny, receptive to dyes, and less likely to stretch out of shape.
I’ve decided in this journey that I should make at least one project from each book. Right now I’m leaning to Princess Mitts from the 4-ply project #8. Let’s see if I change my mind as I read on….
I’m off and running with the first section of the book. Today I started where many knitters begin – protein fibers. No they aren’t lean chicken or God forbid – steak. These protein fibers come from animals such as sheep and alpaca. Clara made it really easy to follow. I started out with sheep wool (the largest part of this section).
What did I learn about wool – It varies depending on breed. Also wool fibers are covered with scales – the more scales the finer the yarn (such as Merino. I learned how super wash wool is made – wouldn’t you like to know.
I also read sections about mohair and cashmere (both from goats) and a couple of other goat breeds that were new to me. On to angora (from bunnies), camels (yes, camels), alpaca, llama and I gave up at ! Who knew there were so many animals producing fibers – actually I did know, but learned interesting facts that hopefully I’ll store away for good cocktail banter…..
A year of reading my knitting books seems somewhat overwhelming, but I’ve got all these books (hundreds) and if I’m ever going to ever going to read them. Where to start! I’ve just been to VK Live (Jan 2014) and have seen Clara Parkes. Why not start with a book on Yarn – where all knitting begins.