Tuesday, June 30, 2009

"Let's Talk About Wool"

Has a knitter ever heard such lovely words? Yesterday was the first full day of my fiber workshop, and I learned a lot about wool, cotton, silk, linen, and more. Yesterday was more of a lecture day, so I do not have many pictures to share, but today we will get more hands on.

A few highlights of the day:
The instructor had a softball size bunch of Qiviut. Holly and I migrated toward this immediately.

We learned about why linen is so much cooler than cotton, and held swatches of each up to our faces. The linen did feel cooler! Something about teh cellulose structure of cotton having more holes so it traps more air closer to your body. Cotton has to be this way so the cotton can be light and fluffy and float away to spread the seeds around.

Ever heard of heirloom tomatoes? Apparently, there is heirloom cotton as well. She had some samples of this.

We know that wool has crimps, but the more crimps, the finer the wool will be. Merino is very crimpy.

Superwash wool has been sent through a process that strips the scales off the wool. This means the scales cannot catch against one another and cause shrinking.

"Silk is pretty universally considered yummy."

Silk is so shiny due to the trianular shape of the fiber. There is always a flat surface for the light to hit and bounce back.

The only picture I took yesterday was of my wool swatches. We also got a bunch of silk swatches, but I forgot to take a picture of those. Not surprisingly, we did not get a qiviut swatch.

Our homework last night was to do some burn tests of some mystery swatches. A little scary, but fun. I think both samples I took were cotton, although one was mercerized.

More tomorrow!

No comments: