Silk for the Faerie King. How to Spin Flowers into Yarn. May 2018 Fiber Club Tutorial
Here at Paradise Fibers while the sun shines outside and the flowers sing to the world in all their colorful voices, we celebrate spring with you!
This world is where the inspiration for our May box was found.
This May, members received 2 Paradise Fibers exclusive blends, Petals (4oz.) and Stem (3oz.), 2 Native Honey Sticks, a limited edition Bumble Ewe Vinyl Sticker, an assortment of Silk Flowers in various colors, and heart shaped confetti embedded with wild flower seeds!
Take a Look Inside the Box!Click to view slideshow.
What all the Buzzzz is About!
Take a look inside the May Box from the perspective of our creative members! The first, “WOWS!” and “AWES!” to hit the internet!
It is in these moments where creativity blossoms and the imagination is set free!
Share your unboxings on social media with us #paradisefibers @paradisefibers for your chance to be featured here!Click to view slideshow.
A Closer Look at the Fibers
Petals! A multi Merino Blend Bursting with color! This blend will surely breathe depth and life into any project, whether you are blending, plying, or spinning as is. This fiber is 100% Merino Wool from South Africa! The colors have been highly saturated and blended together to make this vibrant top. Streaks of Hot Pink and Clementine bloom throughout this stylized blend with a base of rich purples and navy blues framed within soft pastel pink and lavender. This is one of many Exclusive Paradise Fibers Blends offered on our website. Members received 4 oz. of Petals in our May Box. This blend features our wide range of 23 micron Solid Color Merino Wool. Click here to shop the collection.
The colors featured in Petals:
– Hot Pink
– Candy Floss
– Fluorescent Pink
Rose Fiber is a relatively new vegan fiber made from rose bushes.
The rose fiber has been extracted from the natural waste of rose bushes and stems. The fiber has been stripped and processed to create a luxurious and soft spinning fiber, similar to silk in texture and appearance, with a shorter staple length. Rose fiber has natural cooling properties and is antibacterial. The white you see in this blend is the rose fiber.
Mulberry silk, also known as cultivated silk, is a brilliant white fiber produced by the Bombyx Mori silkworm, the fibers are triangular in shape and reflect light at all angles, making the fiber appear luminous. Silk has a high tencel strength and natural cooling properties. The colors featured in this blend are from our line of Solid Colored Mulberry Silk. Mallard, Mint, and Citrus.
Work Stem into other projects to add drape, cooling properties, and silky soft texture. This fiber is lovely when spun as is and plied onto itself or a contrasting color.
Something magical happens
when blended with other fibers such as wool, alpaca, and even other plant fibers.
If you’d like to receive curated fiber boxes like this every month, sign up today to join the fun! Space is limited.
“Ouch!” Thumbelina heard a voice outside, accompanied by a strange buzzing sound.
“Who’s there?” Thumbelina asked sleepily as she parted two petals to peek outside.
“That hurt!” exclaimed a very large bumblebee, hovering next to Thumbelina’s face.
“That’ll teach me to fly around searching for silkworms! Such a bother, finding those wiggly weavers.”
“Silkworms! What for?”
“To win the royal contest!” Thumbelina opened the flower more, sitting on the edge of a petal.
“What royal contest?”
“The contest the King of the Faeries is putting on to find a queen! Whoever can spin the finest silk, and make it into the most beautiful dress, will become Queen of the Faeries!”
“You want to be Queen of the Faeries?”
“… No… “ He replied. “You know, I didn’t really think about that part. I just like to spin yarn…” The bumblebee seemed quite disturbed by this revelation.
“Well why don’t we go together?” Thumbelina asked. “I want to learn how to spin yarn. You can teach me, and we can enter the contest together! If I become Queen of the Faeries, I’ll make you the official Yarn Knight of the Faerie Realm.”“Really!? The only problem is we have to find some silkworms to help us, first.”
“I’m a silkworm. I don’t mean to eavesdrop but it seems you could use some help. Would you like some of my silk?”
“Oh, yes, please!” Thumbelina cried.
“Come up in this bush, and I’ll give you some of my finest fiber,” the silkworm offered.
Thumbelina climbed onto the back of the bumblebee and the two sped up into the bush.
“This silk is beautiful!” The bumblebee exclaimed.
“It’s enchanted. This rose bush is magical, and I spun some of the fiber of the stems into my silk,” the silkworm explained. “It will shimmer more beautifully than any other silk on Earth. It is truly fit for a queen.”Thumbelina clapped her hands together. “Oh, please show me how to spin!” “Maybe you should practice first,” the bumblebee said hesitantly.
“Why don’t you use some fiber from my stash that I have in my pocket.”“Bumblebees have pockets?” Thumbelina was a bit incredulous.
“Well of course,” said the bumblebee impatiently. “Where else would I keep this?” Out of his pocket he produced a beautiful fiber, colored with pinks, blues, and even orange! “This is Merino wool. That’s a breed of sheep. The colorway is called ‘Petals’ and is a blend of eight different colors.”
“Now,” said the silkworm, “Let’s show her how we spin!”
To be continued….
Spinning Flowers Into Yarn
By taking apart the 4 silk flowers included in the box, and threading pieces of fiber through the center, you can create your own flower blossom yarn bursting with spring colors! The flowers become trapped within two strands of fiber twisting onto each other. You can do this yourself using any fiber you choose and flowers that have a hole in the center. Follow these steps and you’ll have your very own art Yarn!
Crochet Hook or Knitting Needle
A Spinning Wheel or a Drop Spindle
Step 2: Split each bump lengthwise to make smaller “pencil rovings”. This makes the spinning part go much quicker, requiring you to do less drafting as you spin! It’s also a fantastic way to keep the colors from blending too much together as you spin. Try separating all 8 colors out of the blend! If you get a bit of another color with the color you’re pulling out, you’ll notice a unique effect as the two colors twist and make stripes in the yarn!
Step 3: Disassemble your silk flowers so you have several petals to work with. Pull the green plastic backing off the base of the flower, and pull the center bud of the flower out. You should end up with 5 petals per flower, depending on which faux flowers you use.
Step 4: Split each little bump of fiber you made lengthwise, halfway up the strand of roving, creating “legs”. On one leg, use a crochet hook to pull the leg through the center of the flower. If you do not own a crochet hook you can use a knitting needle to poke the fiber through the hole of the flower. You’ll want a small enough size to fit through the hole in the flowers. See our collection of crochet hooks here. Once you’ve pre strand all of your petals onto pieces of thin roving, you’re ready to spin!Click to view slideshow.
Step 5: Incorporate your flower strands as you spin. Spin 8 or so strands without flowers on them, then incorporate a strand with flowers, and repeat. The second “leg” of fiber will trap the flower as you introduce twist into your yarn.
You’ll want to use a Bulky Flyer so the flowers don’t get stuck in your wheel as you spin. If you don’t own a bulky flyer you can purchase one for your wheel here. I found that you can help the flower through the orifice simply by stopping your treading, pulling the flower through, and winding it onto your bobbin. Using a drop spindle is also an option to create this art yarn. You’ll want a big enough spindle to fit your finished skein of yarn. One intended for bulky yarn spinning with a bigger whorl might be best.
Step 6: Once you’ve used up all your fiber, wind the yarn from the bobbin onto a Niddy Noddy, I used the Paradise Fibers Niddy Noddy with it set at the 2 yard mark. I ended up with Approx 296 yards in a bulky weight. I plan to knit an open knit Cowl like this one, for my Niece.
Step 7: Soak your yarn in your favorite wool wash, I used SOAK in the Celebration scent. I let my skein soak overnight in warm water, in order to set the twist. Rinse your skein until all the soap is out, be careful not to agitate the skein too much in order to prevent felting. Give your skein a good THWACK and let sit on a towel to dry.
THERE’S NO WRONG WAY TO DO ART YARN!
Making Rolags on a Blending Board.
“First, let’s blend the fibers together a little bit,” the bumblebee suggested.
“How do you do that?” asked the silkworm.
“You use a blending board! I have one of those in my pocket too!” Once again from his pocket, the bumblebee pulled out a flat board with many teeth. “You pull the fiber down across the teeth from top to bottom, catching it in layers. First, we will put down a base of the Petals blend, then add strips of the Stem, and create a little rolag by rolling the fiber off the boards using two wooden dowels!”
“You can pull the fiber out of the center of the rolag to make spinning the yarn much easier! It also results in beautiful color gradients!”
“Wow, that is beautiful! But couldn’t we spin them separately?” asked Thumbelina.
“Of course! Your imagination is the limit when it comes to spinning!”
“Then, will you show me?”
“I will.” And the bumblebee carefully taught Thumbelina how to strip the roving lengthwise to keep the color integrity of the blend. The bumblebee showed Thumbelina how to draft and create the twist in her yarn.
“So this is how you spin,” said Thumbelina as she drafted the multicolored Merino.
“Yes!” said the bumblebee, sitting next to her and spinning the rose and silk blend.
“But spinning silk and rose fiber can be trickier than spinning wool! Silk and rose fiber has a long staple length and the fibers don’t have scales, so they tend to be slippery. Did you know wool fibers have scales?! That’s what makes it so fun to spin, and what makes wool felt so easily! You can hold your hands further apart when spinning silk and draft up to 5 inches apart before the fibers separate and the wheel gobbles up your yarn. You’ll want to introduce more twist into you silk/rose blend to keep it from untwisting and falling apart. You can set your drive band on a smaller whorl so you don’t have to treadle as much. The smaller (drive) whorl makes the wheel spin more times around with less peddling! If you’re using a drop spindle you’d simply just add more twist before you wind the yarn onto the cob”
“And then we will ply them together.”
“Oh, let’s ply them together! That way I can make a dress that looks like a flower!”
“Alright, we can do that! To ply, we spin the two strands together, in the opposite direction than we spun them the first time. We can use this handy Paradise Fibers Lazy Kate to set the bobbins on in order to ply them. When plying we need to make sure we introduce more twist than we need, That way the yarn doesn’t fall apart. Any extra twist will even out once we soak and THWAK the yarn later.”
“I see,” said Thumbelina. “Now, can I knit it?”
“Absolutely! And then we will go to the faerie court and we will win the heart of the king!”
In no time at all, Thumbelina had knit herself a beautiful dress, with a skirt that had so many layers, it looked like the petals of a rose.
“It’s wonderful,” the silkworm sighed. “Now, go to the King of the Faeries and show him that you should be queen.”
Thumbelina crawled onto the bumblebee’s back and they flew to an enormous, hollow tree in the middle of a secret meadow. Inside, on a glittering throne, sat the King of the Faeries, handsome and regal in his black clothes and silver crown.
“Who dares enter the Faerie Realm when they do not have wings?” He demanded. But then, as Thumbelina stepped off the bumblebee’s back, he gasped. “Who… Who are you?”
“I’m Thumbelina,” she replied shyly.
“You’re… Beautiful. Stunning. Amazing. Please, will you be my queen?”
“Yes,” replied Thumbelina happily. As she said it, she felt a tingling in her back, a ticklish, warm feeling. Suddenly, she sprouted wings!
“There,” the king said, “You truly are Queen of the Faeries.”
Thumbelina, the bumblebee, and the silkworm all came to live in the Faerie Realm, and lived happily ever after.
Did you get our May box? Share your process with the fibers on social media with #paradisefibers @paradisefibers
for your chance to win up to 1500 Paradise Points! Join the discussion on Ravelry to see what other members are creating. Check back in next month for our June Fiber Club Unboxing, I hope to see you there!