Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Someone asked a question about using Gutermann silk on the lists. I am currently playing with the samples that Sylvia Free sent and one of them just happens to be Gutermann silk. The first time I tried it I just grabbed the nearest available shuttle and wound some on. Big mistake. The thread broke while I was trying to close a ring.

I'll tell you what I did wrong. First off I used a Peter Cua engraved shuttle (black with a phoenix). This thread will catch on anything rough so it was snagging on the engraving. Secondly, this thread has a very definite nap to it. To find which direction the nap is hold up a piece of thread (any thread) and run your thumb and finger down the length of the thread. Now turn hold the opposite end and do the same thing. One direction will be smoother than the other. When you wind your shuttle you need to make sure that the thread feels smooth between your thumb and finger as you wind. Sounds kind of elementary but for all my engineering smarts, I have to really think about which direction the thread is traveling when I pull a ring closed. For the second try I also went back to my trusty Aeros.

Anyway, having the thread going in the right direction made a big difference. I also closed some of the more stubborn rings in stages, (inch that last bit of the ring closed between picots rather than just yanking on the core thread). Here is the end result. It is a but fuzzy, but very soft. It would make a nice edging for a handkerchief or scarf.

Now for the usual particulars. This is Gutermann pure silk color 416. The pattern is from the December 1955 Workbasket. Sylvia Free lives in Pernarth, South Wales. (I had a kick addressing her sample from me. They have such wonderfully complicated addresses across the pond.)