I have finally started to spin the silk that I purchased this past fall from the NY Sheep and Wool Festival. I purchased this tussah silk from "The Copper Moth" booth. The color I chose was called "Moth Wing". I also purchased some beautiful Wensleydale Top roving, called Juniper, to go with it. A few weeks ago while shopping in the craft department, I spotted some seed beads that reminded me of the tussah silk. They were a mixed bag of copper and silver and bronze colors. I suddenly had the impulse to spin with beads! I had read about spinning with beads in Diane Varney's "Spinning Designer Yarns", but never wanted to try it. I figured I had better re-read the chapter before I attempted to spin with the seed beads.
The first order of business was to string the beads. I looked around in my old sewing baskets for some silk thread that would match the "Moth Wing". Jackpot! I found several spools of old "Coats and Clark" silk thread that still had the price tag on them. Imagine, only 15 cents for 250 yards of silk thread. I almost did not use them! The next challenge was finding a needle small enough to thread the seed beads through. I must admit, it was a bit frustrating trying different needles, only to have the seed bead get stuck when it was almost to the eye of the needle. Finally, I was successful, and set about stringing beads that evening while watching "24" on TV.
I decided to do some more reading (as I did not feel confident enough to simply start spinning all these beads with the silk).
I pulled two back issues of Spin-Off, (Winter of 03 and Spring of 04), off my magazine shelf. The '03 issue offers a very nice article by Judith Mackenzie McCuin, including Thread and Bead Sources. The article covers 3 different methods of spinning with beads in a very clear description of each. So, after reading several different accounts of several different methods, I figured I would try spinning with a core method.
I got the hang of it rather quickly, but that was the only thing that happened with any speed. I found I really had to take my time and treadle slowly so my hands had time to maneuver the seed beads into place. All in all, I find spinning with beads to be a very time consuming project...what with stringing them in the first place...then stringing them into place while spinning...but it will be worth it for a unique design. I still have another bag of seed beads to string up and spin. This time I will load about a foot of beads at a time.
This is what I have finished so far.