Saturday, 25 April 2015

Fun on Spin Day

 We had a capacity crowd at the Silk Weaving Studio for Spin Day on Apr 18. Kim McKenna, our gentle, patient and uber-knowledgeable guide for the session, taught us how to spin directly from mawatas, or silk hankies. We also learned how to discern the difference between good quality and not-so-good versions, and how the resulting yarn's qualities are such a direct reflection of that.
 We also learned that the size of a drop spindle is proportionate to the size of the yarn you're spinning. This little beauty is called a tahkli, and relatively weighty brass whorl does a smashing job in the hands of a skilled spinner. Spinners with spinning wheels got tips on tweaking their wheels to get the best results.
Here's some silk yarn, spun by Kim. Plied, beautifully balanced, and with an irresistible slub. Doesn't it make you want to do this???
Thank you, Kim, for passing on your always amazing knowledge; thank you to all who came to spend a few hours in this gentle pastime.

Sunday, 19 April 2015

Artist Profile - Julie Pongrac

 Top of the World - Silk Bowl; Silk Casings (12-902), Paper Ribbon (14-007), Silk Gima (30-009)

Sanjo Silk has some amazingly creative artists who use our yarns and materials to make their art pieces. This blog post features the Julie Pongrac, Master Knitter, and is the first in a series of posts featuring some of these stunningly talented people.

Julie Pongrac is a Canadian artist based in Vancouver.  Dedicated to producing garments and sculpture from natural materials such as linen, silk, mohair and wool, she draws from an extensive fibre arts background primarily focusing on knitting.  Inspiration is drawn from her excursions into the natural environment from the rainforests of the British Columbia coastline and to the highest peaks of the mountains.  Julie Pongrac Studio where she produces her work can be found at 1000 Parker St in East Vancouver.
Artist & Designer
Julie Pongrac Studio
305 - 1000 Parker Sreet
Vancouver, BC, V6A 2H2
Black Silk V-neck - Machine & Hand knit; 20/2 uneven silk (10-006), silk frise (20-202)
 Lichen Wrap - Handspun & Hand knit; hand-painted bombyx spinning fibre (10-001) - 100% at the edge and feathered progressively by carding with merino wool

Monday, 6 April 2015

Spin Day at the Silk Weaving Studio - April 18, 2015

Kim McKenna, Spinner Extraordinaire, will be joining Sanjo Silk at the Silk Weaving Studio for another Spin Day. Join us on Saturday April 18 between 11 and 2.
If you haven't tried spinning Mawata Silk Hankies before you are in for a treat.  And, if you have tried spinning hankies in the past, but found the fibre difficult to draft, Kim will share a few simple hints to help you spin a beautiful, smooth, strong, lustrous silk yarn without the struggle.  What is mawata silk?  Have a look here for photos and a description. They're made made from bombyx silk cocoons, which are softened in warm soapy water and then stretched and dried over a square form resulting in spinning preparations known as hankies. They're also used for felting, but on Spin Day we'll be concentrating on all the fun you can have spinning them.
Bring your wheel or drop spindle and do some spinning with us. There'll be an introductory talk at 11:00, to help you get off to a good start. Then, if you've got some handspun silk to show and talk about, bring it along. Spinning will follow. It will be a relaxed, informal session.

Hope to see you there!
Silk Weaving Studio
1531 Johnston Street, Granville Island,
on the waterfront beside the Sandbar Restaurant