Friday, 28 October 2005


Last night was my last night of spinning class, and I made gorilla.

Yes, you read that right. That's what it's called.

Gorilla is a blend of five different types of fibres:
- silk noil (which is basically the sweepings from the silk room floor, complete with twigs and all sorts of stuff - that's right, I was spinning dust-bunnies!),
- natural green cotton, unginned
- some form of coloured merino top, and it's best for this to be an in-your face colour,
- glitz (we used a blue-and-silver glitz)
- and tencel, which gives some spots of lovely sheen.

You place all of this on hand-carders and run it through the carders a few times, making sure it's not too well blended, then spin it with a long draw. The idea is to have discrete lumps of stuff. I made two batches, the first with a brown merino (this gave a quite neutral result); the second with both red and brown merino and a lot more tencel. This was the more sucessful. Here, the first is on the left, the second on the right:

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It looks like nothing on its own - in fact it still looks like spun-up dust-bunnies, but I'm told that it makes a lovely cool summer top that goes well with brown linen pants. I can see that, and the silk noil would make for a very comfortable wear as it's a very absorbent fibre that never feels cold or hot. And it's beautifully soft. I think this is an experiment that's worth doing again sometime.

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