So I found this lovely cream silk extra large sweater. Well the silk was lovely anyways, 100% smooth silk. The gauge was small enough to make me stop and think about whether this was a good idea or not, but armed with my new spinning wheel I had a few ideas.
The first surprise was that the silk was actually knit with 2 strands of thread held together. Through some trial and error I discovered that skeining it with a niddy noddy and washing led to incredibly tangled skeins when I tried to later wind them into balls. I am not sure why, other than that the thread was so fine and the two strands would get wrapped funny. They also had a tendency to snap if pulled with any degree of force.
What actaually ended up working best* was to wind directly into a center pull ball from the unraveling sweater
. Then I twisted 4 strands (2 from each end of the ball) in the S direction. This was rewound into a center pull ball and then plyed in the Z direction onto itself. The important part of this was to hold the tension to smooth out the "crimpiness" of the thread. Only after it had been plied, did I wind it onto a pvc niddy noddy and steam it to remove the crimp.
Below is the finished result with a strand of the starting material for reference. The final yarn is about sock weight and feels pleasant in your hand. I have just over 300 yards of the finished yarn and a bunch of the skeined thread (which I am not sure if I am brave enough to try again right now), but I am not sure what I will do with it. Originally I thought to dye the cream, but I don't want to until I pick a project.( pictures )
*I also tried plying 8 strands in the Z direction at once, but I was unhappy with the result. Not only was it unbalanced but the strands separated very easily.