The soy silk. OK, after spinning up the rest of the batch, I have to admit I like it better than I did at first spin. At first I really didn't like it at all. But last night after a good 30-45 minutes of sitting down with it it grew on me. I got to the point where I was in tune with the fiber and it was becoming the yarn it wanted to be.
In all it's fuzzy glory:
Now, I still don't love it, but I don't hate it anymore either. I love the pale cafe au lait color of it, I love the sheen, and I love the softness. I hate the squeeky feel of the fibers, the extremely short fiber staple length, and the fact that it gets overspun in a nano-sec. See how short the staple length is: about an inch or less for the actual length of the fibers.
This makes the roving fall apart if you breathe on it, and makes drafting an exercise in holding your hands really close together if you're drafting the fibers straight. I did find that if I drafted in a way that was closer to drafting from the fold, and holding the roving such that the fibers were coming into the drafting zone at an angle as opposed to straight from the roving I could get a longer draft. This also made a nicer single that was less prone to overtwist.
See the single:
Lessons learned: 1) DO NOT let the twist venture into the undrafted fibers. You will hate life.
See the skein:
2) Try to draft holding the roving to one side of the drafting zone and draft off the side of the roving for a longer draft length.
3) The balance between overtwist and undertwist with this fiber is a very fine line...learn where that line is!
4) Ply. The overtwisted parts of the single really evened out in plying. I don't think I'd like this yarn as a single at all.
5) Predrafting is totally unecessary with the roving I had. This was the first fiber I've spun where it was actually better not to predraft at all.
1.1 oz/31 g
12-14 wpi = worsted weight yarn
63 yards/57.5 meters
So. Final Verdict: I guess I'd spin this again. If I had no other fibers I liked better, if it was the only thing left in my stash, or (and this might come into play some day) if I really wanted to make a project with the finished yarn.
I actually like the finished yarn a lot. It doesn't have the squeek of the raw fibers, it is a beautiful color, is quite soft, and has a lovely sheen. But, would it be worth it to me to actually spin up enough of this for a large project? Or would I rather buy some commercial soy silk yarn? Hmmmmmm....Only time will tell.
Do let me know if you've spun the soy silk, and what your reactions/experiences with it were!