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Sunday, March 20, 2011

Soy on the Side

Now, speaking of soy (yes, as in soya bean), there's an interesting fiber.

It's a beast to spin, all fluffy and flyaway and getting-all-over-your-clothes and even up your nose.  And spinning it to a fine thread has occupational hazards.  Paper cuts, anyone?

But it has a lovely silky sheen, and it's so strong that I can't snap the thread but have to go fetch a pair of scissors.  And it drapes like a dream:  heavier than bamboo, more sinuous than silk. 

It's the perfect fiber to ply with cashmere, of which I had a precious modicum left.  Adds just that touch of subtle shimmer--not at all metallic; more muted.  Adds just that hint of difference--not variegated; just a whisper of an accent. 

But what it really contributes is strength.  The way we used to knit the heel of a sock in nylon.  It's going to be invaluable when I get to the buttonholes.  Without the soy ply, I'd be knitting in a thread for those two rows.  With the soy, the reinforcement is built in.

Of course, I'll have to save the spit splice for the cashmere; there's no spit-splicing soy.

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