Spinning Tuesdays: Say Hello to Fall with Silk

Did you know that Briar Rose Fibers now has silk fiber? She’s dyeing silk bricks.

I have loved Chris’ sense of color for a long time – deep organic shades. I frequently call it shades of dirt, but not in a bad way – it’s rich and multi-hued with color grounded in browns.

When Chris starts something new she sometimes sends me a little to play with, here’s my silk:

Greens, golds and blues on a silk brick


I dug in my stash for some Briar Rose fiber to blend it by plying with and came up with two possibilities in BFL.

Darker and lighter purple-ish colorways

Just from looking at the photo which one would you choose? I bet on the darker colorway, it has more colors that are similar, and it’s closer tonally for less marling. I spun finer than I usually do, woolen for the BFL and worsted for the silk.

Lighter colorway plied with silk
Darker colorway plied with silk

I was surprised (aren’t I always?) about a couple of things. The lighter colorway didn’t marl with the silk, they blended together really well, especially in the knitted swatch. The darker colorway didn’t pop with the silk like I expected, too many colors too close in tone. But I do like them both.

BFL-silk swatches

I can’t decide. I think I like them both equally, and I think they would look beautiful worked in something together.

What’s your vote?

To celebrate the beginning of fall (and my kids going back to school!) Briar Rose Fibers is giving away one dyed silk brick to a lucky Knitty Blog reader. The prize value is $45.00 US.

The usual rules apply: Leave a comment to this post before midnight, eastern time, on Thursday, September 8, 2011. One comment will be chosen at random to answer a skill testing question. If the reader answers correctly s/he will win a dyed silk brick from Briar Rose Fibers.



(542 Posts)

Jillian is the​ author of the best-selling spinning book Yarnitecture. She is the editor​ of Knittyspin and Developmental Editor for PLY and PLY Books. She kinda loves this spinning thing and wants everyone who spins to love it too, so she teaches and writes a lot. She knits, weaves, and stitches and tries to do as much of it as she can with handspun yarn. She's always cooking up all kinds of exciting and creative things combining fiber arts. She likes her mysteries British, her walks woodsy, and to spend as much time as she can laughing. Spy on her on her website jillianmoreno.com

284 thoughts on “Spinning Tuesdays: Say Hello to Fall with Silk

  1. Knittingdancer (Teresa)

    Before you spun the 2 together, I would have pick the darker of the two. After you spun it, I like the lighter one the best. The gold in the silk just pops out. I like the dark one also for a winter project.

  2. Deb in CT

    Briar Rose has the most lovely colors. I’ve only tried her yarn, not her fiber. Can’t wait to get my hands and wheel on some!

  3. Robin F.

    OH Oh OH I love both. I’m a fan of Briar Rose yarns and own many skeins. In fact my current sweater on needles is a Grandma’s Blessing yarn in red! I’m just learning to spindle spin fiber.

  4. Hester Sturrock

    Ok – what is a silk brick? I think it is some sort of roving, or is it like a silk hanky – only bigger? Would love to receive one to find out!
    thanks – Hester from Atlanta

  5. Christy

    I like the lighter, but I always like to see these plying experiments. And silk is my downfall. I can’t resist it in any form.

  6. Erica

    I like the lighter colour just a smidge better. I would love a silk brick of my own, I can just imagine how wonderful it looks and feels in real life.

  7. Chris J.

    A lovely brick of silk sounds like just what I need to get me back to spinning… Well, a lovely brick of silk and an extra 24 hours per week.

  8. Christine

    I think I prefer the darker one, but I am a sucker for jewelly tones, and that is what comes out in that one. The other is lovely too! I wonder how different the effect would be if the 2 were blended together before spinning?

  9. Bristol

    Man, does Briar Rose do the best job with colors or what? I always temporarily black out in their booth at Rhinebeck and somehow come home with armfuls. Now that they’re doing silk, I know I’m in trouble!

  10. Ulla

    Garnet ser sΓƒΒ₯ herligt ud og jeg vil meget gerne vinde.
    The yarn looks so lovely out and I’d love to win.

  11. Josiane

    I agree with you: both are lovely. Though my first thought was that I’d prefer the lighter one, when I saw the swatches side by side I liked the darker one best, but really, the other one isn’t far behind: as I said, they’re both lovely.

  12. Jennifer

    Oh, Silk! Yet another reason to put Briar Rose on my top list of I wish I could afford it suppliers of yarn, fiber, and overall goodness. As to the swatches, I do like the lighter one better. It has a warmth that is both unexpected and asthetically appealing. However, I do agree that the two samples paired together would work very well with the warmth of the lighter of the two playing off well with the mysterious of the darker for something rich, luxurious, and beautiful.

  13. Kay

    I’d go for the lighter, it brings out more of the colours. Although the darker is a good fall/winter colour too… Decisions, decisions!

  14. Geraldine

    I would love to be the new owner of a silk brick. And then I would know exactly what that meant and, more importantly, I’d get to fondle to my heart’s content!

  15. Beth

    I’ve been admiring Briar Rose Fibers for a while now, but I couldn’t spin any of it because of a wool allergy. Super happy about having a silk option!

  16. Bonnie

    Looks beautiful, but I am curious about the make up of a silk brick. I am familiar with hankies and caps – whats a brick?

  17. Anna

    I’m totally falling in love with silk lately, both for knitting and spinning. My favourite part of it, I think, is the different looks you can get with it, depending on the preparation.

  18. Kaitlin

    Ooh, I was betting on the darker one, but I was totally wrong. The lighter one looks great! I guess I need more practice combining colorways (really haven’t worked on that skill myself yet. Hmm, what do I have in the stash that could work?)

  19. Mel

    Wow, the silk brick is lovely! I love spinning worsted silk and seeing the incredible shine! I think I would play with it and some pygora / Merino blend I have. I also have a lot of beautiful BFL rovings…

  20. Deb K

    both are lovely though I think I am drawn to the lighter one, perhaps still yearning for more sunshine than Ohio will get come winter.

  21. Laura

    I don’t understand color blending at all! Though my workplace just inherited several bags of dyed locks, so maybe I’ll have a chance to experiment and learn a little.

  22. Kittenears

    Oh my! Silk is far out of my budget but oh so beautiful. I’ve only just started learning spinning, so all this color experimentation is so much fun!

  23. Emily

    What a great example for convincing everyone to do samples! I would have thought that the darker BFL would have worked better, too!

  24. maget

    I hope your kids have an exciting first day of school. September always brings the start of something exciting and new. Hopefully it’ll bring me some silk, I LOVE silk for spinning on my drop spindle! Thanks team Knitty!

  25. Lotsofhermies on Rav

    I actually thought the darker one would go better as well. After seeing them spun and knitted I prefer the lighter one. You always give me something to think about now I wonder what my stash could surprise me with?

  26. Judi

    I would have expected them to come out the other way altogether. That’s part of the reason I find spinning so fascinating.

    Thanks for introducing me to Briar Rose silk.

  27. Erin

    Both are beautiful, but I’m surprised to say I like the lighter blend. I’ll have to check out Briar Rose, thanks!

  28. Cynthia RD

    I got the most beautiful yarn from Briar Rose at the Madison Knitters’ Guild Knit In that is now a beautiful lacy cowl. Love Briar Rose!

  29. jennifer t

    Tough choice, but I am leaning towards the darker hued sample. I have always wanted to try spinning silk, but terrified I will mess it up. I might have to think harder on trying now that I have seen your samples. Thanks!

  30. Carrie

    Beautiful! I like the silk plied with both colors even the one close in shade is lovely. They are just different.

  31. Becky

    I like both, but would probably use them for projects I wanted a different feel for. Both lovely, and I really love the original silk colours. Beautiful.

  32. Savannagal

    I definitely prefer the darker colorway. It’ll be interesting to find out the statistics. Do let us know. Thanks.

  33. Cindy

    What pretty silk! I’m a sucker for anything in dark greens and blues, so it suprised me that I like the lighter one of your samples better. Both are lovely though.

  34. Carolyn

    Oh boy oh boy would I love to work with that silk!
    I also expected to prefer the darker combo, but ended up really liking the lighter one. Some day I will have the time to do those kind of experiments! I can see how much you can learn.

  35. Amy

    Those are both beautiful, but I simply adore the one on the right, with the darker colors! The swatch looks so lovely and jewel-toned.

  36. Elissa

    I echo other comments, I would have chosen the darker prior to the spinning but actually prefer the lighter blend. Seems clearer to me. I would love the chance to try spinning the silk, yummy.

  37. Shirlucky

    I like both swatches! Maybe a nice sweater from the lighter and a pretty shawl from the darker. I imagine they are even lovelier in person with the silk sheen. Thanks also for the chance to win some silk to spin!

  38. Katrina

    I definitely prefer the darker swatch, but that’s because I always gravitate towards those colours…

  39. Laura

    My daughter just moved to Texas and asked me if I could please spin something other than wool. The silk brick would be perfect to spin for a Christmas gift for her.

  40. gail

    I like the lighter BFL swatch on the left. It seems softer in the way the colors blend.
    I love these spinning posts where we can see how different fibers look spun or plied together. It’s very helpful for a new spinner like myself.

  41. Lauren

    The silk looks delicious! I think I like the lighter swatch, but feel the darker colours also have their place and might be perfect in a sweater while the lighter ones would look great in a scarf…

  42. Lyn

    I’m with you. I think both look lovely and I’m sure either version will be a winner. I, too, am always surprised with the difference between the colours in the dyed fibre and the spun yarn. I realize that this is often due to the fineness of the yarn (finer yarn = smaller colour patches = more blending = sometimes mud), but no matter how much I try to mentally picture it before I start, I’m often way off the mark.

    Happy spinning

  43. Rachel L.

    I’ve never worked with silk before! This would be great to give it a try without having to invest too much money into it.

  44. Deborah

    I like the dark one better–it just seems more rich and luscious. But then, I’m typically a saturated-hue gal.

  45. Nike Eve

    I’d go with the lighter BFL and the silk together–they seem much more harmonious as a knitted yarn. Either way, whatever you spin up will be gorgeous!

  46. Bobbie

    The dark has such jewel tone qualities…. Garnets, sapphires, emeralds and golden settings…belongs in a Jewelry Store. love it!

  47. Lynn B

    Thanks for the opportunity. I left a comment when I clicked on the photo? I like the lighter one (I think). They are both lovely

  48. Liz

    They’re both beautiful! I would love to try some Briar Rose Silk. My first real spinning output was Briar Rose BFL in 2008!

  49. Erica

    Ohhhh, that silk looks EXACTLY like peacock feathers to me! Might almost be fun to add some in….
    Nice πŸ™‚

  50. Sarah

    They are both so lovely and choosing between them is difficult. I think you are right about making something with them together. However, if I had to choose, I think I would go with the darker one.

    I’ve never had a silk brick, and I hope I win one.

  51. Lisa Rogers Lowrance

    Silk bricks? Ooh, yes please! I love the Spinning Tues columns – they’re my favorite of all the wonderful things in Knitty blog!

  52. Anita

    Spinning silk worsted – I am in awe of the skillz implied in that simple statement.

    Thank you for an amazing giveaway.

  53. susan

    I love the subtle greys of the swatch on the left ( and all the beautiful stuff on the Briar Rose website!)

  54. wend

    Can you spin silk well with a drop spindle? I’m more of a knitter, but have done plenty of wool spinning, and would love to branch out. The colors are amazing!

  55. Kandace

    It’s really hard to choose between those two – I think I might like the lighter one better? Although I’ve been vascillating back and forth, so I’ll probably change my mind by the time I hit ‘submit’ ; ).

  56. Seanna Lea

    I love the darker blend. Your pictures make it look like it shimmers. Totally lovely even if you don’t see as much silk content as you would like. Looks wonderfully silky to me!

  57. Karina

    Interesting. I was really struck initially by the light coloured blend. I thought it lifted the dark of the silk just enough. However, I really like the blend of the darker colours in the second swatch. It strikes me as fall when I look at it, and I guess I’ve now got fall on the brain! The first swatch is still nice but makes me think of summer.

  58. Jen

    I love Briar Rose Fibers!! Bought a sweater’s worth of yarn at the Great Lakes Fiber Festival a few months ago and can’t wait to knit it up. Spinning some of the gorgeously dyed silk would be a real pleasure!!

  59. Ginny

    Both samples look lovely. They are like sisters. They are related but equally lovely in different ways. It would be fun to design a project using both yarns.

  60. Merna

    At first glance, I liked the darker one, but looking longer made me favor the lighter one, more nuances I think, thus more interesting.

  61. Peggy

    Spinning silk is such a treat–and then making something gorgeous to wear from it is all the better! And after a lot of back and forth, I’ve finally decided that I have a slight preference for the darker swatch on the right.

  62. Deana

    They are both beautiful, but if I had to choose only one, I would go with the lighter blend. It has a little more depth to it.

  63. Stephanie Lange

    I like the lighter one, myself. I was a bit surprised after look at the pictures that I liked that one better, but I do

  64. Jaclyn

    I like the darker one, but I’m drawn more to jewel tones than pastels. But silk and BFL together, mmmmm yummy.

  65. Oraxia

    I rather like the darker version, mostly because I think it lets through more of the silk colors for being closer in tone to it (and I’m biased towards green/blue/teal colors) πŸ™‚ Both are, however, absolutely lovely!

  66. Spinfoolish

    I like the darker one. I think it would look lovely with dark jeans, or black…nice color combination. I am usually more into jewel tones, but your combo seemed to speak to me….

  67. Wyldchai

    I’ve been on a terrible dark kick lately, but I think the lighter one blended gorgeously. I’d love to try spinning silk brick; I have been jonesing to try hankies and I’ve loved the blends I’ve spun!

  68. Miss Bunt

    I love the darker one, I do love the earthy tones. Reminds me of the beach actually with the blues and browns.

  69. madmoon

    I love spinning silk. It’s a bit of a challenge, but I love how it comes out. Pick meeeeeeeeeeee πŸ™‚

  70. Renee

    I like them both too. And I think I agree with you that they would look good worked together in something.

  71. Kristi

    Wonderful color combinations! I agree that the lighter one is more eye-catching, even though I would have chosen the darker combination in the roving.

  72. deborah

    actually I like the darker combo, it has a bit more jewel like quality to the colors. the lighter one is a bit to faded for me, but both are lovely. I can see how both would create something lovely.

  73. Becky

    I love this! And I also would have gone for the darker but love the lighter one more than I thought. Guess I need to sample more and be surprised!

  74. Tina Melvin

    Just got a new wheel and haven’t tried silk yet. If I don’t win, I’ll have to see if I can get some from them at the WI Sheep & Wool fest this weekend!

  75. Brenna MacDonald

    I love the almost jewel-like quality of the darker one, but i loved more the lavender purples and lilac of the lighter one combined with that earth tone shine. It reminded me of fairies and earl grey tea for some reason.

  76. Tara

    Those turned out beautifully! Would not have thought to ply either combination together, what new possibilities that opens up!

Comments are closed.