Monday, 15 July 2013

Spinning with Bananas

It's been ridiculously hot lately. Well, at least for British standards, that is. I suspect that's the reason I've not been in the mood to knit, but at least I've started spinning again.

I went through my fibre stash and realised I've still got loads of stuff I bought from Wonderwool in 2012! There were 6 different bags of fibre, none of which I have even opened.

In the end I chose one of the 50g-bags of new fibres I'd always wanted to try. And guess what it is: banana! Yes, it really is banana fibre. It's undyed and smells a bit musty, to be honest. I'll have to store it with some of my lavender sachets to see if that improves things.

The fibre is very slick, similar to silk or soy. I've only spun these type of fibres on spindles before so I wanted to give it a go on the wheel instead and also spinning from the fold. It wasn't as easy as I expected though!

Attaching the fibre to the leader just wouldn't work and the yarn kept breaking just after a few centimetres. It was incredibly frustrating! After a while I got the hang of it - I'm too stubborn to just give up.
Once I got it started, it was easy. I have to be careful not to let the twist in too far, which is easily done with such slick fibre. Other than that it is turning out to be a fast spin and the yarn is firm and slightly thicker than I had hoped to make it. It is also much whiter than the original fibre. 

Right now I'm not sure what I want to do with this yarn once it's done. I don't know how well you can dye banana fibre so I may not be able to do that. The yarn is perhaps too thick to ply with my usual singles, so this may not be an option either. Hm, lots of things to think about.

What's the most unusual material you've worked with? This need not be fibre or anything knitting-related at all. I'm curious!


  1. Interesting! I haven't spun banana fibres yet. From what I know you can't dye plant-based fibres with the acid dyes you use for wool and silk (different kind of protein) .. you could try it with dyes that work on cotton, though.
    Let us know how it works out in the end!

  2. Will do! I still have some other fabric dye that would work on this fibre so I would give that a go, I think.

    I have noticed that the yarn I have spun so far feels like a sturdy cotton thread. Interesting!