Handspun Quiviut Thread Scarves

April 3, 2008

Next to the bed there was a small amount (2 grams?) of quiviut. I’d removed it from a small bit of musk ox hide earlier in the day.
I figured, what the heck, I’ll try making some quiviut thread, by hand, just like in the ancient, ancient days.

Got about 15 yards done so far (oh there’s *tons* more fluff to work through, LOL, I had no idea 5g of quiviut = 100 yards!), using my left hand as the orifice, and my right thumb and forefinger as the twister/spindle…

OK, it’s done!
The scarf weighs a whopping 900mg — under a gram! and is over 6 feet long x 2 to 3 spaces (2 to 3 knit-holes) wide.
It appears to an observer to be about 1/4″ wide and slightly openwork.
(I still have 5 little balls of yarn left over, so, I might make another scarf Smiley )
It will make a fabulous base for a fur scarf. The entire process: grooming the quiviut out, finger-spinning it & setting the twist, then finger-knitting it in to the scarf, took 2 hours.
The value on an item like this is based more on the time/labor then the materials; this scarf was 2 hours x $40 + 900mg spun-up 1-ply pure quiviut at $10/g. = $89. It is not for sale — I am just showing you one way of how to calculate the value of an item you produce.
To compare, my former lightest scarf base was made out of nylon microfiber and weighed about 10g at 5 feet long x 2-3 knit holes (spaces).
Now I only have to decide what fur is most worthy to be woven through one of the most expensive and rare base fibers available.

OK, quickie tute:
How to spin by hand right off the pelt (no carding, no drafting, no fuss, no muss):
Get your clean fiber; grab a tuft. Make the tuft soggy with a spritz bottle. Hold the tuft in your non-dominant hand. Allow a little bit between your thumb and forefinger. Now, grip that with your dominant hand, and pinch-spin it. Now pull your dominant hand away from your non-dominant hand, sometimes pinch spinning and sometimes just pulling, until you have the thickness of thread/yarn you want… voila, you will have yarn forming between your fingers. Beware hand cramps. :)

— from a complete n00b, so your mileage will vary! hehe!


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