Woke up early and couldn’t sleep (credit it to the coffee ice cream sundae I had yesterday…I have no caffeine tolerance anymore), so I got up and pulled the fabric from the dryer. It feels wonderful! It has softened up dramatically (more than the sample did) and while there is a faint hairiness from the mohair, it has that distinctive cashmere softness as well. I may buy more of this yarn! It’s only about $35/lb which is incredibly cheap for something that’s 70% cashmere.
At any rate, it now has nice drape, and has bulked up slightly for a very nice feel. I am starting to doubt whether I will need that mohair interlining. I gave it a hard press on the public side, which brought up the shine of the silk nicely. (Question for Laura: is there any advantage in pressing it on the “wrong” side as well? I skipped that step because it took so long to press it by hand, but I’ll go back and do the other side if it will produce a better fabric.)
Here are a couple photos:
You can see quite distinctly in the last photo that one of the warp skeins came out darker than the others (every third stripe is slightly darker than the others). Fortunately, I had the foresight to wind the warp sections in sequence, skein 1 followed by skein2 followed by skein 3, so what might have become an unsightly blotch became a mildly interesting sequence of darker stripes. It adds an interesting variation to the fabric.
I love dyeing my own yarns! The results are rarely quite as even as with commercially dyed yarns, but to my mind the slight variations add to the character of the fabric. And my results are still quite even, enough so that they don’t scream “homemade” (as opposed to “handmade”).
I had approximately 13% shrinkage in the width (23″ in the reed shrank to 20″ after wet-finishing) and 8% shrinkage in the length (27 feet on the loom went to just shy of 25 feet wet-finished). This corresponded almost precisely to my sample, so I’m glad I did one.
Next on my plate: lay out the pattern pieces on the finished fabric, to see how much I will really need. If I have a little extra warp, I will weave a 3/1 herringbone twill and use the black-dominant side up to make a mostly-black lapel for the coat. I think it will be prettier that way – less “busy” and with greater visual interest.
For the next 9 yards, I will switch to the second dyelot of weft yarn, and use the resulting yarn for the back of the coat. I figure that if I switch dyelots between front and back, nobody will notice – but if I have two slightly different dyelots in the front, it will be obvious!
Off to work…it is still crazy at work, though I think I have figured out a political solution to the ongoing war between two of our departments. So hopefully things will be looking up soon.