After posting my fine-threads question to Weavolution and WeaveTech, I got a wide variety of responses which basically boiled down to, “Talk to Lillian Whipple”. Lillian is an expert in fine-thread weaving, and fortunately lives within easy driving distance from me! so I visited her yesterday.
Lillian has a HUGE collection of beautiful textiles woven in super-fine threads, as well as kimonos, greeting cards, and other items she’s woven, with threads as fine as 240/2 silk! It was amazing seeing all her treasures. I want to weave like that someday. The delicacy of her work and the exquisite detail appeal to me a lot – so I think I will spend a lot of my time weaving with progressively finer silks. It’s stunning work.
Anyway, Lillian discussed my situation, and she was kind enough to sell me several pounds of stronger 140/2 silk threads at a very reasonable price. She said that one of my problems might very well be the reed I was using: I was using 7 ends/dent in a 12-dent reed, which she said was way too many – the ends jostle up against each other and tend to stick together. She suggested 3 ends/dent in a 30-dent reed instead. So I called around today, and found a 120/10 metric reed (roughly equivalent to a 30-dent reed), which is being shipped to me and should be here by the end of the week. Once that is done I will re-wind my sections at 90 epi, thread, and re-sley at 3 ends/dent. Lillian thinks that sett will probably work for me, but of course I’ll sample first.
So I’m not really stalled; I should really start winding the warp and threading, so once the reed arrives I’ll be prepared to start sleying. But I think I’ll go for a bike ride first.
Tomato soup: my recipe for tomato soup is highly variable, but it goes like this:
- 8-9 lbs of tomatoes
- 2 large onions
- Celery if you feel like it (I usually don’t)
- fresh basil
- heavy cream
Remove the stem end from tomatoes, cut in half horizontally, and squeeze the seeds and juice out into a bowl. Reserve the bowl. Chop tomatoes very coarsely.
Brown onions (and optional celery) and put in large stockpot. Add chopped tomatoes.
Add just enough water to cover the bottom 3-4 inches of the pot (the tomatoes will cook down to fill the rest) and bring to a boil. Continue simmering until the tomatoes are cooked through and tender.
Puree the tomatoes in a food mill (do NOT use a blender unless you like bits of tomato seed and skin in your cream of tomato soup!). Add milk and cream to taste, adding back tomato juice as desired to balance out the acidity. Reheat just until barely simmering. Add chopped fresh basil and serve.
Since this recipe is 90+% tomato, needless to say its quality depends entirely on the quality of your tomatoes…
One trick, taught to me by a family friend, is to add a VERY TINY BIT of baking soda to neutralize acidity if the soup comes out too acidic for your tastes. Add more than a tiny bit and the soup becomes bland. I personally don’t like the idea, but my other half likes to add a little to tame the soup a bit.