I have now dyed all the warp and weft yarns for the first project, a four-color doubleweave shawl:
The two in the center (turquoise and gold) will be the warp yarns, the orange and purple the first set of weft yarns. My intent is to weave blue with purple and orange with gold most of the time, but also to switch the combination occasionally and weave blue with orange and gold with purple. I haven’t thought out the exact pattern yet – will do that while winding the yarns onto cones and beaming the warp.
I had some setbacks in the dyeing – the turquoise refused to exhaust, then bled and bled until I finally threw it back into the pot with some more citric acid, and boiled it (which you’re not supposed to do with silk) – that finished fixing the color. With the gold, I discovered to my horror that the dye I had used to do my samples was NOT the dye I had thought it was – so when I went to dye “the real thing”, I wound up using the wrong color. Fortunately, a quick overdye saved the day, and the final color came out more or less exactly as I’d wanted. The orange and purple dyed perfectly, except for a small section in the purple where the wool ties absorbed the dye and kept the dye from penetrating fully. Next time I use cotton or rayon ties on protein fibers!
The blue and gold are 2/28 nm silk from Colourmart, the orange and purple are 55/45 cashmere/silk, also from Colourmart. The cashmere/silk yarn is wonderfully soft – I can’t stop petting it! And the silk is beautifully lustrous, though I worry that the silk may have gotten tangled during the dyeing.
Next step is to wind all the yarns onto cones. Because there may be tangles in the silk yarn, and the cashmere/silk is probably too delicate, I don’t think I can use the Silver Needles electric cone winder on the yarns. Fortunately, Mike Rude (Sandra Rude’s husband) was kind enough to make me an adapter for my double-ended bobbin winder, which I can use to wind the cones “by hand”. It has a variable-speed foot pedal that will enable me to slow down or stop the winding when I run across snags, and is much kinder to the yarn because you can start up slowly. (The Silver Needles cone winder starts with a powerful jerk, which will break a lot of fine/delicate yarns. Ask me how I know!)
I have been thinking about the weft colors for the other two shawls off the same warp. I think one will be all black (title for that piece: “Blue/Gold Macaw”) and the other will be two wefts, both gradual color transitions between fuchsia and turquoise, but starting at opposite ends of the shawl. But I will decide more on that later.
We have now more-or-less finalized the wedding program, approved the wine labels (my brother and sister-in-law run a small winery, and are brewing the wine for the wedding – so we get custom labels!), and decided on the processional music (which will be “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring” for Mike and the parents and “Trumpet Voluntary” for me). We’ve also decided where to stay during our time in Vancouver – I’ve made reservations at the Granville Island Hotel, located (where else?) on Granville Island.
Is it mere coincidence that this is just two blocks from Maiwa Handicrafts? You decide. 🙂