Yesterday I was getting a bit crabby (poor Mike!), and realized I’d probably been working under deadline a bit too long. Simultaneously, I realized that I was going to need a lot more black dye to dye all that cotton chenille yarn. A LOT more. Black yarn is dyed at a very high DOS, and the manufacturers of my black dye (Cibacron F) recommend dyeing with dye at about 8% the weight of fiber. Considering that I have 5 pounds, 11 ounces of yarn to dye, that comes out to not quite 8 ounces of dye powder (!).
I also don’t have the yarn I had intended to use for sampling, 16/2 cotton. It’s on order and probably won’t arrive until next week. Ditto the 6 lbs of white cotton chenille I had planned to use for weft. So my carefully laid-out plans have gone rather astray.
This may not be a bad thing, though. I believe it’s important to have fallow time between projects (sometimes, anyway), and this will give me some “time off” to recuperate my creative energy. I’ve started by cleaning my studio, and as a result have seen the floor underneath the loom for the first time in several months. (You probably think I’m exaggerating. I’m not. There was so much detritus, books, weights, film canisters, and random stuff, that the floor was totally invisible!) While the place is still not neat, at least I have some room to move around.
The coat patterns, by the way, do not have set-in sleeves; they’re cut in one piece along with the body of the coat. That’s why 60″ fabric is necessary. I’m still debating between the two coat patterns, and may sew up muslins of both (in cheap terry cloth) to adjust the fit, and see how I like the look.
Another thing I may wind up doing is sampling the diversified plain weave with several different yarns and setts to see what I like best. DPW is supposed to be woven with a thick yarn 5-6 times thicker than the thin yarn, and my sources conflict on whether this means that the core yarn of the cotton chenille should be 5-6 times thicker than the thin yarn (in which case the thin yarn would be very thin indeed!), or whether the overall diameter should be 5-6 times thicker than the thin yarn. As you can imagine, this makes quite a difference indeed. So I plan to sample it both ways.
I know that doesn’t sound very much like fallow time, but these portions of the project are fairly mechanical, not requiring much creative design work. It’s the Muse that’s tired, not the fingers!
There are a few other technical things I’d like to try (hanging the second warp over a trapeze, for example, or playing with the Ashford Knitter’s Loom), and I really do have to get to work on my presentation for Black Sheep, my weaving guild, but I think I’ll stick to the mechanical elements for now. My Muse is demanding a holiday!
To answer Alice’s question from several days ago: the book is bound with commercial shantung silk, and is completely covered with a single strip of silk on both sides. I left about half an inch between pages, and the silk is pretty thin, so that’s enough to account for the difference in thickness between pages when folded. I think it would work fine with 60/2 silk, not sure about heavier fabrics!