Today was a holiday in the U.S., celebrating the great civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (Who – in addition to being a great civil rights leader – is also a fantastic writer; his sermon “The Drum Major Instinct” is one of the best and most powerful essays I’ve ever read. If you haven’t read it, get your hands on a copy – it’s excellent, and it will make you think!)
Anyway, I had the day off, so I decided to put it to good use. I had finished weaving and fringing the qiviut shawl yesterday, so as soon as Mike got up, I tossed it into the “magic water” and wet-finished it, giving it a good hard press with the iron to bring up the shine of the silk. I still need to toss it in the dryer on “air fluff” to bring up more of the qiviut halo, but it’s basically done.
And it is pretty!
I wish you could feel it – it’s softer than cashmere! The qiviut is extremely fine and halos nicely, so it feels delightfully furry. Too bad I have to pack it off to the person who commissioned it!
Then I got to work in earnest. I skeined up some 2/28 nm silk and some 2/28 nm merino wool, and tossed it into the dye pot along with quite a bit of black dye. While the dye bath was cooking, I unchained the painted warp and started threading. About halfway through threading, I took a break, rinsed out the dyed skeins, and tossed them into the oven to dry. (Yes, I cheat! It’s amazing how fast a skein dries when put in the oven at 180-190 degrees, with the door cracked open.) By the time I was done threading, sleying, tying on, and weighting the warp, the skeins were fully dry. So I quickly wound a pirn of black 2/28 silk and wove this sample:
After that, I switched to a black 2/28 nm wool weft, and changed the stripes so they lined up, alternating:
I liked this effect enough that I’m weaving a scarf from it. I’ve woven 27″ so far, so about another 30-40″ to go. I feel kind of guilty about not using this entire warp for sampling – there are a couple of other things I’d like to try, including another attempt at a semirandom arrangement of stripes – but it’s so pretty, I’d like to make something out of it!
I’m too tired to weave more tonight (I’ve been doing weaving-related stuff for almost 12 hours straight!), so I think I will go eat dinner, and try finishing the scarf tomorrow. I’m hoping to finish the samples tomorrow – which will take some intense weaving in the morning, at lunch, and in the evening – so I can wet-finish them on Wednesday. On Thursday I am the program speaker for my guild, talking about the creative process, and I’d like to show them as examples of my creative process-in-progress. Also, Sharon (the master couturier behind the wedding dress) will be at the presentation, and I’m hoping to show the samples to her and get her opinion on which of the samples would be most appropriate for the jacket I’m contemplating.
All in all, a satisfyingly productive day.
Off to dinner! I was too busy weaving to eat earlier, and it’s catching up to me.