After talking to Sharon, I’ve decided it’s back to the 20/2 tencel (aka lyocell). The deciding factor wasn’t the color, but the weight: 30/2 silk produces a fairly hefty fabric, heavier than I want for this garment. 60/2 silk produces too light a fabric; we want a bit more body. 20/2 tencel seems to be about right, so I’ve started work on a full-sized sample. I wound a 7-yard, 24″ wide warp yesterday with the intention of painting two sample panels, but I botched painting the first one. Good thing I put on a long enough warp for two panels! The first section will make a beautiful wall hanging or something, and it will be a good opportunity for me to experiment a bit more with colors. So I think I’ll weave it up anyway.
Not sure what I’ll do with the rest of today. I can’t make any further progress on the sample until the warp dyes are “set”, which will happen tomorrow morning sometime. (That’s the problem with fiber-reactive dyes – they take 24 hours to set! If you’re an instant gratification bunny like me, that is approximately forever-and-a-day, especially compared to acid dyes, which can be set quickly with steam.) So I think I will probably be lazy – go ride my bike, take a nap, work on my Handwoven article. Tomorrow morning I can rinse out the warp and set it to dry.
And, in a demonstration of how time flies….tomorrow is Mike and my first wedding anniversary! Yes, we were married almost exactly one year ago. We’re celebrating it by doing the laundry…that is, The French Laundry! I managed to score lunch reservations two months ago, and our time has finally come ’round. Sadly, I have nothing handwoven to wear for the occasion (The French Laundry is probably the only restaurant in California with a dress code), but I will be going in a very nice handmade, arty brown jacket done up with cool surface design techniques. I bought it at one of the major craft shows – one of the few times I have sprung lots of $$ on a fellow artisan’s work. Normally I prefer to “roll my own” (dope tastes so much better that way 😉 ), but I really loved the jacket.
So stay tuned for tales of food from the best restaurant in the world, and Napa Valley scenery, tomorrow.