I dyed the blank yesterday morning, and had planned to let it batch for 24 hours instead of heating it, to reduce the chance of felting. That lasted until I realized I really didn’t have anything else to work on besides the blank. Since I have virtually no ability to sit still, I sat around, flipped through a couple of books, etc. for about ten minutes and then said, “To hell with it!” and tossed the plastic-wrapped blank into the microwave. I microwaved it in a sealed bag for 2-3 minutes, then let it cool for another 5-10 minutes (see previous comment about inability to sit still). After 5-10 minutes it was still hot and I was completely out of patience, so I very carefully unwrapped it, wearing gloves so I wouldn’t burn myself, and extracted the blank very slowly and gingerly, allowing each section to cool before putting it into the warm rinse water. Two rinses later, I pulled it out of the sink, squeezed out as much water as possible, and threw it into a 180 degree oven to dry. Then I went to work on the Black Sheep Handweavers Guild website (which I had promised to revamp) so I wouldn’t be opening the oven every three minutes.
(People seem to think I’m patient because I work on extremely long-term projects. The truth is that I’m not so much patient as focused – I can happily sit there for ten hours doing something repetitive if it gets me closer to my goal and is at least somewhat challenging – but ask me to sit still and you’ll rapidly find out how impatient I actually am!)
At any rate, twenty minutes and a good bit of foot-tapping later, the blank was dry. Much to my delight, I found that it wasn’t felted at all, and only took two hours to unravel to this:
I sneaked home at lunchtime and did a little weaving. Here is the first half-inch:
I’m now at the 15-inch mark, and hope to finish weaving the panel early tomorrow morning. It is a bit of an experiment, for a variety of reasons – so I’m eager to see how it comes out!