Having decided more or less what I want to do with this piece, I’m moving on to sampling. I’ve knitted 220 rows of knitted blank using 40/2 cotton, using the same settings as I did for the 20/2 tencel sample; while the samples aren’t quite equivalent, the numbers should be close enough to start with. According to my estimates, that should produce about four inches of woven cloth.
I dyed the knitted blank earlier tonight, and unraveled it wet, so the water would help lubricate the blank. To my delight, it unwound smoothly and evenly. I rewound the unraveled blank into a skein, and it’s currently hanging to dry. As soon as it finishes drying, I’m winding it onto a pirn and will weave up my four-inch sample.
In this piece, I want to dye the weft using a knitted blank. The warp, which is already on the loom, will stay white until the fabric is off the loom. At that point, I plan to dye the fabric using acid dyes, in various shades of gold and bronze. This will (in theory at least) dye the silk warp but not the cotton weft, giving me two different colors. At the top, near the collar, the gold warp will be crossing a bronze cotton weft, producing only a very subtle pattern. Towards the bottom, in the purples and browns, the pattern will be much more visible, adding richness and complexity. (Although, I will probably dye the warp slightly darker towards the bottom, to keep the contrast from becoming garish!)
So in addition to determining how much fabric one row of knitted blank will create, I’m testing colors with this as well. I dyed the cotton yarn purple because I want to see what will happen when I dye the silk gold using acid dyes. In theory, acid dyes won’t “take” on cotton. While this is mostly true, I discovered in my cross-dyeing experiments that both acid and fiber-reactives will produce a pale tint of their color on the fiber they’re not supposed to dye. Yellow and purple are opposite each other on the color wheel, so yellow + purple = duller colors. This is the most potentially problematic pairing, which is why I’m testing it with this blank. I’m not after a super-bright purple, so I think I can get away with a little yellow staining the purple, but I want to know for sure.