…and I took both of them.
I’ve decided to weave off the yardage for that fabulous garnet wool/cashmere/Lurex yarn, and work on the design for Phoenix Rising, all at once. Since the book proposal is out at the editor’s for a week or so, I’ll have some free time to devote to both projects. I’ve already designed a phoenix pattern for the yardage (yeah, what can I say? I’m stuck on phoenixes), 5/1 against 1/5 broken twills. I’ll test it later this week to see if I like it. If not, I’ll try something else. There are plenty of neato designs to be done on a point threading.
So I have been designing the cloak fabric, and musing over how little yarn it actually takes to make 20 yards of fabric. Or perhaps how excessively large an amount of yarn 2 kg is. I’m going to use some 2/26 nm cashmere/silk blend for the warp, and the garnet yarn in the weft. At 24″ wide, I calculate this will weave approximately 25 yards of fabric. What will I do with 25 yards of fabric? No idea. I could weave “his and hers” cloaks, but since Mike is even less likely to wear a cloak than I am (which tilts it from “very unlikely” to “impossible”), this seems kind of silly. Or perhaps not. I like to knit theoretical socks, so what’s wrong with a theoretical cloak?
(Theoretical socks: lovely, luscious socks knitted from wholly unsuitable yarns. I like the feel of cashmere, or a softly twisted silk yarn. It’s OK. I display them proudly in my sock drawer, and very occasionally use them as bed-socks. And I enjoy knitting them.)
So I am preparing to weave samples. I have 150 grams of the silk/cashmere warp wound off and ready to dye, which I will do outdoors because we are having a heat wave here. The house does not have central air, only one window air conditioner (not enough to cool the entire house), so adding heat indoors doesn’t sound like a good idea. Fortunately we have both a camp stove and a rather robust burner meant for frying turkeys, both of which can be pressed into use. This weekend I plan to put on (and probably weave off) a 4-yard, 12″ wide warp sett at 30 ends/inch, in a 5/1 broken twill. Checking the sett, drape, weight of the finished fabric. I’m deliberately leaving the sett a little wider than usual, because the warp is much thinner than the weft (6500 ypp vs. 4500). That’s not ideal for the drape, but if I used a heavier yarn for the warp, the cloak would weigh approximately 4,000 pounds (well, okay, a few kg, but still too much).
The book blog is nearing its completion; I’m estimating I have only a month or so to go before I finish up the last chapter (that is being written for the book blog, anyway). It will leave a huge vacuum in my life – I’ve been writing it for the last seven months, so finishing will be quite a shock. Or maybe not. There is still a tremendous amount of editing work to be done, plus interviews with master artisans. I’ll probably be working on it for at least another year. And I do plan to continue posting to the book blog, though somewhat less frequently.
So stay tuned, Gentle Reader – photos of cloth and design sketches will be arriving shortly.