Weaving with Steel

WHAT?! Weaving with steel?! Yeah, I was trying to be smart – not too successfully, I fear. Steel is the main color in the warp of this rayon chenille handwoven shawl.

handwoven shawl, rayon chenille, steel & starlight

I had an order for a custom shawl made predominantly from the Steel yarn, but I wound a few strands of Starlight in there randomly for added interest. I liked the colors, so, throwing caution to the winds, I decided to make my first ever attempt to warp for two rayon chenille shawls. Yes, I routinely warp for three or four scarves, but shawls are more challenging, at least when working with rayon chenille. The yarn is so fussy while putting it on the loom, and the wider it gets, the more difficult it becomes to tame. So even though it’s exceedingly INefficient time wise, I’ve only warped for one rayon chenille shawl at a time up to now. (I do warp for more cotton or silk shawls – they’re not a problem.) Since warping difficulties are likely to become more apparent as you weave, I figured that the worst that was likely to happen was that I’d weave the ordered shawl and then cut the rest of the warp off and throw it away. I felt like now was the time to take that chance.

Woo Hoo! I wove both shawls without a hitch!

The custom scarf had a weft that was entirely that deep, rich Steel color. The woman has received it and sent me a note that she loves it. Her shawl used up most of the Steel yarn, so I had to use a different weft on the second shawl. I tried a few options, and decided to use that Starlight for most of the weft, putting a 6″ band of Steel at each end. In hindsight, I’d have preferred the results with just the Starlight, but it’s fine the way it is.

Good news – I woke up yesterday morning feeling like I had just a cold, not the flu. That feeling lasted all day, and that’s how I feel this early morning after turning my clocks back, too. I’ve turned a health corner – yippee! Now I can get back to cranking out work before my next show. I want to not only do more weaving, but I really want to have some of my Victorian Christmas ornaments for the show.

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