Finished with 15

I got 3 more pieces finished in March, bringing my completed total to 15 – YAY!!! That dropped my weaving deficit by 8 or 9. I’m sure I can make up a few more in May, so I’m feeling much more comfortable.

These 3 pieces have a rather lengthy story, so I made it a point to combine several photos into a collage, and I’ll do my best to moderate my verbiage as well.

After my last two disappointments with my silk dyeing, with so much color rinsing out, I spoke to my dye teacher. She suggested perhaps I hadn’t scoured sufficiently, so I committed to more scouring. And it’s a darned good thing I did, too. I did these 4 scour baths on one day, each with the hottest tap water possible, a combination of soda ash and blue Dawn, and a soak of at least 1/2 hour per bath.

scouring silk progression

You can see the water getting progressively cleaner with each scour. After these four I dried the skeins, as I wasn’t quite ready to dye them. On dye day, I did one more scour bath, and the water was pretty clear.

I dyed the skeins with light and dark blue, and a medium green. Here you see them going from dripping wet to almost dry, then dry and wound into balls, and finally the warp chains.

blue & green dyed skeins progression

Pretty amazing how much the color lightened from wet to dry, isn’t it? These are 30/2 silk skeins, so it’s very lightweight and fine – more than 7,400 yards per pound. I had 720 ends to make a warp that was about 24″ wide in the reed. Because the warp was variegated and I thought it would be busy, I decided to keep the weave structure simple, and used and all-over huck lace.

For the first piece I used a sort of unusual yarn that’s been in my cupboard for a while, a 20/2 rayon in a beautiful red-violet. This has even more yards/pound than the 30/2 silk. In this photo look at how much light passes through the shawl and you get an idea of just how airy it is. A featherweight for sure.

handwoven silk and rayon lace shawl with purple

I wove the second piece with 20/2 twilight silk, so it’s a bit heavier than the purple shawl. Still light and lovely.

handwoven blue silk mobius

I took a closeup of this one so you can see the structure better, and see how different the two sides look.

handwoven blue & green silk mobius, closeup

I chose the green 30/2 silk I’d dyed earlier this month for the weft for the last piece. Again it’s a very lightweight piece, woven and sewn into an airy cowl. Here it is long.

handwoven silk lace cowl, long

Although it is both wide and long, it’s so light that it’s easy to wrap it twice for a different look.

handwoven silk cowl, wrapped twice

I’ve already got 2-1/2 more scarves woven to start May out right. It’s another hand painted silk warp that I’m happy with.

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