Tuesday, June 5, 2007

A Weaving Breather

I hope to make good for missing a post yesterday with a small break from the natural dyeing and talk about this piece of handwoven silk lace I have.
First, I had planned to post yesterday but we have been looking to buy a new-to-us truck for a while and yesterday we unexpectedly found and bought one. We were out hours longer than we anticipated though so we didn't get our other business done.
I spent yesterday skeining yarn. I had planned to mordant the next batch of yarn to dye today but that didn't happen because of the afore mentioned unexpected event.
So, about this silk. It is 120/2 spun silk yarn woven in a huck lace pattern. I wove it a few years ago. I have 12 yards of the lovely stuff which is 30" wide. I have dyed a 7 yard chunk of it. To dye, I used Pro-Chem dyes which are acid-dyes*. This is a work in progress. I did the dyeing and knew that I needed to do something more but was stuck so I put it away. So, today I was looking through some of the handwoven fabrics I have in my stash, while the mordant pot is going to pick up a few loose ends, and I found this fabric. This will be a complex bit of cloth and since it took quite a bit of time to weave such fine threads (finer than sewing thread for those who aren't familiar with yarn weights and counts), it is a bit unnerving to add dye to the fabric. I am ready to move on with it this summer. After I get more dye experience under my belt, I want to finish the fabric and make a garment with it. Part of what makes it unnerving to work with is I am deliberately breaking a few design rules. I am adding complex color on top of a complex cloth structure. There is a potential for a few disasters. I can keep dyeing until I get mud, the final fabric can be so complex that it is painful to look at, and a whole host of other pitfalls can happen. I keep telling myself that if it gets bad, I can always overdye the whole thing with Indigo! The other possibility is that I will end up with a stunning piece of cloth. It is worth the risk to me and risk is what growth is all about.
Tomorrow I will be dyeing with Cochineal again but this time I will be using the extract. I have read that the extract and the bugs can produce different results. Stay tuned and we shall see!

Do you ever deliberately break design or other rules or do you prefer to follow the "recipe?"
I feel that each method has its place and its moment but, as you may be able to tell, I like to color outside the lines quite often. It makes life interesting! Coloring away, -Renee

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