Saturday, 6 September 2008

Dye samples, Weaving, weaving, weaving


A friend went to England. I sent some mordanted wool with her as she had hoped to get a few dyeing experiments done. Instead, she brought me back the wool accompanied by some madder, weld and dyer's greenweed which was grown in Britain. They are all soaking right now to see what the difference might be. The madder was soaked in hot water for about an hour. The water turned this yellowy colour - which I drained off immediately after photographing. Yesterday it was a lovely deep cherry red but today it has started to ferment and is cloudy. I'll be dyeing with all three samples over the next few days. My dyer's greenweed is still flowering, so maybe I'll get a chance to do a sample with it as a comparison as well.

The red wool is off the loom. It took hours upon hours of weaving to get it all woven. I have just over 8 yards of fabric, tabby weave, with really good selvedges if I do say so- one of those wow moments when I realized that they were really straight. The fabric is pretty and it's been wet finished - still needs ironing. The last yard or so I wove off with a handspun grey shetland single. I was just playing around so despite the sett not being what was recommended for a twill -too loose apparently- I wove off a new twill sample.
The fabric is so wonderful. It is soft, it drapes and yummy. I'll be off to buy some more of that wool next week, if there is any left as I want to make a series of shawls with it as the twill weave was so nice. I will do nice fancy twills in patterns which require a bit of concentration but are easy to see when you make a treadling error. This weave was almost impossible to see errors with. I will admit that the last couple of yards of tabby weave on the madder red made me decide that I won't be doing too much tabby weave for a while.

Now to figure out what to make with all that luscious red fabric? The twill sample isn't big enough for a shawl, so I may need to cut it up for something - not enough for a hood but would it make a nice hat perhaps?

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