Monday, September 14, 2009

I seem to be on a weaving kick right now. I just finished up a batch of bookmarks:

This was a fun and easy project, and quite gratifying. I did this entire project yesterday, all the way from measuring the warp to ironing the finished bookmarks. The warp is 20/2 silk, and the wefts are various. Left to right, they are:
The purple and blue were plied to match the size of the warp yarn. I just did up little bits on a spindle, about 15 yards or so for each. A bookmark doesn't take much! I didn't even wet the yarns to reactivate the singles twist and balance the yarn after plying. I didn't want to wait for them to dry, so I just used them with active twist and the curling bookmark flattened out like magic when I wet-finished it.

The gold bookmark was originally to be green weft and white warp, but when I tested a piece of the linen yarn, it started losing dye (thank goodness I tested!). So I cut it off before wet-finishing the rest. The other four I finished normally (warm soapy water, moderate agitation, warm rinse, blot in a towel, iron firmly) and they came out great. I love the way wet-finishing really completes a piece of weaving. Especially silk- ironing really brings out the shine.

For the green one, though, I decided that if it wanted to bleed, well then let it bleed. I soaked it in a jar of hot water with a drop of dish soap, and shook it vigorously and repeatedly. When the soak water stopped getting darker, I added some citric acid, shook it up again, and microwaved it for three rounds of three minutes, waiting about five minutes in between. I was hoping that the silk warp would absorb the excess dye from the weft.

It worked! After the bookmark was cool, I rinsed it in hot water and no dye came out. Yay! I actually like the overdyed version better than the original white and green. The silk warp turned greeny-gold, and the linen weft turned antique bronze. It actually looks metallic, with the shine from the silk.

These are all from one 2-yard warp, with the same threading, tie-up, and warp sett (34 epi). The white and purple even have the same treadling; the difference in the look of the pattern comes from the density of the weft packing. The white one is very dense, to the point of being stiff (14 pattern repeats), while the purple one is a bit more drapey (6 pattern repeats). The other three each have a different treadling.

The draft is one I made up. The first treadling (white and purple bookmarks) was the one that I came up with at the computer while planning the project, and the other three I made up at the loom as I was weaving. Both ends of each bookmark are hemstitched.

I like them all, but I have to admit that I'm partial to the white one. It's weighty and substantial, and the white-on-white is so elegant.

Because these are made with fine yarns, they are all nice and flat and thin- one of my prime requirements for a bookmark, so that it doesn't damage the spine of the book. I enjoyed doing this so much that I immediately put another bookmark warp on the loom. Eight yards! Look for bookmarks in my Etsy shop...


Caroline M said...

They are all very pretty and would make lovely Christmas presents (yes, that time is coming around again)

Lynn said...

Wow - really lovely!

Claire said...

I couldn't resist and bought two! I'm going to learn how to weave one day (when we stop moving all over the countryside and I get my spinning wheels out of storage)