Monday, October 05, 2009

I finished weaving off the 8-yard bookmark warp, plus another 2-yard warp. Actually, I finished these more than a week ago, but just haven't gotten around to photographing them. I've been busy doing contract spinning and trying to live with and around and through sorrow. Thank you to everyone for the kind comments on my last post.

Weaving these was so much fun. They're relatively fast, and varying the treadling with almost every bookmark meant that there was always something creative going on.

They looked so pretty all rolled up on the cloth beam, and then there was the delightful moment when I cut the warp off the back beam and saw them all together.

If you want to practice your hemstitching, put a bookmark warp on the loom. I got 29 bookmarks (of varying lengths, depending on the treadling pattern) out of the 8-yard warp, and another five out of the 2-yard warp, which means that I hemstitched 68 ends. I've always enjoyed hemstitching, and I got very fast at it.

Much of the warp used various colors of mercerized cotton as weft. I have five colors of fine cotton, and used them alone and in combination:
  • red alone
  • orange alone
  • alternating picks of red and orange
  • blue alone (doubled as it's very fine)
  • gray alone (doubled as it's very fine)
  • alternating picks of doubled blue and gray
  • single strands of blue and gray held together
  • brown alone
  • alternating picks of brown and red

I also did a batch with silk weft, some plain white for elegance (I just love the white on white patterned shine)

and some with a bright kelly green that I dyed. I also overdyed some of the finished bookmarks.

Left to right, these are white on white silk overdyed deep forest green, gray cotton weft overdyed purple, kelly green silk weft overdyed turquoise, orange cotton weft overdyed scarlet, and white on white silk overdyed scarlet.

The overdying worked just as I planned. Since I use Jacquard acid dyes, the cotton wefts didn't change color, only the silk warp. The gray cotton stayed gray, and the orange cotton stayed orange. The colored silk weft, the kelly green one, did change with the overdying but it is still greener than the turquoise warp, as planned. The finished bookmarks look beautifully rich and glowing. I especially like the purple and gray one.

I also did a batch with the green singles linen that I used before. I finished them the same as before, with a hot hot soak until the dye stopped leaving the linen, then setting it into the silk with citric acid and the microwave. I really like this look.

After I finished the 8-yard warp, I immediately measured out another out of the same 20/2 silk yarn. This one was only two yards but I dyed it a lovely medium forest green. I measured the warp before dyeing, and also put a skein of the same yarn in the dye pot to use as weft. Actually, I put the weft yarn in first, so that it would go slightly darker than the warp, then left them both in the kettle overnight to cool down and fully exhaust the dyebath.

These five bookmarks from the 2-yard warp are all 100% silk, and I think they are my favorites so far. The three on the left have the slightly darker forest green silk as weft, and the two on the right have white silk as weft.

(Photographing all this shiny silk has been a challenge.)

I had a thought as I was weaving all these bookmarks, especially the green warp. I'm making ribbon. This actually looks like ribbon! Handmade ribbon!

The commercial: These will all be listed in my Etsy shop. If you see one you want, email me, as they will be listed over several days.