You might remember the genesis of this project: some spindle spun silk with too much twist in the ply for knitting. I ran those skeins into a warp chain and overdyed them.
I gathered some previously spun silks, some the right color (Red. Need you ask?), and some of which I dyed.
Then I started spinning, and plying, spinning and plying, spinning and plying more silk, mostly on a wheel, but some additional on spindles while traveling this summer, all with the goal of a 2+/- yard piece of fabric in mind. Not a shawl per se, but shawl length. If the fabric is interesting it might become a shawl, if it is curious, it might become a curiosity (always good for instructional purposes). If it's really beautiful beyond words, it might become some other garment.
Nevertheless: I needed about 20-22 inches in width, and at 48 epi that's over 1000 ends, at at least 2 yards long, we'll say three for argument. That's a bit of spinning:
While spinning, I was imagining a ""red" look to the fabric. While dyeing, I can get carried away from any pre-set goal, mostly with golds and yellows (dyeing is fun! Oooh look! Nice color!). Gold and yellow are two very nice accent colors, but too much of a good thing is not a good thing in this case. Over-dyeing to the rescue:
The multi-colored warps are the wheel spun yarns. They are painted, then steamed to set the dye. To overdye, I used a crockpot with a very low depth of shade to correct, not cover up the color. You can see how light the color of the dyebath was, these ends were white:
I always de-gum silk, yarns or fiber, before I dye, using a small amount of soda ash, detergent and hot water (I use the crockpot for this too). Silk varies in the amount of sericin left in the fiber, I always consider it partially de-gummed, through sad experience (sericin will take dye, being a protein substance, making the fiber look brilliant. But then sericin washes away, taking it's dye with it, making the silk less brilliant). This is the gunk that comes off the silk:
It will take me a week or so to get this on the loom, not that it will take that long to actually thread, but because I am away from home again, rewarding myself with a visit to this pumpkin:
And Patricia? Give my best to Tuck.