Saturday, April 14, 2007

Shawl Wrap Up

Blog title double-entendre :). Do I win today?

Thanks for all of your nice comments on the shawl last post. I thought I'd answer a few of them, but first, a final shot of the black silk shawl from this post, since I know the new owner received it:

black silk shawl

You can more clearly see the weave structure here, with the shiny silk against the matte silk (warp vs. weft) and a little bit of beading. The beads add some weight to the hem, a nice thing, I think. Notice the red tissue paper? Well, how could I help myself? All black??? It needed a bit of color.

Abby's up first with her comment:

So, do you think maybe the higher-twist single stretched under tension causing the more even look? Or do you have a theory as to what causes it to so barely show? I looked over the super-large version and honestly if you hadn't pointed it out I wouldn't have noticed. I bet it would show up more with a non-silk fiber and wet finishing, what do you think?

I think the singles needed more twist to maintain the spiral structure in the weaving. Next time, I might spin one S and one Z, the S single would get more twist in the S ply, and not get all floppy and soft as it slightly unspins in the plying. The S single should also be intentionally bigger than the Z single, so it would still have that spiral effect. It would also probably have been better to space the spiral yarn between stripes of balanced two ply, so it would stand out more clearly. But I think this time it still would've been one of those *only noticeable to the weaver* things: too subtle. More experimenting is in order, fun!

Next up Jackie:

Any quick tips on spinning silk? I just started spinning some silk and it is REALLY different from spinning what wool I have done.

I spin most silk *off the fold*. I pull a length of top , fold it over my index finger, and spin off the tip. I only spin top/sliver/whatever it's called, never hankies or noil: I want a smooth yarn that, um, looks like silk!

When I first learned to spin silk, several people told me to spin it off the end of the preparation, to get the smoothest possible yarn. I had trouble drafting that way, and Celia Quinn told me to try off the tip. It worked! I loved it, I could produce miles of fabulous yarns, that I use mostly for weaving. The drawbacks: people said I would be *folding the fiber*, making it shorter. Um. So what? We're spinning here, not reeling. The fibers are shorter anyway. Works for me.

Anne (I think this Anne, I can't really tell with blogger profiles: let me know if I'm wrong) said:

Are you okay with the higher-twisted silk not showing up except on close inspection? Sometimes I think the addition of something that makes people get closer engaged to a piece isn't a bad thing. Ya know - makes them take a second look at it.

Yes. I'm OK with the fabric. Sometimes I out-subtle myself, but the fabric is still fine. It works, it's pretty, it's maybe not as interesting as I planned/hoped, but hey, small issue. I might try to work out the kinks (ha ha) in another piece, but since I have the attention span of a gnat, and I might forget!

Birdsong echoed several of your comments on the colors:

What?! Not red? Just kidding; these colors are so luminous and work so well together.

I first mentioned the inspiration for dyeing these warp chains in this post, and yes, they are not my usual colors. Hmmm. I might just have to go out and buy some new clothes to go with this shawl! A bit of a slippery slope, that can be: will these colors be out there on sale this year? Sometimes it's good to be a dyer (and yes, I buy clothes in the 'wrong' colors, and bring them home and dye them).

Last, Sharon:

I'm always curious about application. Your cloth is drop dead gorgeous, but how will you use it? Is it a shawl or do you plan to sew with it, and if so, sew into what? I'm still at sea with silk - don't know how to apply it to use.

In this case, yes, it's a shawl. I make lots of scarves too, but I've also made up several simple kimono from my handspun silk fabric. There's very little cutting to the simple kimono shape, and very little sewing, no fancy shaping or tailoring, so I could a) handle the sewing and b) not have to cut away too much of the silk fabric.

But at some point handspun is just yarn, and fabric is just fabric. We make it, we use it and we move on. I am more careful with things that other people have made for me, than I am with my own stuff. After all, I can make it again, I may not be able to replace someone else's work.

I've learned stuff in the making, too, and I enjoy wearing and using the shawls, scarves, and jackets. I can't imagine my kids (two boys) will ever really want any of this stuff, so I use it up and wear it out. Now, I can inflict it on daughters-in-law (see black shawl above) and maybe my sister (sometimes. She is picky). But for the most part, it's just my clothes.

Our guild spinning meeting is today, so I'll be making more yarn. What a treat, eh? and what a nice cycle: spin, weave, spin more, knit or weave more, how did I ever get to be so lucky? :) Again, thanks for your comments, sometimes I sit and think and think about things you have said, I enjoy the exchange.


Blogger String said...

Seeing your work makes me wish that all my weaving stuff wasn't back home. Not that I was ever that good.

9:12 AM  
Blogger Marie said...

I heard a distinct (drum) rimp shot after reading the title!

The shawl is beautiful, as usual.

10:00 AM  
Blogger Marie said...

"rim" shot

rimp sounds like I have a cold.

sorry Charlie!

10:01 AM  
Blogger Marcy said...

Just lovely. And the line of beads gives is a nice lift.

I never woulda thought to see you work in monocolor. And black, yet. You're just full of surprises.

Oh, and when you're dead, I'll take all your stuff if that's ok.

6:03 PM  
Blogger Shelia said...

No fair, Marcy, you can't have ALL of her stuff! Especially if she ever makes another black shawl and keeps it - black would just make you look too tired.

Seriously, though, it is really beautiful, even though I often like the really bright colors we generally see you do.

7:50 PM  
Blogger Shelia said...

Oops, meant "always" like the bright colors - fingers somehow typed "often".

7:52 PM  
Blogger Charleen said...

The twill, along with the combination of matte and shiny yarn, makes a beautiful shawl. Were the beads added during the weaving or as part of the hem? Your daughter-in-law is going to love it!

4:55 AM  
Blogger Birdsong said...

What a delightful overview of the process... I will be looking more closely now at what you wear, trying to figure out if it is something that you dyed to get the color you couldn't find in the store.

2:14 PM  
Blogger Anne said...

Yep - it was me here in SLC. Out-subtle yourself. I like that one. :)

11:27 AM  

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