It was about the time that I was giving up cram and space as anything I would ever do in real life when Janice showed me a piece that she has been sampling. It is based on the skip dent technique from Sharon Alderman‘s Mastering Weave Structures. Janice worked up a sampler with Henry’s Attic Alpaca Lace at 20 epi. (For non-weavers, skip dent and cram and space are synonymous.)
Now, this is much more to my liking. I found some 50/50 wool/silk (Crystal Palace Como mill end) and promptly warped it up at 24 epi.
I used my 12 dent reed and threaded 6 dents (at 2/dent) and skipped 4. I wove it in plain weave with random shots of fat silk singles whenever I felt like it.
Yum! I love accents of the silk. This fabric is something I can work with. A light summer wrap or yardage for an over shirt or unstructured jacket/shrug.
The photo above shows the piece washed and pressed. Judith spent a bit of time talking to us about the transformation the occurs between off the loom and washed in the past, but it wasn’t until we pressed it before I had my a-ha moment.
I mean, I loved the fabric after washing. And I am the queen of no ironing. But seriously, the piece is absolutely gorgeous after a nice pressing.
In the above photo, you can see the transition from straight off the loom to the finished product. The top sample is what it looks like straight off of the loom. For the non-weavers, I wish you can feel this fabric. It feels a bit like burlap. Yes, it’s wool and silk, but the fabric sample has no drape.
In the washed and fulled sample in the middle, you can see that the piece looks more like fabric now. It has a soft hand. This was fulled in the wash basin with a toilet plunger and thwacked against the edge of the wash basin to finish the fulling process.
The bottom piece (scarf) was pressed, not steamed, but hard pressed, to realign the warp. The sheen from the silk reappeared. The fabric has more drape than it had before the pressing.
Hmm. I just noticed that I presented the “ugly” end of the scarf. This was when I was playing with how do deal with the ends of the fat silk single in the weft. This particular attempt was created by tucking the ends on the alternate shed. In the samples, you’ll note that I’ve tucked the ends into the same shed as the silk singles and it nearly disappears into the fabric. (Yes, Amy, I wove my samples after I wove off the scarf. Yes, I know it’s backwards. Yes, I know I should have tested that out in the sample before I wove the real thing. Yes, I learned from this experience.)