Tuesday, October 14, 2014

The Weaver is Short (of Space)

It started out this morning when, buoyed by yesterday's weaving, I wanted to see what silk yarns I had. I just wanted a peek.
I don't apologize for my silk stash; I bought maybe a quarter of these; some were gifts, but over half was salvaged from Mom's stash. What boggles my untrained mind is the variety of ... specs/models silk comes in.
Looking at silks gave me a direction for a commission piece I've wanted to start. But I don't feel confident with silk; I've mixed some in warps or used them as wefts, but had one monumental failure with a warp. Because I have more knowledge, and colors, in cotton, I've selected a few 2/20 and 2/60 cottons as warp candidates.
I brought a few downstairs and used one tiny ball to make another small bag exterior. I'm weaving the one after that with yellow-green wool. I can get two more bag exteriors from this warp; I wonder what I'll pick tomorrow.
The living room is still hectic. Poor Ben has to eat dinner either on the kitchen table, or his food competes for coffee table space with cones and sticks. Whereas I enjoy dinner while looking at cones.

I've felt a little uneasy about silk. I don't know if it's a Japanese thing or something to do with my family; silk is at once the ultimate fiber and a default one. Even in the heydays of Pashmina, silk always had a transcendent, incontestable place place on the fiber ladder. I kept telling myself I need to be a grown-up weaver to handle silk, but I love the hand, and feel of a heavy silk shawl on the shoulder. Kaz let me handle a piece from this first series. It was hefty and just wonderful; I can't get that from cotton. I think it's time to get out my Big Girl pants again and start learning.

As an aside, it would be nice to use up my current stash sometime in the not so far future. I've always told myself "ASAP" is good enough, but I'm 56 years, 6 months and 11 days old today, so my 60th birthday sounded like a good goal. That's 11 days short of three and a half years; I will have to weave steadily, but not at a breakneck speed, with plenty of scope for learning, experimentation and of course sampling. I'm exempting 2/20 and 2/60 cottons and cashmere and cashmere mixes, though, as these are on-going. Check back on April 3, 2018 to see if I've managed this; we might even have a wee "party" here, do you think? 


  1. Oh my, what a lovely stash! I wove for a lot less longer than you have, as you know, but I was never daunted by silk. I made a lot of warps with silk, handspun silk to boot, and never had a problem with them. The only silk I had a problem with was some coned commercial silk that came from China -- it was "the silk warp from hell." I've got numerous scarves, art cloth, and other pieces of fabric that I hand wove with silk warp and weft. A totally delightful experience. Go for it!

  2. Begin with the thicker sizes and gradually work 'down' to the finer ones. You'll soon be weaving off your stash. :)
    Also with much too large a stash and older than you - I'm already well past 60! ;)

  3. Connie, I know. I remember. I do wish Mom had fewer boucles and more slubby or straight skeins. Laura, the speed with which I plan and weave is like ... rice-fueled me vs. rocket-fuel-powered... rocket. And Mom had small amounts of a very wide variety of everything. Stuff with a descent amount of one kind, three lots on the lower left quadrant, is mostly what I bought, so there's enough to learn about the characteristics and practice and, yes, sample.


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