Raw silk and hand-spun wool shawls

Oh my, it’s been a couple of months since I’ve added anything here.  I’ve been too busy weaving to write!

I think I’ll be a new weaver forever.  It’s so much fun to just try stuff and see what happens.  These shawls were from yarn picked up at give-aways at my weaving guild.

The first is raw silk.  (It seemed to have the right properties, and the latest label, pasted over two others, said Silk, so I’m going with it.) The yarn is pretty textured and a little sticky.  Since it’s light grey, I thought huck lace would work, and it did, though maybe the threads didn’t move around as much as they might with a less textured yarn.  Here it is on the loom:

SH004b

Off the loom, it was a little stiff and I did a lot of reading on finishing silk.  Apparently, to get the gum out of raw silk you have to boil it, and that wasn’t an option with this large a piece.  I finally settled on steaming – holding the iron above the cloth on full steam – and amazingly, that softened it up, so it has a nice drape now.

SH004

SH004

The second shawl was from handspun yarn.  When I picked it up at the weaving guild meeting, I didn’t even realize it was all the same yarn in three colors.  Bonus!

At first, I warped another stripe of brown on each side, but I was afraid I would run out of weft, so I took that off, just leaving two threads of brown at each edge, which I’m glad I did.  The structure is 2/2 twill, with the cream and brown angled in different directions, mirror imaged in the center (I’m sure there’s a more technical term for this pattern, but I think “point” has to do with changing the treading sequence, which I didn’t do – so much still to learn).

Here it is on the loom:

SH005a

There were some new experiences with this wool.  There was a lot of lanolin or spinning oil, especially on the cream yarn.  All the yarn was pretty twisty, but there was extra twist on the cream yarn, and since the last cream stripe was so close to the edge, the corners really curled up when it came off the loom.  I washed it in the tub with regular detergent, hot water, and agitation, and it fulled up a little.  I dried it hanging over the ironing board, and then ironed it.  The curled corners eventually straightened out with ironing.

SH005

SH005

The end result is that this shawl is a little like a horse blanket, but it drapes enough, and should be warm!!

Note: I put these and the shawl from my last post (2/26s wool) in a meeting room that is often chilly, and people use them often!!  Yeah!!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s