Today on the blog, Founder and CEO, Ashley, is sharing her first impressions surrounding some new materials she was lucky enough to get her hands on from TWO amazing fiber suppliers, Saltwater Rose Studio and Spirit Trail Fiberworks. Keep reading to find out more! Fair warning: you are probably going to want to try them yourself.
Just a quick heads up: We received these products for free in exchange for a fair and honest product review. This post may also include affiliate links where available.
As a weaver, I am always looking for new supplies to help make my latest vision come to life – and when Saltwater Rose Studio and Spirit Trail Fiberworks both reached out to ask if I would want to review some of their product, I of course, was very into this idea.
Kathleen of Saltwater Rose sent a 500g cone of mulberry silk/netter blend in 15/2mm and Jennifer of Spirit Trail Fiberworks sent 4, 100 yard skeins of a Polwarth/Silk blend base dyed in the most gorgeous colorways: South Pacific, Corfu, Incendio, and Natural. I decided to review them together as you simply cannot warp a loom without having some beautiful yarn on hand to weave with!
When the thread arrived, I have to be completely honest, I was concerned with how thin the thread was. It would be great in multiple creative pursuits but my plan was to use it as warp thread for finer, more intricate and detailed weavings. I’m not by any means a “gentle” weaver and have had many, thicker, warp threads break on me easily.
Nevertheless I held it in my hands and gave it a little tug. When it didn’t break, I tugged a little harder. To my surprise the yarn didn’t give one bit and after my initial, very scientific experiment (lol), I decided I could confidently continue warping my loom. I chose a high-density warp which allows you to get as detailed as possible with your design.
(Click HERE to read Lindsey’s (Hello Hydrangea) explanation of the difference between low and high-density warps)
Next comes the yarn. Now I’ll tell you, I’ve dyed yarn before. I’ve even taken classes to learn how to do it properly. Wouldn’t ya know, it’s still difficult for me to achieve consistent color results! However, when I untwisted the skeins and was able to see the entire yardage, I was surprised to not see any color variegation upon first glance.
Why is this important? Well for some weavers who specialize in detailed tapestry work, even the slightest color variegation in hand-dyed yarn ends up being very noticeable once the yarn is woven up. Which is why several weavers turn to commercially dyed fibers to ensure their vision isn’t “ruined” by differences in color.
With the loom warped I gathered all my necessary supplies and sat down to decide on a design. I’ve been wanting to weave a diamond pattern for years. So, I figured why not tackle it now?
Weaving small, intricate designs like this one is something I love to do. I can get lost in the rhythm of the weave, coincidentally taking my mind off whatever troubles me at the moment. It also is a great way to practice self-discipline, as progress is often slow. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for a quick and easy project with relatively instant gratification! However, in our modern fast-paced world, going the slow route is a nice change of scenery on occasion.
As soon as this baby was off the loom I decided it needed a bit more embellishment. I grabbed some gold lurex I’ve been – *ahem* – hoarding from String Harvest and embroidered details to my diamonds.
Finally I found a gold frame and I couldn’t be happier with this finished piece.
The warp thread from Saltwater Rose Studio held up absolutely beautiful to my delight. It kept it’s tension and despite my initial concern over its strength I didn’t have any issues.
The yarn from Spirit Trail FiberWorks also continued to live up to my initial observations. If there is any variegation you can only see it up close, and if you’re looking for it.
So there you have it folks, huge thumbs up for both Saltwater Rose and Spirit Trail Fiberworks! If you’re looking for some new materials to work with, I sincerely recommend checking out what they have to offer!