I’ve been meaning to overdye this silk thread, which I acquired some time back. But Mother’s Day kind of snuck up on me this year. Even if it feels more like March than May, Mother’s Day is Sunday. So yesterday I plugged in an audio book and got busy.
As-is, the colors of the thread worked with a shell piece I wanted to incorporate into a necklace for my mom. And the colors look like a Florida sunset — perfect for Mom. So I figured I could make it work, despite the weird “puddling” effect I generally get from space-dyed yarns.
I used a needle chain start to make an oval piece that covered the back of the shell.
Then I decreased to cradle the shell in a silky “bezel”, edging it with a non-picot version of the beading technique in this video.
To complete the pendant, I worked more looping, incorporating some beads, around the shell. The neck strap is where the space-dyed puddling became a problem.
Mom’s skin is very sensitive, so for necklace straps I generally stick with silk and/or beads — no metal closures. Mom prefers her necklaces shortish, so instead of a continuous piece that slips over the head I planned a two-piece fiber “chain” with a loop and button closure. My first attempt was a double needle chain, which looked awful with the space-dyed puddling. After unstitching that, I used a single needle chain with bead looping along both edges of the chain. The extra thread from the bead looping helped mask the puddles a bit. This is what it looked like while blocking.
I’ve had students do amazing work with space-dyed yarns by carefully cutting out short lengths of the colors they wanted. It’s reasonable to manage all those thread additions in the looping structure. But working in a lot of ends on a long needle chain is not much fun. A Russian join should work on a plied yarn, but I didn’t even try it on this silk. I just decided to live with the puddles.
When it’s worn, I don’t think the splotchy colors on the strap will be the first thing other people notice. What I hope they notice is Mom’s smile when she wears it.