Neki warned me that the silk might be too weak to use as warp. In fact, I kind of knew it already, but I don't like to say no to anything until I've given it a try (and I had already wound the warp onto the back beam of my loom).
I remembered that some yarns, notably linen, gain strength when they are wet, and wondered if this would be the case with the silk, even though one is a cellulose fiber and one is protein. The yarn has a sort of linen-y feel, after all, so I convinced myself that this was not a crazy idea. I got it nice and wet, gave it a snap, and the experiment was over as quickly as it had begun. I didn't have to use much pressure. The yarn practically snapped itself.
One wants a good strong yarn in the warp. It's one of the reasons I enjoy working with other [stronger] types of silk. But an even tension is also crucial. So I finished threading and sleying and tying on as carefully as I could, and got busy weaving.
Just a few shots in, however, something felt wrong. I quickly realized that [OH, SILLY ME] I hadn't snapped the heddle bars back into place. They were a little wobbly, but I was weaving. And then it hit me--this was actually preventing me from torturing the warp with too much stress. And there we are. Sometimes, we do dumb things and they end up working out.
The weft is a handspun blend of silk and wool. I am really happy with my progress, and can't wait to see how it looks after a nice hot bath.