Been quiet the last few days, mainly because I been BUSY!
Rather than bore you with a blow-by-blow recount, here is a photo that sums up much of what I’ve been doing:
Here are six mockups for the collar. Â Left to right, starting with the top row, Â they are:
- variegated wine-and-purple rayon velvet, hand-dyed
- deep purple rayon velvet, also hand dyed
- handwoven fabric, rayon chenille weft, 1/4 satin. Â Dyed wine-red after weaving.
- handwoven fabric, sparsely spaced maple leaves, chenille dominant side up. Painted with burgundy dyes after weaving.
- handwoven fabric, closely spaced maple leaves, blue-purple.
- handwoven fabric, closely spaced maple leaves, burgundy.
While I still need to sit back and think more closely about things, here are my initial thoughts:
- Not fond of either velvet. Â Came out too dark, and feels unrelated to the rest of the piece.
- Also not fond of the “solid” chenille mockup at top right; it’s not as gorgeous as the velvet and just looks boring.
- The sparse maple leaves at bottom left feel jarring to me – changing the spacing upsets the unity of the piece without really gaining anything to me
- My favorite so far is the piece at bottom right, but I think there is considerably more sampling yet to do.
Next on the slate for collar fabric is to dye some rayon chenille weft and do some serious sampling. Â I think I can play some very interesting Â tricks with cross dyeing to get the leaves one color and the chenille another, but I’ll have to dye the chenille first. Â I will also need to change the aspect ratio on the leaves – the chenille yarn is thicker than the 60/2 silk weft I had been using, which stretched the leaves badly out of shape lengthwise. Â By adjusting my weave, I should be able to get the leaves to look right again. Â But it will take more fiddling.
I’m also in the midst of dyeing all the fabrics for the muslin – the colors are coming out muddy and ugly on the flannel, though, which is unfortunate. Â Since I bought the flannel from Joann Fabrics, I’m guessing it was treated with some kind of stain resistant or flame retardant finish which is interfering with the dyes. Â (I did scour before using, but apparently not enough to remove whatever was on it.) Â It will still be OK for getting the rough color sequence, but I think I may hand-paint another set of panels next weekend, this time getting flannel meant specifically for dyeing.
And, as if that weren’t enough, I’ve started a new project. Â I have been toying with the idea of compiling my essays on craft into a book for awhile now, but yesterday I decided to stop toying and just do it. Â However, since the essays are quite different in style, tone, etc. I’ve realized that I can’t just toss them into a compilation and be done with it; instead, I’m planning on rewriting them into a single piece. Â The exact format is still TBD – I’m considering combining them with narrative for a series of craft parables – but I’ve already started collecting the themes/ideas from each piece and looking to see what natural groupings arise. Â I spent this morning using some visual organization techniques I learned in project management school to help sort through the themes:
And that is all I have to say about it, for now. Â (Watch this space!)
Back to the dyepots! Â I have now dyed all ten panels for the next muslin, and need to paint the last two knitted blanks for the final two panels. Â I also need to dye some rayon chenille yarn, so I can sample some more collar possibilities. Â I think there are some really exciting possibilities with cross-dyeing.