I overdyed the phoenix fabric yesterday, with perhaps too-subtle results: a slight, barely variegation between pink and yellow near the top, with (as expected) nearly no variegation at the bottom. I haven’t posted a photo because the camera doesn’t pick out the color subtleties very well, so the photograph looks much like the one I posted yesterday. However, I really like the effect; it looks like birds rising up into the pinkish-yellow light of dawn.
That said, there is one major flaw in the fabric, a set of floats right above the bottom phoenix. Fixing this in such fine threads is impossible, even with a good light and maybe a magnifier. I could cut off the flaw and turn the remainder into a wall hanging, but since I have four feet or so of warp left, I think I will knit up another blank and weave it over again. This time, hopefully without flaws, and using a color gradient between pure scarlet and very pale pink. Then I will scrunch-dye in bright yellow and see if I like the results. If so, I’ll turn it into a wall hanging.
The next section of warp will be black ground warp and a scarlet-to-gold color gradient in the pattern warp. I’ve already established that I don’t much like this combination, but I may play with using a scarlet weft to see what happens. I will need 40-45 samples for the Fine Threads Study Group in May, so I will likely cut this section up into samples for the study group. So I don’t expect this to produce a finished product, but that’s OK! Samples are great to have, and it will give me something for Fine Threads.
The final section of warp is going to be yellow ground warp and scarlet pattern warp. I plan to weave it with a yellow weft, and overdye in shades of orange and scarlet to produce an inferno effect. If I have calculated things correctly, that should give me fiery patterns in the background with scarlet phoenixes on top. Of course, that means the other side will have fire-patterned phoenixes on a scarlet background, which may look even nicer. I’m really impatient to get to this section of warp, as I think it may be the best yet. But patience, Grasshopper! I have four feet of the current warp to go, plus another 6.5 feet of black warp, before I can get to that part. I don’t expect to get there for 2-3 weeks, at least.
The last thing I’m planning to do is start draping a muslin, testing the dress design. I have some stretchy crinkle fabric from Joann’s – not especially cheap at $15/yd, but a lot cheaper than my handwoven version will be! and some black cotton broadcloth, to make a mockup of the dress. However, as my draping skills were rudimentary at best and are now very rusty, I think I will start with draping a simple bodice out of plain muslin, to remind me of the method.
Lots to do! but, thank goodness, no other commitments standing in my way. I think my New Year’s resolution (to commit to less) was the best I’ve ever had.