Many thanks to all who commented on my sea-turtle dilemma! I posed the question in a couple of forums, and curiously, the answers were pretty much evenly divided between samples 1, 2, and 3 (with perhaps a slight favoring of 1 and 2). I took that as a sign that there were no wrong answers to the question, and it basically came down to personal preference.
My dilemma remained, however. I thought the undyed scarf made the strongest artistic presentation, but it didn’t fit my personal style – too subdued, not enough color. So I could make a piece that would show beautifully, but that I wouldn’t wear. Or I could make a (possibly) slightly weaker piece, artistically speaking, that I could actually wear and enjoy.
This is a nontrivial question for me, but it was settled fairly simply on inspecting the piece. The selvedges are a bit wonky and there is variation in pick density that makes some turtles longer and some turtles shorter. It is also streaky on the back side due to a poor dye job on the dark blue pattern weft. So lovely as it is, this is probably not a show piece. That meant I could overdye with impunity, since this is an item for my wardrobe and not for show.
So I overdyed it. Here are the top and bottom of the scarf, laid side by side:
I like it! There is a bit more color than in the original sample, and it is consistent enough in its irregularity that it looks intentional, not the result of a bad dye job. (I hope, anyway!)
The next step will be to hem the scarf and apply a beaded fringe. Fortunately, I have a ton of seed beads in all the colors of the sea – legacy of an impulse trip to a bead show. My plan is to hem it today, then do the beaded fringe post-surgery. That will give me something fun and pretty to do while lying around recovering.
Here are the bead colors that I’m contemplating:
It’s hard to make out the colors accurately while they’re still in the tube, so I intend to do lots of sampling. It’s hard to resist the temptation to start playing with them now – must save the pretty playthings for after surgery!
I also got a bunch of other things done this afternoon. I canned a gallon and a half of candied citrus peel (Seville orange and grapefruit peels), made two gallons of chicken soup for the post-recovery period, and made a gallon of applesauce to eat during the bland-foods phase of the recovery period. I also went through the pre- and post-surgery instruction packet and made an exhaustive list of what needs to be done when, and by whom. I think I can now safely say that I am vastly overprepared for the upcoming surgery. So I will spend the next few hours relaxing and spending time with Mike. After that, an early bedtime – we’re supposed to be at the surgical center no later than 6am tomorrow.
I’ll ask Mike to post an update after surgery – I imagine I’ll be too loopy to post much of anything.