After taking in quite a few suggestions, both here and in the Color in Weaving Facebook group, I’ve settled on a possible working title: Tourmaline Butterfly. The colors in the warp remind me of one of my favorite stones, watermelon tourmaline:
I was thinking about how best to use the colors. Depictions of flowers seemed too literal and too specific for the way the colors flowed. I thought about doing a waterfall theme, but wasn’t happy with the feel, especially after looking at waterfalls.
Then I was looking at drafts on Handweaving.net, and stumbled on this gorgeous draft by Bonnie Inouye:
I love this draft. In particular, I love the blurry lines from the advancing twill design, which suggest a design in the distance, set against the sharp bars in the center. It looks like a stained-glass window. Or like a butterfly’s wings, with the soft colors against the sharp veining that holds the wings together:
I’m envisioning a three-quarter or full circle cape with the body of the garment in those lovely pink-and-green tourmaline jewel colors, and with dark green “veins” branching through the garment like the veins on butterfly wings.
As the wearer opened her arms, the “wings” of the butterfly would open, revealing the pink and green.
I’m also considering making the cape so that, when the cape is draped normally, most of what you see is dark green, and you only see the pink and green portions when the arms are spread. In that case I’d be tempted to name the piece Coronavirus Chrysalis. Or maybe just the far more timeless Chrysalis.
The downside to designing the cape like that, of course, is that nobody would see the beautiful pink and green most of the time. It would make a dramatic fashion show garment, but not a very interesting one otherwise….unless, of course, I put a design on the back, where the cape would lie flat, and put the dark green covering the “wings” of the cape.
So many possibilities!
I’m now about 2/3 of the way through tying on the sample warp. The pink and green areas are tied on, now I’m working on the green warp:
This warp is going onto Maryam, and is designed to test whether the pink and green painted warp areas will stay cohesive enough to look good when woven. Also to test the concept for the overall patterning. The warp is 3.5 yards long, and 14.5 inches wide.
Because Maryam is threaded up at 60 ends per inch rather than Grace’s 90 ends per inch, I’ve doubled up the threads to get a good solid cloth. So the resulting sample will be heavier and coarser than the final cloth, but it should still tell me everything I need to know.
Next step is designing the first sample. Bonnie’s draft won’t work for my purposes, so I’ll have to create my own.
Finally, outside, things are happening.
The tomatoes are shooting upwards. I’ll have to hang the trellises this weekend:
The mulberries are ripening. I shook the tree this morning, with very tasty results:
My ginger is sending up shoots. (This is culinary ginger – the stuff you eat. I mostly grow it because the leaves smell so wonderful when you brush against them. But it’s nice having ginger on the back stoop, too! At least I’ll never absentmindedly run out. I love Chinese cooking, so that would be utter disaster.)
And, finally, the yellow irises are flowering. I wasn’t expecting them to bloom this year – I only planted them last year, and the purple irises are already done – but they appear to be, ahem, late bloomers.
(And yes, orange California poppies and roses in the background. The roses actually bloom all year round, even in December. There’s just no stopping them!)
That’s it for now!