Weeks 15 & 16: Calamity!!!

Just a short catch-up post from me today. I am very, very hungover but with good cause. All the wool I use is hand-dyed, so I am very careful about mixing my batches when I weave so any slight colour differences can be smoothed out. I thought this was less of an issue with the hair of the figure in Found Drowned because it was such a jumble, and the colours I was using were staples of my palette so I knew they were very reproducible.

tapestry weaver, tapestry artistSo I didn’t think anything of it when I ran out of my light rust colour and toddled off to my dye lab (aka my kitchen) to make some more. I wove with it and it was wrong, wrong, wrong. Too light, too yellow and it was really obvious on the tapestry. I could not for the life of me figure out why it was wrong – it matched all my wraps and swatches and even seemed to match earlier sections of the tapestry. I cut off a tail from the back of the tapestry and saw one of the original rusts was slightly pinker and that threw the whole thing off when blended. I was pretty devastated and it did cross my mind I would have to abandon the whole thing. I even started going through some of my earlier tapestries to see if it had any of that elusive colour I could pull out. The only other option was to pull out all the hair and redo all that work, but no way would the tapestry to be ready in time. I went to bed feeling pretty miserable and very, very tired. I haven’t had a break for a long time so I wondered if a couple of days off would help me figure out the solution. But instead I woke the next morning determined to try to recreate that pinkish-rust colour. I’m grateful to the scientist in me for meticulous record keeping in my dye book, but it still took over a dozen attempts to redo  it, but I got there. It’s not the an exact replica, but it doesn’t show as different when blended.IMG_4439I’m grateful that I had plenty of wool to do all these experiments guilt-free, but it was a very frustrating experience, changing slight elements of the formula each time to try to recreate whatever it was I did last time; many were too brown, or too orange, but no doubt I will be able to put them to use in a later project. So I deserved a drink last night, and fortunately I had been invited along to the Beer Club at the Saltaire Brewery by chums from East Riddlesden Hall. There is nothing like Plum Porter, hog roast, good company and a dusky grey sky streaked with flamingo pink to cure the soul. I went to bed thinking I would work today, but I am too hungover to trust myself at the loom and it is probably not a bad thing to have a break from it for a day.

Phew. Phew. Phew. And Phew again.

The offending wrong colour on the left and the correct version on the right
The offending wrong colour on the left and the correct version on the right


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