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.
So 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.I’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.