Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Feather Series, and Answers to Questions

In comments on the previous post, Bev asked whether I keep a dye book, with formulas recorded, and Beryl hoped my Fire Series scarves haven't irritated the fire gods.

To Bev: the answer is no, I don't keep a dye book with formulas. I buy mostly primaries, not mixed colors, and make my own mixed colors from scratch. I've learned which yellow (lemon or gold) to mix with which blue (royal, turquoise, or navy) to get the flavor of green I want. Also, I've heard from several dye teachers that harmonious groups of colors have some common elements. So, for example, I used lemon and turquoise to get my green, and turquoise and royal to get my blue, and royal and violet to get a blue-violet. That way, each color in the sequence is a cousin to the previous one, and they play nice together. To get more punch you can use unrelated primaries as your basis, which emphasizes the difference between hues rather than emphasizing their relatedness. It all depends on what effect you want from the color scheme.

To Beryl: I had hoped that I was appeasing the fire gods, not making them angrier. I think the California fires had already started, at least in the Santa Cruz mountains, when I began that series, so the issue of wild-land fires was on my mind. I sincerely hope there's no correlation between what's going on in California's forests and in my studio!

The Feather Series warp is all wound onto the sectional beam:

I love how tidy and orderly the warp looks at this stage! It'll get messier looking soon, as I insert the lease sticks and start threading. Then once the warp is threaded and sleyed and tied onto the apron rod, it becomes tidy again, under tension and all straight and even.

I did have a few nervous moments as I wound the last section - watching the cones empty quickly. Here's how much I had left:

The green (2 cones on right) is the color I'm worried about, because for some reason there are more knots in the green warp - that came off a cone of silk that apparently had a lot of weak spots, and as I wound the dyed skein off onto cones, it kept just drifting apart. No tangle and jerk causing a break, it just lost its grip and let go.

Fortunately, a recent discussion on the WeaveTech yahoo group about the weaver's knot (aka sheet bend knot) prompted me to learn a new skill. I'm hoping that the small bulk of the sheet bend, compared to an overhand knot or square knot, will mean I can weave right over some of the knots without their being detectable, so I won't need as much spare green thread for replacement ends. In worst case, I'll find something close enough in hue in my bin of leftovers from previous projects that can be used for replacement ends. At 72 epi, a few inches of a single thread that's a slightly different hue won't show at all.

The weft yarns are all dried and ready to go. Here are 4 of them (the 5th is black):

This is another classic example of how digital camers have trouble representing reds. The two greens and the grey in the photo are exactly what they look like in the flesh - kelly green, forest green, and deep charcoal - but the red-violet in the picture is way too pink, not violet enough. Oh well, it'll be fine when woven - just the color I was after, even if it doesn't look like it here.

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