Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Color on a Monochrome Day

I pulled out my last large scarf blank last night and re-started the liturgical stole project. (I also talked to a friend of mine, who is blessed with both a serger and the knowledge of how to use it, and cut a deal for her to do the actual assembly work on the stole.) This piece is heavy hobotai silk with a very strong sheen, and probably is more suitable for the project anyway.

I am still trying to figure out the best way to control the rock-salt effect. Rock salt absorbs some of the dye, so you can get these neat ebbs and flows which remind me of water flowing over a rock. On my first attempt I had the table set up in the Northeast corner of the dining room and the salt caused little comet shapes with the tails pointing South towards the lighter section (the "top" of the piece). When I over-dyed it the other day in the Southwest corner of the dining room (which is frankly much more level), I got little "bulls eye" shapes from the salt instead. So for this new piece, I shoved a couple of phone books under the legs on one end of the table to get those comet shapes back. It worked - but they were pointing the opposite direction from what I expected. I still like how they turned out, but I need to read the book more about the whole salt process and how to better control it.

Anyway, by this morning it looked like this:

Very pretty - love it. But the result is really white with a blue/green/purple design, rather than the blue base tone I wanted. So I went over the back side of it with a coat of plain blue, watered down a bit on the "deep" end and watered down a lot on the "shallow" end. And then I added just a few more swirls of purple and green, because hey, it was in front of me. It's the kind of project where you could putter and tweak results for a long time, so in the end I had to work to pull myself and my blue fingernails away.

Oh, and this was the view from the dining room this morning:

Schools are canceled, and what do you want to bet I'm the only one who shows up for work?

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