Experimenting with the background

I think the best learning tool I have…is hanging my hooking up when I’m not working on it…in a place where it is easily visible while I read or watch TV.  I stare at it for long stretches at a time…assessing my work and pondering what decisions would be best.

After contemplating a variety of ideas on a background, I decided to try the very pale yellow used in the checks of the dress. I hooked a small area, and hung it up to see how it felt.

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I like the colour, but it is too consistent, and the longer I looked at it, the more I felt it robbed the piece of its essence of Glimt. Not so much because of the colour I decided , but because it simplifed the background too much….just a bunch of circles against a pale background……more staring and thinking. 

I decided to start by using a greater variety of pale yellow shades in the background itself.

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I ripped 1/4 yard natural wool in pieces to fit my small pan

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…. and used the ordered pancake dyeing method using 1/128th tsp of sun yellow, mustard, bronze and maple sugar, each in its own container with 1cup boiling water in each jar and some vinegar.

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The results…while nice…are too dark. When I thought about it afterwards…I realized that for the pale yellow, I had used only 1 colour with 1/128th tsp, and while this is the same amount of wool..I’ve actually quadrupled the total amount of dye by using 4 colours.

I tried again….this time using 1/256th tsp of each of the dyes, in 1 1/2 cups boiling water…. A much weaker solution.. 

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I still had lots of dye bath left over

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much paler 

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Much better this time.  ( from the left….first attempt…pale yellow….second attempt)

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Most of this background will come out to make way for small circles. My hope is to re-capture the essence of the Glimt ‘feel’ by using this subtle variation in background colour, and by filling in the spaces with as many small circles as I can manage to fit in. I’m feeling a little better about it already.

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