Monday, July 23, 2007


I did buy another weaving related book while I was in Washington, D.C. It is a recent book called The Beader’s Color Mixing Directory: 200 Failsafe Color Schemes for Beautiful Beadwork. It is by Sandra Wallace.

I have tried my hand at beading in the past, but this book is not to help me with beading, or even with using beads in my weaving. It is to help me with color schemes.

I am not sure that there is anything that can be called a “failsafe” color scheme, for the best of them can be ruined in the application of them. And I actually cringe at the concept of such a thing. But there are some really interesting neutral color schemes in the book. And neutral color schemes are a foreign country to me. Give me brilliant colors, deep colors, toned colors and I feel totally at home. But neutral colors? I don’t know where to begin.

This book offers me some places to begin.

Developing a neutral color scheme for a crackle project has been in the back of my head for awhile now. What brought the vague thoughts to me head was Sandra Rude’s series of wood grained scarves. To see some of them, check out her blog’s April archive here. Her scarves are multi-shaft wonders. Mine, on the other hand, will continue the crackle theme. I don’t want to limit myself to browns, but when I see how beautiful a neutral such as brown can be, I am inspired to stretch myself in a new direction. And that new direction, to be more specific, will be pale neutrals.

Dyeing the colors will be a challenge. Sandra used natural dyes. That was part of her overall theme. On the other hand, I will be using Sabraset/Lanaset dyes, which, for all practical purposes are considered as acid dyes. This is where first real stretching will take place. I suspect a lot of dye sampling will be in order. I have come up with some interesting neutrals in past dye samplings, so I will first take a look at those and figure out where I want to go from there. Then, when I have the colors, the second stretching will be designing a crackle structure to exploit them.

By the way, if you haven’t already done so, check out Sandra’s recent postings as well She always seems to be working on something new and phenomenal. Now she has got hold of some amazing variegated yarn that she is going to use on her next project.

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