The velvet warp is now dyed and in the Eternal Rinse Cycle. I say “eternal” because I’ve been soaking/rinsing it for two and a half days now and small amounts of color are STILL coming out. Really dark blues are prone to bleeding, and this is an extremely dark blue, but still, this is ridiculous. I am considering boiling it with detergent as a “Take THAT!” measure, because I am eager to get on with putting on the warp.
Normally I wouldn’t worry about a teeny-tiny bit of bleeding (it generally doesn’t stick), but there’s some chance I might decide to use white for the pile, in which case even a little bleeding will be disastrous. And velvet is VERY time-consuming to weave, so weaving an entire piece and then discovering bleeding would be, well, tragic. I could always try weaving a sample to find out, but better to avoid bleeding entirely.
I am not, however, planning on using white, at least right now. I spent the morning playing with potential color combinations. With a two-color polychrome velvet warp, I get three warp colors: the foundation warp, pile warp #1, and pile warp #2. I also get all the mixes of any two warps, with the caveat that the blends will generally not be smooth.
Because I am constitutionally incapable of doing anything simple, I’ve been messing around with gradients in both polychrome warps. I spent the morning doodling up possible designs with different gradient combinations, and have settled on these two gradients for the pile:
The foundation warp, of course, is already decided (mottled dark blue, black, and purple) and will look like this:
(That looks like pure black, especially on a white background, but it’s not. It has very subtle color changes.)
I can choose any one of these color sets, or mixes of each of them, to work with in my design.
Here are a few of my doodles:
and my favorite:
The combination of an asymmetric gradient and a symmetric one produces a far more interesting result than two symmetric or two asymmetric gradients. That was a surprise, but I’m really liking it.
These are just doodles, not serious work. I’m exploring the space of possible designs with these color combinations so I can choose colors. I haven’t yet figured out how to create those gradients, how many threads to wind together, or any of a host of other things. And when I start, I’ll likely start with a series of samples to fine-tune my setup before progressing on to actual designs.
But I’m really excited by the possibilities so far.
Some people, on the other hand, are upset about my dereliction of duty as I play around with possibilities. Clearly it is time to stop playing with velvet and do my One Job – catering to feline whims.