Let's start the year as we intend to go on

I decided that I'd start the year with some of the most important things: my family and making art. Today was the day to dive back into the big commission. It had to be redesigned this fall and the new iteration is better than the original. The piece is a little smaller, but still big enough to make me wonder, how long WILL this take me to weave? It will be 9 by 9 feet woven in three panels which will hang next to each other.

I am a continual optimist, but sometimes that gets me into trouble. I tend to underestimate how long things will take me to complete and thus often cause myself a lot of stress with deadlines that can't be met. I dropped all pretense of deadlines on this piece when we decided to do a redesign. Once it is on the loom I'll time myself consistently for a month and at the end I should be able to make a fairly accurate prediction of when I can have the piece finished... if I actually factor in the other things on my calendar of course. This is clearly not a fool-proof plan.

So today is January 1st and it was a great time to pull out the yarn samples that were dyed last summer and figure out the next steps in the dye process. I lined up the gradation the client and I agreed on and realized I needed some additions. I prepped the sample skeins and then started looking at the part of the design for which I haven't dyed samples yet.

Some of the samples all lined up. Rebecca Mezoff, tapestry.

All in all I'm feeling good about it and I am excited to start weaving something big again soon. Woven samples are under way and once I sample a few more things to help me decide how to dye the yarn for those last forms, I'm off on a serious dye run. There are far more colors in this piece than I'd like (simply from a yarn management standpoint), but the effect will be gorgeous.

Doing some math, setting up a sample dye run. Rebecca Mezoff, tapestry

For this project I anticipate dyeing about 40 pounds of yarn. I believe the final piece will be about 25 pounds but I'm increasing the strands of yarn in my bundle, so it could exceed that by about 25%.

Yarn sample cards, tagged balls, and potential colors. Rebecca Mezoff, tapestry

I'm getting out the dye pots tomorrow. It is going to be a great year.

If you need me, I'm in the dye studio.* 

*which is just fancy talk for my garage.