Friday, March 08, 2013

The Rest of the Story


Several years ago I made a hat. I made a calculated guess as to size, and yes! I made a paper, and then a cloth pattern. I spun some silk (warp, weft and pile yarn), dyed it, planned a design, and executed it with, if I do say so myself, a certain bit of skill. The hat top was, I thought, particularly nice:

hat top

The whole thing was lovely, in fact: nice, colors, it felt nice to the touch (well, silk pile!), had soft velvet lining and edging. Hat maker, I am not, however, and I did not calculate enough ease. It was a very small hat.

While not useful as a hat, per se, it was useful as a sculpture, a show piece, and in classes, a cautionary tale.

One day, I took it apart, to see if, without the thick lining, it could fit. It fit better (the thing could always be shoved on my head) but really? Still too small. But while it sat there in its un-lined state, I thought Bag! And began to plot its next incarnation.

No fabric I wove ever came close to looking like the colors of the hat-now-bag. Dilemma. So I over dyed it. Hmmm. OK, and maybe it goes with ....etc. you get the picture and the result is this post. I posted a glimpse of it here, but, as can be guessed, it did not work in its second incarnation (third?) either.

The colors, still quite rich, were too homogenous to show the pattern. The hat-now-bag was plain. I could remove the overdye, perhaps; the colors underneath might change drastically, but really? What did I have to lose? Time? So I threw it into a discharge bath. I added some of the yarns left over from its construction, in case I needed them for finishing.

It came out quite well! I like this muted palette, and I happened to have leather and velvet that would go nicely with its new look. I used the discharged silk yarns to make a band for the new bag:


It's now a good size for a project bag, has a silk lining and gathered top, and a new band with which to carry it.

Everything changes with time. Some changes are good, some not so much, some planned and self-initiated, some forced on us by circumstance. It just takes a little time before we can tell how it all will turn out in the end.

Hats are personal too, and can be serious or funny. One day, this little boy might be tormented by the way we dressed him up for pictures:


Blogger amyfibre said...

oh my, Sara! Such courage! I was with you until you threw it in the discharge bath. I'm not sure I could have gone that far. But the resulting bag is gorgeous!

8:30 AM  
Anonymous Marjorie said...

Excellent result! Glad you stuck wtih it until you had something that worked! Artistic and practical.

7:10 PM  
Blogger Lynn said...

Oh, I love those muted colors - although I have to say I love the original, too. Nobody you love has a small enough head? I wish I loved bags as much as you do; they seem like such do-able projects.

4:24 AM  
Anonymous drose said...

I love the the sacred geometry (pentagon- icosahedron cap) in the top of the hat, now bottom of the bag. You do such amazing work! Both are stunning and absolutely beautiful.

9:40 AM  
Blogger Louisa said...

Gee, I have a very small head. I would have taken the hat off your hands, Sara! Never mind. You've rescued it into a lovely bag.

And congrats on the new grandbaby! He's as adorable as his big sister.

1:16 PM  
Anonymous Celia said...

Sara, I came to your blog from the ad for your new book(congrats!). You are utterly and totally amazing! Not to mention productive. I read all about your incredible hat turned bag....quite the process! And happened upon your post about the THING...a total hoot, and I hope to see it sometime! I will be reading regularly. Hey, adorable grand kids too! Had no idea you were a mom, now grandma! Carry on, my amazing and creative fiber friend.
Hugs from the wintry North (6 degrees this morning...&. Still have 3-4 ft snow on the ground).

11:13 AM  

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