Did it work?

In “The Kardiac Kitten: A Feline Masterpiece,” I said

My hope is that the emotional significance I can’t put into words will be communicated, or at least implied, by the time and effort it takes to weave this picture. I will always have feline companions. But there will never be another Squib, because the unique combination of circumstances and personality and time spent together can’t ever happen again.

I finished weaving the body of the tapestry yesterday. I’ll write a serious post with more details and pictures. For tonight, filled with an odd mixture of exuberance and grief, I can say that yes, the message has been received, at least by the enthusiastic group of bead weavers in the Mirrix Loom group on Facebook. Squib added a lot of love to the universe while she was with me, and that love hasn’t gone away. And now you can see it. Maybe that is worth a thousand words.

Finished tapestry -- adding edging.
Finished tapestry — adding edging.

The Dangers of Weaving Your Own Pattern

I’ve noticed in the past that if I’m using someone else’s pattern or tutorial — beading, knitting, whatever — that I may make changes to the pattern at the beginning, but once that’s done I just go with it. With my own patterns, the “edit” part of my brain never really stops. Most of the time it’s a good thing — I like the changes and stick with them. But this weekend it seems to have led to lots of weaving and a lot less forward progress than expected.

The first setback was that my “original” pattern had way too much going on in Squib’s face. Some non-black colors are necessary, because without them her face turns into a blob with eyes. So I spent a good part of Friday redoing that part of the pattern and then weaving it.


Too many stripes!After:

Final (I hope!) pattern)There are still stripes, but far fewer, and the colors cover a much narrower range of black, greys and browns than the first pass.

I finally arrived at  Row 1, Column 5 on Squib’s portrait on Sunday afternoon. [Remember I am working the pattern in sections, 3 rows down and 6 rows across.]  This is very exciting because it’s the section that contains her left eye — so I can finally see the expression on her face. I got through about fifteen rows or so (each section is 50 rows) when I realized that I’d inadvertently stacked one entire column of beads with opaque black. Again, Squib’s a black cat. But there aren’t really very many places in her portrait where she has hard black edges. So that vertical stripe was painfully out of place.

Vertical black stripe[This picture is taken from the original pattern, the first picture above, not the tapestry.  It didn’t occur to me that it might be useful to take a picture of how it looked before I fixed it. Still figuring out this blogging thing, too.] I “smeared” it out by following the general colors of her right ear, which looked fine. [How did I miss that in the pattern?}

I didn’t go to bed last night until I had gotten her eye finished – she can see me now.

Update 1 Sept 2014