Experimenting with the background

I think the best learning tool I have…is hanging my hooking up when I’m not working on it…in a place where it is easily visible while I read or watch TV.  I stare at it for long stretches at a time…assessing my work and pondering what decisions would be best.

After contemplating a variety of ideas on a background, I decided to try the very pale yellow used in the checks of the dress. I hooked a small area, and hung it up to see how it felt.


I like the colour, but it is too consistent, and the longer I looked at it, the more I felt it robbed the piece of its essence of Glimt. Not so much because of the colour I decided , but because it simplifed the background too much….just a bunch of circles against a pale background……more staring and thinking. 

I decided to start by using a greater variety of pale yellow shades in the background itself.


I ripped 1/4 yard natural wool in pieces to fit my small pan


…. and used the ordered pancake dyeing method using 1/128th tsp of sun yellow, mustard, bronze and maple sugar, each in its own container with 1cup boiling water in each jar and some vinegar.


The results…while nice…are too dark. When I thought about it afterwards…I realized that for the pale yellow, I had used only 1 colour with 1/128th tsp, and while this is the same amount of wool..I’ve actually quadrupled the total amount of dye by using 4 colours.

I tried again….this time using 1/256th tsp of each of the dyes, in 1 1/2 cups boiling water…. A much weaker solution.. 


I still had lots of dye bath left over


much paler 


Much better this time.  ( from the left….first attempt…pale yellow….second attempt)


Most of this background will come out to make way for small circles. My hope is to re-capture the essence of the Glimt ‘feel’ by using this subtle variation in background colour, and by filling in the spaces with as many small circles as I can manage to fit in. I’m feeling a little better about it already.

5 thoughts on “Experimenting with the background

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