The Paths of Inspiration

Sometimes for me, inspiration  is swift and sure, coming like a bolt out of the blue.  But more often, it is a long and convoluted twisting path with many dead ends and blind alleys. I’ve learned to keep searching until I feel that wonderful excitement in knowing that YES! this is what I want to hook

For a long time, I’ve been intending to replace this rug which lies in our upstairs hall.DSCN0315I’ve repaired fraying edges and several splits along the side, but duct tape on the underside can only do so much.

As is usual, my creative process is multi- directional and convoluted, but this time it has transpired over several years. I began using a journal to collect ideas and pictures that inspired me., and although most will not be used for this project, it is a useful tool and a great reminder of what I like. Now that I’m ready to make a decision and begin this rug, I went back to it once again .

So….here’s a record of my ideas, and decisions as I settled on how I would tackle my “upper hall rug”.

I was inspired by these Yellina prints. I liked the flower like motives and the overlapping as they moved out from the centre.DSCN0317DSCN0318….however I discarded the idea of flowers entirely, as being more feminine than  I wanted for this project.

I then turned to the idea of an abstract pattern. (sorry for the fuzzy photos). I immediately thought of Deanne Fitzpatrick’s beautiful monochromatics.

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Oh so beautiful, but her wonderful , high, freeform style is not one I can emulate, and for me is much of the charm of these rugs. Mine would just not end up having that depth.12604682_1186069824754403_7020163080713360433_oThis is an antique puzzle rug, and rather like another idea that was floating in my mind…to create the outline of an historical building in my town, and then hide it within multi coloured shapes. While the idea intrigued me , after several sketches, when I tried to picture the result, it just didn’t make me happy.

This latch hook rug made me smile. It would be an easy pattern idea, and would use up lots of existing wool in my stash. 6aa18ba904e0148ba1834b59916763d6

It was at this point that I realized I was looking for the wow factor, and for me this idea just didn’t have it. I wanted something that took my breath away and would excite me each time I stood back to look at it.

I saw just such a rug being worked on at our rug hooking meeting on Tuesday. It was an overhead view of water and a shore with beautiful blues and greens , in the water, rocks and other various colours. It was wonderful, it was perfect, but it wasn’t my idea. I even went so far as to spend several hours looking through images of rocks in water to see if there was another form of the same idea that I might use to inspire me.

I loved this one…Rocks-Under-Water-Crystal-Creek1….but the reality is too much like Marg’s idea. I needed my own.

So back to my inspiration journal, and a series of ideas I’d found a long time ago. DSCN0313This multicoloured swirly pattern is created with lights on the floor of a Moroccan Cathedral.

I liked the pattern idea, and it reminded me of oil on water so I looked for just that…images of oil on water.DSCN0311….how beautiful and bold is that…..DSCN0312….or this with basically just the two colours……..but when I revisited this next example…I knew I’d found my answer….

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I love the shapes, I love the colour palette (except the expanse of dark on the left). I think I have found my answer. ….one that was in my journal all along. It has the feel of a nebula about it with the excitement of fire, and the serenity of the circles. While I liked it before, now it is speaking to me personally.

Now for the next step.

 

 

 

 

De”fence”-ing

DSCN0270My first project for the new year is to complete Grumpy Owl. Long ago, (several months at least) I stopped hooking the head feathers when I realized that the shading was dark to light on the left, and the opposite way on the right. While I debated how to deal with that, I finished other areas. Now I could no longer put it off.

DSCN0281My solution? Let them meet in the middle, with light wool on both sides of the merging feathers. (the jury is still out on this solution).

That leaves only the bottom section to hook.

DSCF7631Just a reminder….the original is a dot work drawing done by my talented son Mathieu and therefore doesn’t have the detail of a hooked piece. I thought it was a fence, and had tried out a version using the same technique as I had done on the side of my barn. BUT….when last home, Mathieu told me that he hadn’t intended it to be a fence at all….hmmmmm…..what to do? When in doubt….wait and ponder.

Well with everything else hooked, the waiting time was over, and decision time was upon me. I ripped out the old ‘fence’ and spot dyed a variety of fabrics with some different greys and a sand (I think it was khaki drab….but my recipe book is on a different floor, so I’m guessing)

DSCN0275I switched to an #8 cut and started hooking a rocky perch  for Grumpy.DSCN0277

The rock fissures and the details around the talons are the tricky part, and I’ll digress for a bit as I record how I kept the vertical aspect, while filling in around them.

If you have a  cutter with an adjustable guide, like the Frazer 500….DSCN0291….or one of the Beehive, Townsend, or  Ault type….DSCN0292…..you will probably have experienced cutting your wool when the guide is not set exactly correctly, and ended up with that first strip the wrong size…..DSCN0294In this case the first strip was wider than an 8. Rather than adjust the wool guide, I left it, and those wider strips are just perfect for filling in  the slightly larger spaces.

Of course there were spots that needed smaller sizes, and I am not averse to cutting a section or the end of a strip to make it fit smoothly.DSCN0302

….(Do you know how hard it is to hold the scissors, hold the camera, and also take the photo? ….this took several tries….and finally balanced the scissor handles with my knee.)

DSCN0307Here you can see how (upper right of the ‘rock’) the extra wide piece fits nicely between the black, and a smaller strip will fit neatly into the small space just to its  left. It’s slow going, but for me the result is worth it. The talons are unimpeded, and the rock face is going in the right direction.DSCN0274

Winter is fully upon us here in central Ontario, with a nasty icy day forecast. I’m staying home to snuggle up, watch the curling, and hook. I hope you have a nice day too.

Thanks for stopping by.

 

Looking Backward and Foreward

Happy New Year to everyone. It’s that time to reflect on the past, and make plans (dare I say resolutions) for the new year. So I decided to review just what I had hooked in 2015.

I completed several rugs. Hijab……for the Women’s Day Art Show….DSCF7260

Creating Hijab was fun and interesting, (that’s a shadow across the top not a stain).  DSCF6994

I learned a lot in creating the red scarf with just three different shades of  mottled wool.

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This little bunny which was hooked in a challenge. It is not quite finished here. I’ve never liked it , so perhaps that’s why I can’t find a shot of the completed rug.

I hooked this little seascape using wool which was distributed amongst the Sunshine Rug Hookers from the stash of the late Hilda Hayes. We each hooked something which reminded us in some way of Hilda.She and her family came from England in the late sixties, and I thought this serene English seaside sunset was appropriate. DSCF7481It is now framed and hanging in my front hall.

I was hooking zentangles for awhile for our group demonstration at R.U.G. and this one is now whipped and  sits atop my hall table.DSCF7480I completed a number of small projects….DSCF7477

…..like these pins for my DIL

….and these mug rugs for various relatives  and friends…DSCN0064DSCN0061DSCN0062

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I whipped the edge of my Lunenburg rug…..DSCN0209….so it is finally complete….

I have my two “workshop pieces ”  underway but not completed….DSCN0164DSCN0163

(actually they are both farther along than this, but my camera has once again stopped uploading pictures  GRRRRRRR!!!)

The largest project, which I’ve been working on all year, is Grumpy Owl. DSCN0009Since this photo was taken, I’ve finished the background and done some reworking of the moon.DSCN0263….it is whiter, with more clouds and fewer “squiggles”and there may well be further adjustments to it.

So that was 2015.

Now for 2016, I’m ready to get back to working on my sweet Grumpy Owl and to finish it as my first project of the  year.

As for a New Year’s hooking resolution?  It is to  hook without pressured deadlines and to enjoy every loop I pull. Let’s see if I can keep this one.

Thanks for stopping by.

Finishing Mug Rugs & Table Mats

A couple of weeks ago two different people came up to me to say thank you for a tip on finishing small potholders etc. They had both had difficulty gluing down a finished back without bumps and globs showing through. Since I was just finishing up some mug rugs, I thought there might be others who would appreciate seeing how I do it.

I love hunting for mugs which have a “hookable” picture on them, since they are fun to hook, and  my family really seems to appreciate them.

DSCN0211This one was an obvious choice as being easy to hook.

DSCN0243Both one son and his wife have names starting with “S”  so this was really appropriate.

DSCN0237I thought this was really pretty as well. I chose to hook just the one flower on the bottom.

I enjoy rummaging through my bits and pieces to come up with appropriate colours. DSCN0210.jpgThis one was a great exercise in hooking diagonally.

When the hooking is completed, I secure the edge by putting tacky glue right around the edge, and smoothing it out away from the hooking with a ruler.DSCN0220DSCN0221This secures the hooking for when the backing is cut away.

I use a fairly heavy black felt for the back, and cut a piece that is slightly too big.DSCN0224.jpg

Oops….I grabbed very dull scissors to cut this piece.

Apply tacky glue to the back of the hooking…..DSCN0225Then…(and this is the part I didn’t do at first, and ended up with a lumpy backing)….use a ruler or flat edge to smooth the glue into the hooking…DSCN0226I make sure the wool is covered and as well as a bit of the backing on the edges…DSCN0228 (1)….then gently press the felt down all over and let it dry.DSCN0230 (1)Then cut away the backing and excess felt from the top side making a smooth edge right next to the hooking. (good sharp scissors needed )DSCN0234 (1)The layers on the edge are even and ready to be covered.

I cut strips that are a few sizes bigger than the hooking (in this case the hooking is a #4 and the edging is a #6).

The final step is my least favourite, and I’m still trying to think of a way to make it less messy…..

I put a bead of glue along the strip and then drag the ruler along it to spread the glue (I did it on a plastic bag to save my desk from being covered in glue)DSCN0235This piece is smoothed along the edges for the final finishing touch. Finally, by pinching and shaping the corners while the glue is still wet, you can get a nice square turn.DSCN0236…….and here are the finished little mug rugs…..

DSCN0249DSCN0248DSCN0250DSCN0251I know that none of this is new to most hookers, but for those of you who are newbies, or have never tried this method, perhaps it will be helpful.

So from my house to yours…..DSCN0252…..I wish you the happiest of holidays and the making of wonderful memories with your loved ones.

Thanks for stopping by.

 

What’s Up?

There was lots going on at the Sunshine Rug Hookers meeting this week. It was interesting to see the influence of various fall events playing out in people’s work.

Evidence of Sandra Marshall’s Punch Hooking Workshop was all around.DSCN0197I think Kathleen designed this pattern using templates brought by Sandra.

DSCN0202Teresa is working with finer wool and a different sized punch than what I chose. She says she’s having trouble deciding how close to punch the rows.

DSCN0201Mary’s mom had three boxes of embroidery floss like this, so she is doing some very fine punching with it…DSCN0200(I have just such a box and I hope to try a similar project in the future)

Betty brought her ’embellishment project’ to show what she has accomplished so far….DSCN0181It is just stunning. I should have taken a photo from the side so you could see the 3D effects .

Linda Wilson’s recent mini class on stained glass inspired Karen to dig out a pattern she had on hand, and wow! She has been busy.DSCN0191I love the colour palette.

Linda had purchased a kit designed to teach values.DSCN0185….a simple view of trees….and many shades of green.

Recently, a well known hooker and teacher ,Hilda Wells, gave up hooking due to ill health, and held a sale of her patterns, wool, and equipment.

Gail is hooking one of her pieces…..DSCN0188….and Jean is finishing off another that was started by Hilda….DSCN0186Aren’t those shaded flowers beautiful. I love the dark colour that Jean has chosen for the background (I’m always drawn to dark backgrounds)

DSCN0187Diane is still finishing Hilda Hayes last piece…DSCN0189She said that little leaf by the bird will be coming out.

 

Jean C. is working on a commission..DSCN0180….she needs to produce a lot of her proddy broaches.

DSCN0199Janet has her prancing rooster under way…

DSCN0182Edie is using up scraps to make her ‘squares’ rug.

DSCN0193 (1)….and Marion is using a variety of textures….wool, yarn, sari silk, and quillies (standing wool circles).

….and I….DSCN0209….finally finished the whipping  on my Lunenburg rug.

DSCN0207Chris is knitting this delightful outfit for a ‘baby doll’ .(apparently I am quite behind the times since I didn’t know what a ‘baby doll’ was).

Cheri has nearly finished this beautiful, free flowing piece.

DSCN0203She hand cuts her fabric and uses a wide variety of materials.DSCN0204The results are always amazing.

I’ve shown Fiona’s rug at various points along its progress, but her addition of her “British flag” sandals really tickled my funny bone. I absolutely love them….and want to see them in person!DSCN0195….the border is made of wildflowers found around their Green River homeDSCN0196

(excluding my camera strap…which snuck in the photo by mistake)

This is a large rug…DSCN0194

…and one that will eventually be cherished by future generations I’m sure.

Aren’t we a busy and diverse group?

Thanks for stopping by.

 

Playing with Embellishments

Yippee! My camera is back and fixed. What an annoyance it has been to be without it. I wasn’t able to take any photos of the second workshop I attended with Sandra Marshall so I’ll have to make do with sharing the project I have under way.

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I haven’t touched it since, so this is what I accomplished in the two days of the course. What a genius idea she has created….a colour wheel sampler of  many many ways a hooker can embellish her/his work. DSCN0165

In the red section she taught us how to create bias shirring (mine leaves quite a bit to be desired…you can see that it does not all pucker successfully). Then we created needle felted balls which could be sewn on (seen below the shirring) or needle felted directly onto the hooking (top right corner) This was my first time doing needle felting, and I was surprised at how easy and effective it is. The background is hooked in with a variety of wools in the red family, and eventually each section will be completed the same way.DSCN0166In the orange segment she taught beading (alternating strips …shown down the right hand side),  couching (second row up from the bottom)…and as you move up…., hooking with yarn (leaving high loops so it will blossom)….ruching….with a wide strip sewn down the centre in such a way that it ‘wiggles’ when drawn up…then in the centre  fabric bundled shearing made from different sized circles of wool.

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In the yellow section she taught scrunched applique with felted”sushi” on top (the two coloured larger yellow ‘circle’) once again, mine is not very good and will undergo some ‘renovations’ so it is a little more ‘scrunched’. My colours are also a little too close, so the 3 ‘sushi’ layers don’t show to advantage. (mine looks more like a 3 day old dried up egg yolk). There is a small wool circle with felted ball on top, and then (one of my favourites) weaving.….where a strip of wool is woven through hooked loops.

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The green section features a trapunto leaf. It is stuffed giving a 3d effect and the edging is couched to the leaf before it is attached to the backing. It still requires some embroidery detail on the top.  At the top is a spider web rosette. Mine is not completed and will be coming out. I want the colours to be more distinctly green, but you can see what a beautiful embellishment this makes. I can think of countless ways to use it. More shirring is still to be added to the section. This time done with narrower strips.DSCN0170

The blue section has a fabric bundle with a felted ball (a  Jennifer Manuel method) and a two colour chain stitch, as well as a yarn bundle using strips of interesting yarn to create the ‘flower’. (mine will likely get an additional haircut).

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The purple section features standing wool circles (quillies). Apparently it isn’t technically a quilly unless it is done with paper. One of the Sunshine members used this technique last year when making a bag to hold her hooking tools, and it is absolutely beautiful.

Around the quilly is a ring of caterpillar shirring sewn in place to create an elegant edge.

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The centre has been felted with black fiber, and eventually I’ll add a felted ball of each of the colours of the colour wheel.

Wow! What a learning experience. Sandra packed an amazing amount of information into two days while at the same time giving us time to try it all with her expert assistance close at hand. There were a lot of smiling faces at the end of the two days .

The first workshop was of course on needle punching, and my camera died before I could post my efforts…..so here it is just underway..DSCN0141

….then a little further along…..DSCN0142

….this time from the back (the side you work from)

DSCN0163….and here it is at present (showing the front)…almost done. It has certainly been fun…and punching is much faster….but it would take a lot of adjustment for me to get used to not seeing the front of my work as I progress. Since I also love the beautiful evenness  of the cut wool strips, I don’t think I’ll be making a switch from hooking to punching any time soon. It does however provide another option (you can teach an old dog new tricks, but she may not like to give up the old ones).

Thanks for stopping by, and Happy Thanksgiving to all my American readers. Here in my neck of the woods, winter has arrived with the first significant snowfall of the season.

 

 

Venturing into Punch Needle

What a week! I attended not just one, but TWO workshops…… one learning punch needle, the second investigating embellishments for our hooking. Both were given by Sandra Marshall  and  each was a wonderful learning experience. If you have a chance to attend either or both…..jump at it!

The  punch needle class was one day long, and since we were all hookers, the transition was quite simple.

Here is just one example of Sandra’s punch needle work.

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Advantages:  it’s quicker than traditional hooking, you can use balls of yarn with no need to deal with smaller strips and ends (although normal wool strips can be used). The needle determines the depth of the loops, so once the technique is mastered, all the loops will be a consistent height.

Disadvantages: You work from the back so your work is always up-side-down. Your pattern will be a mirror image of your completed work (makes lettering tricky) and you can’t see your finished product as you are working on it.

For a “colourholic” like me, the array of fabulous wool brought by Sandra was spine tingling.

I chose my pattern, and wool (made some changes and added some of my own wool as well after this photo was taken) then Sandra suggested the size of punch needle that would be best for my wool.DSCN0114

A lesson on technique, and before long we were all busily at work.

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Some people chose one of Sandra’s pre-drawn patterns, some used her templates to draw one of their their own, and some brought patterns from home. DSCN0123DSCN0129DSCN0125DSCN0131DSCN0132DSCN0130

Everyone was having a good time.DSCN0111DSCN0115DSCN0116DSCN0113Seeing Sandra’s work was a wonderful inspiration.DSCN0119DSCN0105DSCN0106DSCN0103DSCN0104DSCN0121The next two used wool strips rather than wool yarn. DSCN0117DSCN0118A super day…..great learning, fun working, good friends , and yummy food (thanks to Brenda).

I did take photos of my efforts, but my wonderful new camera has turned out not to be so wonderful after all!  It is on its way back to the manufacturer after refusing to upload any more photos to my computer. Hopefully it will be back soon and I can continue with a blog about embellishments.

Thanks for stopping by.

Stained Glass in Fabric

Last week at Sunshine Rug Hooking, Linda Wilson gave a demonstration about hooking stained glass. Without my camera, I thought I’d missed my chance to share this technique, but as it happens, I wasn’t the only one to forget last week, and several people brought their stained glass work to share this week. So I wanted to show that work, and for those who may never have tried it, outline some basic steps to achieve the effect.

I have only hooked this one simple example, and you can see that I’ve never done the finishing. I always wanted to surround it with a real stained glass frame, but somehow that has never happened.DSCN0094

The day I got this pattern is one I’ll long remember. I had just started hooking, and my friend June Baker and I struck out one February day  to drive to Sheila Klugescheid’s house some miles away, to purchase hooking supplies. A raging snow storm blew up when we were on the road, and by the time we arrived, we had to struggle through about a foot of freshly fallen snow to get to her door. I found this pattern, and Shiela helped me choose the wool, then gave me the quickest lesson ever on how to hook stained glass. We couldn’t stay long for fear we would be completely snowed in.

Here’s the essence of her instructions for anyone who hasn’t tried it and might be interested….

Choosing wool:

-a dark colour for the leading (mine is deep taupe)

-spot dye or casserole dye for the background and details

Cutting wool:

-carefully keep the strips in the order in which they are cut and hook them in order (I used two sided tape affixed to cardboard to keep them in the right order)

Hooking

-Begin with the leading ( she suggested I cut it a size larger than the regular size,,,,in this case #4 for leading, #3 for the rest)

-Hook each section in straight lines (Shiela suggested sections touching go in opposite directions….although some people hook it all the same way)

….ANY ERRORS IN THIS INFORMATION ARE DUE TO MY FAULTY MEMORY….and are not the fault of Sheila!!!

Edie brought three examples to share today. Rather than a spot dye, she used a dip dye for the gowns.

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This little tree is mounted on actual stained glass.

 

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Jean made this piece for her mother.DSCN0088

She said she wasn’t pleased with it because she couldn’t keep the leading lines straight.

Her second piece didn’t start out as an underwater scene, but as she hooked the foliage, that’s what it suggested to her so that’s what it became. To keep the leading lines even in this one, she “tunnelled” the loops. DSCN0089

When she said this…someone in the group said, “I thought you weren’t supposed to do that! ” ….the reply?  ” You’re not….unless it creates the effect you’re after” How true for almost every “hooking rule” there is.

Kathy brought some examples of quilted and appliqué stained glass.DSCN0083

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What a wonderful way to decorate the house for Christmas. (such a talented lady)

Last week If I’d had my camera, I could have taken photos of beautiful  examples by several other people and included the extensive directions that Linda Wilson shared with the group . I apologize to them ( and especially Linda) for neglecting to do that.

Teresa has had a very productive fall. Along with a number of knitting projects, she has completed her shaded flowers piece,…..

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…..and a hit and miss rug for her bedroom,DSCN0092

Congratulations Teresa. Love them both.

Thanks for stopping by.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dyeing The Colour Wheel

Early in November I’m attending a workshop and I’m to bring 1/16th yard of each of the colours in the colour wheel. So Friday I got out the dye equipment and got to work.DSCN0065To begin with….. Although I dye my own wool and do my own colour planning, I am by no means knowledgable when it comes to colour theory. In spite of trying, my eyes glaze over when someone starts discussing  split complementary harmony or analogous or tetrardic harmony………I rely heavily on the fact that I am a visual learner, and end up making my decisions based on what looks right to me. (and very often rehook what I’ve done because it DOESN’T look right to me). I’d probably save myself a lot of time and effort if I just followed the rules….but what’s the fun in that? So I even had to hunt for a colour wheel to refresh  my mind on the colours I needed to dye. Perhaps I’ll finally remember what they are and their order having done this exercise.DSCN0066

I began by going through all my dyes to come up with as many single dyes as I could that might give me one of the colours I needed. I don’t have  colour swatches to refer so this was the simplest method for me. Starting at the top and going clockwise, I chose Pro Chem Sun Yellow, (I thought plain yellow was too ‘lemony’) The pen indicates yellow orange (don’t have a dye that colour) Cushing Orange, Pro Chem Poppy Red for orange red, Majic Carpet Red, and under it Pro Chem Magenta (ended up using magenta), Majic Carpet Red Violet, Cushing Purple, Majic Carpet Blue Violet, both Cushing and Majic Carpet Blue (ended up using Majic carpet) , for blue green I thought (whatever that cushing dye is or Pro Chem Mallard Green …..neither of which worked) I thought bottle green would be a true green (wrong), and the last pen  in the place for yellow green .DSCN0068

Next I checked my stash to see what colours I might already have…..I found yellow green…..orange……yellow……and yellow orange.DSCN0069That left me with 8 colours to dye.

Most were straight forward. In checking “bottle green” I found it was distinctly blue green…..so I used it for that. The mallard Green was actually the closest to a forest green, but still a bit blueish, so I added a wet toothpick of  yellow to the dye bath. (I drop a bit of the dye bath on a paper towel to check colours before dyeing).

DSCN0072Here are my 8 colours on the line .DSCN0071

You can’t see the colours very well in this shot, but I like the look of them against the trees.

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Here’s my colour wheel  ready for the workshop. (although I may dye a different orange….the one from my stash is pretty dark)

I dyed each piece in the microwave….so much faster when dyeing small pieces. I used 1/16th tsp of dye to  1 CBW (cup of boiling water) for the dye bath and added vinegar to each dye bath itself. (probably could have used less in many cases…as sometimes not all the dye was taken up when the wool was at a satisfactory colour) The dye bath is added to boiling water in a microwave safe bowl (I have some designated plastic bowls for microwave dyeing) and set to cook for about 5 minutes . (longer as needed)

…..not scientific, not perfect, but fun and quick. (the whole dye session took me about an hour) and I love the results.

 

Now to see how they are used at the workshop.

Happy Halloween everyone. Thanks for stopping by.

Finishing Up

Well I thought it would be a quick little project.   I mean ….how difficult can it be to hook up three 4.5 ” mug rugs. Thank goodness I started several weeks before I needed them, because the glue is just now drying on the edging…and the birthday party is only 3 days away.

So what took so long? The gingerbread  one I did first was straight forward….until I looked for more of the background wool to cut for the edging. NOPE…..not to be found. GONE! I searched for ages. I found every possible shade of beige, tan and brown except that one. So after wasting most of an evening, I finally decided to do the edge in black to match the bottom. It matches the back, but certainly wasn’t my first choice.DSCN0062I wish now I had done the background in white. At the time, I chose the light tan so that the icing on the gingerbread man wouldn’t be lost, but it doesn’t match the mug as well as I’d like.  (you can see the wet glue a bit, but that will disappear when it dries)

The moose with plaid background was the one that took me the longest. I began by outlining the moose shape with the red, then filling in the body. Then I realized that was the wrong colour, and redid it in  black.DSCF7781

I made one totally false start on the plaid, and ripped that out as well. After a google search I found an example of a hooked plaid on the internet, and was able to figure out how to do it from looking at that……hooking vertical rows and skipping ditches, then horizontal rows between. I figured out a plan on paper, and it went pretty well until I came to the parts where I had to skip over the body of the moose. That took a lot of adjusting, ripping out and rehooking, but I’m finally pleased with the outcome.

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Part way through, I realized that I didn’t have to worry about how to squeeze those ends in on the top……the back is covered, so I could just leave them on the wrong side .(sometimes I’m a little slow to see the obvious!)

I left the holly to the last and didn’t anticipate any problems.  Wrong again. The little cluster I drew was a mess when hooked, (my husband had no idea what it was supposed to be) so out it came, and I started again.DSCF7780

I redrew a totally different version and then just hooked  three of the leaves. DSCN0024

I used left over pieces from a blue green dip dye and some acid yellow green.

DSCN0027…….but when I put it next to the mug….the light blue green didn’t go at all…..so…….

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…..out came all the lighter sections of blue green, and I added more of the yellow green.DSCN0064Finally, I’m happy with it.

Next, I’m about to venture into the world of punch needle. Sunshine Rug Hookers are sponsoring a workshop (well 2 workshops actually) in early November and I’m looking forward to trying something quite new (for me). I’ve always admired the little miniature punch needle pieces in particular, and I’m looking to trying it and using some of my large stash of crewel wool  which has been neglected in a box for many years.

Lastly, while I was working on the mug rugs, my trusty camera gave up the ghost, and completely died. I really can’t complain. I had had it for about 10 years, and in this age of planned obsolescence, that’s not bad. So I’m now the proud owner of a brand new one, but I’m still learning how to manipulate all its bells and whistles (note the poor setting choices in the photos of the “in progress” mats). Now to just remember to have it with me all the time…..

So now with my new camera in hand, dreary November (my least favourite month) about to begin, and my nesting instinct kicking in, I’ll endeavour to post here more frequently.

Thanks for stopping by.