Hook a Kaleidoscope

Although I wasn’t able to get to the Spring R.U.G. a couple of weeks ago, Melodie (the incoming president from Huronia Guild) visited our Sunshine group on Tuesday and brought some of the rugs from their programme on hooking a Kaleidoscope. Such  a great way to create a pattern!DSCN0627

I remember as a child the fun of twisting that little kaleidoscope gizmo and watching through one eye as the fantastic patterns changed and evolved . What a terrific idea to hook them.DSCN0618The possibilities are endless.DSCN0623They look complex and difficult to create, but no actually they’re not…..Melodie showed us how it was done…. A circle of tracing paper in the size desired  is folded in half, and then halved again and again to create a pie shape.DSCN0654

The pattern for this segment is drawn.DSCN0655….open the next segment and draw the mirror image of the firstDSCN0657….repeat all the way around…Tadah!! a kaleidoscope pattern.

It can remain as a circle, have the corners squared off or even used in the shape of the pattern.

DSCN0626….to make an elegant pillow…DSCN0648Another popular version was to make a mat using a grandchild’s name….DSCN0643 (1)At first glance all you see is a wonderful pattern, but on closer inspection…..DSCN0619…..the whole pattern is based on Zachery’s name.DSCN0622Olivia chose her own colours…DSCN0621

DSCN0639I saw Isabelle creating hers, and thought it was a super ‘greek key’ style pattern never realizing it was actually all based on her grandson Logan’s name. (she used a ‘corked’ edging….another clever trick I intend to remember)DSCN0620She’s busy now hooking another for …..DSCN0628…..Damon.

Emily’s rug includes a shiny gold chainstitch separating the sections…..

DSCN0659…..it’s squared off with her last name……DSCN0658…..has a fancy edging…..DSCN0660….a beautiful backingDSCN0661…..complete with a note from Grandma.DSCN0662Sarah is a lucky girl to have this personal keepsake compete with added bling, decorative buttons….DSCN0663….a beautiful corded edge…..DSCN0664an elegant backing, and a loving note. Grandma Wilson (aka Linda Wilson) certainly outdid herself with these beautiful keepsakes for her granddaughters.

A great big thank you to Melodie for bringing and demonstrating the rugs, I don’t feel so badly now for having missed R.U.G. (I’ll bet you liked seeing them too).

Thanks for stopping by.

Inspiration- Another Point of View

As ‘Oil on Water’ gets bigger and heavier (already the hooked part is 42″ x 32″) it is apparent that when I go out to hooking activities,  (or when I need a break from it) I’ll need something smaller to work on. At the annual, I picked up a package of “Ribbon Candy” from Fish Eye Sisters. It’s lengths of cotton batik precut into strips, and it’s beautiful.DSCN0613

I had no idea what I would hook with it, but the two little examples hooked by Jennifer Manuell (one of the two “fish eye sisters”) were delightful little landscapes. My first inclination was to follow suit and hook a landscape. To that end I had chosen a package with a wide variety of colours including blues, greens and browns.DSCN0612

I sorted  the strips according to colour and sat back waiting for it to speak to me. ….silence!  I realized I didn’t want to just hook a version of what Jen had created (and I could never hope to emulate it half as well). I stuffed it all back into the bag and carried on with my day.

For some reason, I later found myself looking at “Emma Sue”, my first hooked face, done at what I consider my ‘watershed’ workshop. It was the first time I realized that I had the potential to create something I was really pleased with and could create with wool much more than I had previously realized. (…and I am eternally grateful to Anne Boissinot for her expertise and encouragement at that event). I love the ‘painterly ‘aspect of hooking.DSCN0615

I’ve also been fascinated by the concept that it is value, not colour , that determines what we perceive. I’ve drooled over wonderful pieces which prove this concept but had never tried it myself…..until now. Last night I made the decision to try this with my ‘candy strips’. A tiny version about 6″ x 10″.DSCN0614 I began by sorting the strips again. This time according to value….light medium and dark  (and a few left overs which were bright) . I may be opening up myself to total failure, but nothing ventured, nothing gained.

Here goes…..

‘Oil on Water ‘ Progress Report

The title of this post should really read “Oil on Water – Little Progress”. It seems I spend much more time  debating how I will hook areas, than actually doing it.DSCN0605.jpgOne concern that needed lots of contemplation were the little rivulets of a slightly lighter colour of blue  on the left side.DSCN0607 There will be many more of these, so I had to come up with a way to keep them subtle, but visible. They show up readily when viewed up close, but tend to disappear at a distance. I decided to try an outline just on one side. The outline colours are actually the main cantaloupe and raspberry colours dyed over an ‘oatmeal ‘ wool. I particularly like the ‘oatmeal cantaloupe ‘ wool for the small connecting details. It blends but doesn’t dominate. (I used this a lot when hooking Hygieia…creating a bright and dull version of the same red by using the same dye formula over both Dorr natural and Dorr oatmeal)DSCN0610

I’m still debating how I will tackle the large area of bright blue which extends out to the right of the ” flames” . Since I couldn’t decide how to go forward with that, I moved to the lower right of this upper section of the rug, and encountered another problem to solve. Since the grid isn’t proportionate to the picture, I have to alter sizes and shapes and as I get closer to the area where the two halves will be joined, it becomes more important that details are in the same relative spot.DSCN0608There has been a lot of drawing and redrawing on the backing to position elements so they will match when I join the sections.DSCN0606So this is what it looks like to date. Lots of fun involved in the process and the decision making. This is a new way for me to tackle a rug (drawing the pattern freehand as I go along) and as usual I’m learning a lot from my trials and errors.

Thanks for stopping by.

Annual 2016 Post 4

The vast number of amazing rugs on display at this year’s annual was truly a feast for the eyes. Here’s the last instalment of those I managed to photograph. DSCN0573DSCN0562DSCN0582DSCN0541I’m sorry this is out of focus. It is hooked entirely from ‘as is’ blankets cut by hand.DSCN0528DSCN0572DSCN0555DSCN0554DSCN0587DSCN0575DSCN0543DSCN0566I can almost feel the hot sun! The use of light is soooo effective.

DSCN0571DSCN0558DSCN0556DSCN0599DSCN0578DSCN0560DSCN0557DSCN0592DSCN0520DSCN0527DSCN0509DSCN0550DSCN0552DSCN0565….another reversed hooking background…DSCN0553… proddy flowers creating a 3D effectDSCN0539The skill and diversity  of the hooking artists of Ontario was certainly evident at this wonderful exhibition.

While I was off feasting my eyes and enjoying my weekend, Ray was home by himself, and having to sleep alone…….well not quite…..my spot in the bed was immediately taken over.DSCN0604Thanks for stopping by.

 

 

Annual 2016 Post 3

As it’s name implies, traditional rug hooking was primarily for creating rugs. While that is still a large part of what we rug hookers create, more and more we see both works of art to be hung on walls or utilitarian objects for other uses being created.

Here are some of the non-floor items on display last weekend. I’ll begin with a few of the utilitarian items I saw.DSCN0591

DSCN0590These bags were made at a workshop given by Bea Grant. The hooking is done right into the wool fabric (as opposed to the more usual backing)DSCN0602.jpgThis one uses both pennies and appliqué.

There were many lovely pillows to be found, but these three stunning examples really caught my eye.DSCN0523DSCN0526 (1)DSCN0498…decorative items…..DSCN0586The pumpkin stems are real…DSCN0529a vase….created by hooking into a crocheted base…..DSCN0544…sculptured hooking….

DSCN0600….and even hooked slippers.

Many are created as works of art to be given place of pride on a wall.DSCN0518The polar bears are stuffed appliqué.DSCN0532DSCN0536.jpgDSCN0549DSCN0588DSCN0577.jpgDSCN0563.jpg

DSCN0547DSCN0574DSCN0534 (1)DSCN0548DSCN0545I must apologize to Kathy. I shouldn’t have used the flash, because this beautiful abstract actually shows only as deep purple/blues.DSCN0559DSCN0589The background of this piece is done in reverse hooking (literally hooked from the back) which allows the foreground to stand out with a 3D effect.

I’ll finish with two pieces that really had a personal impact on me.DSCN0593‘The simplicity and elegance of the design and the very restricted colour palette made this beautiful piece one I’ll long remember.

DSCN0576….and this  literally brought tears to my eyes. The title is “I Want To Go Back”.

I’ll finish up tomorrow.

Thanks for stopping by.

Annual 2016 Post 2

Every year, the annual has a theme. 2016 is the 50th anniversary of the founding of OHCG, and the theme this year was “Going for Gold”.DSCN0504

Members are always invited to hook a piece reflecting the theme, and these are then displayed in a group and a winner is chosen. This year the hooking reflected a wide interpretation of the theme idea, making for a fascinating variety in the display. DSCN0514DSCN0511DSCN0507DSCN0505DSCN0515DSCN0506….and the winner was….13124607_10154120938930762_3407957103574331152_n….this delightful footstool, hooked entirely with reminiscences from 50 years ago.

Rugs can be on display only, or entered for competition in a variety of categories. Once again, somehow I failed to get photos of all the winners. I’m missing the ‘oriental’  and the ‘fine cut’ winners, and I apologize for being unable to show them……but, here are the others….

DSCN0597The winner of the wide cut classification…DSCN0595The pictorial winner….DSCN0570This fascinating piece was affixed to a round shape, and the woodpecker was sculpted to stand out from the tree. Unfortunately that doesn’t really show up in the photo.DSCN0601

This amazing rug won two awards. The award for original design, and the R0wan ‘People’s Choice Award.’ The detail, and the stories in it require a very long look, and I’m sure it will be a family treasure for generations to come.

I still have many more rugs to share, so tune in tomorrow for the next instalment.

 

 

OHCG Annual 2016 Featured Artists

I’ve just spent a wonderful weekend at the OHCG Annual. (Ontario Hooking Craft Guild). This year it was held at Deerhurst Lodge near Huntsville Ontario in the heart of beautiful Muskoka, about an hour north of where I live. The stimulation of seeing soooo many beautiful rugs was sometimes overwhelming. Every time I walked through the exhibition hall I saw rugs I’d missed before. I’ll do several posts on the events, and the first is about this year’s two featured artists, Diane Ayles and Shirley Lyons.

This stunning pictorial by Diane was one of my favourites in the whole show.  The way she captured the light on the leaves would catch your eye from across the room.

DSCN0501This water lily also demonstrates how she can capture the light  in nature and the serenity of a woodland pond.DSCN0502When I got home, I was dismayed to realize that these were the only two photos I had of her work, but they certainly demonstrate her amazing skill.

The other featured artist was Shirley Lyons, a long time, well known teacher in Ontario. Many of her  students are now teachers themselves and her skills with a hook are legendary in our area.

Few can match her realistic shaded flowers.DSCN0494…..her orientals….DSCN0492DSCN0491…pictorials…..DSCN0496DSCN0487DSCN0488DSCN0486DSCN0497…and other myriad styles….DSCN0490DSCN0495DSCN0485DSCN0500….and my personal favourite…these wonderful tessellated geese.DSCN0516 (1)It was wonderful to see and appreciate her body of work.

Each individual group had a display, as well as many vendors. I’ve much more to share in further posts.

Of course seeing the rugs and shopping for supplies is only one facet of such a gathering. What makes it so much fun are friends to talk and laugh with…..DSCN0481DSCN0474DSCN0480Business to attend to…..DSCN0482And of course the surroundings weren’t too shabby either….activity on the golf course….DSCN0466.jpg….sunset from the window in our room….DSCN0469

Is it any wonder I was smiling?DSCN0477Much more to follow.

Thanks for stopping by.

 

 

Finishing Grumpy

The hooking of Grumpy has been done for a few weeks now, and I spent a while deciding on how I would finish him. DSCN0443For rugs intended to hang on the wall, I often just turn the edges under . I like the ‘tapestry’ effect it creates. However, sometimes that doesn’t work and Grumpy is a case in point. The bottom of Grumpy is hooked vertically, while the upper background is hooked horizontally. I don’t think the blank edges would look good because of that. I don’t want a border, or a prominent whipped edge, so I’m doing a very small whipped edge with no binding tape on the back.

The first step was to dye yarn to go with the two different colours. Jean (who has much more experience in dyeing yarn than I) told me to allow 1 foot per inch then add some. (I would have just divided the skein in two and dyed it all (and wasted a lot of yarn in the process).  Not wanting to run short I added four extra yards  to each hank……

DSCN0428….secured it loosely so it wouldn’t turn into a rat’s nest in the pan….and spot dyed it with the same colours as the top and a second skein with  the greys for the bottom.

Into the electric frying pan it went….DSCN0430….and now it blends nicely with the background sky.DSCN0431I measured and drew a line 1.5″ from the edges of the hooking, and zigzagged around the rug just inside the line.DSCN0435I cut off the excess right along my pencil line……DSCN0437 (1)and clipped  the edge back(using my faithful red quilting clips….so much batter than pins) gently leaving just enough backing showing that it wouldn’t pull the end loops over. (this is what will determine how wide the whipping will be and I want mine as small as possible).

I whip from the front, but make sure that each stitch goes into the same line on the backing so that I have a nice straight edge on the back.DSCN0442It is hardly visible from the top….DSCN0448….but makes a nicely finished view on the side.DSCN0449When finished I will turn under the raw edge , steam it, and slip stitch it in place.  As you can imagine, this is a slow process, so I alternate between whipping and working on ‘Oil on Water’.

Here’s how it’s coming along.DSCN0446 (1)The hooking now covers about 42″ x  32″. It’s getting harder already for me to hang it up with clamps for viewing.

My ulterior motive in writing a blog this morning is to distract me from thinking about my schnauzer Baxter, who is undergoing surgery. Nothing serious, but three different procedures . He’s fourteen years old and a very special member of our family. Hopefully I’ll hear from the vet before long that it is over and all went well.

Thanks for stopping by.

 

Progress Report

Just a quick progress update before I potentially lose power. The weather report is for about five hours of freezing rain this afternoon on top of the snow which fell overnight. UGH!!

So here is “Oil on Water” over the past week.DSCN0425The flash rather bleached it out in this photo. (I never notice these things at the time).DSCN0426I was pleased with the first ‘flame’ motif….DSCN0427….but it’s pretty ‘glaring’ as I add the second larger one….DSCN0432The dark background is doing its work in toning it down and absorbing some of that colour.

Right now I’m pondering a number of colour choices. I plan to remove the blue/purple dump dye wool in the middle of the blue in the middle, and I’m considering a number of options. I’m also thinking that I will change the slightly lighter blue upward sweeps on the left. I thought they would be much more prominent and I think that side needs more interest than they will provide.

The whole thing is like a voyage of discovery, and it’s a lot of fun to watch what emerges from my hook.

Now to hunker down and wait until the freezing rain storm passes.   SPRING….where are you????

Progress

Since I’m an avid curling fan and this past week was the Brier Tournament (Canadian Men’s Championship), I spent lots of time hooking and cheering the past few days. All my cheering didn’t help my team win, but at least ‘Oil on Water’ is now underway.

Here’s a record of my progress.DSCN0402DSCN0403DSCN0404DSCN0405DSCN0409DSCN0420DSCN0424What I’ve hooked so far  is about 38″  wide.

There are several spots I’m not pleased with, but for the most part I’m leaving them for now until I get further along. I’m drawing in the design as I go using a black coloured pencil with the grid as reference.

I have a basketful of wool dyed, primarily using pro chem colours: rhodamine red, raspberry, cantaloupe, brilliant blue , and navy (with small additions of some other dyes) over Dorr natural, oatmeal, and a wide variety of textures.DSCN0415All the lighter blues 2nd from the right, I plan to overdye  with navy so that they more closely resemble the very darks at the end. I really like that deep blue as the background and I will need an endless supply. I haven’t dyed a large amount of any of the other colours yet as I’m still experimenting with what I like. I just realized that this photo distorts the cantaloupe colour. It is more ‘peachy’ in real life.

I’m enjoying the process of creating this hooking….a new way for me to work…..I choose a small area, decide on the shapes and colours, draw it with my trusty black pencil  (my new most important tool), and then hook the details and fill in the background.

Oh…and I almost forgot…I learned something new last week (at least new to me). When overdying previously dyed wool, presoak it in cold rather than hot water. Thanks Gene Shepherd for that tip.

Now off to start the gigantic job of grooming my winter-shaggy standard schnauzer.

Thanks for stopping by.