Decided and Done

I just reread the last post, and I realize at that time, I said I was going to try a very very light yellow to outline the zodiac signs……nope! That’s not what I did. I went  a bit darker (dyed over Dorr natural) , and liked the effect…..too bright and green to use a background, but just right to use as an outline. I removed the overdyed darker wools altogether (oh my ….what a pile of worms!)

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The final outlining is a lot lighter than the “marker” rows I had hooked, but they look almost as dark with the flash. In reality they show up, but don’t stick out….just what I wanted.

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Now it should be clear sailing as I complete the background. I’m already planning my next project in my mind.

Thanks for following along.

On The Edge

Today’s musings revolve around how to hook the edge ….I wanted more depth of colour at the edges but I wasn’t sure how to merge the corners so that the whole piece looked cohesive and didn’t draw the eye away from the central motive.

Lacking any brilliant ideas, I plunged in to see what would happen.

I gathered up some off white pieces, some pale greys and oatmeal and dyed them with golden pear to extend the range of colours I had available.

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In the picture they look nicely graduated, but in reality, the gap between the lights and the darks is quite extreme. I went ahead and used it on the corners thinking I could merge back into the lighter colours  but I still needed an intermediate colour to blend the two areas. I tried dyeing a darker version over natural wool, but that was too bright, and too green. DSCF6693

I tried “dulling” it down….one piece with “grey”, the other with “clay”, and ended up with pieces that were just as dark as the first batch. I tried various ways of blending the light and dark, but nothing looked right. Frustrated, I hung the piece up where I could see it as I watched TV, and contemplated what to do. DSCF6692

It finally hit me that the dark corners were doing exactly what I didn’t want….they were drawing my eyes away from the central motives. They had to go.

I grabbed the hooking from the wall and set to work on the “pisces” corner…..ripping out the dark and the pale outline, and then re-outling the symbol in the very lightest of the dark colours .

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My plan now is to use the light colours all the way to the edge,….dye some wool a VERY light golden pear to outline the zodiac symbols (I don’t want them to stand out as much as this ) and see how I like that. My pile of worms and unusable wool from this project threatens to swamp me….but I’ll stick with it until I’m happy with the result.

 

 

Creating a Secret

I guess it isn’t really much of a secret if I’m telling about it here, but I’ve had some fun this afternoon creating it and now it remains to be seen if I can pull it off.

Once agin I’ll just relate my thought processes. I didn’t like the fact that there are large empty spaces at the four corners of Signa Meus Vita….a lot of dead space. On the other hand, I’ve gone to a lot of care to make sure the background would enhance the symbols and in no way compete with them. So my question was…how can I make the background more interesting without taking away from the central part. I had already decided to increase the depth of the golden pear colour as it went to the outside, but could I add anything more? I know….I could “hide” symbols at the corners by doing them in a wee bit different colour of golden pear than the surroundings.

OK….good idea…but what symbols could I use? I thought of hiding some symbols of the negative aspects of myself, but quickly discarded that stupid idea and went searching the internet for inspiration. I settled on zodiac signs …myself, my husband, my three sons and my only sister .( who died a year ago of cancer)…that required four signs…perfect!

After some thinking, some sketching, some measuring, and some drawing, here is pisces.DSCF6677….representing my two youngest sons.

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….representing my eldest son and myself.

Virgo……DSCF6676

…..representing my husband

….and aquarius ……DSCF6675

…representing my sister who was my best friend, confidante, and craft mentor.DSCF6678

I’ll leave it to you to find them when the hooking is completed.

 

Golden Pear

I’ve been gradually augmenting my supply of Pro Chem dyes, and I try to pick up a few more each time I’m at an event .DSCF6667 Golden Pear was one of my purchases at this year’s annual, and I’m oh so glad it was. It’s a rather dull greeny-yellow….certainly not something that would catch your eye, but it has turned out to be just the colour I visualized for the background of Signa Meus Vita.DSCF6673

Well that’s not exactly true.  What I thought would work was a pale yellow. I wasn’t sure how pale or how yellow, so I tried bits and pieces I had on hand, and held up swatches from Jewel Tones against the hooked parts. It soon became apparent that any kind of bright pale yellow wasn’t the look I was after, and I settled on a dull one….then thought it reminded me of “golden pear” and sure enough when I checked my “pro Chem ” swatch sheet, it was just right. Choosing a single colour over a recipe of several dyes is just a lot easier for me, as I add and spot dye in various amounts in the pot. Also while at the annual, I picked up an $8 grab bag of wool that turned out to be mostly pieces of various shades of off white or beige. I spot dyed these and about 1/2 yd of Dorr natural with a weak solution of golden pear ….about 1/8th tsp for the whole batch of (I’m guessing) about 1 1/2 yds ….. with 1/2 of the solution in the bath, and 1/2 spotted over the top later.

After trying several methods, I settled on using the palest to outline the symbols, and filled with  random darker pieces.DSCF6658

The pictures aren’t true to the colours, but hopefully give the idea of the effect.DSCF6659DSCF6664

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I’m having fun with it while I watch the Tour de France each day.  I still haven’t decided how I will do the outer parts of the background. ….always something to ponder.

Thanks for stopping by.

Hooking in the Heat

I’m sure most people think of hooking as a cool or cold weather activity, but I get a lot of hooking done in the summer….that’s because I don’t function well in hot humid weather, and I shut myself away in my hooking area with the air conditioner on full blast. That’s what has happened for the last few days.

I’ve been filling and tweaking. I drew the pattern freehand on an 8.5″ x 11″ piece of paper, then had it blown up, and some of the discrepancies are magnified in the large version. The pattern itself is not symmetrical but I want it to be at least balanced. I thought the two  Maouri friendship twists were at a different angle to the sides and contemplated major adjustments to correct them….but when I checked…..

DSCF6631DSCF6633….they are both at exactly the same angle….I’ll just have to extend the border on the right about 6 ditches further over.

The peace sign did however need some adjustment both in the oval outside, and the inside parts.DSCF6585…since it was partially hooked when I did this, it required lots of rehooking both of the peace sign, and the elements it was touching.

DSCF6635 I’m much happier with it now. In this photo you can see how dark the maouri twist is at the top…(unlike the one on the other side) so I reworked that as well to get some light green in the top section.

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I completed my “three sons” at the top….

DSCF6640….so the last big “fill” is the swan.

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….and finishing the tears…..doing more tweaking…….and deciding on both a colour and hooking style for the background…..lots to keep me busy while it’s too hot to do much else.

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Happy Canada day to all fellow Canadians. I had tears in my eyes this morning as I watched the boys’ choir from BC sing O Canada on the steps of Parliament Hill. So moving.