Share and Share Alike

At this year’s annual (which I wasn’t able to attend), an exciting new venture was launched which will involve all the OHCG groups.

TRAVELLING FRIENDSHIP RUG: 
The Friendship Rug is designed by Debbie Ballard, measures 60”x72” and is being hooked throughout The Year of the Craft (2015) and commemorates The Fiftieth Anniversary of OHCG  2016. 
Rug hookers are invited to hook their hands on the rug as it travels throughout Ontario, with its final destination being the 50th Annual conference at Deerhurst Inn in 2016. It has embarked on its journey beginning in Fort Frances and was at the conference in London. It has spent this week in Orillia, and at R.U.G. on Saturday it will be passed on to another group.DSCF7508 (1)
What a wonderful way for the rug hookers in Ontario to celebrate the Year of Craft….by combining efforts to create one large work of art…and how appropriate to have the topic be the 50th anniversary of OHCG (Ontario Hooking Craft Guild)….to be celebrated officially at next year’s annual.

During the past week, several of us completed hooking our hand, and at our meeting on Tuesday, a table was set up for others to do the same.

DSCF7520Mary and Rachael are working side by side.. DSCF7512

Many in our group tend to the wild and imaginative. I don’t know who hooked them all, but Gail  M. hooked hers in her signature vibrant reds and scarlets, while Cheri has used her favourite acid greens. Karen hooked hers last week when it was so unseasonably cold, so her hand has striped mittens, while mine is in the foreground in orange and rust with sparkly gold nail polish.
Fort Francis, the only other group to complete theirs so far , have created beautiful, lifelike hands in true flesh tones.
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Some folks at the annual drew and outlined their hand.DSCF7513 (4)
Some hands are complete…..DSCF7522….like Rachael’s. ….and some…..DSCF7527 (1)
….are grasping the edge.DSCF7526 (1)
It’s a large undertaking in more ways than one. … Look for it coming to an Ontario Guild near you.
I can’t wait to see the completed version next year in Huntsville.
Thanks for stopping by.
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Starting and Finishing

Anyone who reads my ramblings here, knows that finishing is not my favourite part of rug hooking. As a matter of fact, most of my sewing and whipping is done when I have a deadline to meet. That’s the case now, once again. The Sunshine Rug Hookers are providing the program at R.U.G. at the beginning of May, so I need to have my zentangle, and Hilda’s English Sunset all done.

I procrastinated about sewing the zigzag edges on them for several weeks……why? Because my bobbin was empty, and I would have to rewind it before I could begin. Now if that isn’t the stupidest reason in the world! (but indeed I have had some bad experiences with my badly wound bobbins in the past)  ……however it’s amazing how simple it is when you follow the instructions.  When I finally got down to it, I kept thinking…..this isn’t a problem….what was the big deal?

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I’ve left 3 inches around my little seascape, since I’d like to frame it. I haven’t yet figured out how I’ll do that, so first I’ll finish the zentangle sampler.

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Now this is straight forward finishing. I want to whip it in black yarn with a back tape on the back. I went to get my materials and found that I don’t have enough black wool and my  bent yarn needle has disappeared from the planet. Sooo. yesterday I went to our local yarn/craft shop, and guess what….they are out of black 100% wool. With bated breath I traveled to Michael’s and luckily, they had what I needed. After purchasing a new needle, I remembered, that the old one is in the half completed edge of my Lunenburg landscape! (Serves me right for not having finished it long ago) . So I’m in business and I’m determined to get it underway today.

Of course while finishing is what I HAVE to do, my next project is what is really on my mind. My Grumpy Owl has been getting lots of thought, with ideas pondered and rejected over and over…..wide cut or fine cut?     realism…..or drawing style?   colourful or……monochromatic?

The first decision made was drawing style over realism, and to that end I began outlining with a #3cut in black.

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His shape and expression are sooo endearing, but don’t lend themselves to a realistic interpretation.

I’m leaning toward monochromatic….but using multiple textures and shades. To that end, I gathered up a few different wools….light plaids, a check, light grey, and oatmeal. and overdyed them with Pro Chem clay, mouse grey, and light charcoal.

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….just a bit to see if I liked it….Next step will be to create a much lighter version of this over some natural, then try both out to see if I like the effect. (I’m almost slapping my own hands to make myself whip instead of dye wool this evening)

This afternoon I’ll be taking advantage of this glorious spring weather to enjoy the sunshine while I help Ray clean up the winter debris in the garden. I have a great desire to plant some Morning Glories this year. I remember the ones in my grandmother’s garden, and I’d love to have some of my own. The older I get the more nostalgic I become.

 

Proddy Broaches Revisited

I received a “wish” from my daughter-in-law recently, for a proddy broach in the style of a prairie lily. I was quite flattered and more than delighted to see what I could come up with.

Not being a prairie girl myself,  my first task was to google prairie lilies to see what they looked like.DSCF7447

Aha, much like the day lilies I have growing in abundance in my yard. (…..well will have growing if spring ever arrives)

With only six petals, I felt I’d better use blanket weight wool so it wouldn’t be too flimsy….but my supply of blankets is non-existent, and  in fact all I could find was one piece of beige that I’d rejected in other projects because it was too heavy. DSCF7449

OK. I could make this work. What dye(s) would magically transform this blah beige into a vibrant orange. I looked through my charts and decided to try mustard, golden yellow, cantaloupe. and orange.

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I dyed a little test strip of each colour….and….DSCF7460

got this…..top….mustard….too dark and too red    2nd down….cantaloupe……YES!

3rd down……orange ….too dark    bottom…..golden yellow…..too yellow, but with possibilities

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I dyed two pieces with the cantaloupe (OK), and two pieces I dyed golden yellow, then dip dyed them sideways on both edges with cantaloupe. These were my favourites. They would have some shading and yellow in  the throat.DSCF7463

I began with a test flower.

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….and just laid out the petals on my desk to get an idea of the outcome. 6″ was a bit too big, so I cut down all of the petals about 1/2 “. Of course fixing one problem just presented me with another..cutting them down made them also narrower. I need enough backing covered in the centre to attach the pin and hold the whole thing together without it showing through to the front. Not having the option of adding more petals, I made skinny “lily-leaves” and placed them between the petals.DSCF7466

 

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….then ….out with my trusty “Tacky Glue” and on to the finishing. First I glued the ends of the leaves under the petals.DSCF7472

…then the backing. Many people sew the broach pins to the back, but I choose to purchase the ones that have a sponge sticky pad.  I use a hole punch and pop my pin through the holes, then glue the backing and pin to the back of the flower (staying within the backing circle) The pin sticks to the back and absorbs the glue holding it in place securely.  I’ve found if I use something to spread the glue evenly (like a ruler, old credit card, or piece of heavy construction paper) it makes a much smoother backing.DSCF7473

…a day to dry, and I’m ready for the final step……cutting off the excess backing. I do it from the top so as not to cut into the petals or leaves by mistake.DSCF7475

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Finally I use a black fabric marker around the edge to make that white backing edge less obvious.DSCF7477So tomorrow….into the mail and off to Regina, where my wonderful  clever and talented daughter-in-law will have a prairie lily  (the symbol of the Saskatchewan NDP party) to wear on her lapel as she begins door to door canvassing as the NDP candidate for Regina Pasqua in the upcoming provincial election. Thank you Heather for allowing me to have a weeny teeny part in your exciting campaign.

 

 

 

 

 

Demonstrating Transitional Dyeing

On Tuesday, I was asked to give a demonstration of transitional wool dyeing at the Sunshine Rug Hooking meeting. Margaret Kennedy took photos and wrote an account of the process to send to members who were absent. She has kindly given me permission to share her pictures and information on my blog.

“Elizabeth Martel gave a practical and inspiring demonstration of Transitional Dyeing on Tuesday, March 30, 2015._3300087

Dye and Apply: The pastel outlining used Transitionally Dyed wool. Colours are all in the ‘light’ spectrum, yet with more interest than using all cream in the outline._3300077

Dye and Apply: Transitional Dyeing allows for enormous yet naturally blended variations. The corals and turquoise colors are great examples._3300076

Dye and Apply: Transitional Dyeing allows you to use up old scraps of wool. In this southern coast of England pictorial, Elizabeth used Hilda Haye’s wool and tweaked it to make the result spectacular._3300074

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Gather together all the equipment on the table. Collect wool material, some that are ‘bleeders’ and will release their dye; others that are lighter in color and will take up the dye. You must have ’Givers and Takers’
In the first layer, alternate and partially overlap the ‘givers and takers’
In the second layer, follow the same technique, just put a light strip over the dark one in the first layer and continue.
You may have three or four layers_3300084

Squirt any dish liquid into a two-cup measuring cup. Add water and mix.
Gradually, and bit by bit, pour the soap mixture into the wool. With each addition, use your finger to press down and allow the wool to take up the water. Add only enough water that it reaches the surface. Too much water and the wool swims and the dyes become defuse and the dyed wool not ‘marbled’. Dump water out if you have too much. Put the lid on and Simmer for 15 minutes or until you are pleased with the bleeding and the colors created.
Then add vinegar and hot water. Simmer for 20 minutes to 1 hour, whichever school or faith you believe in_3300094

Remove the hot wool to another container

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Add warm water to the wool and rinse. Be careful not to use cold water as it will shock the wool and harden it. i.e. felt it.
Hang the wool out to dry or put in the dryer with a towel until the wool is only partially dry. Then hang up to dry

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The remarkable results of Tuesday’s Transitional Dyeing demo. ”

Thanks for the write up Margaret. This is one of my favourite ways to create interesting wool for highlights etc. and a good way to make  use of those bits and left over pieces. For this demo, I did cut pieces to fit my pan, but very often I use irregular shaped pieces that might not ever get used. It’s also a great way for those who haven’t tried dyeing to see how they like it without having to invest in any dyes.

Thanks for stopping by.