R.U.G. May 2017 part 1

I am so proud of myself. I am notorious for getting to R.U.G. either without my camera, or with failing batteries, but this time all worked well and I came home with 78 photos of the events of the day. Not all are good of course, but I can certainly share the events of the day and many of the great rugs on view.

But I’m getting ahead of myself….first….a quick update on my “Floating Blocks”. I was able to finish all the blocks while at R.U.G. on Saturday, so I’ve been experimenting with how I want to hook the background. Actually, I made my mind up quite quickly….eliminating straight lines and alternating rows of one colour and settling on this. It’s just underway, and it needs some tweaking as to to how I mix the colours, but here’s the start….DSCN1273

Now to R.U.G…..it’s an active day…..hooking, visiting, learning, shopping and of course eating. those wonderful snacks thanks to our hosts for the day, Grey Highlands.

When we arrived everyone quickly settled in to hook, eat and visit.DSCN1260DSCN1195DSCN1261…note the rug on the wall created by the Huronia Branch to celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday. Different individuals hooked the squares and then they were mounted on suitable “Canadian” fabric. What a great celebration rug. DSCN1198As you see , the upcoming sesquicentennial was well represented throughout the day. Marylou Justason modelled appropriate fashionwear to celebrate our country, as she explained the origins of R.U.G. (Ruggers United Gathering) and promoted the Rug Hooking Museum .

 

There were a number of vendors…and who doesn’t need to add to their stash?

Ann Hallett….

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JoAnne Harris from Wool Gathering…. (I’m sorry for the facial expression  JoAnne, you were deep in conversation when I snapped several photos  and I never caught one with a smile)….the wool looks great though.

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Karen Lediard of By The Bay Studio…..DSCN1226….who had lovely Canadian themed pillow patterns for sale …DSCN1229Ruth Emerson… DSCN1227…she too had Canadiana covered with these delightful beaver pinsDSCN1228

 

……….Suzanne Hill who had many patterns for sale, including most of those shown in the afternoon feature on “Paisley” . Suzanne was also the presenter of that most interesting and informative presentation. (more on that to follow in the next post)DSCN1221

 

Marylou Justason , our tireless promoter for the Hooked Rug Museum of North America, was once more raising funds on their behalf. She had invited donations of good recycled wool,  to be sold at R.U.G.  I (and many others) purchased a number of great batches, and not only replenished my stash, but  helped out the museum in a small way at the same time.DSCN1218….and Chris Poole was there to sharpen scissors and cutting wheels and other repairs. My one regret of the day was that I forgot to bring my dull scissors to get them sharpened.DSCN1219 2There was a ‘Show and Tell’ to end the morning…..here are a few of the rugs we enjoyed seeing. I apologize that I didn’t get the names of the hookers.

DSCN1206DSCN1207DSCN1212DSCN1210DSCN1208DSCN1214DSCN1211DSCN1209DSCN1215..the new gender neutral words for O Canada are on the back.DSCN1216.DSCN1213We heard a touching story of this hooker’s search for a suitably sized maple leaf to use as a pattern in this striking rug. Remarkably, in the middle of winter  it appeared as if by magic .

Next instalment will be about the afternoon ‘Paisley’ presentation and a remarkable rug which took up much of one wall in our meeting room.

Thanks for stopping by.

 

Only Four to Go

I can’t believe how quickly this rug has progressed. For the most part I only hook in the evenings for an hour or two, but the hooking on this has been easy and enjoyable. DSCN1192….and as the title says…I only have four more blocks to hook.

I was surprised at how well my age-old “doodling self-rules” worked when planning the colours. For years, when I talked on the phone I would doodle with coloured pencils (mostly looping scrolls) and would always try to use the fewest colours possible with no colours touching themselves.

For the Floating Blocks, I wanted red and yellow to be dominant (and most frequent) with the three other colours complimentary and evenly distributed. That was very easy to start, but required adjustment as one section began to border on another and the colour options diminished.

I made one final little change yesterday. When spread on the floor, I noticed that there was one background section that was significantly larger than the others. It was so easy to just draw in one additional square in that space to make it more the size of the rest. This is a perfect pattern for when you want easy hooking and designing!DSCN1193I added the 4″x 4″ in this space. All 5 colours are already encircling the area, but I chose Y-G (yellow green) . Although not ideal, it is not touching itself and there will be background separating the two green blocks. I will also try to use different greens to give it a new look, for example, I’ll definitely avoid using that very acid yellow green used in the right hand square.

As with most things I do, coming up with the background wool has also been a process. The only thing I knew for sure was that I wanted it neutral and light.  I had some ‘oatmeal’ from Dorr, but it seemed dull when I held it up to the hooking. I had a small piece of slightly darker textured wool that I liked, but not nearly enough . For a time, I thought I would go shopping for something that I thought was perfect, and went browsing through various online shops to see what might be available. What bothered me about this, was that the goal when I began this rug, was to use up my wool scraps, not ‘dyeing’ or ‘buying’ to make it.

With that in mind, went through my stash, pulling out all the light… greys, tans, browns, off whites I could find. I was surprised at how much wool I ended up with. I decided that I would ‘marry’ them all and come up with a light neutral background. (….that’s not really dyeing I told myself…)

There was way too much for even my largest pan, so I ripped each piece in two so that I could do two batches and the end colour would be pretty much the same. Now I have to admit (confess) , after seeing one half finished, I decided there might not be enough wool, sooo…

I added 1/4th yard of Dorr natural to the second batch. There was little enough colour available to be re-distributed, so after removing the wool from the soapy water stage, (here’s the confession…I broke my own rules) I added 1/128th tsp of both ‘clay’ and ‘mouse grey’ to the pan before adding the vinegar and putting the wool back.(both colours I knew I had used in dyeing the original colours). DSCN1188The colour changes weren’t dramatic, but were subtle and will hopefully work.DSCN1189 2I can imagine them making an unobtrusive background to the vivid blocks. (hope I’m right).

There’s really just one big decision left to be made. How will I hook the background…..following the contour of each space? straight across? mix the colours throughout? make each space mostly one colour?

I’ve decided to try a few ways and see which one I like best. Stay tuned to see what happens.

Thanks for stopping by.

 

Floating Blocks Progress

DSCN1132 2Isn’t “Hit and Miss” a misnomer ? I don’t know of anyone who actually hooked one by blindly sticking their hand in the bag, grabbing a strip and hooking whatever colour came out. However this rug IS being entirely hooked with leftover small bits and pieces so I think it qualifies as “Hit and Miss” and I’m having lots of fun with the creation of each block.DSCN1129I began by hooking all the large squares in the foreground in reds and yellows. …decided that the additional colours would be blue, blue/green and yellow/green and  was amazed that I was able to come up with a good sized bag of leftovers of each!

I decided on the placement of the colours as I went along….trying to make sure they were evenly distributed and balanced throughout.DSCN1133As you can see…I made some changes as I went along….and even in this photo…I need to change one of the B-G’s (blue/greens) on the left since I realize that I do not have  a blue along the outside left edge.

A note for newbies who may be viewing this….Hookers work from foreground to background….(as opposed to painters who can layer on top) and this rug makes it really apparent why.  As I work down layer by layer, it is easy to keep the squares even and straight but it would be impossible the other way. By mistake the other evening, I started hooking one square that had an edge overlapping it. Being too lazy to rip it out and start a different one, I had to leave a bit extra on each strip at that edge so I could finish it properly after the top square is hooked, which will be fiddly and time consuming. (You can see the tag ends on the red block in the middle below.)DSCN1131So this is my progress to date.

In preparation for hooking the background, I’ve gathered up all my bits and pieces of light neutrals (beiges, sands and greys) . I’m still trying to decide if I will hook them as is, or marry the colours in a large stew pot so they are closer in colour. At the moment I’m leaning to the latter.

If I didn’t live in a household with two cats and a dog, I’d think seriously of creams for the background since I love the vibrant colours against the white backing. Too many mucky paws in my house for that to work though.

Thanks for stopping by.

Floating Blocks and Sunshine at Work

I’ve been playing this week…..with my new smaller hall rug. At least for now I’m calling it “Floating Blocks”. DSCN1121It’s been fun hunting up all the bits and pieces from past rugs, and hooking them into the 6″x 8″ rectangles to start.

Some in reds…and some in yellows….and more to do….DSCN1120I’ll be adding other colours as well, but they will be further back, since I want the reds and yellows to be dominant.

I did encounter a slight problem that was new for me. While drawing the pattern, I discovered that there were several flaws in the backing….3 places where the thread had broken. One had been woven back in both ways…so no problem there. But in two spots, the break had been repaired by only tying the two cotton threads together in a knot.  I was really concerned that with the tension of the wool strips, it might eventually pull apart.

I consulted with my friend and expert Jean, who suggested that I weave the area  around the break with strong upholstery thread to prevent any possible break in the future.DSCN1117You can see some of the repair at the bottom right. It’s been a very long time since I did any darning, but that long lost art came in handy. The outside edge of this block was hooked through the weaving with no difficulty.

Meanwhile….it was a busy morning  at the Sunshine Rug Hooking Meeting. It was called a “work day”…i.e. working on items which the group will have for sale at the Annual Quilt and Rug Fair held each September. It is our only fund raising opportunity  of the year so members pitch in to help make it a success.DSCN1101This hit and miss table runner was hooked by many members……and will be won in a raffle…as will this beautiful pillow…DSCN1102 These coasters were hooked by many members as well.DSCN1100….other sale items already completed include….DSCN1099Santas…DSCN1098…tree ornaments…DSCN1096….hooked broaches (I realize now that some are made to be ‘point up’ so they look ‘off kilter’ the way I’ve photographed them).DSCN1097….here’s the back of one…DSCN1105…necklaces to set off any outfit…DSCN1107…and available in a variety of colours.

and many more items underway…DSCN1092Christmas tree ornaments…DSCN1110…little Santa boot pins…DSCN1108…a variety of goodies….DSCN1109….and more broaches…this one having beads sewn around the edges…

It was a productive day and I know when September rolls around the sales table will be loaded with wonderful hooked items.