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We’re back home…the trailer is unpacked and the washing done. We had a great time with one exception…the module that controls the trailer brakes from the van stopped working, so we had to stay an extra day and have it replaced. Apart from the unwanted expense, that wouldn’t have been a problem…except…it meant that I missed a hookin on Wednesday that I was really looking forward to. One of the Sunshine members had invited us to a day of hooking at her cottage on Six Mile Lake, about 20 miles from here. Not only did I miss it…I had intended to get photos of the work being done by everyone to share here…which of course now I can’t do.

Here’s the embroidery I worked on while we were away.

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While looking for my embroidery hoop…I found these tea towels , and they were just the whimsy I felt like working on while sitting around the picnic table at the campsite.

This afternoon I had a chance to visit with my grand daughter who is visiting from Regina, and she and I got into the dye pots and had lots of fun. She started out as my official photographer and assistant, but by the end, I was the assistant and taking pictures of her.

We started with some marbelizing….just for fun to see what would happen.

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While we did that, I soaked some oatmeal and natural.

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then lined up the dyes for experimenting with pancake dyeing for the background of Hygieia

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I used sky blue, slate blue, mouse grey, country green, ivy, and mallard green.

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Then spooned on each one…ivy was first in the left hand corner

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now the sky blue up the middle.etc, ’til all 6 were used and the piece was covered

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after a few layers this is what it looked like…I like the gentle blends and muted, soft colours

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By now Olivia had it figured out

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and was ready to change jobs with me. She was a natural.

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all finished, covered and cooking

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The results of our afternoon’s work

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Maybe a scarf?

The yellow and green marbelized pieces were Olivia’s favourites, and they’re going home to Regina with her. I think the pancake pieces were fun and lovely…but  too predominantly blue for what I want for the background….more experimenting to come.

Preparing Adele

While much of north america is well into spring -like conditions, here in central Ontario, we are still very much in the grip of winter. I’m not complaining…I love winter, and Sunday and Monday were wonderful ,brilliant winter days, with fresh snow  and a wonderland out of every window. Perfect days to cocoon and do nothing except watch the Briar (that’s the Canadian Men’s curling championships ) and work on hooking activities.

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I dyed another 1/2 yard of antique black for the hall runner, and a yard of caserole dyeing in a variety of yellow colours. While not as striking as the red  batch, I think it will be very useful. I also dyed 1/2 yard of a sort of flesh tone for my second Glimt project…Adele, but the jury is still out on that.

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I drew, and traced the pattern for Adele on linen. I settled on 24″ x 36″. I originally was going to have it 30″ x 36″ but I found the shape looked ‘clunky’,  Ray said it was because it was way off the ‘golden mean’ ….which is the perfect ratio, ….so now it’s closer…and a more pleasing shape to my eye. When I removed the red dot, I went over the whole thing again to make it crisp and clear, and bound the edges with my trusty green painters tape. Yahoo! Its ready.

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Emma Sue

I’ve only ever once attempted to do a face when I knew what I was doing. So I studied Emma Sue and got out the notes from Anne Boisinot’s Creative Expressive Faces workshop and went over all the details for hooking one. It’s because of that workshop, and the wonderful notes she gave us that I have the nerve to try hooking these two faces (Adele and Hygieia). Anne broke down all the aspects of the face, and gave marvelous details on how to approach each part. Before I begin, I will find bits and pieces for the eyes and lips.

I pondered where to start, but I think it will be the face…starting with the eyes. (by the way…I’ve set myself a sort of 10 minute challenge….I must hook some background on the hall runner every day!)

Ordered Pancake (casserole) Dyeing

One of the reasons I so admire Gene Shepherd’s work, is his amazing use of colour. I am instinctively a monochromatic person, but I’m determined to learn, and push the boundaries of my knowledge and imagination regarding the use of colour. I think that’s why I have been rather disappointed with my dyeing to date for Hygieia. It was only variations of two colours. I’ve spent time staring at the details of the painting, and trying to analyse the actual colours in the folds and curves of the fabrics. Then I had to decide how I could merge these colours seamlessly into my hooking, what colours to try, and how to dye them.

I decided to use the pale yellow cashmere jacket I found at Good Will and use the  ‘ordered pancake’ dye technique. By roughly laying the pieces over other wool, I decided I had about a yard of fabric. I re-watched Gene’s video, and set out with my fingers crossed, to create something beautiful (I hoped).

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I settled on 6 colours: (all pro chem)  poppy red, red, paprika, raspberry, mahogany, and mustard, and made up a dye bath for each using 1/8 tsp. dye in 1 1/2 cbw….plus a little vinegar in each one.

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Since I was using odd shaped pieces from the jacket, I cut the larger pieces to fit my pan, and for the last layers, used several of the smaller pieces in one layer.

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With the first layer in the pan, I spooned on the colours in splotches, making sure it was entirely covered.

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I did this for each successive  layer, but kept each colour in the same general position each time (raspberry – top right, mahogany – bottom right etc. I added water to the dye baths as I got near the last layers, spooned dye from the edges to help blur the edges, and added a bit of water to the surface, when I wanted it a bit lighter.

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I think I had about 10 or 12 layers, but I didn’t count them.

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Ray helped me pour off the excess dye, keeping the wool in place so it didn’t slide out of the pan. Then I added white vinegar around the edges, and some water so it wouldn’t boil dry. I covered it with tin foil, and simmered on the stove (I used 2 burners) for 1 hour.

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This is what I ended up with…….that’s more like it!