Compromise

In my last post, I was all set to forge ahead with the second virgin’s dress using turquoise and cantaloupe. I wasn’t sure if it would work….DSCN1391 I hooked just a small amount and wasn’t happy with it. I felt that it not only had no connection with the rest of the piece, but it was too bright and dominated far too much.

On the other hand….if I continued, it would be surrounded by lots of turquoise, which might well tone it down . DSCN1387I thought about another option….If I used a pink, it would tie the two costumes together and make the whole thing more harmonious.DSCN1386

I considered these two options for several days. The first was more disconnected than I wanted, the second more harmonious than I wanted.

Eventually I came up with a compromise. I overdyed the pinks with prochem raspberry, which kept the “pink idea” but changed the colour and shade from the one used in the first dress.DSCN1399

Still lots of dyeing to do and the dress details need to be refined, but I think I’m pleased with this compromise colour solution.

Now if I could just take a photo that was in focus,…. (I never seem to notice until it’s up on the computer and too late to get another shot).

Thanks for stopping by and looking at my “fuzzy” hooking.

 

 

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Learning Through Doing

For me, I like every every project I do to present me with a learning experience and a challenge.   Ultimately if I am successful…(at least in my eyes), I derive a great sense of satisfaction in achieving what I set out to do.DSCN1373

To that end, creating the detailed clothing on the two virgins is a new experience for me, and as usual, some of what I tried , I liked, and some….nope…not at all!  I tried two different approaches on the foolish virgin. For the green portion of the dress, I began with dip dyes (I could have used swatches, but dip dyeing is much easier for me to do). I then cut them into several sections giving me a range from dark to light.  I ripped out that effort since there wasn’t enough variation  to be effective.  I then rehooked it using some much darker green, and a much lighter one (almost yellow) to create the highlights and folds, and was then more pleased with the results. DSCN1385The extremes I used very sparingly, but they made all the difference.

I tried a totally different colour approach for the fuchsia portion of the gown. DSCN1376I did a spot dye using  Majic Carpet red violet, and Primary Fusion #12  (which uses Pro Chem magenta, blue, and black). Then I went through my stash and found all the bits and pieces that went with that. I had a good range of values, though not necessarily matching exactly  in hue. The primary colour is the dip dye and I really like the highlights that it creates in the dress.

My pattern is taken from a 1500’s etching, (with no colour) and the next thing I learned, was that all the lines in the etching don’t necessarily translate well when using colour. I started the fuchsia section of the gown by outlining the lines in the etching in a dark value, and soon realized that many of them made no sense to me and looked ridiculous. I eliminated the vast majority, and went mostly by my own idea of where there might be folds and shadows. There is still one line on the floor section of the train that I will remove, and use a bit lighter colour the fill in that area (and I won’t use a straight line).DSCN1374

So with that bit of experience under my belt, I’m ready now to tackle the gown of the wise virgin. I’ve got two colours ready to go….a spot dye using Pro Chem seabreeze and mallard green, DSCN1382 (I  did 3 versions from dark to light), plus a couple of pieces that I had that went with that.  (for some reason the camera bled the green out of the far blue….it actually goes with the rest much better than this photo shows) The second colour is primarily a cantaloupe and mustard spot dye  done over both natural and oatmeal. DSCN1379I have no idea if this will work, but I’m set to try.

The other thing I’ve learned is that I’m either a lousy photographer, or have a lousy camera when it comes to colour (or maybe both).

Thanks so much for stopping by.

 

Starting the Virgins

This has not been a good summer for us, and as a result I haven’t posted in some time. As things take a turn for the better, I have recently started hooking again, and have made a start on the “foolish Virgin”  (see the last post for  details on my subject choice). I’m using  #2 and #3 cuts with lots of shading and fiddly work…a refreshing change of pace for me after the #8 cuts for both the large abstract and the geometrical Floating Blocks.

While considering a colour palette for the dressses , I looked up images for women’s clothing in the 15th century and having found every colour imaginable on display, I  decided to just use colours that pleased me., whether they were authentic or not.DSCN1366

The two palettes I settled on were:

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and:

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(with no promises to stick to either one)

I soon realized I needed wider variation in both colour and texture for the shadows etc. to be effective, and in fact completely redid the bottom of the green skirt with more contrast, definition and variation before ending up with this version…. sorry…no photo of the mucky one).

With that in mind, I have lots of options available for the fuschia overskirt:DSCN1364

….although I likely won’t use them all. (they’re all more intense than the photo shows)

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I expect I’ll remove some of the dark outlining in the scarf, but leaving it for now.

While working on this part, I’ve been considering questions and options for the background….running the gamut of a cobbled roadway at dusk, pondering how to show the illumination of the wise virgin’s lamp, thoughts of a misty medieval background, or perhaps none of the above and using a purely abstract background of various night colours which deepen as they move outwards…..no decisions on this as yet.

It is so nice to be hooking again and enjoying the act of creating something that pleases my eye.

Thanks for stopping by.

 

Finishing Floating Blocks….on to the next…

Hooking done…..steaming done……now for the last step. Since this rug is intended for the floor, I want it to have a sturdy edge that will stand up over time….so I use both binding tape and whipping.

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I spot dyed my yarn with a little deeper version of the dyes I used for the background. It looks one colour here, but in fact it has a variegation of dark grey, lighter grey and taupe. My binding tape was cut and ready to go.DSCN1319

I cut away the excess backing 16 ditches from the edge of the hooking (1 inch), and press it back, cover it with the tape and whip with a double strand of wool . (making sure it lies flat as I go along)DSCN1321

I whip into the backing and the binding in one step, making sure I have an even line on the back to keep it looking neat. (that part gets easier with each rug I bind).DSCN1320

On the front the whipping goes right in next to the hooking so there is no gap.  (I whip from the front to the back)DSCN1322 Here it is partially whipped. The red clips make it so much easier than having to use pins.

One last steaming on completion….and …..DSCN1325

It’s done!

Of course, as usual, as I was nearing completion of this rug, my mind was already on what project I wanted to do next. The last two rugs I hooked, were both large and hooked in an 8 cut. I wanted something completely different. Somewhere I saw a rug of a rhinoceros, adapted from a 15th century etching. That tweaked my interest and I went in search of what 15th century artists might have done that would be of interest to me. I wanted to hook a person, and do it in a fine cut with lots of detail.

After lots of fun searching and finding amazing etchings by various 15th century artists, I settled on two by the German artist Martin Schoengaur. They are two of a set of 10 individual etchings of virgins….5 wise virgins, and 5 foolish virgins, based on a parable found in Saint Matthew.

DSCN1328The wise virgin on the left remembered to bring lots of oil for her lamp. The foolish virgin on the right forgot the oil, and wants the wise virgin to share with her. These are separate etchings, but I’ve put together, and had them blown up to 22″ high.DSCN1327Ray set up my light table, and I traced the broad outlines.DSCN1332

Now I’ve been exploring  women’s clothing of the 15th century so I can come up with a colour palette . There’s lots of dyeing in my immediate future. I think I’ve found the colours I want and I’ll write about my typically convoluted route to that decision next time. I’m so excited to get going on this new venture.

Thanks for stopping by.