Friday, May 25, 2012

The Rug is Bloomimg

I did not have as much time as I would have liked yesterday to work on the rug. But a few flowers have bloomed on it.

Deep purple flowers... and coral red ones...

Discrete lavender flowers... and bold golden ochre ones...

I hope to make a lot of progress on the rug over the weekend. Happy hooking!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

The Hen Rug is Started!

Every Wednesday, I take my daughter to chorus. Yesterday was not like any other Wednesday, yesterday was the day I started hooking my new rug while waiting for her.
I packed my new lap frame (which my lovely husband made for me, I will tell you more about it another time.) I took all my hand cut wool strips that I had dyed for the project. We took the bus, then walked, and I dropped her there. I headed to the local cafe, ordered a coffee and a blueberry muffin, and sat down to hook.

I started by hooking a heart, seeing what I could do with my muted jewel tones. See, I had an idea that I wanted the colors to look like they were bright and rich colors but as they would appear at night, being lightly moon kissed. After all, chickens roost at night!

This night idea really came to me yesterday morning as I was looking at the colors, and wondering what I was going to do for the background. At first I considered a safe neutral, but safety is not my thing. I thought a grey could work, and was about to settle on that, when the idea of the night blue came to me. As always, impulsive, I pulled my dye pot out, grabbed some recycled vintage wool fabrics, in light grey, greying celadon, and even a plaid in navy and white, mixed a little bit of "night blue" , and over-dyed the fabrics.
I ended up with some variations of married night blues, some a little bluer, some a little more teal, and some almost black, and some grey blue. I have started playing with the background already. I am so happy with it!  

In my little Rhode Island Red's world, it is night time!

I am really enjoying working with the hand-cut strips, their slight variations in width really add a dynamic feeling to the rug, and maybe also a more authentic appearance. I just love the naive charm of this rug! I really hope I will have some time today to rug hook!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Almost Purposeful Dyeing

I started dyeing wool for my new project (which by the way still does not have a name.) I would call my dyeing, almost purposeful. It is purposeful in the sense that I am dyeing wool for a particular project, and that I have a general color idea before I start the process. The rest of the dyeing process is all done impulsively!

I gathered recycled woolens from vintage skirts in beige, peach and grey tones. No whites today. I love the fact that they have slightly different textures and appearances, but I am diverging. When I went downstairs yesterday to dye the wools, I knew I wanted to hook my new rug with muted jewel tones. I knew I wanted one of the hens to be a Rhode Island Red. When I dye, I basically only use very basic colors, primary colors, and black that  I mix until I have the colors I want. I place the colors on the wool in a way that pleases my eye, expecting surprises from their interactions.This is my favorite way of dyeing.

I created purples in a range of depths, ochres, aquas, rusts, corals, reds, greens, night blues, and browns. And you know, even though I have been a hand dyer for many years, I still marvel at the beauty of each piece of wool after I rinse it. The magic of color never ceases to amaze me. I am forever grateful we live in a colorful world!

I have transferred the pattern to linen, my wools, at least for now are ready. It is time to hook!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Nothing Beats the Excitement of a New Rug Hooking Poject!

I worked on a new design over the weekend. When I started working on it, I only knew that I wanted a curvy branch, and hearts to be part of the design. I very quickly settled on two hearts. They reminded me of one of my favorite flowers,  bleeding hearts.

The branch kind of naturally started sprouting flowers, here and there. What I find amazing, is how creative ideas come to us. As I was sitting there doodling, from the base of the main branch, a new branch grew, curled like the scroll-like structures in the hearts. Almost naturally, as if they had always been meant to sit there, two hens decided to nest in the sheltered scrolls.

I imagine the piece will be rather large, maybe two feet by three feet, using mostly 1/4" hand-dyed wool strips with textured wool strips here and there. The colors I have in mind are deep, slightly muted jewel tones. I will be transferring it to primitive linen today, and I hope to start dyeing fabrics for it too.

I can hardly wait to start hooking this rug. Nothing beats the excitement of a new rug hooking project!

Monday, May 21, 2012


I did some more marbling over the weekend. I used 3 pieces of wool for it, a dark green, a bright red, and a peach colored one. I wanted the bleeding of the red and the green to transform the peach one. In this kind of marbling most of the results happen on the lighter piece of fabric, and only very subtle variations happen on the dark fabrics.

The differences on the darker pieces were subtle as I had expected. The red darkened, and the green had slightly more teal areas. I did not photograph them. The peach piece on the other hand came out with amazing color variations.

The peach undertones are still there, but were layered with a range of pinks, light and dark greens, and occasional  touches of luminous blue.

I really did not expect the blues! They were a marvelous surprise!

I have a project in mind for it. I need to work a little more on the design before I share it with you. For now, I will admire my marbled fabric.