Thursday, March 18, 2010
Rug Hooking with a Deadline
I don't really believe in buying a kit for a rug. For one, I love choosing wool. I love the hunt for the perfect red or variegated green or whatever. If you've read any of my previous posts, you'll know that I love going to thrift shops and buying old wool. I also love to play around dyeing wool, although I have about 100 years of learning to do in that department. So, I bought the pattern on linen and am hooking it myself.
In retrospect, this may not have been the wisest choice. You all know I am a knitter first. Rug hooking is way down on the hobby list for me. After Sewing, after Gardening, after Chauffeur for my boys. Also, with a single exception, all the rugs I've made have been geometrics. I've never done anything remotely pictorial and this rug is not only very pictorial but very large. Over 30 inches in each dimension. But, I could not resist the fabulous pattern so off I went.
Moving on to the leaves. There are three different sets of leaves: the pineapple top, the lettuce leaves under the pineapple, and the grape leaves sticking out each side of the urn. I pulled out all my greens and tried to sort them into three distinct groups for these. I knew the pineapple needed to be dark because pineapple leaves are dark. So, I picked those greens first. The lettuce leaves ended up being the middle tones. I'm not 100% happy with the lettuce and may need to pull out and change the center rib. It is two different wools, but the shades are so similar that the vein disappears into the rest of the leaf.
The oak leaf is by far my favorite of the three but it was no picnic getting there. The first edge tone was very bright and too clear a tone for this rug. I tend toward the muddy tones and anything too pure looks wrong. So, I dug back in my bags of wool strips and found a whole bag of mixed greens. In there was a variegated green that went from chartreuse to sage to loden. Perfect. I had to change the vein color too. But, I had a loden that exactly matched the loden in the edge color. This is why we have so much wool. You never know when you're going to need that exact shade! The field color of the grape leaf is the only one that worked with my original choice. I think the leaf looks great.
As for the title of this post: Rug Hooking with a Deadline -- that refers to the fact that I'm attending my very first rug hooking camp in about a month. I'm taking a class with Dianne Kelly, a well-known rug hooker from right here in Northeast Ohio. She's amazing and I'll be knitting one of her patterns. It's another pictorial and it has chickens!! Three chickens that I'll model after three of my own girls in the backyard. So, I'm trying to finish this rug before the camp. I'm not sure I'll make it, but I'm making some real progress and hope to have it down to just background and finishing at the very least. I'll post more pictures as I go. My next thing to tackle is the large tulips at the top of the arrangement. I'm thinking more orange...