Thursday, April 7, 2011

Still Hooking…

And loving it!!!

I started on my second mat last week which is going to be much larger than my first one.  The finished size, once the borders are added, will be about 4 1/2’ x 2 1/2’.

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Each of the squares measures 4” and I’m hooking it in a scrappy, log cabin or granny square style referred to as ‘hit-and-miss’ in hooking lingo.  I don’t know if it’s because my hooking has improved but I’m finding this mat much easier to do than my first one.

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My last mat was done on ‘primitive linen’ and for this one, I’m using Scottish linen which I’ve found to be substantially different from the former.  Pulling the loops of wool through the Scottish linen is much easier because the linen is finer and softer and as a result, there is less wear and tear on the outside edges of the wool.

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Speaking of wool, I have also learned that the quality of wool makes a HUGE difference when hooking. 

In my new rug, I have used both recycled 100% wool as well as new wool, both of which were initially washed, felted and in most cases, over dyed.  New and old wool must be washed or felted in hot water before using it because this process shrinks and tightens the fibres which cuts down on the wool unraveling and the edges fraying.  Because the dyeing process actually includes the ‘washing’ of the wool, machine washing beforehand isn’t necessary.   

For the most part, my wool of preference is the new stuff.  *wink*

sheep

Kathy LeBlanc, one of the gals I hook with on Tuesdays and who I’ve also taken two classes with, took me under her wing again this past Tuesday to teach me one of the many ways to dye wool.  I provided the wool, Kathy provided the dyes and Moose River Rug Hooking Studio provided the venue and their kitchen.  (Thanks Blaine and Leslie).

Here are the fruits of our labor…

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Most of the wool pictured above started off as either off white or beige.  Cool results, huh? 

The colors of the powdered dyes can be mixed much the same as you would mix pure pigment paints, so this was right up my alley.  The tricky part is to learn how much of each color to use but because dyeing fabric is not an exact science, no two batches will turn out precisely the same in any case.

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I thoroughly enjoyed the entire process so of course I had to buy a complete kit of dyes and a measuring spoon.

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With results like this, I can certainly envision many hours spent over the dye pot in the next little while just experimenting with color.  The best part is that if you don’t like the results, you can always over-dye the wool again.

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Now I just have to cut some of this new stash into strips so that I can incorporate them into my newest rug.  The scrappier, the better!

Note:  For those of you who might have missed it, please scroll down to my next post if you are interested in my ‘Special Giveaway’ which is open until next Wednesday, April 13th.

knametag1b

31 comments:

Falling Leaf Woodworkers and Primitives said...

your new rug is going to be beautiful, I can't wait to see it finished. I am hoping to learn rug hooking this year also.
Sabrina

Susan said...

This is like the granny square of hooking...love it. Thanks for all the wool info, I'm kinda new getting into it and I love seeing your work.

Grammee Linda - Behind My Red Door said...

That pattern looks fun - looking forward to seeing it done.

I am not suprised at all to see you are getting into dying the wool. With your knowledge of color, I know you'll come up with some scrumptious ones! Have fun playing around with that and make sure to show us! (please!!)

I still haven't started my rug yet - well I did pulll some loops through while using the hoop and decided that was no fun at all! AWKWARD is more like it. I still haven't had a chance to get to Audrey's to try her frame. (She comes my way when we go to shoots)My days are so full with caring for young and old family members and magazine work and other things but I will get to it eventually!! Keep showing your stuff to keep e inspired!

It's a sunny spring day here - I hope you are getting some too! HUGS

WoolenSails said...

I can see you are really enjoying learning more about rug hooking. I do love new wool too, but mix them up with my recycled wool. That will be a beautiful rug for your new home.

Debbie

Larkrise garden girl said...

I love your rug!It does look like granny squares. I love your blog.

Stephanie said...

Good to know you're still hooking. It is the world's oldest profession, right? :o) I love the granny square look of your project. First your hooking and now you're dyeing. Love that orange-y check.

Sharon said...

Your rug is going to be gorgous. I see some hooked pieces at our fair and I'm amazed at what those hookers are producing ;-)
I'm so tempted, but I have too much fabric to start a new craft!

Karen said...

I was wondering if the house remodeling and decorating was leaving you any time for hooking. Question answered.
Looks like you have gotten "hooked" on dying wool. I am sure you will be good at it with your color experience from the past.

Gayle said...

Hi Kaaren - Your new rug is looking really good! For some reason I thought people always made this kind of rug to use up their leftover worm collection - but since you're still a newbie and probably don't HAVE any leftovers - I guess I was wrong! LOL Glad you got to try your hand at dyeing. We have a gal in our rug hooking group who comes from a painting background also - she's been invaluable to our guild and has taught several classes on color theory because she understands it and explains it so completely - she's traveled the world teaching and we feel lucky to have her. Funny story - before ever pulling a single loop - she dyed every color in Emma Lou's dye book!

Rita said...

So, you're a dyed in the wool hooker? ;-)

I love the colors. Your rug will be gorgeous.

gracie said...

Well now, you are becoming quite a pro! I love the new pattern ...keep posting your progress so I can drool.

Candace said...

Is this fun or what, Kaaren!! The new rug looks so colorful - and I liked hearing that you found a linen that hooks easier (taking notes for future reference!) I totally see you getting into dying, too! Wow - a stripper, hooker and dyer - now that's a combination - LOL!
Cheers!

Mimi said...

I love, love, love how your log cabin rug is turning out!

Darlene said...

I love your rug, Kaaren. I want to come play with you - ok????

LOL

Allie said...

I really love the look of this rug - makes me want to make a quilt like it, lol! Gorgeous.

Lori said...

The rug is so cool and you are dying your own wool?! Awesome! That is something I've always wanted to try.

Cattinka said...

I don´t know jet what you are doing. You dye the fabric first and then you have to cut in into stripes and than you do latchhook?
Anyway, howeve this is done, it looks good!
KATRIN W.

Quilt Hollow said...

OMG.....OMG.....don't make me need more wool! Love your creation!!

Phyllis in Minnesota said...

Your rug is beautiful....but does this mean you will have to
re-remodel your home to make a special room for dyeing? Keep up the great work!

Sandy said...

Your hooking looks wonderful. It is so much fun to learn something new. How lucky to live close to a shop that has all that you need. Happy Hooking.

SueB said...

Kaaren, I love your new rug. It is going to be beautiful. Your house is also looking really nice.

Janet said...

I'm going to envy you your rug when it's done, it'll be gorgeous. It sounds like the dying was so much fun, you're going to be busy.

Sue-Anne said...

Hi Kaaren, I just love your rug, the colours are fantastic! Looks like you are going to have a lot of fun playing with those dyes.

Needled Mom said...

That is going to be amazing. You are definitely making headway on it.

Erin said...

I love it! I have been working on a snowman for a while! U r inspiring!!!

Jane said...

Oh my...your new rug looks AMAZING!!!!! I want to learn how to do that so bad!!!! I may be going to Halifax with my dad in June.....any good places there???? :)

Nanny en Bilbao said...

Muy bonito, Kaaren. Parecen grannys.
Abrazos..

Siobhan said...

I love the new rug! I can't wait to see what it looks like as it progresses. How fun to dye your own wool, too!

Cynthy said...

I love the dyed wool. I have done some but mainly stick to dying cottons. It is very addicting.

Shiree said...

your new rug will be wonderfully warm and cosy Kaaren, it looks fabulous!

Carole said...

Your new rug is gorgeous! If you're into dying wool, you might want to check out Vicki Welsh's blog Field trips in Fibre. Although she hand dyes cottons, her knowledge and science is amazing! Thanks for sharing! Cheers!