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