One of the perks of being a member of Gene Shepherd’s Internet Rug Camp, is the access to free patterns. The first one he posted was “double cross”. It is a very old pattern which has been interpreted in countless versions throughout the years. It was fun seeing the many ways it was hooked by members of the IRG. There were pillows , table runners, and mats,in a wide variety of sizes, cuts and use of the geometric pattern. If they were shown together, it would be difficult to recognize that they all originated from the same pattern. The original is simply a series if interlocking steps arranged to form crosses. By adding some diagonal lines, and colour blocking, this is the version I came up with.
When I first saw the pattern, I must admit it didn’t particularly interest me. However, when I saw Gene using transitional dyed wool to outline with, I thought it was beautiful, and decided to give it a try. Doing transitional dyeing creates wonderful blended colour variations, and is so easy to do….no dye required! As a result, I was able to have the outline move smoothly from colour to colour. I decided that since I loved that aspect of it, I wanted it to be highlighted, so I chose to outline the outline (does that make sense??) with an oatmeal colour so it would stand out against the rest of the rug.
I used monk’s cloth which had pre-marked squares, as a backing. That made drawing the pattern much easier. It is hooked with a #6 cut. I marbelized most of the other wool to marry the colours. It is all straight line hooking, so I had plenty of opportunity to work on my basic hooking technique. I whipped the edges this time without using a binding cord, and whipped right into the binding tape. (another method learned from a Gene Shepherd video) What a lot faster!! Now I might even get all those unfinished rugs bound!