Nature’s Elements

The one day workshop given by Linda Wilson had been requested by the hooking group in a town just 20 miles north of where I live.( I’m lucky to live in a hooking mecca, with four groups within a 25 mile radius plus one in our city.) Everyone did the same pattern…Nature’s Elements, from Heartland Creations. That was fine by me. I love the pattern, but what I was really after was knowledge and experience hooking a landscape, so I could eventually do some personal ones.

Most people worked on scottish burlap (the backing of choice here.)..and it has a lovely even weave, but Sheila Klugescheid did one for me on monk’s cloth, and my wrist is really thankful! (I get enough injuries from occasional encounters with my gripper strips)

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The main geographic feature in the pattern is the large evergreen in the foreground, and most of the morning was spent dealing with it. I had taken along my tub of greens, as did everyone else. We divided our wool into values of dark, medium and light. I ended up with a  yellow green, and decided on 8 different wools to use for the tree…mostly from my own stash, but supplimented by recycled wool from Linda. She wouldn’t let us use what she called ‘really good wool’. This was the place to use recycled, loose weave, or frayed pieces, since it made the tree more effective.

It’s done in what  Linda called ‘messy sculpting’ , pulling long loops and cutting them higgeldy-piggeldy, while at the same time shading them from light to dark values for each bough. My first attempt at the trunk was completely lost against the branches, so I pulled it out later, and redid it in much lighter more vibrant camel and red brown check, so it would stand out. The rest of the piece is done in flat hooking, giving the tree a bit of three dimensional form.

My tree has ended up quite dark, and that presents the problem of having it stand out against the dark background. I was originally going to use a black background, but decided on a dark black and green plaid which has some tiny gold threads in it. I thought it would give the background more life. I edged the top of the tree in a lighter green #4 cut, and that helps it stand out some, but I’m still not satisfied with it. It stands out clearly in good light, but as the light fades, so does the distinction . ….maybe it’s just my eyes??

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