Getting Hygieia pattern underway

All the flowers, vines and leaves of the runner are now hooked, and only background is left to do. I dyed up another yard of antique black a few nights ago, but I’m sure I’ll need one or two more yards to finish. I jump all around and mix the wool, always saving bits from each dye batch to mix with the next. (sounds so purposeful doesn’t it…but really I’m too impatient to work straight down)


While working away on black background, I need something more stimulating to occupy my mind, and of course it’s my next project…Hygieia.


Ray and I hauled the 4×8 sheet of tintest from the basement, extended the diningroom table with extra leaves, and I started by checking if I had enough ‘red dot’ to do the pattern. Turns out I have plenty, but it is narrow and needs to be taped together down the middle. fortunately I have a very accurate 3″ grid on the tintest, because the dots on the ‘red dot’ aren’t completely accurate 1″ squares. No matter which edges I tried to join, they would not match up over a 6′ span. I’ll be ignoring them as I draw the pattern!


The picture I’m using is 6″ x 12″ and the rug is to be 3′ x 6′.  The grid is 3″squares on the tintest…so by drawing a grid on the picture at 1/2″ intervals….each 1/2 inch square will correspond to one 3″ square on the tintest. I’m no artist, but hopefully I can draw the details of each square relatively accurately.


The first thing I noticed as I started drawing on the red dot, was that I would have trouble keeping track of the squares, so I numbered the squares both horizontally and vertically on both the picture and pattern to be able to keep track of the grid squares. (I’ve never done this before, so it is very much a hit and miss learning process as I go.) Because bending to draw is uncomfortable for my back, I’ll just do a little at a time, so this whole process may take awhile. 


On my way home today from the Sunshine meeting, I dropped by the Good Will. My intention was just to look for a pyrex measuring cup (which they didn’t have), but of course I had to wander through the clothing sections, with the Hygieia colours in mind. I found a red hound’s tooth skirt, a pale yellow cashmere jacket, and a dull pumpkin cashmere jacket (it looks much deeper in the picture than it actually is). Of course I bought them all, popped them in the washer when I got home, and have been happily taking them apart while watching the Westminster Dog Show this evening. (I was rooting for the Shar Pei who looked very much like our dear departed Beijong).

 I don’t ordinarily use a great deal of recycled wool, but these all cut beautifully. I may well overdye them eventually since I’m determined to have lots of ‘married colours’  available for this project.

4 thoughts on “Getting Hygieia pattern underway

  1. Hi Elizabeth,I’m really enjoying your blog — thanks so much for taking the time to do it! I am getting ready to dye some antique black background for the first time. Do you have a favorite recipe?Jane

  2. Jane…so glad you’re enjoying the blog. The recipe I use is dyed over any colour wool (keep it related to your rug since wee bits show through) It dyes 1/2 yard wool. 2 dye bathes are used- 3/4 tsp. bottle green (majjic carpet) or forest green (pro chem) in 1 1/2 cbw + 1/4 cup vinegar. and 1 1/4 tsp. black in 1 1/2 cbw + 1/4 cup vinegar. Scrunch soaked wool in a casserole pan (no water added), spoon on green in spots, then fill in holes with black. Scrunch the dye through the material, cover and put in 300 degree oven for 2 hours. Rinse in cold water. Serve immediately. (sorry I couldn’t resist)Hope this helps.Elizabeth

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