starting the background of Black and White

After several false starts…I have the background underway.


I began by starting some leaves at the bottom. I used a dip dye that I dyed for my hall runner, but I somehow goofed on it, and it turned out way too green. I like the colours for here, but not the hooking stye, so I will take it out later, and figure out a different way to hook it.


Then I decided to work here, and this is the first background block I did. The background is a gentle lilac spot dye. The leaves, a left over from my Emma Sue background.


I spot dyed the recycled wool on the left, with 1/128th tsp lilac ….much more interesting now….I find I no longer like to hook with a solid colour.


This chunk…has had several incarnations. Originally I hooked it with a left over flesh tone dip dye….the background pale, and the vines dark ….yikes…it jumped out and didn’t work at all. I changed the background to this mottled turquoise (originally intended for background on Hygieia….but it didn’t work there)… just never know when your dyeing goofs will be absolutely perfect. 


This purple/green spot dye seemed like a good transition to the greens I wanted to use in the next blocks. (this wool was another failed attempt to dye a suitable background for Emma Sue)


This section is done with 2 of the 4  lazy swatches I dyed in drab olive.


When I first dyed them…I didn’t think they would work at all.


So this is the progress to date.

I’ll confess to my dyeing experiments which haven’t worked…. there’s lots of re-dyeing ahead)


This is a lazy swatch done in raspberry….beautiful….but not for this piece!


This is a lazy swatch done in paprika….dulled done slightly, but still way too bright for the background.


 My two red lazy swatches.

I’ve mentioned Emma Sue several times, so here she is .


I had a really hard time dyeing a background for her…I think I went through nearly two yards of wool until I got what I wanted..but I’m making use of much of those mistakes in this piece.

Now it’s back to the dye pots to dull down the paprika and see if I like that….got to have wool prepared so I can hook while the super bowl is on tomorrow!

6 thoughts on “starting the background of Black and White

  1. I find your dye colors beautiful, and as you said if they don’t work for one rug they will work for another. The black and white animals with the colorful background is striking, unusual and coming out beautifully. This is a challenging rug and you are conquering every speedbump with finesse! Love it!

  2. Thanks Miz T. Dahlov Ipcar’s backgrounds were my inspiration to do this piece….so I have my fingers crossed…..Very satisfying to be able to make use of some ‘mis-dyes’.

  3. Elizabeth I love the backgrounds. I was already smitten with the animals and now the whole piece has come alive. Great work.

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