I’ve very gradually come to realize the importance and potential in not only background colour choices, but in its hooking style as well….but it has been a slow and evolving process.
The background of my first few rugs were all done that way, and my only consideration was colour.
My first departure from that style of background filling was for my Oriental “Canadian Mosaic” I think this is when I fell in love with the idea of smooth even hooking. (this was the first time I had been able to achieve a semblance of it). …and it was also the first time I experienced the effects of using an abrashed wool rather than a solid colour for a background. (I was not dyeing my own wool at this point). But I wasn’t an immediate convert . In fact I can remember being mightily disappointed when I later dyed my first background, and the wool turned out somewhat mottled. (I’ve changed my thinking a lot since then!)I experimented with a wavy background in several colours for this Deanne Fitzpatrick rug, but truth to tell, it was more because I was only using wool I had at hand, and I didn’t have enough of any one colour.
By the time I came to hook the background of my two hall rugs, I was dyeing my own wool, and my version of antique black was based on using bottle green and black over a plum coloured wool. No more solid colours for me! I was using the echo style of filling. Hooking “Fat Cat” was a move away from my comfort zone in colour choices, so I decided to be venturesome in the background as well. I liked the look of this 3 colour curly pattern
….but then I liked the look of THIS 3 colour pattern as well.
Going totally away from my custom…I used both and split the background corner to corner colour-wise.
I struggled mightily in choosing the colours for the background for Hygieia. I “wasted” tons of wool dyeing colours I thought would be wonderful, only to find they were awful!It was a simple reference to the colour wheel which finally led me to the greens (red’s complimentary colour of course….why did it take me so long to think of that) Finally the style and colour gave me the textured yet unobtrusive effect I was after.
I’m extending the curves in the echo hooking of Althea, and even adding the odd circle when the space is large enough.This is my favourite part of the background. I love the effect of movement created around the bird by the sweeps around his tail, and the variations in the wool colour.
I get so excited when I try something new and it works. …..and in rug hooking there’s SO much for me still to learn and try.