Dyeing The Colour Wheel

Early in November I’m attending a workshop and I’m to bring 1/16th yard of each of the colours in the colour wheel. So Friday I got out the dye equipment and got to work.DSCN0065To begin with….. Although I dye my own wool and do my own colour planning, I am by no means knowledgable when it comes to colour theory. In spite of trying, my eyes glaze over when someone starts discussing  split complementary harmony or analogous or tetrardic harmony………I rely heavily on the fact that I am a visual learner, and end up making my decisions based on what looks right to me. (and very often rehook what I’ve done because it DOESN’T look right to me). I’d probably save myself a lot of time and effort if I just followed the rules….but what’s the fun in that? So I even had to hunt for a colour wheel to refresh  my mind on the colours I needed to dye. Perhaps I’ll finally remember what they are and their order having done this exercise.DSCN0066

I began by going through all my dyes to come up with as many single dyes as I could that might give me one of the colours I needed. I don’t have  colour swatches to refer so this was the simplest method for me. Starting at the top and going clockwise, I chose Pro Chem Sun Yellow, (I thought plain yellow was too ‘lemony’) The pen indicates yellow orange (don’t have a dye that colour) Cushing Orange, Pro Chem Poppy Red for orange red, Majic Carpet Red, and under it Pro Chem Magenta (ended up using magenta), Majic Carpet Red Violet, Cushing Purple, Majic Carpet Blue Violet, both Cushing and Majic Carpet Blue (ended up using Majic carpet) , for blue green I thought (whatever that cushing dye is or Pro Chem Mallard Green …..neither of which worked) I thought bottle green would be a true green (wrong), and the last pen  in the place for yellow green .DSCN0068

Next I checked my stash to see what colours I might already have…..I found yellow green…..orange……yellow……and yellow orange.DSCN0069That left me with 8 colours to dye.

Most were straight forward. In checking “bottle green” I found it was distinctly blue green…..so I used it for that. The mallard Green was actually the closest to a forest green, but still a bit blueish, so I added a wet toothpick of  yellow to the dye bath. (I drop a bit of the dye bath on a paper towel to check colours before dyeing).

DSCN0072Here are my 8 colours on the line .DSCN0071

You can’t see the colours very well in this shot, but I like the look of them against the trees.


Here’s my colour wheel  ready for the workshop. (although I may dye a different orange….the one from my stash is pretty dark)

I dyed each piece in the microwave….so much faster when dyeing small pieces. I used 1/16th tsp of dye to  1 CBW (cup of boiling water) for the dye bath and added vinegar to each dye bath itself. (probably could have used less in many cases…as sometimes not all the dye was taken up when the wool was at a satisfactory colour) The dye bath is added to boiling water in a microwave safe bowl (I have some designated plastic bowls for microwave dyeing) and set to cook for about 5 minutes . (longer as needed)

…..not scientific, not perfect, but fun and quick. (the whole dye session took me about an hour) and I love the results.


Now to see how they are used at the workshop.

Happy Halloween everyone. Thanks for stopping by.

Finishing Up

Well I thought it would be a quick little project.   I mean ….how difficult can it be to hook up three 4.5 ” mug rugs. Thank goodness I started several weeks before I needed them, because the glue is just now drying on the edging…and the birthday party is only 3 days away.

So what took so long? The gingerbread  one I did first was straight forward….until I looked for more of the background wool to cut for the edging. NOPE…..not to be found. GONE! I searched for ages. I found every possible shade of beige, tan and brown except that one. So after wasting most of an evening, I finally decided to do the edge in black to match the bottom. It matches the back, but certainly wasn’t my first choice.DSCN0062I wish now I had done the background in white. At the time, I chose the light tan so that the icing on the gingerbread man wouldn’t be lost, but it doesn’t match the mug as well as I’d like.  (you can see the wet glue a bit, but that will disappear when it dries)

The moose with plaid background was the one that took me the longest. I began by outlining the moose shape with the red, then filling in the body. Then I realized that was the wrong colour, and redid it in  black.DSCF7781

I made one totally false start on the plaid, and ripped that out as well. After a google search I found an example of a hooked plaid on the internet, and was able to figure out how to do it from looking at that……hooking vertical rows and skipping ditches, then horizontal rows between. I figured out a plan on paper, and it went pretty well until I came to the parts where I had to skip over the body of the moose. That took a lot of adjusting, ripping out and rehooking, but I’m finally pleased with the outcome.


Part way through, I realized that I didn’t have to worry about how to squeeze those ends in on the top……the back is covered, so I could just leave them on the wrong side .(sometimes I’m a little slow to see the obvious!)

I left the holly to the last and didn’t anticipate any problems.  Wrong again. The little cluster I drew was a mess when hooked, (my husband had no idea what it was supposed to be) so out it came, and I started again.DSCF7780

I redrew a totally different version and then just hooked  three of the leaves. DSCN0024

I used left over pieces from a blue green dip dye and some acid yellow green.

DSCN0027…….but when I put it next to the mug….the light blue green didn’t go at all…..so…….


…..out came all the lighter sections of blue green, and I added more of the yellow green.DSCN0064Finally, I’m happy with it.

Next, I’m about to venture into the world of punch needle. Sunshine Rug Hookers are sponsoring a workshop (well 2 workshops actually) in early November and I’m looking forward to trying something quite new (for me). I’ve always admired the little miniature punch needle pieces in particular, and I’m looking to trying it and using some of my large stash of crewel wool  which has been neglected in a box for many years.

Lastly, while I was working on the mug rugs, my trusty camera gave up the ghost, and completely died. I really can’t complain. I had had it for about 10 years, and in this age of planned obsolescence, that’s not bad. So I’m now the proud owner of a brand new one, but I’m still learning how to manipulate all its bells and whistles (note the poor setting choices in the photos of the “in progress” mats). Now to just remember to have it with me all the time…..

So now with my new camera in hand, dreary November (my least favourite month) about to begin, and my nesting instinct kicking in, I’ll endeavour to post here more frequently.

Thanks for stopping by.

Hooking Mug Rugs

I remember seeing and loving some mugs with matching mug rugs hooked by various members of a group, and displayed one year at the annual. I’ve searched through all my photos, and I either didn’t take pictures of them, or they didn’t turn out.

That’s a long winded way to introduce my next little project…..making mug rugs for three relatives whose combined birthdays I’ll be attending at the end of the month.

My first chore was to find suitable mugs with decorations that I could use as the basis of the hooking. Two are men, so that cut out all the flowery feminine mugs . I spent a long time browsing in our local Hallmark Store and came up with these three. DSCF7776

They’re so nicely packed, I’ve just shown the boxes…which show what is on each mug.

I started with the easiest one…..(not pressed yet so it’s still a bit wonky)


I made  a failed attempt at hooking the plaid for the moose mug. I took it out and thanks to a photo I found of hooking a plaid, I’m ready to try again. DSCF7781

I know Luise Bishop has taught how to hook a plaid, and when I get it down, I’ll share it here. (I think it involves graph paper, and hooking both horizontally and vertically)

I haven’t started the third one yet.

DSCF7780Although it will need a teeny tiny cut, I don’t anticipate a problem. I think I’ll try doing the berries with a knot (a la proddy flowers).

I’ve been remiss in posting lately. I didn’t forget my camera at R.U.G…. I FORGOT TO GO!

Actually I’ve been enjoying a visit from my son and his girlfriend from Calgary, a lovely family Thanksgiving, and  spectacular fall weather.DSCF7736My son’s girlfriend is a glass artist, and gave me these six wonderful hand blown tumblers.DSCF7740

Each is unique and I treasure them all.

Well I also have to admit that another distraction has been a lot of nail biting and cheering while watching the Blue Jays!

….and with views like this at the end of the street, it’s hard to concentrate on hooking.

DSCF7765DSCF7764Those trees will soon be bare, and then I’ll  snuggle down with my hooking frame in earnest to enjoy snow flakes and winter.

Thanks for stopping by.