The hooking of Grumpy has been done for a few weeks now, and I spent a while deciding on how I would finish him. For rugs intended to hang on the wall, I often just turn the edges under . I like the ‘tapestry’ effect it creates. However, sometimes that doesn’t work and Grumpy is a case in point. The bottom of Grumpy is hooked vertically, while the upper background is hooked horizontally. I don’t think the blank edges would look good because of that. I don’t want a border, or a prominent whipped edge, so I’m doing a very small whipped edge with no binding tape on the back.
The first step was to dye yarn to go with the two different colours. Jean (who has much more experience in dyeing yarn than I) told me to allow 1 foot per inch then add some. (I would have just divided the skein in two and dyed it all (and wasted a lot of yarn in the process). Not wanting to run short I added four extra yards to each hank……
….secured it loosely so it wouldn’t turn into a rat’s nest in the pan….and spot dyed it with the same colours as the top and a second skein with the greys for the bottom.
Into the electric frying pan it went….….and now it blends nicely with the background sky.I measured and drew a line 1.5″ from the edges of the hooking, and zigzagged around the rug just inside the line.I cut off the excess right along my pencil line……and clipped the edge back(using my faithful red quilting clips….so much batter than pins) gently leaving just enough backing showing that it wouldn’t pull the end loops over. (this is what will determine how wide the whipping will be and I want mine as small as possible).
I whip from the front, but make sure that each stitch goes into the same line on the backing so that I have a nice straight edge on the back.It is hardly visible from the top….….but makes a nicely finished view on the side.When finished I will turn under the raw edge , steam it, and slip stitch it in place. As you can imagine, this is a slow process, so I alternate between whipping and working on ‘Oil on Water’.
Here’s how it’s coming along.The hooking now covers about 42″ x 32″. It’s getting harder already for me to hang it up with clamps for viewing.
My ulterior motive in writing a blog this morning is to distract me from thinking about my schnauzer Baxter, who is undergoing surgery. Nothing serious, but three different procedures . He’s fourteen years old and a very special member of our family. Hopefully I’ll hear from the vet before long that it is over and all went well.
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Just a quick progress update before I potentially lose power. The weather report is for about five hours of freezing rain this afternoon on top of the snow which fell overnight. UGH!!
So here is “Oil on Water” over the past week.The flash rather bleached it out in this photo. (I never notice these things at the time).I was pleased with the first ‘flame’ motif….….but it’s pretty ‘glaring’ as I add the second larger one….The dark background is doing its work in toning it down and absorbing some of that colour.
Right now I’m pondering a number of colour choices. I plan to remove the blue/purple dump dye wool in the middle of the blue in the middle, and I’m considering a number of options. I’m also thinking that I will change the slightly lighter blue upward sweeps on the left. I thought they would be much more prominent and I think that side needs more interest than they will provide.
The whole thing is like a voyage of discovery, and it’s a lot of fun to watch what emerges from my hook.
Now to hunker down and wait until the freezing rain storm passes. SPRING….where are you????
Since I’m an avid curling fan and this past week was the Brier Tournament (Canadian Men’s Championship), I spent lots of time hooking and cheering the past few days. All my cheering didn’t help my team win, but at least ‘Oil on Water’ is now underway.
Here’s a record of my progress.What I’ve hooked so far is about 38″ wide.
There are several spots I’m not pleased with, but for the most part I’m leaving them for now until I get further along. I’m drawing in the design as I go using a black coloured pencil with the grid as reference.
I have a basketful of wool dyed, primarily using pro chem colours: rhodamine red, raspberry, cantaloupe, brilliant blue , and navy (with small additions of some other dyes) over Dorr natural, oatmeal, and a wide variety of textures.All the lighter blues 2nd from the right, I plan to overdye with navy so that they more closely resemble the very darks at the end. I really like that deep blue as the background and I will need an endless supply. I haven’t dyed a large amount of any of the other colours yet as I’m still experimenting with what I like. I just realized that this photo distorts the cantaloupe colour. It is more ‘peachy’ in real life.
I’m enjoying the process of creating this hooking….a new way for me to work…..I choose a small area, decide on the shapes and colours, draw it with my trusty black pencil (my new most important tool), and then hook the details and fill in the background.
Oh…and I almost forgot…I learned something new last week (at least new to me). When overdying previously dyed wool, presoak it in cold rather than hot water. Thanks Gene Shepherd for that tip.
Now off to start the gigantic job of grooming my winter-shaggy standard schnauzer.
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