Only Four to Go

I can’t believe how quickly this rug has progressed. For the most part I only hook in the evenings for an hour or two, but the hooking on this has been easy and enjoyable. DSCN1192….and as the title says…I only have four more blocks to hook.

I was surprised at how well my age-old “doodling self-rules” worked when planning the colours. For years, when I talked on the phone I would doodle with coloured pencils (mostly looping scrolls) and would always try to use the fewest colours possible with no colours touching themselves.

For the Floating Blocks, I wanted red and yellow to be dominant (and most frequent) with the three other colours complimentary and evenly distributed. That was very easy to start, but required adjustment as one section began to border on another and the colour options diminished.

I made one final little change yesterday. When spread on the floor, I noticed that there was one background section that was significantly larger than the others. It was so easy to just draw in one additional square in that space to make it more the size of the rest. This is a perfect pattern for when you want easy hooking and designing!DSCN1193I added the 4″x 4″ in this space. All 5 colours are already encircling the area, but I chose Y-G (yellow green) . Although not ideal, it is not touching itself and there will be background separating the two green blocks. I will also try to use different greens to give it a new look, for example, I’ll definitely avoid using that very acid yellow green used in the right hand square.

As with most things I do, coming up with the background wool has also been a process. The only thing I knew for sure was that I wanted it neutral and light.  I had some ‘oatmeal’ from Dorr, but it seemed dull when I held it up to the hooking. I had a small piece of slightly darker textured wool that I liked, but not nearly enough . For a time, I thought I would go shopping for something that I thought was perfect, and went browsing through various online shops to see what might be available. What bothered me about this, was that the goal when I began this rug, was to use up my wool scraps, not ‘dyeing’ or ‘buying’ to make it.

With that in mind, went through my stash, pulling out all the light… greys, tans, browns, off whites I could find. I was surprised at how much wool I ended up with. I decided that I would ‘marry’ them all and come up with a light neutral background. (….that’s not really dyeing I told myself…)

There was way too much for even my largest pan, so I ripped each piece in two so that I could do two batches and the end colour would be pretty much the same. Now I have to admit (confess) , after seeing one half finished, I decided there might not be enough wool, sooo…

I added 1/4th yard of Dorr natural to the second batch. There was little enough colour available to be re-distributed, so after removing the wool from the soapy water stage, (here’s the confession…I broke my own rules) I added 1/128th tsp of both ‘clay’ and ‘mouse grey’ to the pan before adding the vinegar and putting the wool back.(both colours I knew I had used in dyeing the original colours). DSCN1188The colour changes weren’t dramatic, but were subtle and will hopefully work.DSCN1189 2I can imagine them making an unobtrusive background to the vivid blocks. (hope I’m right).

There’s really just one big decision left to be made. How will I hook the background…..following the contour of each space? straight across? mix the colours throughout? make each space mostly one colour?

I’ve decided to try a few ways and see which one I like best. Stay tuned to see what happens.

Thanks for stopping by.


13 thoughts on “Only Four to Go

  1. This has come together so beautifully! When you started talking about backgrounds, there is a Heavens to Betsey wool I just used as a background that I thought would be wonderful. But, I like your idea so much better and it follows your original path (mostly!) not to buy or dye.

    Can’t wait to see the next pictures.

    • Thanks for the support Sharon. I have my fingers crossed that my background will work out. I’m impatient to get to it I must admit, but I won’t let myself try until I’ve finished those last four blocks. (sometimes I have to be strict with

      • Understood, best to be strict with the smaller things. I find that if I let myself start getting away with little things, sometimes I’ll try bigger ones 😉

  2. Love ur mat!! Love the design and ur colors, too,,,,, hope to seeit at r.u.g. ,,, if u are there!? Great job!!!

  3. Very interesting to read your process in designing and hooking this rug. It is lovely already. And I love your fur baby in the background of one of your photos. Aren’t they good company in our rug hooking endeavors?!

    • That’s my Baxter Teena. He’s a 15 year old standard schnauzer, and slowing down now, but he’s always close by. I hadn’t realized he was in the picture until I went to post it.

  4. Always a pleasure to read your thinking process in your hooking – with such clarity too. You make me aware of how much I ‘wing’ it in my own rugs . Am full of admiration. X

  5. I love your rug, and learning about the process behind it is illuminating for me as I am a novice. I can only hope to learn from following your blog!

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