preparing Adele’s coiffure


I’ve studied various photos of Adele’s hair, and as far as I can see, it is just…..BLACK. However, the hair, is a large portion of my piece, and I’m going to do it in a variety of ‘blacks’ to give it some life. My intention is, at this point…..(early Monday morning) ….to dye up an antique black, using the oatmeal as a base (I don’t have enough of the wool for my hall runner background to risk using that).  I have a variety of black plaids and tweeds in bits and pieces which I hope will work for extra highlights. I’m not sure yet whether I will marry those colours, or use them as is. So those are my intentions as of 7:30 am…..but it’s a woman’s prerogative to change her mind!


1:00pm…..I used my basic antique black recipe as a guide, but instead of using ‘bottle green’, I used ‘maple sugar’ (not the real stuff…the pro chem dye). I made that change for a couple of reasons….the most mundane being…I don’t want to run out of ‘bottle green’ before I complete the background of the hall rug, and secondly, I plan to use the ‘maple sugar as a background colour, and thought it would tie the two areas together, thirdly it seemed like a good highlight for black hair.

I used two dye batches and 1/2 yard of wool: 1 1/4 tsp black in 1 1/2 cbw plus 1/4 cup vinegar, and 3/4 tsp maple sugar in 1 1/2 cbw plus 1/4 cup vinegar. (no water in the pan…but soaked wool)



. I spooned on the black first in splotches, then did the same with the maple sugar. (sorry I forgot to take a picture at that point)


Then, using my tongs, I made sure everything was soaked through. I covered it with tin foil and put it in the oven at 300 degrees. After 1 hour the water was clear, so I took it out and rinsed it.


I did the eyes and mouth in 3 and 4 cuts, the flesh in a 6 cut, and I’m trying an 8 cut for the hair. It will not only be faster, but more realistic I think.

Tweaking Adele’s Face

My morning smile….my spell check doesn’t think ‘tweaking’  is a word! Not too many rughooking lexicographers about I guess!

My process for tweeking Adele’s face goes something like this….After I’m done hooking a portion or want a break…..I clamp the piece up in the room so I can easily see it while reading or watching TV. Then I periodically stare at it…what do I like…what disturbs me? …and if something disturbs me,,,why…and how can I change it?

Adele’s nose has gone through several adjustments in this process.


First I changed the order of shading to have the highlight in the centre. The wool I thought would be the lightest…didn’t turn out that way. (still not too sure I have this right).

Then the flare of the left nostril was too small so I extended that a bit.


Then the left side of the nose didn’t show up well enough against the face…so I outlined it with black embroidery floss.



The left side of the nostril now seemed a little larger than the right side… I flared the right side out a bit more.



Another area that concerned me was the jaw line. As I filled in the chin and cheek areas, it seemed too broad. I pulled out the outline row, and the shadow row, and moved each back one row, and I think the profile now more closely resembles the Glimt painting, I outlined the hair so that I would have a better perspective on how the head would look as a whole.



I then decided that the black embroidery floss was too stark, and I didn’t like the line running all the way up to her eyebrow. I placed grey floss over top to see what it looked like….liked it….ripped out the black and redid it with the grey.



original lips


left side tweeked

The left side of the upper lip was too pointed, so I took out two loops at the top and reworked the skin area immediately around it


All of this may sound like a lot of work….but actually. I just pull out a few loops  replacing what is necessary, and it only takes a couple of minutes. The time consuming part is the looking/analyzing time. This process happened step by step over several days as I worked on the rest of the face. The whole face pleases me much more now….and when all is said and done…..that’s all that really matters!

Preparing Adele

While much of north america is well into spring -like conditions, here in central Ontario, we are still very much in the grip of winter. I’m not complaining…I love winter, and Sunday and Monday were wonderful ,brilliant winter days, with fresh snow  and a wonderland out of every window. Perfect days to cocoon and do nothing except watch the Briar (that’s the Canadian Men’s curling championships ) and work on hooking activities.


I dyed another 1/2 yard of antique black for the hall runner, and a yard of caserole dyeing in a variety of yellow colours. While not as striking as the red  batch, I think it will be very useful. I also dyed 1/2 yard of a sort of flesh tone for my second Glimt project…Adele, but the jury is still out on that.


I drew, and traced the pattern for Adele on linen. I settled on 24″ x 36″. I originally was going to have it 30″ x 36″ but I found the shape looked ‘clunky’,  Ray said it was because it was way off the ‘golden mean’ ….which is the perfect ratio, ….so now it’s closer…and a more pleasing shape to my eye. When I removed the red dot, I went over the whole thing again to make it crisp and clear, and bound the edges with my trusty green painters tape. Yahoo! Its ready.


Emma Sue

I’ve only ever once attempted to do a face when I knew what I was doing. So I studied Emma Sue and got out the notes from Anne Boisinot’s Creative Expressive Faces workshop and went over all the details for hooking one. It’s because of that workshop, and the wonderful notes she gave us that I have the nerve to try hooking these two faces (Adele and Hygieia). Anne broke down all the aspects of the face, and gave marvelous details on how to approach each part. Before I begin, I will find bits and pieces for the eyes and lips.

I pondered where to start, but I think it will be the face…starting with the eyes. (by the way…I’ve set myself a sort of 10 minute challenge….I must hook some background on the hall runner every day!)