Eye Phoenix and Kimono

My “Lady with Fan” is now Althea. Many thanks to my dear friend Sandi for researching names and finding just the right one. Althea means health and wellbeing…and this is my “healing piece”.

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I completely removed her left eye and rehooked it…changing it’s angle, lowering it, and enlarging the grey lid area. I like it much more now. The nose however,  is another matter!

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I used some of the new dyes I purchased for this project in the Phoenix….Cantaloupe (with a wee touch of black to dull it a bit) and  Sea Breeze for the body. To get the pale yellow green for the tiny lines, I overdyed a piece of pale yellow with a smidgeon of Mallard green. Apparently all the greens in Chinese symbols are blue-greens (I’m learning something new every day as I work on this).

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I used my favourite black watch tartan for the “black” parts on the wings.

One of the best things about hooking for me is that I can jump around in what I do. (I always hated those 345 rows of stocking stitch on a sweater before I got to the interesting parts.)

I decided to move to the kimomo. My earlier attempt to dye the deep dull blue for it didn’t work. I used slate blue with a touch of lilac…it was lovely, and ended up on the Phoenix wings, but wasn’t at all right for the kimono. It needed more depth. This time I chose three different wools, natural, oatmeal, and a grey check.

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I dyed it with slate blue, navy, and a wee bit of blue violet. I had to do it twice to get the depth I wanted, but I really like the final outcome.

For the lighter sections, I tried this sand/pink plaid. and some oatmeal wool.

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I dyed the oatmeal with pink sand and mouse grey (spotted, not mixed)…and I love that. My lovely pink plaid probably would have worked if I’d left it alone, but I overdyed it with pink sand and clay, and although i’ve tried it, it’s going to taken out….too red/brownish, and now too dark.

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I really like how the two wools go together.

Right now I have some pale lilac wool soaking and I’m going to try overdyeing it shortly. ( keeping my fingers crossed).

Dyeing wool is so exciting when it works, and so disappointing when it doesn’t. By the way…I’m so grateful to Wanda Kerr for her video on microwave dyeing. This rug needs lots of small pieces of wool, and it’s such a simple and quick method to do them, and to experiment without taking up the whole stove. I must make a trip to Goodwill to look for a better microwave dyeing container. My large ice cream tub isn’t very sturdy!

Thanks for stopping by!

Starting my new Klimt Venture

I finished drawing the pattern for ‘ Lady With Fan’ a couple of weeks ago, and began the actual hooking last weekend. I chose this particular painting to hook because of the many chinese symbols in the background. They are all related to a personal sense of peace and well being, and really spoke to me as I was struggling with my sister’s illness.

The pattern is 36″ x 36″…an unusual size. I’ve never before hooked a large piece in a square, but that’s what Klimt did, so who am I to argue.

I altered a number of the background details to make them “hookable”, for example many of “my” leaves, were mere slashes of colour in the original.

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I experimented with some 1/8th yard pieces done in the microwave (my first time doing that), and dug through my stash for other colours to try.

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I like to begin with the eyes, then mouth, then nose, so I am immediately working with a personality. I also always have to do a lot of altering. My way seems to be…plunge in with both feet, then figure out what’s wrong and keep changing it until I’m satisfied . That has certainly been the case with her face. (I think I’m going to have to give her a name…just ‘lady’ doesn’t seem appropriate for such an intimate relationship as we have).

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At this point, I had already ripped out my first attempts at her skin, and had started again.

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One of the first things to bother me was her chin…too heavy.

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I removed the bottom row of hooking around her chin and was much happier with the result. I liked her nose on it’s own, but it didn’t match with the angle of her eyes. It was too face forward, while her eyes looked left. With suggestions from my good friend Jean, I took out the left side and tried again.

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As I look at this picture, I wish I had left this profile….because…

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I’m not pleased with how it ended up, and I intend to do version number 3. I did however decide to work on something else first until I could figure out how to fix it…..it’s way too bulbous at the bottom.

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I also altered the left eye…adding some white beyond the edge of the pupil so it was a better match for the right one. (the last two photos show the change)

I moved then to the crane, and hooked it with left over pieces from my stash. It is mostly hooked with a 6 cut, and I originally began with a 3 cut for the yellow edging.

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It got lost amid the turquoise however, so I took that out and replaced it with a 4 cut. Amazing what a difference that little bit of extra width made to how it stands out.

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I added more hair along her brow line, and left little ends at the bottom of the curls on her face (I may or may not clip them off) I hooked her hair with 4 different textured wools all jumbled up together. I love watching how such different wools blend together to make hair that is vibrant and alive.

For the first time in awhile, I have an entire weekend without comittments, so I’m looking forward to snuggling up and getting lots of  hooking and reading done.

Thanks for stopping by .

Crocheting with Nylons

At one time in my life, I crocheted afgans, vests, scarfs, hats….you name it, but it has been a very long time since I picked up a crochet hook, and a first time using a nylon stocking cut up on the diagonal into one long strip. To be honest, although at one time I had a case with every size of hook….I couldn’t lay my hands on even ONE proper crochet hook…so I’ve been using my poor discarded pencil hook, and although it is a little “fine” for the job, it is certainly adequate.

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I took a scrap piece of rugwarp to practise on, and it was sure a good thing I did.

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My first attempt was UGLY bad,

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but with trying again, I got the knack of it.

Never having tried an edge rolled forward before, I waited until the ‘try out’ session to decide how wide the edge should be. I decided on an inch, which gave me enough fabric to fold twice, hiding the zigzagged edge.

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and I’m rather pleased with how it is turning out.

In the mean time…..

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I’ve started drawing the pattern for “Lady with Fan”….I must admit I enjoy the process of drawing it……….not so enthused about the transfer part…it’s slow and time consuming to make sure the ink is getting through to the backing. Maybe one day I’ll get hubby to make me a light table….that would be lots easier.  🙂

Thanks for stopping by.

Finishing and Beginning

Christmas is over, family has returned home, and once again it’s just Ray and I keeping the home fires burning.

Last night I completed the hooking on the cats paws mat.

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I still have some questions about it….for instance….I don’t imagine I can steam it. I seem to recall having someone say to lay a damp cloth over it then after it is damp, block and let dry. Was this a dream???…my imagination????….does anyone know??

Next then will be the finishing. I have to dye more nylons for that task, and then experiment with crocheting the edge after it is rolled forward. This will be a whole new experience for me…never having done a “rolled forward”  or crocheted edge.

For the last while I’ve been hooking small pieces, and while I’ve enjoyed them all, I’ve really missed having a large, challenging project to be excited about. I tried to think what would create this enthusiasm, and I realized I wanted to do yet another Klimt. After an hour or so of browsing, I’ve settled on “Lady With Fan” a portrait of an unknown woman. I was drawn by the wonderful background and the significance of the birds and flowers…love, happiness,peace etc. …..a balm for my soul at a very difficult time in my life when my dear sister is very ill with cancer.

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The lady seems so graceful, peaceful and pensive. I only hope I can capture that feeling.

It is square…and I decided on 36″ x 36″. Thanks to my clever husband who was able to take the 8″x8″ picture, and mark out a grid on it that will be 3″ squares on the 36″ inch square pattern.( I need 3″ since he made me a 4’x8′ board of 3″ squares for drawing my patterns.) By labelling the squares and drawing from them, even though I am artistically challenged, I can adequately reproduce it to the size I want.

Now to make sure I complete the cats paws before I get involved in this new project!!