The Background Story

When choosing how to do the background of my “old rug” pattern, I knew I wanted something light, but interesting and relating to the colours of the scroll. I decided to do a spot dye with just a very small amount of the dyes I had used for the scroll. (the scroll used 1/4 tsp dye, the background used 1/128th tsp of the same dyes… violet, grasshopper, turquoise….and I also added 1/128th tsp lilac, each in 1.5 CBW with citric acid added to the cups. I did just 1/2 yard the first time, and knew I’d need more.DSCF5452

I felt I had agitated it too much during the process, leaving a muddy background colour, so the next time, I was careful to leave it alone while it was in the pot taking up the dye. The first batch also didn’t really have any of the grasshopper green visible, so I strengthened that dye bath a bit. (a heaping 1/128th tsp. of dye)DSCF5711

Although it looks more green in the photo, in real life, the green is not green at all but yellow. I tried hooking a bit of background with it, and didn’t like the results at all. The yellow jumped out and wasn’t pleasing to my eye. Back to the dye pots.

For my third attempt, I left out the grasshopper dye altogether, and used blue violet and turquoise  (both majic carpet) lilac, and 440 blue (both pro chem)….still being careful not to stir the dye bath so there were bright spots of  white left.

The differences between batch 1 and batch 3 are subtle, but important in achieving the results I’m after..


Strips of the first batch are at the bottom, and you can see that the third batch at the top is both brighter and a little more intense in colour.

In choosing how to hook the background, I was guided  by the pervading circular motion of the scroll.  I am using the brighter version of the background to make little cats paws of colour, and using the white background parts of this version around the leaves and flowers to help make them pop. The duller version I am using to fill in.DSCF5724

Again the differences are very small, but I think they add to the effect, and I may as well put my mistakes to good use.

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.


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


My first attempt was UGLY bad,


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.


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

In the mean time…..


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.


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.


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!!

Chugging Along

Being a member of Gene Shepherd’s Internet Rug Camp has lots of perks. Just one, is several times a year getting a free pattern.


I seldom hook seasonal topics, just because I dislike the thought of them being useable/out for a short period of time. However, I decided to hook this little bird and holly to have on the table as a hot mat for Christmas. It is traced onto the red dot, ready for transfer to the backing. I looking forward to hooking with wool again.


The Cats’ Paw mat is nearing completion, and I’m starting to contemplate the finishing. I’ll have to dye more blue nylons and then cut them on the diagonal in a long coil to creating whipping material. Jill told me how a friend finished her nylon mat by crocheting with the nylons, but I’ve got lots of experimenting to do to see if I can make it work.

Thanks so much for stopping by. I hope you have a joyous holiday season….hug your loved ones close.

Cat’s Paw Background

The background is underway, and I really like the effect of the blues against the reds. I wanted it to pop, and it surely does. This is by far the brightest piece I’ve attempted, and the colours are way outside of my usual comfort zone. (Saundra these colours may shock you to the very core…I need to visit your blog frequently just to get a calm colour fix)


My favourite cat’s paw is the large one on the left, which goes smoothly through the oranges to red , pinks and finishes with maroon.


I spot dyed the background with 5 colours. I began with turquoise (which unfortunately doesn’t show up in the picture), then used, from pro chem: navy, national blue, brilliant blue, and also the Majic Carpet blue. I’m not very good yet at gauging how many nylons I’ll need….they don’t go very far), so I’ve got lots more background dyeing to do.


I find I’m adding more rounds to many of the paws as I do the background, as well as inserting more small ones to fill in the spaces. Its rather like watching someone break out in the measles!!