Sky Style

I’ve finally finished the roadside and pavement of my Prairie Sky piece, (after making a number of colour changes and adjustments to the hooking style). I ended up using a variety of materials….3 different plaids, wool yarn and two different colours of sari silk. DSCN1569Now to turn my full attention to the sky.

I’d tried some areas and ripped most out. I needed to make a decision about how I was actually going to hook it as well , of course, as the colour choices.

My initial colour selection was this: blues I dug out of my stash.DSCN1533….but as I  experimented, I didn’t like the effect of the very dark blues at all. I needed more pale shades. DSCN1535I took this photo awhile ago and I’m not sure why there are only two pieces since I actually dyed four light shades these being the lightest and darkest.

I wanted the clouds to be highlighted, and so I’m using a variety of white wool yarns plus Dorr natural wool .DSCN1551My biggest dilemma was this…….would I hook the sky straight across (bottom right sky sample) or wavy and directional (cloud beginnings). I thought about this for a number of weeks while completing the bottom roadside section. The answer I came up with? Do both. I’ll make the clouds contour the actual shapes and the sky will be pretty well straight lines.  Every time I go through this sort of process, I think afterwards….that is so OBVIOUS! why did it take me so long to figure it out?  So I’m on my way…DSCN1567I knew I would need to dye more pale blue shades and yesterday was the day.

DSCN1563I now have  a wide variety of blue shades to use in finishing my sky.

Many thanks to Lucy Richard  of The Wooly Mason Jar. I recently watched her video about how to dye 1/2 yard of wool  using her amazing colour wheel system of dyeing. I’ve never tried her system,  but I picked up a number of hints from the video which were really helpful. …some hints about micro wave dyeing eg. timing and when she adds the mordent, and using Woolite as a rinse at the end.  Hookers are such a diverse community and we can learn so much from each other. Thanks for the tips Lucy.

Whew! the humidex is to be nearly 40 C today, so for me it’s a stay inside, stay cool, and hook day. Hope you have a good day too

Thanks for stopping by.

A Change is as Good as a Rest

I’ve been working on The Virgins for quite some time, and suddenly got sick of hooking that wall. In fact   I found I didn’t  like any of it anymore. Time for a break.DSCN1524Fortunately just about this time, my daughter-in-law took a photo of the Saskatchewan prairie sky .IMG_1928

As an Ontario girl, I’m always so impressed with that amazing expanse of prairie land and sky. I immediately wanted to hook it. A perfect foil to the intricate detail of The Virgins.

With Heather’s blessing  and permission to use her photo, I packed up all the accoutrements of The Virgins piece and set about on a new venture. I rummaged through my stash, and came up with this as a starter…some rug warp, some wool, some yarn, some sari silk.DSCN1533…and set to work on the stubble field…DSCN1534 2DSCN1536

I realized the blues I have on hand will have to be supplmented, and set about dyeing some lighter shades.

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Still not sure about this…so while watching the Women’s World’s curling on the weekend…I switched to the ‘weed verge’ closer to the road.DSCN1539I’m really enjoying hooking this…just the change of pace I needed.

I’ll be back to The Virgins….later…when I love them once again.

In the meantime..

Thanks for stopping by.

Learning as I Go

When I began The Virgins, my excitement and interest was in hooking the figures themselves. I gave very little thought to the background, with only a  variety of hazy ideas as possibilities. DSCN1466

Of course I ended up settling on having the women stand in an arch (see previous posts for details of the decision) and true to my nature, forged blissfully ahead, trusting I could eventually figure out how to do it.

I am very much a visual learner, so there is a lot of trial and error in my hooking. Creating the arch and wall has really been a prime example of that. My last post dealt with figuring out the colours and style of hooking for it and last week I was pulled up short when I realized I had completely overlooked the need for an inside corner where the arch meets the wall. DSCN1498

This meant searching out and looking at the perspective and the angles required for an inside corner,. This was  followed by some loop removal and redrawing of stones. DSCN1507Oops…that corner needs to extend further….DSCN1508

…better, but still not right. That shadow needs to follow the curve of the arch right down. I just realized now as I was writing this and looking at the photo…..that I may have to redo all the stones above the arch as well so that the whole thing doesn’t fall on their heads! (I’m learning some facts about masonry as I go!) Then I’ll have to reverse the whole thing for the other side.

….and I thought doing the figures would be the hard part!

Thanks for stopping by.

PS…after conferring with my resident building expert…I learned that the arch is safe. It gets its strength from the pressure of the walls pressing in from the sides. Whew!…no crushed virgins!

Building That Wall

It seems Trump isn’t the only one having trouble building a wall. Figuring out how I wanted to hook the walls and arch in my ‘Two Virgins’ piece stopped my progress for a few weeks.

From past experience, I know that I have to see something before I’m sure it works for me. My minds eye certainly isn’t always reliable. This time it took several tries to capture the effect I wanted, and I had to accept several compromises  along the way.DSCN1469…two cuts and styles tried here and an attempt to catch the corner highlight……nope!DSCN1473….a 6 cut and straight lines…..nope!  ….but I liked the effect of the cornerDSCN1496 2….a 6 cut, straight lines and a much lighter wool (thinking of marble at this point)….then tried the arch in a 3 cut and a variety of mixed , darker colours.

At this point, I shared my dilemma with my friend Jean who liked  the arch  best…(as did I)  so on to further experiment with wall options….now using a 3 cut and antigodlin hooking.DSCN1498.Hummmm I like the left, the right is too light.

whew!

…so all the attempts came out and I’m finally on my way with the wall and arch.DSCN1503It’s a large area, and a small cut, so I think I’m set with enough hooking to keep myself busy while watching the olympics next month.

I sometimes get frustrated and think ‘will I ever  come up with the effect I want’, but its so exciting when I finally can look at my work and say “Yes! That’s what I was after.”

The compromises I mentioned…..1.) now a lighter sky colour to figure out

2.) lots more work using a 3cut rather than a 6 and antigodlin hooking rather than straight lines.

…….both incidental since I’m pleased with the effect.

If at first you don’t succeed…..

Thanks for stopping by

Starting and Finishing

Anyone who reads my ramblings here, knows that finishing is not my favourite part of rug hooking. As a matter of fact, most of my sewing and whipping is done when I have a deadline to meet. That’s the case now, once again. The Sunshine Rug Hookers are providing the program at R.U.G. at the beginning of May, so I need to have my zentangle, and Hilda’s English Sunset all done.

I procrastinated about sewing the zigzag edges on them for several weeks……why? Because my bobbin was empty, and I would have to rewind it before I could begin. Now if that isn’t the stupidest reason in the world! (but indeed I have had some bad experiences with my badly wound bobbins in the past)  ……however it’s amazing how simple it is when you follow the instructions.  When I finally got down to it, I kept thinking…..this isn’t a problem….what was the big deal?

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I’ve left 3 inches around my little seascape, since I’d like to frame it. I haven’t yet figured out how I’ll do that, so first I’ll finish the zentangle sampler.

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Now this is straight forward finishing. I want to whip it in black yarn with a back tape on the back. I went to get my materials and found that I don’t have enough black wool and my  bent yarn needle has disappeared from the planet. Sooo. yesterday I went to our local yarn/craft shop, and guess what….they are out of black 100% wool. With bated breath I traveled to Michael’s and luckily, they had what I needed. After purchasing a new needle, I remembered, that the old one is in the half completed edge of my Lunenburg landscape! (Serves me right for not having finished it long ago) . So I’m in business and I’m determined to get it underway today.

Of course while finishing is what I HAVE to do, my next project is what is really on my mind. My Grumpy Owl has been getting lots of thought, with ideas pondered and rejected over and over…..wide cut or fine cut?     realism…..or drawing style?   colourful or……monochromatic?

The first decision made was drawing style over realism, and to that end I began outlining with a #3cut in black.

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His shape and expression are sooo endearing, but don’t lend themselves to a realistic interpretation.

I’m leaning toward monochromatic….but using multiple textures and shades. To that end, I gathered up a few different wools….light plaids, a check, light grey, and oatmeal. and overdyed them with Pro Chem clay, mouse grey, and light charcoal.

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….just a bit to see if I liked it….Next step will be to create a much lighter version of this over some natural, then try both out to see if I like the effect. (I’m almost slapping my own hands to make myself whip instead of dye wool this evening)

This afternoon I’ll be taking advantage of this glorious spring weather to enjoy the sunshine while I help Ray clean up the winter debris in the garden. I have a great desire to plant some Morning Glories this year. I remember the ones in my grandmother’s garden, and I’d love to have some of my own. The older I get the more nostalgic I become.

 

March Sunshine Hooking Part 2

We had several guests with us at the last Sunshine get together, and enjoyed seeing their work. I’m not good at remembering names, so please excuse the errors and omissions.DSCF7377Janice is doing Whirligig, a pattern by Suzanne Hill.

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Elizabeth is enjoying her introduction to rug hookingDSCF7390

This is a one end of a very large rug designed by Martina Lazar. The colours just pop against that light background.

The fishes below will be hung as wall plaques.

DSCF7400I was very interested in how they were being finished. I have always avoided hooking convoluted shapes, because I had no idea how one would bind the edges.DSCF7401This hooker (I apologize for not knowing her name) has come up with a wonderful method which not only provides a great finish, but sets off the vibrant colours with the black edging. She is using material like a bias tape which surrounds the raw edges and hides them completely when sewn in place on both sides.DSCF7402I’m surely going to remember this method, and if I ever get the nerve to attempt such a moving edge, I’ll give it a try.

Anne was hooking stars.DSCF7396….and Mary Ann is building a funky house….DSCF7378

Our knitter/hookers were also hard at work. I drool when I look at their wool.DSCF7398

Those colours are such favourites of mine, and I so admire the picot edge on Kathy’s work. Who would want to cover up the beautiful detail in Theresa’a socks by hiding them in shoes???DSCF7399

If and when I get back to my own knitting, I’m going to try knitting socks from the toe up.

Gail….I know for sure I took a photo of your knitting, but my camera gremlin must have been hungry and swallowed it….because it is nowhere to be found!!

I’ve been enjoying hooking Hilda’s English Sunset. I’m only sorry it is so small, and I’ll soon have it finished.DSCF7410

 

Happy hooking. Thanks for stopping by.

 

An English Sunset for Hilda

After the passing our our dear Hilda at age 97 last year, her daughter gave her wool to the Sunshine rug hookers.

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We sold most of it and donated the proceeds to charity, but there were still many lovely pieces left. Mary Lou Justason and Linda Wilson came up with a wonderful idea and put it into action. They divided the wool into about 40 groupings and gave one package  to each of the the Sunshine members. We are now each creating a small hooked piece with this wool to have as a personal memento of our friend. We are planning to show them at R.U.G. and then invite Heather (Hilda’s daughter) to see them all at a meeting in May.

The package I chose was primarily navy, pinks and purples, and I decided to hook an English seaside sunset.

DSCF7363It’s tiny (just 25 cm. x 16 cm……sorry I can’t find an imperial ruler…but that’s approximately 10″ x 6″ ), and I added yellow orange/red and teal from my own wool.DSCF7367

Then, since Hilda’s wool was mainly solid colours, I  used the transition dyeing method (doesn’t use any dye), to create variation and highlights.

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….and ended up with this….DSCF7375So now I’m having great fun creating this little English sea scape, and imaging that Hilda is enjoying the view as well.

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Jean has created “Hilda’s Garden” with her wool.DSC03694

…..aren’t those little quillies delightful?

I’ll share what everyone else makes in a later post.

At our meeting this week I was working on “Hilda’s English Sunset”,  and here’s a glimpse of what everyone else was working on.DSCF7397Joanne’s adorable owl has a very ‘mola’ look to me. DSCF7404

Gail is hooking an abstract bench seat cover.

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Marion was off visiting when I snapped this photo, so I have no explanation for her work.

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Helen is continuing with her abstract moon/ night sky.DSCF7405Charlene told me the title of her lovely dressed tree, but unfortunately but I’ve now forgotten (so sorry Charlene).

DSCF7392Edie is coming along with the background of her floral piece. That lovely mottled background just makes the flowers pop.

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Isabel is just getting this rose underway.

DSCF7388Linda’s grandchild painted this tile and presented it to her. Fearing that it was fragile, and might not stand the test of time……..DSCF7389

…….. she has hooked a replica of this very special keepsake.DSCF7381Liz’s necklace is the inspiration for her present project. A gift from he son-in-law, it is a maori symbol called a kora….DSCF7384

 

….and she is hooking a tribute to it….DSCF7387……using sari silk, and wool which she herself has spun and dyed.

There’s more to show, and I’ll include the rest in a second post.

Thanks for stopping by.

 

 

 

OHCG 2014 The Teachers’ Challenge

What a wonderful weekend at Durham College in Oshawa. I didn’t even begin to get photos of all the pieces on display, but I certainly have enough to provide a feel for the wonderful work I saw (and several blog posts). As well as the various guild displays, there were several specialty displays and I’m going to start with one that I just loved. “The Teachers Challenge”.

Members of the teachers group were given a challenge.

They were given this line drawing…

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….and challenged to hook it …any way they liked.

DSCF6509….What fantastic results, and such a learning experience to see the wide variety of interpretations, styles and techniques they used.

The wide variety of treatments of the rocks, shows an intimate knowledge of the Canadian Shield and the infinite possible colours in granite

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….some chose the special effects of a sunset…with a silhouette style

DSCF6517……or a different season….with a monochromatic treatment

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….or tiling…DSCF6521

…..or mosaic…..DSCF6516

or a more modern treatment….(I’m sure there’s a proper name for this style, but I can’t think of it)DSCF6510

 

….or a monochromatic straight line treatmentDSCF6518

 

….or a wonderful night time interpretation. I can just hear  and the waves lapping gently on the shore.DSCF6523

What a powerful sky in this rendition. I can feel the wind blowing. even the trees have a wind blown aspect, and the highlights in the rocks balance the sky so well.DSCF6511

 

….and another amazing sky….the wool for the sky was painted, then reverse hooked…and the spaces evenly staggered to create the regular “swiss dot ” effect.DSCF6533

Wow! What talent…..and what a lesson on the endless possibilities of a black line drawing!

….and that was just one small display….I’ll show another one next blog.

In the meantime…I’m recouperating from all the fun and food and laughter of a marvelous weekend away with hookers.

Thanks for dropping by.

Part Two…. Barn Project on Display

 

Here are the rest of the photos of the Barn Project I took on Saturday.DSCF6352

“The Grain Bag by the Front Door” contains many childhood memories.DSCF6341DSCF6353

Barn at Lawless Ranch, Anarchist Pass, BC….. winner Judges’ Choice Award

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The Smith Family Fruit Barn typical of the style in the Niagara region.DSCF6363

“Lee Valley Barn” in the township of Sables-Spanish Rivers. This barn is still in use. Historical Significance award.

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“Reverence for the Bell Barn” award for Best Exemplifies Heritage Presentation DSCF6355

“Mount Olivet Lilac Ridge” DSCF6356

“Evening Milking” DSCF6357

“The Madill’s FarmDSCF6358

“Walker’s barn in Horseshoe Valley. Avant Barn Award for the Most Artistic InterpretationDSCF6359

“Spring Chores”DSCF6360“Man Maketh, Nature Taketh”  Theme Award for best depiction of the loss of a traditional barn.

Oh my!! That’s 31 barns, but there were 62 entries. I only managed to get shots of half of them. Here are a few of the others ….photos I had taken in October when they were first handed in….

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“Barn Swallows”  with the disappearance of the barns follows a scarcity of the swallowsDSCF5632

“The Barns of my Youth”….Luise Bishop Award for  Best Pictorial and Gwen Robertson Memorial Award for Best Depiction of Rural LifestyleDSCF5634

“Rural Cathedral”DSCF5633“Bossie’s Barn” …memories of activities around a barn in Cantic, QuebecDSCF5635“Barnyard Sculpture” ….the only 3D pieceDSCF5636

“The Wallace Barn”DSCF5637“Grandpa’s Farm”DSCF5645DSCF5656DSCF5664“Our Farm” near Whitby. All the buildings are now gone.

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I still missed 20 barns and my sincere apologies to those whose pieces I’ve missed.  It goes without saying that this is a terrific show of our heritage, and the art of rug hooking. Thanks again to the Huronia Committee and the Simcoe County Museum for making it possible.

Trial and Error

I couldn’t wait any longer!  Last night I gathered my blacks and greys and plunged into the hooking of Sir John.

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This whole thing will be trial and error, with only my eyes to determine what works. I’ve never tried to hook in black and white before, never tried to hook a cartoon before, in fact, I’ve never seen a hooked black and white cartoon at all. I’ve studied some monochromatic neutral pieces, but when striving for the look of a black and white photo, the colours used and styles of hooking are quite different than what I’m attempting.

My first job was to set up my bliss cutter with a #3 cutter head (I don’t have that size for my Beeline cutter (:  .) , and to my surprise I could cut neither a 3 cut or a 4 cut using the black wool I bought for this piece. After lots of wiggling and adjusting I finally got it to cut on the #4, but realized in the process that it is way too heavy. (feels almost like blanket weight wool,) so at the moment I’m working with bits of the lighter weight black I have, and trying to decide if I will over dye some dark wool I already have., or buy some more black making sure I ask for a regular weight, but a tight enough weave that even cutting a #2 is possible.

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I had no idea where to start, but just plunged in doing some outlining with a #4 in the heavy black.  (that will all be coming out) ….it’s way too heavy and predominate.

Then I moved to the jacket. and made my first discovery (learning curve?) of the project. It works best to work in sections using a small part of the original cartoon and just hooking the blobs/shapes that I see, and ignoring the overall piece. (that little tidbit of wisdom from Wendie Scott Davis and the workshop I took with her….thanks Wendie) I can actually see the creases of the arm of the jacket making sense now.

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If you can believe it, I’ve actually hand cut some #4 strips in half to try some finer outlining later today, but I think I’ll be changing out my #4 cutter head for a #2 in short order . I’ll wait until Ray can help me though as I can’t manage changing the Frazer 500 head on my own (I’m mechanically challenged).

I’m saving my plowing match hot pads for hooking away from home, as they require little concentration so they don’t impede the all important conversations of a group of hookers.

This one is finished:

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…and this one is stalled…sigh…

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…and there are 4 others not yet begun. (I took all the design elements from Klimt paintings )   The colours are dependent on the availability of worms and scraps.

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Oh yes….and my Historic Lunenburg is finished (hooking that is). I’m finally happy with the sky (after several attempts). Ah! wish I was back there.  Such a beautiful spot.