Friday, August 29, 2008

Hook-in Tales

Lots of times at hook -in we get talking about other important things, like cooking and books.
Here is Barbie just after we decided who should win the Booker this year !

Here is Shirley proudly and with reason showing off the rug she is creating entirely from leftover bits of wool. She says it is fascinating to see what happens next, that's something Sue says about her nylon piece too.

Shirley said the most important thing she learned yesterday was the fact that two quite different appearing wools could hook up looking remarkably similar. Here are the two.

Shirley also said we need to chronicle the most important part of the day ...... Thea, did the wonderful baking for me because I fell off my bike the day before and felt a little off my game ! She loves to bake ! We all hope you can join us for Thursday Hook-in some day !

Hook-in Happenings

Yesterday we had all the various things possible in a hook -in, rug beginnings , rug endings and rug difficulties overcome.

Here Lorraine hooks on a picture of her home , it is simply magnificent. Lorraine is a hooker with a rare talent, she knows how to look.

Marge is hooking away on her nylon piece, she was wondering how she might finish it, she decided to whip it with nylon by cutting one continuous strip in a spiral by placing the leg of the stocking on a bottle. You can knit fun things this way too with the continous strip.

Jane has finished off the edges of her first piece and is on to her second, this is her first wool piece. She is using a cross stitch pattern she had already done and it is interesting to go from one colour sensibility to the other. I can barely wait to see how things work out.

Melanie came for visit, she is working on a piece of her husband blowing his horn.... what a great job she is doing !
She brought us some wonderful beets and a bunch of basil the size of extreme happiness for me. She knows the way to my heart !

Sue lamented the fact she only has a few squares of her nylon piece to go, maybe she will try a wool one.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Wandering - doing it right - again

My dye method wandering is notorious for unpredictable results.
Two pieces of advice I have :
Buy as much as you think you need , then buy 1/4 yd. more.
Don't worry about exact , exact matches, this method is like a water colour painting , you can blend and stroke your wool into the places you want it. Overall pieces of wandering may not be exactly the same, they do create optical blending when cut up and hooked.

Now a miracle happened today.
I was able to create a good representation of a piece of wool someone wanted more of.

This recipe is now recorded and named :
The Sue Finale
Using the wandering method with Majic Carpet Dyes over 1/2 yd of natural wool
1/16 tsp. Bottle Green
1/32 tsp. Orange
1/32 tsp. NF Red Violet
1/32 tsp. Brilliant Green

Sue's sample is on the top of the wool and to the right.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Marbelizing three ways- what do you think ?

I find it increasingly difficult to find bleeders when I buy wool.
I thought maybe trying a new way to marbleize would help, but I wanted to make a comparison. I remained consistent in my colour sand varied how I heated them.

Here are the colours. The green was a very reluctant giver. I might be driven to making a potato starch paste with dye in it to paint streaked of undissolved dye on to create merriment if this non bleeding continues..... ( leave it to me to be dissatisfied with something anyone else would long for - colour fastness ! )

This one was cooked in the usual way, on top of the stove

This one was cooked in the Oven

This one was cooked in the Kitchen Kettle

The Proof Of the Wreck

I thought I would post you the results of the huge amount of shrinkage I achieved by throwing a texture in where it didn't belong. With lotsa soap , with lotsa agitation you can really shrink your wool.
This is the same amount of wool, 1/8th yd.

It did darken the colours though.
BTW Did you know you can double click on any picture in my blog and have a closer look at it ?

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Wreck of the Lightweight wool

Well, at least once when I'm washing textures I'll mess one up and I threw a very lightweight texture into the thin pile and wow have I got a short- thick bit of business.
Thankfully it's resemblance to a pineapple and my embellishment machine I might be able to create something interesting
The real trick is to remember to treat it gingerly the next time I wash some.

With the weather being so hot I've been unable to dye , though I thought I might take a page from many of my friends and dye outside, I found even being on the deck unbearable.

Hopefully tomorrow will bring cooler breezes.

Here's a winter hooking of from Cedar Point with ice on the bay. This rug was hooked in straight lines like a strip piece quilt.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

The Wool And The Washing

Having returned from The Dorr Mill store recently and having just paid my bill I was motivated to get some of the wool I bought washed and dried and on the shelves for sale. It was a mostly texture buying trip.

Now as many of you already know, you do not EVER need to wash off the bolt wool you will be dyeing.
But I am not going to be dyeing this bunch of wool so I need to get rid of the "finishing " and get it nice and fluffy and soft.
We all love the "good hand" of wool. And it's up to me to make the magic happen.

These textures come in a variety of weights.
I do try to get wool that I guess will be good, it can be a a real crap shoot. And sometimes I am seduced by certain colours and combinations and get some iffy bits.

So I found I had wool that felt thin, perfect and a bit thick.

I do avoid wool that will not flop or drape , if it is too thick it is only good for penny rug bases or maybe my embellisher or if I were to suddenly open a coat factory. So I steer away from that.

I also don't want to feel rough, shiny or bristly wool.

I don't mind an odd non wool thread as it adds quite a bit of merriment when you wash or even felt it up.

So in order to make sure I didn't over process some wool or under process others I divied to wool into three piles.
(These are relative judgments of this wool in comparison with one another)

I have the thick ones in the washer with cold water, little soap on Gentle.

The thins will be washed with more soap, warm water and regular agitation.

The in betweens I'll wash with cold water, little soap and regular agitation.

I hope to achieve success and not over or under process these wools.
See Medium and Thin piles below.
At least I'm generating steam or heat and still getting something done.

Updates on the Geometrics- Today's Hook-in

It was a strangely hot day today but we still met and hooked together. Well... me not hooking at all but everyone else was as well as doing some finishing. Dayle says she is on the Fall Fair Count down getting things ready to enter. She is making a wonderful horse's as in a field with a barn and it is a wonder! Will post it when all the finishing touches are done.

Barb came with an ingenious way to keep her nylons in order ! Her project is really looking beautiful too, beauty and brains, some girls have all the luck.

Pure Genius - we have temporarily called it The Imitation Arm.

Jane, who is a brand new hooker brought her completed geometric to learn to finishing techniques.
She did a terrific job! She cut a nylon in a spiral on a bread crumb can to get a good long strip to whip with.
I leave the decisions about where to place colour to the student.
She is a natural ( born hooker ).
We are really proud of her accomplishments.

Also Sue is pretty much done her piece, she recently used it to demostrate and was pleased at people's response.
She tied some of the legs of the hose to show easily what she was hooking with. She is so terrific at demonstrating , she has a wonderful way with people.

Erin 's geometric is really looking lovely, this is only her second project but really I think it classifies as her first, she began with a kit. She is doing an amazing job ! Great Colour Combos.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

The New Toy

While away I decided to get something new to play with- The Embellisher
Sounds like a featherweight boxing champion !!!

This machine looks like a conventional sewing machine but joins fabric together with out thread.
The only material it won;'t work well with is gold lame.
I'm sorry Cher I can't work for you anymore.

It uses felting needles to do this.
I'm having a blast with it.

The first thing I did was the aborted flower on pink.
I had a bit of trouble as I rip straightened the material after I was done the felting and ripped the flower in half.
You live, you learn.

The next thing I made was the lovely trim on the bottom, silk saris yarn, silk thread, cut strip from hooking and some phentex and separated wool yarn. Like that !

Next pictured, one part of my out of the box project... Scene from the Black Lagoon.
This machine is a total pleasure !!
Using up tons of bits of business that were destined for the someday pile which eventually become the dump pile.
Hope I can make something really cool soon, still building up my chops.

Trip And Sights

In case you didn't notice , I'm a terrible diarist. I hope you'll forgive me. I might even make up words when left to my own devices.

Today is a day of making up things that don't exist - to create later -to bring them out of the dark recesses of my mind to you. To explain I spent a few minutes writing up the next 10 article proposals for RHM. Once I get on the roll of thinking what to cover it doesn't take long.
It took me longer to think of alliteration names for orange,---- peach , persimmon, pumpkin, I wanted a fourth but was foiled. Any ideas ?

It's not even September and I feel a great need to get organized, in the most difficult place to achieve this.... my mind !

The first thing I want to do is relate a couple of things I saw on my summer vacation.
One was Van Gogh's Starry Night.

It is small.
It is much more richly coloured than we have been lead to believe in print.
It is covered with glass
It's frame does not meet the edges of the paint.

Hmmm, It is amazing how much we can forgive the work of the famous and scruntinize the work of the hooker to the right or left for some grevious error..... I'm pointing directly at myself here.
Why I hazard to guess if Vincent took his Starry Night to get certified as a rug hooking teacher they just might fail him....

I also saw the Cypresses. Very thick with paint and shiny. Not behind glass. This picture uses the dark foreground and light background to great effect. The heavy weighted block of the Cypress is not matching the lightness of the airy sky depicted.
Once again not a good rug in the expected sense but instead it is MAGIC. Intriguing. Thought provoking.

I saw many paintings that day at the Yale University Art Gallery.
Ones of Note:
Vincent's Cafe at Night.... the colours are electric.
Early Monet- looks unfinished ( and perhaps really is )
Late Monet - looks over worked ( how can you tell when enough is enough ?)
Dali- tiny , tiny work painstaking work

I also went to the British Museum across the street.
Filled with portraits.
Yup -- filled
You know I like them. I noticed how flawlessly fabric is depicted, like you can touch the silk or astonishingly LACE, but then there is a hand lying on it with as much life as side of bacon.
Good to know others fall into the same trap as rug hookers.
EYES that look wet !!!
Dead backgrounds
Very Serious countenances, not too many emotions, joy , dismay , anger or devotion showing.
Especially amused by the portraits of married couples. Who is pinching whom ?
Liked looking at the glasses ....the clothes, the poses , weakly portrayed pets.

I loved seeing all this stuff.
Will endeavour for more depth in backgrounds, more drama in the face, more realism every where. More evocotive eyes.
And more colour always.

Please note a beautiful landscape viewed from The Taconic HWY in NY with the all present in my mind heavy foreground and delicate background.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

PIctures of Student Geometrics

At long last here are some of the pictures of the Geometric class I promised you.