Saturday, September 5, 2009

Diary of a Rug --- Part 1

Mary and Lauren left me comments about my last post...that they would be interested in seeing the progress of my Harvest Goode Things rug. I thought it would be fun to post the progress as a diary and include my thoughts and choices of colors and textures. I'll try to explain why I hooked things the way I did and even explain why I changed things later! This diary will be a little sporadic at first, due to my traveling schedule but my goal is to take you through every step of my hooking process!
My wools for the Sunflowers are pictured below. The tweed on the left is what sparked the whole color plan for my rug. It looked like sunflower seeds to me and I loved the little blue lines that run through the weave. So I was absolutely sure that I wanted to use that for my flower centers. Then I picked some golds. Yes, it's a traditional looking sunflower but that's OK with me. The gold on the bottom was dyed over Dorr Oatmeal and the one in the center was dyed over a neutral texture that looked like little bricks. I liked the texture of the squares and that gold overdye turned out more subtle and drab than the first one. The green plaid on the top was something that I picked out of my private stash and I had used it in my Lion and Lamb rug. I thought it would make terrific stems for the sunflowers and I liked the fact that it had a blue line running through it.....hmm, recurring color spark might be blue....I'm going to look for more textures with a blue "theme" to them. The wool on the right was another scrap of an drab light olive-green overdye that I had used in a previous rug for leaves. I wanted to use that one again for leaves. I often "carry over" wools from previous rugs into my new projects. It's funny, you can almost follow a common "thread" through my previous rugs by looking at what I carried over and used from one rug to the next. I decided that I was going to try to hook most of this rug in an #8.5 cut but use a #8 cut for letters and smaller details if I needed to.

Now here is one of the sunflowers hooked up. I found a tiny scrap of brighter gold/yellow. I only had a few strips! So I used it as an outline around the seed a little more interest to the flower. The flower petals were hooked using the gold overdyed Dorr Oatmeal. The flowers were smaller so I didn't think they needed an outline. There are four sunflowers in the rug, so I hooked three of them like this one:

The fourth one was hooked a little differently. I used the brick texture for the flower petals, didn't use the bright gold/yellow to outline the seeds, but outlined the flower itself with the gold overdyed Dorr oatmeal. The flowers all look harmonious but one is just a little different. I like the theory of "odd numbers", therefore the "3 and 1" combination (instead of hooking "2 and 2" of the same color combination--too predictable for my eye).

When I was picking out my wools for the sunflowers, I also made the decision that I wanted a light background. This is such a fun and happy rug that I felt a dark background would not be appropriate. I wanted the feeling of light and airy. I actually had a different light texture picked out at first but after I got the flowers hooked into the linen, I decided that the background was just a little too "pinky" and I changed my mind. So much of the color I was using had green tones to them (even the brick-texture looked like a gold which leaned toward green tones). My final choice was a light herringbone that has yellowish green tones. I usually like to blend at least two textures into my background but after looking at how much background there was (not a lot and it's broken up by the house and the flowers), I decided that just using one texture was enough.
Now a word about my wool: I don't use spot dyes at all. I use all textures, even if they are subtle heathers or overdyed oatmeal, I don't use solid-colored off-the-bolt wool nor do I use swatches nor spot dyes. That's just me. When I look at my very first rugs (and I didn't know WHAT I was doing back then), there are very few spot dyes used. I instinctively reached for textures..plaids, tweeds, herringbones, etc. The love of textures was further enhanced when I took my first class with Barb Carroll. She opened my eyes to the world of texture possibilities and I have never looked back.


Rugs and Pugs said...

Kris ~
This is going to be so much fun to follow along. Hopefully I'll learn something through your insights. I have such a hard time color planning and never quite achieve what I had hoped to.
Thank you ;-)

Debra Lloyd said...

Thanks Kris--I love hearing the thoughts of others as they plan their rugs--always a learning process. I give you credit for teaching me the value of using textures--and I love the depth they add to my rugs.
Have fun in all your travels!

Mary said...

This is going to be a wonderful journey! Thanks for letting us all come along! Can't wait to see what's next!!!

I had promised myself that I was going to finish up some of my UFOs but I might just have to pull this one out and get started!!!!