Ohhhhh heat and humidity have set in so hmmm no sitting in the porch to hook today! Instead I am in the studio dyeing wool and making up kits. A few weeks ago I was asked to make up the kit for this little mat that I hooked a few years ago:
I call it Hit and Miss Squares and it is 17 x 9 – not huge but a fun easy beginner kit. What I loved about hooking it was that it used up LOTS OF SCRAPS – all those 3 – 4 inch wide pieces of wool that were left over from previous projects. However, I wanted the mat to have a very cohesive and old look and the left overs (like most of the ones in my fridge) did not work too well together – either they were too bright or too dirty and had I used them as is it would have been a very jarring mat. I wanted old and dirty and blended! So what to do with all those scraps to make them work together. Welllll, this is nothing new for those who have been hooking and dyeing for a while but I thought I would share it anyway. I married the wool together. Took all my scraps, threw them in a big pot and brought them to a simmer. What happened was that some of the red bled from one piece of wool into the neighbouring piece of wool; some of the greens did the same thing. But it still was not exactly what I wanted – I wanted to age the colours a bit more. So I turned to my dyes and mixed up Magic Carpet orange and moss green in equal amounts and threw it in the pot(along with vinegar) and stirred a bit and continued to simmer until the dye was all absorbed. In the end not only did my wools bleed into each other giving each piece a wonderful mottled look but the orange and green browned out or dirtied(perhaps antiqued is a better word) the wool. I ended up with a wonderful old and aged palette of wool that I then cut up and hooked hit and miss style into my squares. The colours do not contrast – they blend(which in this case is what I wanted) and they all work together from light through medium to dark, from dull to bright!
So have I mentioned that Kathy Clark of Briarwood Folk Art is coming to teach a group of us here in September. Am I excited? You BET! Because Kathy’s rugs all have an aged, timeworn look to them and we both LOVEEEEE primitive rugs and I am thinking the wool I have left over from my dyeing this morning will be PERFECT in my rug I will do with Kathy.