Thursday, December 29, 2011

I'm a hooker and a dyer!

I love rug hooking, but the only hooking I've done was with wool yarn and one small square in a Yahoo Groups rug with wool strips, and those both were about 2004! I've had a Bliss Model B since 2004 as well, bought used on ebay by my hubs for me. He bought me a beautiful frame as well that year for my birthday. And it all just sat there. I know I've blogged about this before, about how I wanted to use my goodies.

So I went to the local rug hooking group last week. It was on the day after I worked the weekend and my hours are crazy. I work until 3 a.m. so I didn't get to the group until 2 p.m., lol. The hooking group is from 10:30 to 3p.m.  Ha ha! I'm just not a morning person and I don't get up until at least noon the day after I work until 3 a.m. I'm sure you understand. : ) 

I'm so glad I went! The ladies were so nice and helped me draw a simple star on my monks cloth to get started. There were a few primitive gals and a few who were doing fine cut floral work. I became fast friends with Kimberlee who loves primitive in a 9 or 10 cut. I've never seen anything that wide and it was beautiful! We got to talking and then this week we have had a blast getting together. Monday we drove to Berlin, Ohio, on a last minute trip to Country Craft Cupboard. It's a rug hooker's dream! I bought a yard of primitive linen, a primitive 8mm Hartman hook, a pattern, and two Cushing's dyes (mulberry and spice brown). Tuesday I took my Bliss to Kimberlee's and she helped me clean it and oil it, and it works sooo nice now! I could barely get the handle turned before. It has been sitting for more than six years and still had some wool fuzz from the last owner. Wednesday, yesterday, we got together again (lol) and dyed some wool and she got me started on a pattern I have been looking at in Create and Decorate Magazine for four years! Yes, I am the Queen of Unfinished Projects and the Queen of Procrastination, lol!


Cardinal rug from Create and Decorate Magazine

We had so much fun dyeing. We tried to follow a formula in a book for a light tan color for me to use as the background on my cardinal rug. Well, we got a very dark brown. It's a beautiful color, just not what we were expecting. So then I tried my spice brown on a new piece of white wool. Love it! I think it's a tad darker than I wanted for the background, but it will work just fine.

Spice Brown on new white wool. It's darker in person.

Next we through some mulberry dye and some bright red wool in the pot just to see what we would get. Beautiful! I am a prim girl and this bright red wool was never going to get used by me. Again, beautiful mottled reds!

Mulberry on bright red wool. Again, darker in person.
 Poor Kimberlee was trying so hard to find the perfect color for her snowman rug and wasn't getting it. Too dark, too yellow....I told her I had beginner's luck.

We had a delicious lunch of chicken salad and pita bread, and got to hooking. I just love her house. It's a new house, about five years, but it's so prim. Hooked rugs, penny rugs, wool applique.....so many things to look at! Here is what I have done so far. I started with the cardinal wing and probably hooked too closely. Then I started outlining the body of the bird. I soon switched to my primitive Hartman hook because I was having trouble pulling the strips with the regular hook I was using. So much better! Even though I'm only using a #8 cut, the Hartman hook was so much easier. I was really struggling with the other hook and my finger was getting sore. I thought rug hooking was supposed to be relaxing, lol! The right side is where I was struggling and the left is when I switched to the Hartman hook. You can definitely see the difference. I might even re-hook the right side.

My progress so far on the cardinal rug
 Okay, off to get some cleaning done before work because I've been ignoring it the last few days. : )

8 comments:

acorn hollow said...

Bravo what a great job. And your already dying good for you. your water will make the results of your dying a bit diffrent than a fomular. You never know what minerals etc are in the water.
keep hooking!
Happy New year
Cathy

denise said...

GOOD JOB! I'M SO JEALOUS. I WANT TO LEARN TO HOOK MYSELF.MAYBE SOON DAY. LOL!!!! DENISE

Raspberry Lane Primitives said...

Hi Michelle: Your rug looks great so far...Wow I'm jealous...I need to find a bliss on ebay..and a frame. I am such the procrastinator too...we'd get along or we'd never get anything done...haha! I need to get going on my rugs. I'd love a copy of that cardinal. Would you be able to scan the pattern from C&D and send via email? my email is:
pkendall1(at)frontiernet.net
the "at" in parenthesis is really @ so I don't get any email crazies. lol. Let me know.
Thanks so much.
patti

Kim said...

Great job. I haven't tried to dye wool yet. The cardinal pattern is sweet.

Robin said...

Michelle...I am so glad you visited my blog and left a comment ! I really reading about your start( or re-start...lol) hooking ! Your cardinal looks great, and wow, I see the difference after you switched hooks ! Is the actual hook more defined ??
I have wanted to venture into dyeing my own wools...I love to mix my own paints to get just the right hue, so that would be great fun for me...lol
I have noone and no primitive shops for wool or hooking classes here in Erie, Pa.. :(
Can't wait to see your progress !! Oh, one more question..How did you transfer the pattern onto your linen ??
Keep up the good work!
Robin
Bird In The Hand Primitives

newburyarts said...

*****you will love the process once you get going. just a word of caution...when these women tell you that uneven loops are ok...they are very wrong. it does not make it look more primitive...it only makes you look incompetent. the action of pulling the loops is a methodical movement and your holding the hook should be in the palm of your hand. lots of these ladies hold their hooks like a pencil and the results of their problems are all over the internet. seek out only the best
teachers...and there are plenty of
them outside of the internet. the process should be that you enter the backing at a 45 degree angle,
scoop the wool with your hook and
pull up to the top of the foundation of your fabric. when you hit this point in the process you should roll your hook gently with your fingers towards the last loop. this will create the even
hooking that is needed for a rug
to be properly made. search out the alice beatty book on either e-bay or amazon. this will be great help.

Faye said...

Nice job Michelle....love the dyeing update!!! PERFECT red...Also, I went to the link for Country Craft Cupboard....Nice you have that within a commute to visit!!! Take care, Faye

Tolentreasures said...

What a great job on the dyeing! I have a kit that I want to work on, but have tried without good results...I have had it for a year and a half. Procrastination.

So glad that I made it here, off to be a follower!

Cathy