Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Spot Dye

Wool for the Stems in the Rug "Humble Beginnings"

The rug color plan calls for a spot dye (Cushing dyes) for the stems of the flowers.  Peggy Hannum's dyeing directions call for 1/8 t Bronze Green, 1/8 t Old Gold, 1/8 t Bronze, and 1/16 t Mahogany to be used in Dotti Ebi's Spot Method.  Each color is dissolved in a cup of hot water and 2 T of white vinegar.  Dotti Ebi's book is the paperback Scraps or Spots, 115 Formulas for Rug Hooking, 1979.  I used 1/2 yard of butterscotch colored wool soaked in warm water and Dawn dishwashing detergent. I placed wrinkled aluminum foil in the bottom of my dye pan and added the wool on top.  The wool was crumpled, not folded.  The dyes were applied by the tablespoon (T) in a designated pattern.
                                                            ( p.24, Scraps or Spots)
The "O" was Bronze Green and the "X" was Old Gold.  The Bronze was applied wherever space was available and the Mahogany was used as an accent.  After the dyes were applied, I salted the material per directions (just used my regular salt shaker).  I added 5 cups of boiling water on the edges of the pan (not directly on the wool), and then the wool was pushed under the water to somewhat mute the colors.  I covered the pan with aluminum foil and baked it in a 275 degree oven for 1 hour.  I rinsed the wool in my machine (remember, I have a front loader so I'm not worried about felting the wool) and popped it in the dryer.  The photo at the top shows the result.
Now to hook the stems.

Saturday, September 21, 2013


The red wool is hooked in the daisy like flowers in the Humble Beginnings rug.  I could not find Maryanne Lincoln's Country Color Formulas booklet, so I dyed a soft yellow to use instead of the recommended color for the small flowers and the daisy centers (so much for the plan......).

Friday, September 13, 2013

The Challenge

 Jacobean Challenge, 2013
Wool strips on backing

Ellen completed her ATHA June challenge.  She chose to make the Jacobean design into the hooked top of a footstool. Great idea! She also added her own elements to the design (the upper bell flowers and the swirl to the left). I really like the movement in her background.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

A Color Plan

Humble Beginnings

This pattern is 19" x 35" and was created by Jane McGown Flynn.  I came across a color plan for this rug by Peggy Hannum in the McGown Newsletter of May 2001.  Peggy completed this mat in 2000.  I've never begun a rug with a formal color plan, and certainly not one completely planned by another artist.  I usually start a project with a few colors that I like and believe will work in the design.  I color plan as I go along.  So this is a new challenge for me.  This color plan calls for dyeing 6 and 8 value swatches and spot-dyes. 
The first step was to find the formulas Peggy listed in her article.  Some books I found on Ebay and some on Amazon.  Two of the recipes came from Jane Elliot's Color Flow books. I could not find these as they were out of print.  I contacted the Dorr Mill Store, and they were very helpful. I was able to buy copies. (Great store with such an accommodating staff!)
The two daisy like flowers are hooked in 8 swatches of red (Color Flow #92).  The Cushing dyes used in the formula are Rust (1/32t), American Beauty (1/16t), and Egyptian Red (1/8t).  The 8 swatches are 12" x 14", so the recipe was tripled. I used white vinegar as the mordant which I added after the wool had begun to absorb the dye. The wool is white from Dorr Mill.
The wool pieces were soaked in water with a little Dawn detergent.  I then dyed each piece in it's own pot, so that I could keep the wool moving in the water and get very even color.  (Time consuming though, as I have only 3 dye pots) Each swatch simmered in the pot for an hour.
Now.... let's see if I can keep to the plan......

Challenge Trees

ATHA Challenge, 2013
Wool strips on backing, 10" x 10"

This mat is one of the four patterns I drew for our local Atha group as an end of year challenge.  Mary sent the picture when she finished hooking the piece.  I love her color choice and the changes she made to make the pattern her own. 

Tuesday, September 3, 2013


Pears, 2013
Acrylic on mat board, 1.5" x 1.5"

I've been interested in making smaller and smaller pieces.  I've done some artist trading cards (2 1/2" x 3 1/2") in mixed media and in fiber.  The fiber pieces were posted on 5/1/12 as "Hooked Miniatures".  This piece is smaller yet.  My goal is to make some pieces that are 1" x 1". They are called inchies. This started with getting the book Inchies  by Peggy Donda-Kobert. When I started researching inchies, I was amazed by how many people are interested in this mini-art.