Friday, April 29, 2016

Leftover Bits

These are the bits of wool that are left over from the background hooking on "Two Pomegranates".  I was wondering what would happen if I used them to dye some wool. I had 4 small pieces of Dorr white that I sprinkled with the bits, jelly rolled, twisted, and fastened together.  The wool was placed in water with Dawn and heated until the colors bled, then white vinegar was added.

The results

I'm wondering if these could be used in the stone wall in "Tis and Taint".

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Tis and Taint

With the focus on finishing "Two Pomegranates" by the second Friday in June, I haven't hooked very much of "Tis and Taint".  I did add a background hill.
I'm thinking the teal color may be too intense, but I'm going to let it stand until I'm finished.  I can always pull it out.  When I chose this color out of the "stash", I was thinking about the "Atmospheric Perspective" of a landscape.  The hills in the distance are lighter and cooler (more blue) than the colors you would find in the foreground.  Things appear to fade because of the dust, humidity, pollution , etc.. The problem with this teal, I think, is that it should have been duller or grayer. If this were a painting, I'd probably just add a glaze (a translucent wash) to color correct..... not so easy with a rug....

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Dyeing Experiment

Water from our town is treated with Potassium Hydroxide for pH adjustment and Sodium Fluoride for Fluoridation.The Potassium Hydroxide raises the pH to just above neutral (7.0) so that it is not acidic and corrosive. The Sodium Fluoride is added to provide cavity protection for infants and children.  Some neighborhoods also get water that we buy from a neighboring city that chlorinates the water.  I wanted to know if the water chemicals make a major difference in the colors that result when I dye my wool, so I dyed a 1/4 yard of Dorr white using tap water and 1/4 yard using bottled water.  The dye used was Pro-chem Blue #440, Caramel #130, and Brown #503.  Everything in the dyeing process was exactly the same except the water.  I kept track of the pieces of wool by adding a safety pin to the one that was dyed in the bottled water.

The piece on top was dyed in our tap water, and the bottom piece was dyed in bottled water.  There seems to be no substantial difference in the results.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Pomegranate Background

"Two Pomegranates"

The design elements are hooked on this mat, so time for the background.  I thought a dark background would make the fruit and leaves "pop", but I didn't have enough wool to cover the area. I dug in the stash and came up with a black wool and two different plaids which I then dyed with olive green and black, and this gave me pieces close in value. I feel that using these different values and hooking in flowing curves lends motion to the background.....a little more spirited.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Pomegranate to Date

"Two Pomegranates"

This is the final color plan for the mat.  I originally hooked a couple leaves in a different green, but the color combination wasn't pleasing, so I pulled them out.  Now I have until June 10th to complete this for the challenge.  I'll post a picture of the finished rug then.............well, that's the plan ......  

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Pomegranate Progress

"Two Pomegranates", DiFranza Designs Pattern

This is my first hooked pomegranate on the DiFranza pattern using the transitional wool I dyed. I like the look.....
Before I hooked the fruit I added direction lines with a marker that I could follow, so that my pomegranate would appear round.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Marbleized Wool

 The Process

In Gene Shepherd's Prepared to Dye he explains how to marbleize wool fabric for hooking (pages 163-175).  He writes that this technique provides wool that is a good substitute for textured wool and works well for backgrounds.
I'm still working with what is in the stash, so my pieces were not the 1/4 yard that Gene suggests.  I used blue, pale yellow, and white wool that I jelly rolled, twisted has much as I could, and then brought the ends of the roll together and fastened them so they couldn't unroll.  The wool was placed in water with Dawn and heated until the colors bled.  White vinegar was added to cause the dye to be reabsorbed.  I let the wool simmer for 1 hour after which it went into the washer and dryer.

 The results (I think these would make great skies)

Transitional dyeing and marbleizing wool pieces are a lot of fun.  The results are a surprise and truly beautiful.  I like hooking with the variegated wool as it adds interest to what could be a boring background.  The only concern is that I create enough similar wool to complete a project and not run short.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Transitional Dyeing

Transitional Wool

There were not enough related colors in my stash to hook the fruit and flowers in the "Two Pomegranates" pattern, so I did some transitional dyeing.  This method is from Gene Shepherd's book, "Prepared to Dye" (pages 176-183).  I began by layering dry wool strips (about 4" wide) across the bottom of a casserole pan, overlapping the pieces by about half. Then more layers were added, being sure not to put the same color wool together.  I chose cranberry, magenta, red, pink, gold, some plaid, and natural fabric. I carefully poured hot water (mixed with Dawn dish detergent) over the wool until it was covered, and heated it on the stove until the colors bled.  Then white vinegar was added to the water and the dye reabsorbed into the wool strips.  The pan was covered and allowed to simmer for an hour....  the wool then went into the washer and dryer.  

The results

We'll see how these look when they're hooked into the pattern.

Monday, April 11, 2016

Pattern Transfer

"Two Pomegranates", Happy DiFranza from DiFranza Designs
6 1/2" X 8 1/2"

Our ATHA Chapter challenges it's members to complete a project to share at our last meeting of the year, the second Friday of June.  This is my pattern choice.  The pattern doesn't have triangles in the border, I added them while trying to decide if I wanted them in my finished version.
To enlarge the pattern I used a grid - a very low tech method.  I divided the DiFranza  pattern into 1/2" squares and on my drawing paper I drew the same number of squares but they are larger,  1 5/8".  Then I drew the image on my paper, focusing on one square at a time, until the entire pattern had been transferred.
Design on paper

To transfer this drawing to my linen for hooking, I traced the design onto red dot pattern tracing cloth.  It's called Kwik Trace by Kwik Sew.  The cloth is 100% translucent, has dots as guide marks, and is made of nylon.  I put the red dot over my drawing, and I traced the design with a brown marker.
Tracing onto the Kwik Trace

I then laid the red dot cloth on my linen and traced the design in a different color marker.  By using a different color I can be sure I've traced the entire pattern.  The marker goes through the Kwik Trace and marks the linen with the design.
Putting the design on linen

Here's my pattern ready to hook.  I've also added a border.
"Two Pomegranates", the finished design on linen
21" X 27"

I'm still working on using the wool I have, so........ on to the search for the right colors.

Saturday, April 9, 2016

"Tis and Taint" Progress

"Tis and Taint"

Progress has been slow.  I've had family obligations, so I haven't done much hooking lately.  You can see where I added a linen patch where the pattern had been folded.