Save the Date! Upcoming Events & Classes

I’ve been busy hooking up a storm over the past few weeks, through participation in a whole series of wonderful hook-ins and workshops. This creative frenzy has been deeply inspiring, and now I’m more excited than ever to share some of my favorite topics and tricks in classes and workshops.

I have been blessed with offers to teach at well-regarded hooking schools and guilds – and I will be sharing dates for upcoming events soon. I always enjoy travelling to new (and familiar) places and interacting with hookers of all experience levels – and I hope to keep expanding my horizons with my travelling workshop ‘show’.  I have also been holding various classes and workshops from my home base (where my modest wool stash lives).

Now, I’m excited to announce my full calendar of home-based workshops that I will be teaching over the next year. I’d love to have any of my readers join – the full list of events I have planned can be found below, organized by month, with some repeats included. Let me know if any of these classes strike your fancy, and if you’d like to join, or are interested in hearing more information!

With the exception of the dyeing classes – you can participate in any of these classes over the internet…a high tech hooking touch and a practical nod to interested readers who may find travel to Reading, MA a tad inconvenient.

All sessions herein will be held in Reading, MA

Call (508-317-1837) or send email (akknap@gmail.com) for directions and additional details.

Please like and follow our Facebook page for easy access to updates.

October 2017

Tuesday, October 10Wool Dyeing WorkshopA fun day with Ania who will share (some of) her wool dyeing secrets, personal tips and experiences to get workshop participants off on their journey to creating magnificent colors for their hooked masterpieces. Time: 10:00am- 4:00pm (lunch and a share of your dyed wool included in fee).

Class Fee: $150 – pay in full on Eventbrite, or send a check for the nonrefundable deposit of $50.  Space is limited; please register ASAP to reserve your seat.  Please contact Ania directly for general or specific dying methods inquiries.

spot dye rainbow

November 2017

Thursday, November 9Wide Cut Portrait of Raphael’s Angel:  Learn to hook facial features and highlights in this whimsical piece. Time: 9:00 am – 4:00 pm, bring a bagged lunch (fee includes pattern and wool for face, arms and wings). Select your own colors for background and hair – Ania’s wools will be available for purchase if needed. – register by September 21 to reserve a seat, space is limited.                        

Class Fee: $160.00 – pay in full on Eventbrite, or send a nonrefundable deposit of $50 to reserve your seat – space is limited.

Wide cut portrait

December 2017

Saturday, December 16 Personalized Tartan: learn to hook the warp and weft of a personalized tartan pattern to mark your special date.  Time: 10:00am – 3:00 pm; bring a bagged lunch. Select the colors for your special date that you provide at registration; Ania’s wools will be available for purchase if needed.

Class Fee: $50.00 – pay in full on Eventbrite, or send a check for the nonrefundable deposit of $20 to reserve your seat – register by December 2 to reserve a seat, space is limited.

January 2018

Saturday, January 6Wool Dyeing Workshop:  A fun day with Ania who will share (some of) her wool dyeing secrets, personal tips and experiences to get workshop participants off on their journey to creating magnificent colors for their hooked masterpieces. Time: 10:00am- 4:00pm (lunch and a share of your dyed wool included in fee).

Class Fee: $150 – pay in full on Eventbrite, or send a check for the nonrefundable deposit of $50.  Space is limited; please register ASAP to reserve your seat.  Please contact Ania directly for general or specific dying methods inquiries.

spot dye rainbow

February 2018

Tuesday, Feb 6 – Open Studio with Ania: Let’s have a fun day of hooking together; I’ll help you with your project. Wool and patterns will be available for sale. Time: 10:00am- 4:00pm

Class Fee: $40. Please call or send email for details and to register

Saturday, February 10Open Studio with Ania: Let’s have a fun day of hooking together; I’ll help you with your project. Wool and patterns will be available for sale. Time: 10:00am- 4:00pm.  Ania’s wools and patterns will be available for purchase.

Class Fee: $40. Please call or send email for details and to register

March 2018

Saturday & Sunday, Mar 10-11Dye and Hook “Iza’s Rug”: 2 Day Workshop; dye the wool for the center of the rug on day 1 and hook the pattern on day 2. Time: 10:00am- 4:00pm, bring a bagged lunch (or we can order out), both days (fee includes wool and dyes for central panel and pattern. Outer border color your choice; Ania’s wools will be available for purchase if needed).

Class Fee: $150 – pay in full on Eventbrite, or send a check for the nonrefundable deposit of $50 to reserve your spot.

iza rug

April 2018

Saturday, April 28 Personalized Tartan: learn to hook the warp and weft of a personalized tartan pattern to mark your special date.  Time: 10:00am – 3:00 pm; bring a bagged lunch. Select the colors for your special date that you provide at registration; Ania’s wools will be available for purchase if needed.

Class Fee: $50.00 – pay in full on Eventbrite, or send a check for the nonrefundable deposit of $20 to reserve your seat – register by April 13 to reserve a seat, space is limited.

May 2018

Saturday, May 12Open Studio with Ania: Let’s have a fun day of hooking together; I’ll help you with your project. Wool and patterns will be available for sale. Time: 10:00am- 4:00pm. Ania’s patterns and wools will be available for purchase.

Class Fee: $40. Please call or send email for details and to register

Thursday, May 24 – Wool Dyeing Workshop: A fun day with Ania who will share (some of) her wool dyeing secrets, personal tips and experiences to get workshop participants off on their journey to creating magnificent colors for their hooked masterpieces. Time: 10:00am- 4:00pm (lunch and a share of your dyed wool included in fee).

Class Fee: $150 – pay in full on Eventbrite, or send a check for the nonrefundable deposit of $50.  Space is limited; please register ASAP to reserve your seat.  Please contact Ania directly for general or specific dying methods inquiries.

spot dye rainbow

June 2018

Saturday, June 2Wide Cut Portrait of Raphael’s Angel:  Learn to hook facial features and highlights in this whimsical piece. Time: 9:00 am – 4:00 pm, bring a bagged lunch (fee includes pattern and wool for face, arms and wings). Select your own colors for background and hair – Ania’s wools will be available for purchase if needed. – register by April 14 to reserve a seat, space is limited.                            

Class Fee: $160.00 – pay in full on Eventbrite, or send a nonrefundable deposit of $50 to reserve your spot – space is limited.

Wide cut portrait

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Rug of the Month: November 2017

Now that Thanksgiving is behind us, we can really embrace the winter months. With that in mind, November’s rug of the month is “Winter Birds,” which is a winter-focused project. The pattern is a Digo pattern, and it is hooked in #6 strip wools.

To see images of this month’s Rug of the Month and to read about Ania’s creative process, take a look below:

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Here is Ania’s completed “Winter Birds” rug.

Why did you decide to take on this project?

It was part of a guild project, and I wanted to do a winter themed rug so that I could have a rug for the winter season. I had done sculpting on rugs in the past and had enjoyed it, and this was going to be a quick project that involved sculpting in a wide cut.

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Detail on one of the birds.

How did you decide on a color plan for this project?

Well, the winter birds in question are cardinals. All of the wool was supplied, except for the background. I thought it was great to have a Christmas theme with the red and the green.

Since the background wasn’t supplied, I decided I wanted to have a snowy sky, and not a blue sky. I wanted to give the appearance that the birds are in a snowy environment. I also decided that I only wanted to use textures for the background, and not dye anything. And because I love dyeing, it was a challenge not to!

To make it look like there was snow blowing in the background I drew in wavy lines throughout the background, and hooked along those lines. I selected two colors: a light grey plaid and a multi-colored strip, with cream, tan, and light green lines in it. Together, the two colors really look like snow!

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Here are the two wools used in the background.

What are you most proud of in this rug?

There are a couple of things. I like how the birds look like they’re fluffing up their feathers to try to stay warm, and I like the simplicity. There are only five colors in the whole rug. There’s a dark green in the pine needles, a brown in the branches, a red in the birds and the berries, a yellow beak, and the black faces. And there are the two additional texture wools for the snow.

What was the most difficult part of this project?

The most difficult part was to make the background look like snow by constricting myself to using wool that I already had in my stash instead of dyeing something new. It took some experimenting with how to hook the wool, and what wool to use to make it look realistic. I also had to make sure I didn’t have too many blocks of one texture in the background.

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Details on the sculpting on the wings.

Is there anything else you’d like to say about this rug? 

I like how the puffiness of the wings show up even though only one color is used to create the wings and the bodies of the birds.

If you have any thoughts you’d like to share with Ania on this project, feel free to leave a comment below!

Horrors in Home Dyeing (Oh no!)

Many of us play in the dye pot for fun, out of necessity, or for some combination of the two. A lot of people find dyeing scary, but eventually pick up the basics and think “hey, this isn’t too bad.” But there always lurks the possibility of something inexplicable gone wrong. Maybe the color you want, isn’t the color you get. Maybe you get the dreaded white core. Or maybe, worst of all, you’ve experienced the horror of all horrors……flocculent percipitate.

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The cloudy substance in the dye solution are flocculent percipitate.

It goes like this: you’ve soaked your wool, your dye pots are out, your measuring cups are out, the water’s been boiled, the dye has been measured, and you’re expecting smooth sailing to your final product. You add hot water to your dye paste and you stir, stir, stir, waiting for it to dissolve into a smooth solution. But you notice something odd: the dye solution isn’t clear.

Dun, dun, dun……the dye solution has the dreaded crud. Or, if you prefer, the correct scientific term for it is a flocculent percipitate. What’s that, you ask? It’s when the solution has a billowy cloud-like substance in it. This scary happening occurs most frequently with red dyes. In my dyeing experiences, I’ve noticed cloudy solutions most often with ProChem’s Bright Red 351.

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The guilty culprit.

What do you do after discovering a cloudy dye solution? Maybe you decide to pour it into the dye pot anyways, with the optimistic hope that a lot of stirring will help dissolve it. But be warned, in my experience, that never works. Instead, the flocculent participate won’t dissolve, and smudges of dye will appear on your wool undissolved. My tip to you is: don’t torture yourself with this. What I did to find a solution, was I turned to my scientific side.

I don’t know the exact chemical equation that leads to flocculent participate appearing in dye solutions. What I do know is that it is effected by the pH. Under very acidic conditions, cloudiness can appear, and you can help dissolve it by making the solution more basic. How do you do that?

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Our Savior!

In your pantry, you will likely find a box of baking soda. Add small amounts of that baking soda to your dye cup, mixing very well. You’ll notice there will be less and less of the cloudiness in the solution. If you wait about five minutes, and the solution remains clear, then you can move onto the next step of dyeing your wool. If the solution is still cloudy, then that’s okay too. Just add a little bit more baking soda, and it will dissolve.

Take note, when it comes to adding your vinegar: add it very slowly, in small amounts, and stir it well. Baking soda is a base (sodium bicarbonate to be exact), and vinegar is an acid, so there might be some bubbling. The bubbling isn’t something to worry about (all that is happening is the release of carbon dioxide), but it’s good to know to expect it!

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Bubbles in the dye solution after vinegar is added to the solution.

If you have a question or comment, feel free to leave it below in the comments for Ania. And have a happy Halloween!  

Rug of the Month: September 2017

Welcome to our first blog post of the autumn season! To mark the beginning of fall, Ania has chosen a project full of autumnal colors, a rug aptly named “Oh Joyful Color.” The pattern is a Honey Beehive Pattern, and was created by Jane McGown Flynn. It is 16″ by 20″, and was hooked with #4 strips of wool.

Take a look below to see images of this month’s Rug of the Month, and read Ania’s comments on creating it:

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Here is the completed “Oh Joyful Color.”

Why did you decide to take on this project?

This pattern was created for the 60th anniversary of the Northern McGown Teacher’s Workshop. I received it at that workshop, as a part of a class I took, for color planning.

How did you decide on a color plan for this project?

The color planning class was interesting – the teacher was Dorothy Huse, and she focused on the harmonies of color and color theory. This started with the basics of a color wheel, and moved forward with primary, secondary, and tertiary colors, and how these colors all work together.

Many times when I hook a rug, there’s a game I play with myself. For example, in this rug, there is a bird and plants, so there is fauna and flora. There is a color scheme for the fauna and a color scheme for the flora. The fauna is warm colors and the flora is cool colors. Cool colors recede, and warm colors come forward, which helps make the bird come forward as the focal point.

For the border of the rug, I intentionally hooked it in red, yellow, and blue, which are primary colors – those are the three colors that every other color is made of.

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A close-up of the fauna portion of the rug.

What are you most proud of in this rug?

I really like how the bird turned out with the really warm colors, and the super fluorescent green placed throughout the rug allows the viewers eye to travel across the rug. This rug also only uses colors from my stash, and there was no dyeing done for it at all.

The very basic premise of the rug was flora is cool, fauna is warm. When I hold up this rug and ask if there is a visible pattern, people see that premise: the bird is all warm colors and the plants are all cool colors.

What was the most difficult part of this project?

I don’t think there was anything too challenging in this rug, which is great.

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A close-up of some of the flora in the rug.

Is there anything else you’d like to say about this rug? 

The pattern is very folk art like, which I don’t usually gravitate towards. However, the simplicity of the pattern was fun to work with. The sense of whimsy in the rug really made it fun.

Feel free to comment below if you have any thoughts you’d like to share with Ania on this project or post!

Rug of the Month: July 2017

For July’s Rug of the Month, Ania was in the mood for some summer seashells. Summer is a time of year when a lot of people hang out by the ocean and at the beach, and seashells are a beautiful symbol of that pastime. Therefore, in celebration of summer, this month’s rug is from a pattern by Michele Micarelli, named “Seashore.”

Take a look below to read Ania’s thoughts on this rug (and see some pictures of her real life inspiration for creating it!):

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Here is Ania’s complete “Seashore” rug.

Why did you decide to take on this project?

I decided to do a seashell project because I love seashells. It’s as simple as that! When I was 8 years old, I decided I wanted to be an oceanographer, and work for Jacques Cousteau (of course, later on I realized I couldn’t make a living doing that and so I set my sights on Chemistry instead).

I would catch polywogs as a little kid with a net my father made from a broken hanger and a pair of pantyhose! I would bring them home under the conviction that I could raise frogs. My love of the sea is how my family has ended up with a long, long line of pet fish.

That love of the sea naturally extended to a love of seashells. I collected (and still collect) seashells. I started as a little kid. Every time we went to the beach or on vacation, I would pick out some cool, new specimen. Seashells from my personal collection are some of the inspiration for this rug.

 

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Here is a detail shot of the center shells in the rug.

How did you choose which seashells from your collection to include?

I chose shells that matched those that were in the pattern, shape wise. I used my shells as inspiration for what colors to use. Every single shell in the pattern is based off of a shell that I actually own in my collection. This includes even shells that might seem a little bit embellished at first glance. For example, the purple scallop shell (which can be seen in the picture above), is based on my purple scallop shell.

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In this shot, you can see some details in the coral and kelp.

What was the toughest part about this project?

Deciding whether or not I wanted to leave the longer ends of the kelp in tact on the rug. I didn’t know if deciding not to trim them would be frowned upon or not. I ultimately decided to keep them long – I liked the way it looked and I wanted it to be reminiscent of real kelp you’d find on the beach.

 

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This is a selection of some of Ania’s shell collection – see if you can spot a couple of the shells featured in her rug.

What’s your favorite part of this rug?

That each of the shells in the rug is based on a real shell. I like that each shell has a real counterpart to the shells that I own. I like the coral that I hooked into it – even though it’s much more colorful than any coral I own, because all of the coral I own is dead.

It was fun to hook!

Anything else of note about this rug?

I used a lot of varied fibers in this rug, a lot of decorative yarns. I used these fibers mostly in the water in the background behind the shells. I did this to help create movement and texture in the rug.

I was also experimenting a lot at this point in my journey as a rug hooker – I was trying different things to see how they looked and came out, and it was a  lot of fun!

If you have any questions or comments, feel free to leave them below!

Rug of the Month: June 2017

Hi everyone – for the month of June, Ania has decided to showcase one of her recently completed projects. This project began as an online class that she joined in August, 2014, and it was finished in May, 2017.

Check out the rug below, and read on to learn about Ania’s process:

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Here is the finished “Painterly Poppies” rug.

How did you find the class that lead to this rug?

I’m a member of Wanda Kerr’s “the Welcome Mat”, which is a website that is likely well known by a lot of hookers. The class is entitled “Painterly Poppies,” and it is available on the Groups page.

Poppies are my favorite flower – I love them. When I saw this class advertised back in 2014, I immediately signed up for the class because I had to see the pattern. The pattern and class are both by Wanda Kerr.

For this rug you purposefully used very wide strips – why and what was the process like?

I used a combination of #6, #4, and half inch torn strips. These were the biggest strips I’ve ever used – I loved them. I like the effect of the half inch torn strip, because they have a “cushion-y” effect.

They’re also great because tearing half inch strips of wool has a great therapeutic effect. You just cut and rip.

 

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Here is a detail shot of one of the poppies, which displays the full range of colors used.

Where and why did you also use smaller strips of wool?

In the small spaces within the seed pods in the blooming poppies, and in the anthers I used smaller strips to help capture their feathery effect.

How did you approach color planning this project?

My favorite poppy is one that isn’t very common in the U.S. I have two now that grow in my perennial garden – they’re a deep, deep, dark red. I wanted to reproduce those poppies in this rug.

This involved pulling in wool from my stash that included some that I had purchased at the Salvation Army. These colors ranged from a very deep purple to a bright orange that I used as a highlight. The anthers also utilized wool that I had leftover from a prior project, my Peacock rug.

The only wool I dyed specifically for this project was the yellow I used for the background.

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Here is a close up of the background, and Ania’s hand dyed yellow wool.

What were the biggest challenges of this project?

The background. The poppies were so huge and striking. The idea while creating this rug was to create a perspective of a small animal looking up at the blossoms and seeing the sky. I didn’t want to have anything in the background that involved the horizon, because I thought that would be too distracting. I wanted the poppies to be the wow factor.

I felt the yellow wool offered the backdrop of a sunny summer sky, and nicely offset the drama of the flowers.

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Here is a shot of the back, where you can see the Art Gallery finish utilized.

Is there anything else of note about this project?

The way I dyed the yellow background was really fun. I dyed them using a new technique that I created. It was pretty fun to play around with that process! If any readers are interested in learning more about it, this technique is one that I teach in my dye classes. 🙂

This is also the first rug I’ve finished with an Art Gallery finish. I used an adaptation of Tickle Pie’s process, which can be found here. Instead of the canvas that Tickle Pie mentioned, I used stretcher bars. I love the effect! And the rug looks great on my wall.

If you have any comments or thoughts you’d like to share, leave them below!

Rug of the Month: April 2017

For April, Ania thought we could get into the spirit of spring. This month’s “Rug of the Month” is her “Forsythia” rug. This rug marked the first time Ania designed her own pattern, and she completed it in #4 and #5 strips and yarns. Read on to learn about the process behind hooking this pattern:

 

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This is Ania’s completed “Forsythia” rug. 

What was your inspiration in designing this rug? 

 

My inspiration was the forsythia bush in my neighbor’s yard. Every spring the bush would be the first thing to bloom, and it was so beautiful, I’d feel so inspired.

There is a period between winter and spring when the snow is ugly with encrusted dirt and it’s muddy and mucky out doors and the trees are just beginning to open up their leaf buds. The first real transition I see where I can finally say “spring is here,” is when the Forsythia bush blooms. With each year when spring would begin, I loved to imagine what it would be like to lay underneath the bush, stare up at the yellow blossoms, and watch the sky move above me. It seemed like it would be a great way to pass the time!

How did you plan this project?

This is the first rug I designed on my own. In order to draw the pattern, the first step I took was to bead forsythia branches to use as models for my pattern. It took me a couple of weekends to finish beading the branch using seed beads.

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These are the beaded branches that were created in preparation for drawing the pattern for this rug.

The process of color planning was for the most part pretty straightforward. Forysthia’s are yellow and the branches are brown – there wasn’t too much planning around color needed there. I spent the most of my time deciding on what colors to use in the sky. An important part of my inspiration for hooking this rug was imagining myself looking up at the sky through the branches of the bush – and so for me the sky felt like a critical part of this project. So I spent time (months!) observing the sky while I was driving to and from work (and because I wasn’t about to actually run over to my neighbors yard and lie under their bush – that would have been a little bit weird). I then looked at my wool stash and picked colors that I saw in the sky. I was very much struck by how fleeting the shapes and colors were in the sky. The clouds were continually moving and morphing shapes and shades of color.

What was most difficult about this rug?

The most difficult part of this rug was hooking the clouds. What I envisioned was a series of very whispy clouds – but that’s hard to convey in hooking. Wool strips alone weren’t quite working out the way I wanted them to. Eventually, I turned to alternative fibers (this is the first time I ever hooked with fibers other than strips of wool). I pulled yarns and feathery textured fibers with touches of silver to get the effect that I was really looking for.

 

Overall, this is a rug I’m very happy with – I really feel like I could spend all day looking at this rug the way I could spend all day looking at the sky! Fotunately my neighborswon’t find me laying undertheir forsythia in the forseeable future!

Feel free to let Ania know your thoughts and comments below!

Rug of the Month: March 2017

Hi everyone – to provide a dose a cheer for the grey skies of March, Ania thought the next rug of the month should be a bright one. Take a look below to see one of Ania’s more recent projects – and hopefully it’ll help brighten your day!

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Here is Ania’s finished project – it’s called “Iza’s Rug”

What inspired this project?

In a dye workshop that I regularly teach, one of the methods of dyeing that I teach is transitional swatches. What I found is that many people don’t know how to use these great pieces. You can, of course, use transitional swatches for a wide variety of uses, in essentially any rug where there are smooth changes of color in a given motif.

But this got me thinking – how could I use an entire piece of transitional wool in one rug? These pieces of wool are typically very beautiful – I wanted to devote a rug to an entire piece of the transitional wool, so that I didn’t have any left over “noodles.” That’s what inspired this rug.

How is the process of planning a project different when your starting point is so different? That is to say, when you start with the wool and not with the pattern. 

I started with three identically sized pieces of transitional wool (see the images above for the exact pieces used!). These three pieces of wool were not identical in color. Piece A is entirely unique, a transition from a dark red to a bright blue. Piece B is a transition from a brighter red to a yellow. Piece C is a transition of the same colors as Piece B, except the values are four shades lighter. What I wanted to do was use all of the wool that came from these three pieces. I wanted to cut a strip and just hook until I ran out of wool.

What I decided to do was create a very simple pattern – I drew a rectangle in the middle of my linen, the width of which represented the extremes of the length of the wool when it was hooked. The pattern required only straight lines so that the colors could really sing. I hooked the strips in a simple pattern (Piece C, Piece A, Piece B, Piece C, Piece A, Piece B, etc.), Each time I finished hooking a strip of wool, I would switch which side of the rectangle I began hooking the next piece from.

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Above are two close ups of opposite sides of “Iza’s Rug.”

This created a really great effect – because you hook differently in different circumstances. You probably hook tighter when you’re really focused on your pattern, and you probably are more likely to skip a hole or two when your chatting with your friends. This meant that not every strip of wool (and in fact, almost none of them) met the far end of the rectangle in my pattern as I hooked. To fill in the gaps, I grabbed a piece of my background wool (which consisted of two colors, a black spot dye and a brown spot dye), and finished the remainder of the line with the background color.

This was very cool. I worked my way backwards throughout this entire project – I started with what usually comes last and worked my way back to the start from there. This rug ended up as very abstract. I’ve been told by various people that this rug looks like autumn trees reflecting in water, like a cityscape at sunset, and like the reflections of mountains.

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In this close up you can see the full effect of the tranistion of colors.

Is there anything else special or of note about this rug? 

Yes – this rug is a great example of how beautiful wool with white spots can be when it’s used in an actual rug. Usually, when you buy wool, you don’t see wool with white spots. People tend to avoid that because they think it’ll be ugly, and most hookers want evenly dyed wool. I disagree with that, and I actually actively try to dye my wool with white spots still in tact. I think, when you use pieces of wool with white spots, when those white spots appear in the rug they look like highlights. Don’t shy away from what you’re afraid will be ugly – it might end up being beautiful!

Feel free to leave any comments for Ania below!

 

 

 

Tips & Tricks: Storing Dyes

This month, Ania is offering a few tips on storing your dyes with efficiency, and to help access the colors you need as quickly as you can. Read on below to see what suggestions she has to offer!

How do you store your dyes to help with ease of access?

Because I dye a lot of wool, and I do it in frequent marathon sessions, I need to have easy access to my dyes. I use a variety of different dyes, like ProChem, Cushing, Jaquard, and Magic Carpet, and I store each company a little bit differently from the others, to account for differences in how these dyes are packaged.

Cushing Dyes

The Cushing dyes are sold in envelopes, and not in jars like most other brands. To accommodate that difference, I store them in a transparent shoebox, and in alphabetical order. This helps me do a couple of key things: keep all the dyes in one place, and find a specific dye much easier.

Usually I prefer to store dyes in numerical order, but Cushing dyes do not have numbers associated with them.

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Each of the Cushing dyes in the box above are in alphabetical order. 

ProChem Dyes

As I alluded to earlier, most of my dyes are packaged in jars. This includes my ProChem dyes, which are the dye brand that I personally prefer. That means I have a lot of them to store! I use pull out drawers in my studio to keep track of all of my jars. This is a great solution to having easy access to all of your dyes at one time.

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All of the dyes to the right of the white container are ProChem dyes. 

There is one noticeable issue with this solution: Prochem dyes all have a black cap – with a pull out drawer how do you know which dye is which? To solve this issue, I used a silver Sharpie to add the dye’s number and name to each cap. This way, I can quickly match the dyes to my swatches and color wheel and know which colors I want to use for any given project.

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You can buy silver Sharpies like the one above at most craft and office supply stores – Ania purchase’s hers at Staples.

The ProChem dyes are stored in numerical order. When dyes have numbers assigned to them, I’ve found that those numbers are the easiest way for me to keep track of which dyes I want to use. This is because it’s easier for me to remember numbers than names! And it’s quicker for me to find a number than it is for me to find a longer, potentially more complicated name.

When I need to access my dyes its usually because I’m color planning a new project, and often my color planning process is completed with the help of my color wheel. My color wheel includes an 8-value  swatch of each of the 104 ProChem dyes available. On the labels of each color in my color wheel I’ve included both the dye’s number and name. By including the name and number of each dye both on the color wheel and on my jars of dye, it is as easy as can be to coordinate choosing the right color on my wheel with finding the right jar of dye as quickly as possible.

If you’re interested, these color wheels are also available for sale –  feel free to reach out to me in the comments below or on Ania Creative Design‘s Facebook page for more information.

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Here’s a close up of one of one of Ania’s color wheels, which include a swatch of every ProChem dye available. Ania includes both the dyes number and name to facilitate coordinating with jars of dye. 

Other Dyes 

For Magic Carpet Dyes, I store them in the box they came in. This helps me keep them all in one set place. I label them with the name of the dye on the cap (Magic Carpet dyes have white caps, so I use a black Sharpie). Similar to Cushing dyes, Magic Carpet doesn’t assign numbers to their dyes.

Jacquard Dyes I store in the same way as my ProChem dyes – with the name and number of the dye written in silver Sharpie on the cap of the jar. I keep them clustered in one corner of my pull out drawer so that it’s easier to keep them separate from my other dyes.

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The bottom corner of the pull out drawer is home to Ania’s Jacquard dyes. 

Do you have any tips or tricks to store your dyes? Let Ania and the rest of our readers know if you have a different system that works for you! 

Rug of the Month: December 2016

Happy Holidays! Ania has decided to share not one, but two projects for December’s Rug of the Month. These projects are connected to each other, as you can gleam from the images and Q&A below.

Check out the rest of this post to find pictures of Ania’s Klimt pillows (inspired by Gustav Klimt), and a Q&A on how she created them. They showcase a really interesting use of mixed media, with a whole variety of novelty yarns worked into them, in addition to a combination of #6 and #5 strips of wool.

Gustav Klimt was an Austrian painter active at the beginning of the twentieth century. He was most famed for his “golden phase” paintings, which include such masterpieces as the Kiss and Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer IHe was inspired by the idea of creating a “total work of art,” where total ornamentation and decoration are embraced.

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Here are the two Klimt pillows.

 

What inspired you to start this project?

The background of some of Klimt’s paintings – the geometric triangles, squares, rectangles, and other shapes that he would paint in the background of many of his paintings, with the beautiful gold leaf. The backgrounds looked so happy, I thought, you could get lost in them following the geometric patterns.

When I designed these two patterns, it was with Klimt in mind.

How did you approach color planning?

The colors were part of the flow – I would pick up the wool and decide on the spot that I would use this color in this shape and see where it took me. The background however, was going to have to be yellow, like Klimt.

Was there a reason why you decided to create two pillows in this manner, where they aren’t identical patterns but instead stemmed from the same source?

I took inspiration from Klimt to make these pillows – I took what was not the major theme of his paintings, the background, and made it the focal point.

I just decided that I wanted to design two separate Klimt projects – it was a whim and I let it take me where it would. It was exploring and playing, not knowing where I would end up, until it was done.

What are you most proud of in this rug?

That there are people who have really wanted to purchase these pillows for their own homes and businesses. It was exciting to see that these rugs brought so much happiness to others that they wanted them for their own lives.

It’s very fitting to end 2016’s blog posts with this rug – hopefully they will bring happiness to our readers for the New Year!

Hope you’ve enjoyed reading about Ania’s Klimt pillows! Feel free to comment below with your thoughts 🙂