Rug of the Month: July 2019

July’s Rug of the Month is a freshly finished project! This month, Ania has decided to talk about her gargoyle rug. The formal name of the pattern is “Notre Dame Gargoyle,” and it was designed by Ania. The inspiration for the design was a postcard from 1910. The pattern’s dimensions are 28” by 30”, and he’s hooked in #3 and #4 strips of wool.

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Ania’s completed “Notre Dame Gargoyle” rug.

You created this pattern for yourself – what inspired you to do so?

For the longest time, probably since I was in my teens, I’ve always liked gargoyles, the history behind them, and their use in architecture. I realize that not everyone likes gargoyles, or their appearance!

In the early ‘80s, I took a trip to Europe. One of the places we visited was Notre Dame in Paris. I saw this gargoyle for the first time on that trip. Since then, he’s been my favorite gargoyle of all time.

I think the reason why he’s my favorite is because he sits at the very top of the cathedral, with his head on his hands, and observes the city below. It almost looks like a pose a human would strike. He’s been sitting there for centuries, never moving, never changing, and I always wonder: what is he thinking? Sometimes I think he’s deep in thought, sometimes I think he’s being mischievous with his tongue out. He’s always been food for my imagination.

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The vintage postcard that inspired Ania’s pattern.

Since my earliest days of hooking, I’ve always wanted to hook him. Then, I came upon the postcard on eBay last year. I bought the postcard, and that was the start of the pattern I created.

Because he had this imagined personality I had come up with, I wanted to make sure he was the focus of the pattern. I wanted him to be in a very thick fog in the early hours of the morning. I wanted the tower in the background to be visible but only partially, and I wanted only a hint of the buildings below.

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The top half of Ania’s rug. The tower on the left emerges out of the fog. 

How did you approach color planning for this project?

The gargoyle is made of stone, but I also wanted a potential perception that he was alive, or coming alive, which is why I made his eye blue and his tongue pink. The rug, by the nature of the stone and the fog, was going to be in all greys, but I wanted his face to still have a human aspect. At the same time, I didn’t want the colors to be striking – it had to be subtle.

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The gargoyle’s face.

I also wanted to make sure the greys I used to hook the gargoyle really looked like stone, so I used very cool tones. The ledge and the tower and the other greys were warmer.

I used a variety of greys, from warm to cool, to try to ensure there was enough contrast in tone between all of the elements in the rug. When you’re working with mostly the same color in one project, it’s important to have that contrast wherever possible.

I also added a little bit of red to the wall underneath the gargoyles ledge, as a remembrance of the fire at Notre Dame this spring.

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The red dot can be seen in this image, to the left of the crack in the wall, and underneath the shadow from the ledge.

What was the biggest challenge with completing this project?

The fog, I think. I experimented with a couple of different hooking techniques to try to get the right effect.

The gargoyle itself was a challenge as well! Once I got the face done, then there were a variety of different aspects that were “micro-challenges,” like the horns and the wings. There were parts of the gargoyle that I tweaked multiple times, to make sure I got it right.

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Another shot of the gargoyle’s face, with further details of the horns.

Is there anything else of note about this project?

It was important to give him, and the stone ledge he is resting his elbows on, a good deal of dimension and sense of height. I wanted to make sure that came across well.

Directional hooking played a big role in it. I had to use directional hooking to give a 3D effect to it, and to further create contrast.

I might want to do another gargoyle rug, but I think my next take on a gargoyle would be very different from this project. If anyone is interested in this pattern, it is a custom pattern I will be offering for sale in the begining of September 2019. Any interested parties can contact me!

As always, if you have any questions or thoughts you’d like to share with Ania, feel free to leave them in the comments below! On a separate note, we’re delighted to be listed as one of the 60 top rug hooking blogs on Feedspot this past month. Thank you to all the readers for your continued interest and support.

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Techniques: How to Tie a Double Knotted Fringe

On a recent rug of the month post, Ania showcased a rug that was finished with a double knotted fringe. This is a fun technique, and Ania decided she wanted to provide a step-by-step guide on how to create that fringe.

This is a time consuming process, but the end result is well worth the effort.

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The completed double knotted fringe
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Step 1

Step 1: I first whipped the short edges of the rug with thick linen thread. I then crocheted over the whipped edge with the same thread. In this example, since I knew I wanted a white fringe, I used a white thread.

I went into further detail on how to crochet the edge of a rug in a prior blog post.

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Step 2

Step 2: I cut linen thread into 12 inch pieces. I combined those 12 inch pieces of thread into groups of three. I folded each group of three pieces of thread in half, and pulled them through the edge of the crocheted section. The loop should be on the underside of the rug, as shown in the photo above.

The free stands from the top were passed through the loop and tightened. We’ve now created a number of six thread segments. These six thread segments will be the foundation for all the knots we’ll create.

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Step 3

Step 3: To start your first row of knots, take all six threads on the right hand edge of your rug and separate out the next segment of six threads into two sets of three.

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Step 4

Step 4: The first row of knots will be made using a half hitch knot. To start your first half hitch knot, take the three strands you separated out, and loop them over and under the six strands.

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Step 5

Step 5: Pass the end of the three strands through the loop you’ve created, as shown above.

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Step 6

Step 6: When you tighten the knot, make sure you keep the knot centered between the two segments of thread. I found it helpful to use a wooden spoon to ensure I created even knots (as shown in step 7e below).

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Step 7a

Step 7: Once you’ve completed your first knot, separate out the third segment of six threads into two sets of three pieces. To create the first knot, I used the first segment of thread, and half of the second segment of thread. To create the second knot, I used the remaining half of the second segment of thread and half of the third segment of thread.

All of the knots in the middle of your rug will be made with two halves from two segments of thread. The only knots that will use all six threads in one segment will be the two on the ends.

Continue to tie half hitch knots across the edge of your rug, as shown in the images below, labeled step 7b, step 7c, step 7d, and step 7e. To ensure all my knots were evenly spaced, I used a wooden spoon while tightening my knots (as seen in step 7e below).

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Step 7b
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Step 7c
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Step 7d
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Step 7e
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Step 8

Step 8: Once you’ve completed your first row of knots, it’s time to move onto the second row. In the first row of knots, I separated out each segment of six strands of thread into two sets of three. In the second row of knots, I tied those six original strands back together.

For the second row of knots, I used an overhand knot instead of a half hitch knot.

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Step 9

Step 9: To create an overhand knot, gather all six strands together and create a loop over the two sets of thread.

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Step 10

 

Step 10: Pass the six strands through the loop as shown above.

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Step 11

Step 11: Tighten the knot, and continue with this technique across the rest of your rug.

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Step 12

Step 12: Once you’ve completed all your knots, trim your fringe to the length you desire with a rotary cutter and a straight edge ruler.

Ta-da! Wash your spoon, place it back in your drawer and bask in the glory of your beautiful fringe!

If you have any questions on this technique, feel free to leave them in the comments below! Happy knotting!

 

 

Rug of the Month: April 2019

April’s Rug of the Month is Ania’s newest completed project. The pattern is named “Karen,” and it was created by Pearl McGown & Jane McGown Flynn. The dimensions are 24″ by 36″, and Ania hooked it in #3 cut strips of wool.

Read on below to learn how Ania approached hooking this project, and to see images of the completed rug!

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Ania’s completed “Karen” rug.

Why did you decide to take on this project? 

This project was from a rug class on how to use double swatching. The class was taught by Benita Watford Raleigh at the 2016 Northern McGown Teacher’s Workshop. The class was going to utilize orange swatches, and I had to take the class because that’s my favorite color!

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A close-up of a corner of the rug.

What’s double swatching?

A typical swatch will contain 6 to 8 values of a color, with one strip for each value. To double swatch, you take each swatch you’re using in your rug, and lay out the values, matching each value from each swatch. The goal is to combine all of your swatches into one mega-swatch, organized by value.

This can be a daunting task, in part because your swatches will probably vary by brightness, dullness, and chroma. In the class I took for this rug, we spent most of the day learning this process. The easiest way to approach the task is one swatch at a time. Lay out your first swatch by value. Separate out your second swatch by value, and match each value from the second swatch to a value from the first swatch. Repeat with each subsequent swatch, one-by-one.

You might find a value that is in between two of your already established values. When this happens, you’ve created a new value, between the other two. That happened to me, with this rug.  Despite using mostly 8 value swatches, I ended up with 9 different values in one of my mega-swatches.

 

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A close-up of the peony petals, which Ania hooked using mega-swatches.

How did you color plan this rug? 

The focus of this rug is the peonies, and that’s what I spent the most time planning. The large peony flowers are the main character, and everything else, including the smaller flowers and the scrolls, are supporting characters.

For the peonies, I used two different mega-swatches. The inside of my peony petals were hooked with a 9 value mega-swatch, made up of 46 strips of wool, from 6 swatches.  The back of my peony petals were hooked from a 5 value mega-swatch, made up of 18 strips of wool, from 3 swatches. I made these mega-swatches from a series of orange and magenta swatches that Benita had dyed for this class. Those colors were so beautiful, they were why I wanted to take this class! If you love these colors too, you can contact Benita through her Facebook page to inquire about purchasing them for your own hooking.

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The two mega-swatches Ania created for this rug. On the left is her 5 value mega-swatch and on the right is her 9 value mega-swatch.

The smaller flowers are orange blossoms, which aren’t typically blue, but I chose to hook them in blue because that is the complementary color of orange. This choice was originally suggested by Betty McClentic. Betty also suggesting hooking the peony and ivy leaves with a burgundy/mahogany color. Betty’s been teaching rug hooking for over 40 years. When Betty speaks, it’s always a good idea to listen.

The color I used for the scrolls is a green over-dyed with the same blue color I used for the smaller blossoms. This was a deliberate choice to tie in the different colors in the rug more seamlessly.

I chose navy for the background because I wanted a dark background, and I wanted a background that would allow the motif to pop. I also had a lot of navy wool leftover from a prior project I’d already completed.

 

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A close-up of another peony.

What was the most difficult part of this project?

Creating the mega-swatches was very intense, but I did enjoy it. It also took me a long time to work out the right finish for the rug, with the double knotted fringe. It was tough to translate what I saw in my head onto the actual rug, by finding the right materials and technique.

This pattern also has almost perfect symmetry, except for one leaf. That drove me nuts! I kept coming back to that one leaf, and eventually I chose to incorporate it into the background of the rug, and add more leaves to the background to match, including a symmetrical background leaf on the other side of the rug.

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Circled in white on the lower left is the lone leaf that was part of the original pattern. All the other leaves included in the background were added by Ania.

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

Yes – but those will be topics for another blog post!

If you have any questions or comments for Ania, feel free to leave them in the comment section below!

 

Rug of the Month: March 2019

March’s Rug of the Month is an older project – Ania finished it 6 years ago, in March 2013. Jane McGown Flynn created the pattern, and it’s named “Fruit.” The rug’s dimensions are 11″ by 13.5″, and Ania hooked it in #3 strip wool.

Read on below to learn more about Ania’s finished “Fruit” project, and to see images of the completed rug:

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Ania’s finished “Fruit” rug.

Why did you decide to take on this project? 

This was a piece required for the McGown teacher certification. It was taught by Stacey van Dyne at Northern McGown Teachers Workshop. The class was focused on learning fine shading and contour shading techniques to hook 3-D objects.

How did you approach color planning this project?

Stacey had swatches to chose from for the different pieces of fruit. I decided on a red apple, a bosc pear, and purple grapes. I chose to make purple plums instead of yellow-orange apricots.

I also chose to incorporate the color of the fruits elsewhere in the rug. The veins of the leaves are taken from the colors used for the plums and the pear. The low lights in the apple are adapted from the darkest value of the grapes.

I knew I wanted to have a light background for this piece. I chose a textured wool, a strip, and cut it against the strips so that you can’t tell that’s what it is when it was hooked into the rug. The end result reminds me of oatmeal, which goes well with the fruit!

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The red from the apple is reflected in the plums and grapes, and the purple from the grapes is incorporated into the leaves.

What did you most enjoy about this project?

This project is the first time I really payed attention to the reflection of light. I learned how to hook high lights, low lights, and reflected light. This is a lesson that I carried over to all of my projects after this one.

When you look at this rug, you can see the highlights very clearly in the apple. you can also see a little bit of a highlight in the plums. In terms of reflected light, you can see the red of the apple is reflected in the plums, the grapes, and the pear. The grapes are reflected in the pear. Next time you’re looking at something that you might hook as a still life, take note of how the lights and colors are reflected in other objects. Keep that in mind in your future rug hooking projects!

The key colors used for the fruit (purple, gold, and red) are reflected throughout the pattern, and so you provide the eye a path to move along the entire rug without getting stuck in any one part. That is what you want to achieve in any still life, landscape, or floral rug. The eye should not be fixated on any one part of the rug.

In this pattern, the apple is right in the middle, but the eye doesn’t focus solely on the apple, it travels throughout the rug.

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The purple from the grapes and the red from the apple are both reflected in the pear, and the darkest value from the grapes is used for the low lights in the apple.

Is there anything else of note about this project? 

I used different techniques while hooking the leaves. One was purely contour shaded, one was only fine shaded. I incorporated the fruit colors into the leaves, and played around with vein colors. It was a lot of fun!

May your rug hooking be fruitful! 😉

If you have any questions for Ania, feel free to leave them in the comments below!

Tips and Tricks: Dyeing With Dye Spoon Salt

A lot of people who dye clean their spoons in a jar containing salt. Overtime that salt container gets very dirty. Many people probably periodically throw that salt away and refill that jar with new salt. However, that jar of dirty salt contains all kinds of dyes that you’ve previously used, and so it occurred to Ania: why not dye with it?

Ania experimented with dyeing with her dye spool salt, and the results were beautiful. You can dye using natural wool, or over other colors. Read on below for a step by step guide on the process, and to see images of Ania’s end results:

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Ania experimented with dyeing over yellow wool (pictured on the left), and the end results (pictured on the right) were beautiful.

 

Step 1: Choose your wool. You can use natural wool or any other colored or textured wool. I chose to use yellow wool in this specific example. Have fun with it! Experiment and explore.

Step 2: Soak your chosen wool overnight with either a small amount of Synthrapol, Wetter Than Wet, or Finish/Jet Dry.

Step 3: The next day squeeze out your wool and arrange it in your rectangular dye can, like you would for a spot dye, with multiple peaks and valleys.

Step 4: Pour a very small amount of water along the edges of your wool so that the bottom of the pan has about half an inch to three quarters of an inch of water in it. The peaks in your wool should be dry, and most of the wool should look dry.

Step 5: Sprinkle or pour your dirty salt over your wool in a random pattern. Sprinkle citric acid over the wool. Don’t stir or touch your wool after adding the salt!

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Ania’s wool included subtle variations in color, such as hints of red and blue, that created a beautiful effect. This was achieved by not disturbing the wool once the salt was added to it. 

Step 6: Cover the pan tightly with aluminum foil.

Step 7: Place the pan in a preheated oven (it should be preheated to 275), and bake it. Check the level of the water every 15 minutes so that all the water doesn’t evaporate. If you see the water is evaporating, add more to the pan (along the edges and not on top of the wool). As the wool bakes in the oven, the water collects in steam under the foil, and as the steam drips back down on the wool it dissolves the salt and spreads the dye.

Step 8: When the water is clear at the bottom of the pan, you’re done. This should be about an hour after you’ve put the pan in the oven. Take your wool out, and admire your beautiful creation!

 Feel free to leave a comment below if you have any questions!

 

Rug of the Month: January 2019

In the spirit of the New Year (and new beginnings), Ania has decided to feature a project that she originally created to teach for a beginners rug hooking class. When she was tasked with finding a fun and easy project for beginners, Ania decided to teach them mug rugs!

Take a look at some of the mug rugs Ania has created below, and read the rest of the post if you’re interested in learning more about this project.

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Examples of Ania’s recently completed mug rugs.

Why did you decide to create these rugs? 

At first it was for fun. It’s a simple easy thing to do. It’s an ideal project for a beginner class of any age. I decided they would be great for a beginner class I was teaching at my local library.

Is this project different from normal rug hooking projects? Did you modify the project to make it easier for beginners? 

The finishing is extremely easy. You completely bypass whipping. Instead, you finish it with a raw edge that doesn’t unravel and a felt backing glued on.

Otherwise, it’s ideal for beginners because it’s small and involves very simple hooking. All you need to do is pull loops through the backing. It enables beginners to get a feel for the process.

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The felt backing is simply glued on.

What are the benefits to making mug rugs? Why might a more advanced hooker want to create mug rugs as well?

Outside of teaching beginners, mug rugs are a great way to quickly use up excess wool. For the mug rugs pictured here I just used left over noodles from my stash.

These also make great quick gifts!

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Ania picked noodles at random to hook these mug rugs.

Is there anything else of note about this project? 

You can adapt this project to make it more advanced as well –  you can adjust the pattern so that it’s more intricate. You can make seasonal mug rugs for easy decorations – hearts for Valentine’s Day, pumpkins for fall or Halloween, etc. You could hook a mug rug for every day of the year!

As always, if you have any questions or comments feel free to leave them below!

Seasons Greetings!

As an old year fades and a new year approaches, here is something a little bit different. This ornament was beaded by Ania several years ago, and is part of a project to create one ornament for every year that has passed since the birth of her two daughters. With two daughters in their twenties, that is a lot of ornaments.

Read on below for a holiday season message from Ania: 

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2018 has felt like it has flown by so quickly. In this year, I’ve done a lot of exploratory rug hooking projects and research. I really reached outside of my established rug hooking comfort zone. I’ve explored ways of expanding my artistic approaches in rug hooking. This process has involved bringing my science background and my various creative passions, like beading, into my rugs.

In 2019, I hope these experiences and experiments will become even more fruitful for myself and for others. I want to further use this research in my rug hooking teaching and workshops. I’m looking forward to where the new year takes us, individually and as a community of rug hookers.

Merry Christmas, happy holidays, and all the best in the new year!

Is there anything you are interested in reading about on the blog in 2019? If there is, let Ania know in the comments below. 

Rug of the Month: November 2018

November’s Rug of the Month is a fun project that Ania completed recently. The pattern is called “Lima,” and it was made by Jane McGown Flynn. The rug’s dimensions are 30″ by 54″, and Ania hooked it mostly in #5 strip wool (with a few #4 strips thrown in).

An image of the finished project is included below, along with feedback from Ania on how she approached this project:

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Ania’s completed “Lima” rug.

Why did you decide to hook this pattern? 

I started this project years ago, in a class taught by Martha Beals. I wanted to take a class with Martha, and I chose this pattern because I wanted to hook a larger rug. Most of the pieces I had hooked up until that point had been smaller in size.

How did you color plan for this project? 

I wanted to dye my own wool for this project. This was the first time I dyed wool, ever. I spoke with Martha about what I needed to do to prepare for the class, and she advised me to choose a color I was interested in using in this project and then over dye three different colored pieces of wool with that color.

What I ultimately ended up doing was dyeing natural wool three different colors that I thought would be interesting in the rug. Then I over dyed each of the three colors with the primary colors, so that I had nine different colors to work with. I like using primary colors to connect differing colors.

I also used green wool from my stash for the turtles.

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The Lima pattern incorporates elements of nature like turtles and waves.

What was the biggest challenge with this project?

The entire rug has its motifs on the diagonal. I would hook a section at a time. After I had hooked about half of the motifs, the rug pattern changed from a rectangle shape to a rhombus shape. It was difficult to work on the pattern when it’s shape had shifted. I needed to bring the rug back into a rectangle shape, and the way to do that is to hook the outer border.

I had initially avoided hooking the border because I wasn’t sure of what my color placement would be. I wanted to see how the different reds, blues, and golds went together and I wanted to ensure I could tie them together symmetrically before deciding on the border.

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Ania used a lot of reds and golds in hooking this pattern.

What’s your favorite part of this project?

Having it finished! It took a number of years to finish, and it grew with me. I started it in 2012, and I finished it earlier this year. This project has been a timeline of my hooking career thus far.

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

I always look to identify the simplest points of symmetry when I start a rug, and this pattern has a symmetry down the center diagonal line. I created a pattern with color using this line of symmetry. I used the same pattern in the bird and scroll panels. On one side of the symmetry line I used color A for the background and color B for the bird/scroll, and on the other side of the symmetry line I used color B for the background and color A for the bird/scroll.

I also dyed the yarn to do the whipping for this project by eye using completely different dyes than I normally use. We did another blog post about that process.

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The white line in this image shows the line of symmetry.

 

If you have any questions for Ania, feel free to leave them in the comments below. 

Rug of the Month: October 2018

October’s Rug of the Month is a seasonal project. Ania designed this pattern at the end of August – it’s called “3D Pumpkin.” The pattern actually includes two different pumpkins, one bigger than the other. The bigger pumpkin was hooked with half inch torn strips, and the smaller pumpkin was hooked with #8 cut strips.

Read on below to learn about what inspired this project, and to see images of the completed pumpkins:

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The two completed 3D pumpkins, complete with a leaf, curly tendrils, and real pumpkin stems.

Why did you decide to create this pattern? 

People had created 3D pumpkins before, and so I knew this wasn’t anything new, but I wanted to try it out. I wanted to create a Fall/Halloween decoration for the upcoming season. I also thought hooked pumpkins would go well with a Fall themed table topper I had created a couple of years ago.

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A close-up of the bigger pumpkin’s leaf, with Ania’s table topper in the background.

What inspired you to create a 3D project?

I’d never hooked a 3D project before. I liked the idea of hooking a 3D pumpkin in which I challenged myself to do some fine shading.

Although you designed both pumpkins at the same time, and hooked them one right after the other, you approached them very differently. How did you decide to color plan each pumpkin? Why did you decide to use different sized strips for each pumpkin? 

The smaller pumpkin I hooked using scraps from my wool stash. I cut up a bunch of orange wool into #8 cut strips, put all the strips into a bag, and then plucked them out of the bag at random, and hooked away.

The bigger pumpkin I hooked using the same torn strips that I had prepared for a Poppy rug class that I’d taught this past summer. One of my students from this class had wanted to hook a pumpkin rug with torn strips, and I thought a 3D pumpkin might be a good visual aid for her. A 3D pumpkin would allow her to see how you can highlight a pumpkin with a strip of that size. She’s using my pumpkin as a reference for her rug!

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The bigger pumpkin was made with six segments, and the smaller pumpkin was made with five segments. Two such segments are shown above. Also pictured are a couple of pumpkin stems.

What was the biggest challenge about this project?

Not knowing how it was going to turn out! I had no clue what the segments would look like when they were put together. It was a total shot in the dark. The torn strip pumpkin was harder to sew together because of the bulkiness of the strips. Once each segment was hooked, the outer edges would curl inwards, which also made it more difficult to sew each segment together.

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The flip side of the bigger pumpkin’s leaf.

Is there anything else that is special about this project? 

Yes! The leaf on the bigger pumpkin is reversible. I was inspired to create a reversible pumpkin leaf by a project I’d admired from a fellow teacher: a reversible black and white sheep mat hooked by Ingrid Hieronimus (you can take a look at her website here, and Ingrid provided images of her reversible sheep mat which you can see below).

I also wanted to include tendrils on my pumpkins. I made them using left over strips of wool in green and plaid. I soaked the strips in a mixture of water and white glue. I then wrapped them around a pencil to dry.

I sewed these tendrils and the leaf into the top of my pumpkin when I finished them. I also used real pumpkin stems to finish off these projects, which was fun.

As always, if you have any questions or comments for Ania, you can leave them in the comments below!

Rug of the Month: September 2018

For this month’s Rug of the Month, Ania has decided to showcase a recent favorite project of hers. The pattern is called “Jack in the Green,” and it was designed by Lora Irish. Ania completed it in #4 and #6 strip wool, #4 strip velvet, and half inch torn silk strips. The dimensions are 16.5″ x 18″.

Take a look below to see an image of the completed project, and read on to learn about Ania’s approach to finishing the project.

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Ania’s completed “Green Man” rug.

Why did you decide to take on this project?

I’ve always loved this pattern! I call it the “Green Man.” I think it’s interesting how broad the interpretations of this pattern are from other rug hookers. Everyone approaches it very differently. Before I saw this pattern, I’d seen images of the Green Man throughout my life, in books, paintings, and illustrations.

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A Close-up of the leaves in the rug.

Why did you decide to use materials besides wool? 

This is the first time I’ve used velvet and silk fabrics. I really liked that about this project. I used them primarily in the face. This project was part of a class at Teacher’s Workshop, and the teacher had unusual materials available for us to use. It was a wonderful opportunity to play around with something new.

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Silk strips were used in the cheeks and eyes, and velvet strips were used in the nose.

 

How did you color plan this project?

I knew my Green Man would be green. I used three 8-value swatches that I had dyed about eight years ago. They were the very first 8-value swatches I had ever dyed, and those are the greens in the leaves and face. I also used left over wool from old projects, mainly in the veins, and a little bit in the leaves. These left-over strips of wool were mainly colors you wouldn’t expect in leaves – lavenders and golds.

I chose red for the background because it’s the complement of green. The other thing I wanted to do was continue utilizing leaves in the background. If you look closely there are outlines of Oak leaves in the background radiating outward to continue the pattern from the face. I went out and collected actual Oak leaves, and I traced them to continue the pattern.

I used left-over noodles from other projects I had hooked in red to outline the new leaves I added. Then I filled in each leaf with two different red spot dyed wool. I whipped the rug with a spot dyed whipping yarn, to tie in with the background.

A note about color planning with different fabrics: when you hook with velvet, the color looks lighter in the pattern than in the flat fabric. So that is something to keep in mind when you try velvet in rug hooking.

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Another close-up of leaves.

What was the biggest challenge you encountered with this project?

It was important to be able to triangulate where each of my three green swatches would show up in the leaves. I didn’t want the colors to look too lopsided. I also added touches of red in the gaps of the leaves, to try to make it look less thick. Sort of like the sky showing through when the wind blowing through your hair!

Is there anything else of interest about this project?

I always tell people to touch his nose for good luck – it’s made of velvet and so it’s incredibly soft!

I really like him. This is one I’m proud of.

If you have any questions on this project, feel free to leave them in the comments below!