March’s rug of the month is a project that Ania approached in a very unusual manner. This month’s rug is from a pattern called “Rosewood” by Yankee Peddler. The dimensions of the oval pattern are 22″ x 40″, and Ania hooked it in #5 strips. You might be wondering – what was the unusual manner? Well, the goal of this project was to give up all creative control while hooking!
You can read Ania’s explanation on how that worked below, as well as look at images of the completed rug:
Why did you decide to hook this pattern?
I won this pattern in a raffle a long time ago. It’s a fine pattern, but not one that I probably would have chosen on my own. I tend not to gravitate towards oval or round rugs, although there were elements of the pattern that I appreciated. The flowers, in particular, remind me of Polish folk art, and I’ve long thought that I should try to hook something inspired by Polish folk art, because it’s part of my heritage. But the shape is not what’s most unusual about this project.
In 2019, I attended the Country Inn Rug School in Rindge, NH. The co-directors of this wonderful school are Beverley Mulcahy and Benita Raleigh. I decided to take this pattern with me, along with a stash of wool, and embark on an experimental hooking journey. I wanted to open myself up to totally new insights and out of the box thinking (for me) about color planning. I knew my teacher at the school that year would be Betty McClentic, and I wanted her guidance specifically on this pattern.
I decided to give up control on this project to Betty because I knew it would be a big learning experience. I would be able to sit in the back seat and observe what Betty’s creative eye saw in this pattern, and how she approached the different challenges and opportunities this pattern offered. I was not disappointed as it was really a great experience.
How did you approach color planning?
I really love playing with color and color planning my own projects. I contributed to color planning on this project in a very removed manner. My only contribution was providing the material. And there was a lot of material I provided! It was all wool I had compiled over the course of years from diverse collections efforts and dyeing projects. With this stash in hand, Betty is the one who chose which specific wool pieces and colors would be used in this project.
This process was very enlightening to me, in informing me on both the perceptions and design approaches regarding how I see color and in how Betty sees color. One notable choice was that we ultimately decided to only use textures from my stash. I don’t use textures that frequently, so that was a big change for me – this is the first time adventure with textures for me.
What were your biggest takeaways from your different approach to this pattern?
Betty actually asked me that as well, what I was learning from this. My biggest takeaway was that it was very stress free! The most important takeaway was how differently someone else could see color. For example, what I called steel blue, Betty called turquoise. It reinforces the very important reality that not everyone sees color the same way. Colors are perceived by the human eye, and individual colors are influenced by the colors that surround them as well as by each individual’s unique viewpoint – influenced by biology, culture and experience.
It made me further realize that when I teach I need to be cognizant of how my students perceive color.
Is there anything else you’d like to discuss about this rug?
We ignored the border on the original pattern. Also, the finish on this rug is similar to the one I did on my “Paisley Rain Forest” rug. I used background wool that I cut on the bias. It had to be bias cut wool because the rug is an oval shape. If readers are interested, maybe we can do a separate post on how to do that finish. Please let us know if you’d be interested in such a post.
If you have any questions for Ania on this rug, feel free to comment below!