Paisley Play

Last year, I created my first pattern ever. It is a piece called ‘Paisley Rainforest’, and my inspirations for the pattern, unsurprisingly, were paisleys! I thought it would be fun to give you a peak into some of the paisleys I saw in my everyday life that helped me create this pattern.

Here is the completed 'Paisley Rainforest' pattern!
Here is the completed ‘Paisley Rainforest’ pattern!

When I set out to design my first pattern, I knew I wanted to play with paisleys. To get into the swing of things I began to look around me and see where inspiration already existed. What I found was a wealth of beautiful images ripe for great ideas! Take a look below to see some of the patterns that helped fuel my creative fires:

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Here is a scarf I have with a paisley pattern.

One of my scarves, seen above, has a colorful pattern which highlights its beautiful paisleys. I loved the patterns within these paisleys, but I knew that much detail would be difficult to incorporate into a rug pattern. Instead, I took inspiration from the idea of layering patterns within the paisleys. I incorporated that idea in a simplified manner in ‘Paisley Rainforest’.

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One of my blouses also has a really beautiful paisley pattern.

Above is one of my blouses, which also features a paisley pattern. I love this paisley in particular, because of the way the paisleys begin to take on shapes reminiscent of leaves. This inspired me to incorporate actual leaves into my pattern! The shape of a leaf seems to naturally compliment that of a paisley.

Finally, take a look below for a special treat. Ania has begun to hook ‘Paisley Rainforest’, and even though it is still a work in progress, what she has come up with so far is a vision.

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Ania’s take on ‘Paisley Rainforest’ includes a lot of color play.

Although this post only shows two examples of paisleys that I found inspiration in, there were many other elements around me that ultimately helped me decide on the creative vision that became my final product. Inspiration is a wonderful thing, because it comes from all around you, in anything striking or beautiful you see! I hope that you take that lesson away from this post — because something as simple as your favorite scarf can help you create something you are proud of.

Let us know what you think in the comments below! What things have served as sources of inspiration for your art? We’d love to hear about it.

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Rug of the Month: November 2015

It’s the first of November, and that means it’s time for a new rug of the month! This month, we decided to showcase one of Ania’s earlier rugs. When Ania was hooking this rug, the process was all about learning how to become a better hooker. ‘Pumpkins by Moonlight’ felt perfect to show our readers because it both fits the current autumnal festivities, and it provides a great contrast to last month’s rug. Ania hooked it using ‘as is’ wool in #6 cut strips. The rug’s dimensions are 17×28 in.

Ania was asked a series of questions on how she created this rug. Read below to find out what she had to say:

Here is Ania's completed 'Pumpkins by Moonlight'!
Here is Ania’s completed ‘Pumpkins by Moonlight’!

What inspired you to create this project?

I bought this pattern after my very first trip to Dorr Mill. I decided on the pumpkins because I wanted to do something that fit the season, which was Fall.

How did you approach elements like color planning for this project?

Pumpkins are my favourite color, orange! I wanted to incorporate all the different kinds of oranges I could find, and I used wool from jackets that I bought at the Salvation Army – I spent one to five dollars per article of clothing. I also knew I wanted to include a cream white pumpkin, and not just three traditional orange pumpkins.

Here is a close-up of the moon. Notice the van Gogh-inspired swirls!
Here is a close-up of the moon. Notice the van Gogh-inspired swirls!

What are you most proud of in this rug? What was the most difficult aspect to complete?

What I most enjoyed in creating this rug was the van Gogh-esque swirls around the moon. They were a fun, fresh Halloween-y touch to create an evening air to the rug. I had a lot of fun experimenting with that.

In terms of challenges, this pattern was pretty easy overall but I did struggle with the ground. It was difficult to get brown spots where the green grass was dying away, especially as my hooking skills were still in the developmental phase.

Here you can see the detail that went into creating the ground, as well as many of the different oranges that went into the pumpkins.
Here you can see the detail that went into creating the ground, as well as many of the different oranges that went into the pumpkins.

What makes this rug different from the others you’ve hooked? What made this project unique in your experience as a rug hooker.

This was my first themed piece, my first seasonal rug. This is also a great rug to showcase how I made do with what I had, as I wasn’t dyeing wool yet.

Do you have any other comments about this rug?

When I was making this rug I didn’t take wool strips out of it after I had already hooked them. I committed to my decisions concerning color placement because this was a learning piece. My task was to learn how to place color. Although now I will take out wool strips if I decide the color is not right, this rug was an important step towards becoming the rug hooker I am today!

Let us know below what you think of Ania’s ‘Pumpkins by moonlight’ rug! How did you like getting to hear some of the story behind its creation?