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!
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.
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.
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!