Rug of the Month: March 2018

For March’s Rug of the Month, Ania has decided to showcase another paisley themed rug. “Paisley Hex” was designed by Jane McGown Flynn, and it was hooked in #4 strip wool. The rug is 29″ x 14″. This rug also has a 3″ fringe on each end.

To see images of the completed “Paisley Hex” rug, and to read about how Ania hooked it, take a look below:

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Here is the completed “Paisley Hex” rug.

Why did you decide to take on this project?

I like the pattern very much, and it gave me an opportunity to work outside of my usual color palette. I also wanted to learn how to do a fringe, and that was one of the options on this rug. We have oriental rugs at home, and one of them has a fringe that’s getting pretty worn out. I’ve always thought I could fix the fringe on that rug by myself, and this rug was an opportunity to learn how to do that.

How did you color plan this project?

This project was color planned by the teacher who taught the class (the class was at McGown’s Teacher Workshop). All of the wool was dyed by the teacher, Patti Stone. The colors were so far from what I normally gravitate towards, that I had to do it. I like the challenge of going outside of my comfort zone, to learn more.

What was the biggest challenge you encountered with this project?

Accepting the muted palette. Some people really love working with muted colors, but to me it was so new and felt very exploratory. It gave me a nice appreciation for subtlety. The longer I have this rug, the more I like it, and the more it has helped me see muted colors in a delightful sense. It also feels very serene.

I also ran out of the dark wool used in the border of this rug, and so I had to dye it myself. It was definitely a challenge matching the color that I had to dye to the original wool.

Is there anything else of interest about this project?

The roping was also very fun, because I was tasked with making it look three dimensional. It’s hooked with an eight-value swatch. The “secret” to hooking the roping is to start hooking as close to the central motif as you can with the darkest color in the swatch, and progress as you hook to the lightest color in the swatch. At that point you start the pattern over again with the darkest color.

I also like the very simple reflection symmetry in the pattern. If you draw a line down the center of the rug, the pattern and colors used are identical on each side of it.

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Here is an image of the rug, with a line superimposed to show where the line of symmetry lays. The rug is identical on each side of the white line.

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

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Tips and Tricks: Tracking Over-dyed Wool

This month, Ania is sharing a tip on how to keep organized while dyeing wool. For Ania, it used to be a hassle to keep track of which wool was being over-dyed during marathon dye days. Then, she discovered Tyvek envelopes were a great solution to that problem!

To read about how Ania uses Tyvek envelopes while dyeing, take a look at the post below.

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Here is a Tyvek envelope – note the box: “Tear and water resistant”!

How did keeping track of your wool while dyeing emerge as an issue for you?

I often dye in batch mode, where I spend an entire day getting as much dyeing done as I can. There have been a number of projects where I had to, or wanted to, use one color to dye a lot of different pieces of colored wool. However, if you’re dyeing five to ten different pieces of wool one color, it can be very difficult to keep track of which base wool resulted in which end result.

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Here are a wide variety of different colored pieces of wool that you might want to over-dye.

Can you go through, step-by-step, how you solved this issue?  

What you will need are Tyvek envelopes (either new or used), scissors, safety pins (or a needle and thread), and a Sharpie. Tyvek envelopes are waterproof and tear proof, which makes them perfect for dyeing in the pot, or in jars.

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Everything you need in one picture: safety pins, scissors, a Sharpie, and small Tyvek labels.

Take a Tyvek envelope, cut it up into small squares (I use 1″ x 2″ pieces). They just need to be large enough to write on them legibly. With a safety pin (if you need to dye in the microwave, use a needle and thread instead), attach a piece of Tyvek to each piece of wool you are planning on over-dyeing. Label each piece of wool appropriately, with the Sharpie. Dye as you usually would. The labels are safe to use throughout the entire process (including drying the wool in the dryer). If you dye frequently, you can save your labels and reuse them!

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Here is a series of wool, labeled, and ready to be over-dyed.

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