Rug of the Month: November 2020

Earlier this year, Ania designed and hooked a project called “Pandemic’s Box.”  The rug’s dimensions are 8″ x 14.5″, and it was hooked in a #3 strips. As you will read below, this rug has a long history, in my mind, but the execution, in the spring, was largely due to closures in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic.  With the renewed urgency around COVID-19 cases in the U.S. in recent weeks, it feels like a good time to feature this rug as this month’s rug of the month.

Read on below to see images of the completed rug and to read about how Ania hooked it:

Pandemic box watermarked

What inspired this pattern and project?

The name is a play on Pandora’s Box, and as people might be able to guess, I came up with it this spring during the early months of the pandemic. I’ve always enjoyed seeing something as 3-D from 2-D images. I’ve been interested in this phenomenon since early in my career, when I would view 3-D models of chemical structures on my 2-D computer screen. I would rotate the models and look through them to use in my research. This interest in the play between 2-D and 3-D naturally extended to optical illusions as well.

I’ve often wondered if I could hook an optical illusion, and specifically a stereogram, as a rug, and during the early months of the pandemic, I became very interested in this idea, and committed to trying to create a pattern and completing it with this goal in mind. With no opportunities to travel to hook-ins and schools, there seemed to be plenty of time to experiment.

If you look at an object with just your right eye and then very quickly with your left eye you’ll see that they’re a little bit different perspective. To create a stereogram, you need an image of the right eye perspective and an image of the left eye perspective of an object, to mimic what your eyes see in real life.

I ultimately decided that what I wanted was something simple that I could draw, that gave me the right eye perspective of a box and the left eye perspective of a box, so that when I crossed my eyes and looked at the space between the two I could see the 3-D image of a complete box.

Pandemic box closeup watermarked

How did you approach color planning for this project?

It was very simple. The outside walls of the box are white, the inside walls are grey, and the intersections are black. I wanted the colors to be as simple as possible, and to really guide the viewer towards the image I hope they’ll see.

The background is green. I wanted a color that was serene and easy on the eyes. The green I chose also has the same value as the grey used in the box. That further helps the viewer see the optical illusion. There are only three values in the whole rug. Normally I like to use a wide variety of values, so this is as narrow as I can get.

With Black Lines cropped watermarked

Is there anything else you’d like to comment on about this project?

The black outline of the box used to be completely hooked in (seen in the image above), but I decided to remove a portion of it and hook it in with white wool instead, to help people see the illusion of the 3-D box better. In the image below, you can see where that black line was replaced with a white line. By removing that black line, it gives the impression that the white portion of the box is frosted glass, or something similar.

Also – sometimes people struggle with seeing optical illusions. There are certain illusions that might be easier for you to see than others, and that might be the case with this rug as well. My husband and one of my daughters can see the 3-D box, but my other daughter cannot.

I might want to try a more complex stereogram in the future. I’ve been giving it some thought, so we’ll see what I’m able to come up with in future projects!

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

2 thoughts on “Rug of the Month: November 2020

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