Rug of the Month: January 2021

Happy New Year! 2020 was a difficult year for many of us, and it’s a relief to have a “clean start” with 2021. To kick off the year, and in the spirit of continuing the goodwill from the holiday season, Ania has decided to feature a new project as this month’s “Rug of the Month.” This pattern is called “XMas Bouquet.” It’s dimensions are 31″ X 23″, and it was designed by Jane McGown Flynn. Ania hooked it in #6 strips. We previously featured a sneak peak of this rug, in a blog post about hooking holidays.

To see the finished rug, and to read more about the process behind completing the project, take a look at the post below:

Ania’s completed “XMas Bouquet” rug.

Why did you decide to hook this project?

This was from a teacher’s workshop class in 2019. It was one of the day classes offered that year, focused on flowers. Connie Bradley taught the class.

I thought it would be nice to have another Christmas rug at home. We’ve previously written up a blog post on my only other Christmas rug! I really like Poinsettias – I think they’re very Christmas-y, and I thought this pattern in particular was very pretty. For a number of years, I would buy red or red and white spotted Poinsettias every December. There were holly berries in the original pattern, but I chose not to hook them.

There were a wide variety of textures used in the leaves and details like the petal veins.

How did you approach color planning?

I wanted a red Poinsettia, inspired by the red and white Poinsettia’s I used to buy for my home. Connie provided the wool for the flower petals, and the swatch set I used was all as-is wool. The swatch set I used for this flower was the narrowest value range that I think I’ve ever worked with. A friend of mine, Betty McClentic, offered to pick up wool for me during the class, and I requested that she pick up the red wool that was “least like me.” There’s always a challenge when you’re using wool choices made by someone else, and I wanted that challenge for this project! The class was also held in an old inn that didn’t have great lighting, so it was also genuinely pretty tough trying to see what the colors would actually look like.

The red “petals” of a Poinsettia are actually leaves, and the true flower is the yellow at the center. The kit with the wool included seven values of reds, a texture which I used for the veins in back petals and the veins and stems in my green leaves, and the gold and chartreuse for the true flower. I added two purple and fuchsia spot dyes which I used for the veins in the front petals, and for highlights in the leaves. This was to help create the appearance of the red and white spotted Poinsettia’s that I used to buy.

The greens used in the leaves and pine needles were all from my own stash, they were a combination of textures and spot dyes. The gold I used for the background was dyed for this project. I used a variety of pastel wools dyed over with Cushing Old Gold. I decided to use pastel wools as a base, because I had a lot of left-over pastel wools laying around that I wanted to use up! I also dyed the whipping yarn to match the background. I used an extra strong dye bath using a combination of various gold dyes, including the Cushing Old Gold.

The gold for the background was dyed for this project, using a variety of pastel base wools.

What is your favorite part of this project?

My favorite part was working with the narrow range of reds! It was a real challenge to use those reds for shading to give the flower depth. I also enjoyed dyeing all of the wools for the background and hooking that. I used a variety of blue greens and yellow greens that worked out very well in the greenery. Since red and green are complementary colors, I was able to use such a wide mix of greens and still have it all pull together nicely.

I’m pretty happy with this project – I’m very happy with how it turned out!

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

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