Hello everyone! It’s been a while, but we’re back with a new post and a new rug for November. We’ve been busy planning some exciting projects (including a new dye class coming in December!), and Ania is excited to share this new rug. This tartan rug is Ania’s own design, and is personal in ways most wouldn’t expect. Read on below to see how Ania snuck a secret message into this project, and check out the rug below!
Why did you decide to create this rug?
I had just had shoulder surgery for my torn rotator cuff, and I still didn’t have a lot of movement (I was doing a lot of “t-rexing”!), and so while I wanted to get back into rug hooking, I knew I needed to start small. This was also the most difficult aspect of creating this rug – I could only hook in small spurts.
Now this rug is a tartan pattern – how did you come up with the idea of creating your own tartan?
I liked the idea. My daughter, Monique, went to school in Edinburgh, Scotland, and kitty corner to her apartment in the city was a huge tartan shop. I would have loved to have taken home tartans from there to work into my rugs! I wasn’t able to, but I couldn’t get the idea out of my head of having a personal tartan. So I created my own!
My idea for this rug was to create a personal birthday tartan using the numbers 4, 1, 3, 1, 9, 6, and 1 to represent my birthday, April 13, 1961.
Once you had the idea and concept, how did you execute it to create an actual rug?
I thought about the concept for a few days – it was great to work on at this point in my life (with my shoulder injury), because it’s a relatively simple one to help ease back into hooking. I started by graphing out the pattern, and then I hooked.
How do you weave a tartan? For me, the numbers 4, 1, 3, 1, 9, 6, and 1 were key to the pattern. I chose one color to represent each number in that sequence (so that there are five colors in total in the rug). I chose my first color, a mid-tone blue, to hook 4 lines, and then a bright blue to hook 1 line, and then a yellow to hook 3 lines, and then back to the bright blue for the next 1 line, and so on and so forth. To create your own tartan, you chose one color to represent each number in the pattern.
I designed my tartan as a grid, where the pattern repeated twice across and down. To make the concept work, I needed to alternate hooking one line down and one line across. This means it was super simple – I only hooked in straight lines!
What’s your favorite part of this project?
The way it’s hooked is really fascinating- it really does look like a weave! I thought that was so cool. The back of the rug is also really interesting – it looks completely different from what you would expect.
It’s also interesting that to create your own tartan, you can use any date or set of numbers. You just assign a color to each individual number. It’s like a personal secret that you showcase to everyone!
Would you make this a bigger project someday?
Maybe! This project is really great because you start with a blank slate – you don’t draw any pattern on the linen before hooking it. You can do a lot with the concept, and it’s a fun one to play around with.
How did you color plan for this project?
I had dyed some wool for another project and had leftover wool, which I used here, along with as-is navy suiting. I used a #5 size cut, hooked on linen. Essentially, I just chose colors that I’d like to have in a suit.
What can you do with a rug like this?
At this size, you can use it as a hot pad. If you make it smaller, you can use it as a mug rug. If you make it bigger, you can use it for a whole host of other things! It all depends on how often you repeat your pattern.
Let Ania know what you think of her rug, and if you’d be interested in a class on how to create your own pattern!