Sunday, September 6, 2009

Wool Stash

As I begin my Time Travel rug, I'm hunting out wool to make the perfect blend of colors. I realize how lucky I am that I dye my own wool. I have a cabinet full of textures, overdyes, spot dyes, etc. to choose from. And if I find I need a color I don't have, I dye it (or keep dyeing it!) until the perfect shade is realized.

Rug hooking is an expensive craft. For those of you who don't dye wool, you have to guard your stash of wool carefully. You never know when you'll need just a small bit of gold, the right green for a leaf, or that sky blue to make your landscape complete. I have quite a bit of wool left over from my garden rug, and I'm finding use in my new pattern for some of those odd scraps left over.

I thank my stars that my rug hooking teacher, Dick LaBarge, encouraged me to learn to dye. He so loves dipping into dye pots, that he wants to share the experience with his students. Not everyone wants to be bothered, but most are willing to give it a try. For me, it turned into a small business, and a lifetime supply of color.

I'm not sure where I'm going with this, but if you get the opportunity to learn to dye wool, try it. Imagine not having to wait for others to ship wool to you, only to find it's just not the color you hoped for. The real bonus, however, is the satisfaction you'll get from seeing a finished rug knowing that not only did you hook the rug, but you also dyed the wool for it!


debra said...

I am new to dying, and loving it! I especially love when you more experienced in the craft of dying give tutorials on your blogs--the information you offer has really helped me. I can't wait to see your progress on your Time Travel rug.

Woolly Mammoth Woolens said...

Thanks for the comment. I'm glad to know that readers are making use of dye lessons. I'll try to do a few more in the weeks to come.

Wendie Scott Davis said...

Hi there,

The frame you saw on my blog is called a Cheticamp frame and I ordered it from Deanne Fitzpatrick
(see them at
They are a traditional Nova Scotia frame, perfect for larger projects. You attach the ends of the backing to strips on the long rails, and then you wind the pattern onto the rails, exposing the section you are working on.
I really enjoy leaving the bigger projects set up and using my gripper frame for the smaller ones.