Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Making Progress

Working away on my New York Beauty rug. Actually made quite a bit of progress this week. I went to Loopy Ladies Rug Hooking last Wednesday, and that got me jazzed up to work. I've been able to fit in little ten- and fifteen-minute hooking sessions a lot. Surprisingly, you get a lot of work accomplished that way.

Here's the rug as of today:

Friday, May 20, 2011

Hand Dyeing book

I was shown this book at our weekly rug hooking group meeting. It's called Hand Dyeing Yarn and Fleece by Gail Callahan. Here is some information from the back cover:

Take control of your colors! Apply your dream shade to natural-colored yarns and fleece. Transform outdated yarns with fresh new colors. Create self-striping and multicolored yarns. It's all possible with Gail Callahan's simple recipes, designed to work in your own kitchen. So, fire up the oven or your slow cooker, clean out an unused microwave, or grab a sturdy kettle—you'll love the results of playing with heat, color, and fiber.

I looked through this book and found the methods to be clearly explained, with wonderful photos to accompany the text. Many of these techniques will be familiar to rug hookers who dye their own wool. What I liked about it was that you are encouraged to overdye small skeins of yarn left over from other projects by "marrying" them with a single dye formula. Here is a link to the spiral bound edition on Amazon.com.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Dye Day

Change of plan. Was going to be doing a dip dye, but switched over to marbled wool. Needed some reds, red/oranges for the New York Beauty rug I'm working on, so I experimented a bit.

Here are a few of the pieces I got:

These two pieces came from a layering of goldenrod, deep red, and natural. The red bled out just as I hoped. Although I don't have a photo of the red, enough of the color bled leaving the red washed out in certain areas. Beautiful mottling.

I think that in the past, I have not let my marbled bundles cook long enough. These probably simmered for close to an hour. This is how they looked when bundled and ready for the pot.

The first bundle is where the two pieces of wool shown above came from. The second bundle on top gave me some lovely purple and blue blends. The third bundle was achieved using the following method.

Step one: I got together some deep red worms, a piece of light blue wool, and a larger piece of natural.

Step two: I scattered some of the red worms randomly over the natural strip.

Step 3: I laid the light blue strip over the red worms.

Step 4: Add more red worms on the light blue.

Step 5: Roll into bundle. I used a rubber band to hold the wool in place. You can also use string.

All three bundles went into the pot together. I did put a weight on top to keep them down in the water.

Here are the results of the two pieces marbled with the worms:

A fun time!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Flea Market Day

Off to a flea market today! Flea markets, antique shows, antique shops are favorite past times of ours. Although the weather doesn't look promising, we're still going. The only problem is that we really don't need anything!!!

Got a dye request from a hooker this week for some dip-dyed wool for sunflowers. I'll be working on it on Tuesday, and plan to photograph and document the steps. Hopefully, will have something to post on Wednesday or Thursday.

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Back Home Safe and Sound!

We returned from our trip to San Francisco and Las Vegas last week. All in all a great time. Here are some highlights:

This is our GPS-guided GoCar that we used for six hours the first day of our adventure. Took us all through San Francisco to places we couldn't have gotten to with a car. Only place you couldn't go was over the Golden Gate Bridge. It's amazing we didn't get killed!

A view of the Golden Gate Bridge from below:

Absolutely awesome! Almost felt surreal to actually be there.

The mighty Pacific Ocean. What a beautiful day it was.

Looking up—way up—at a Redwood in Muir Woods. One of the highlights of the trip.

Pier 39—Fishermen's Wharf. Had a great time sampling the seafood and watching the seals.

No pictures from Las Vegas. Got sick there and had to spend a night in the hospital. Never got to Pawn Stars store and missed our flight home. Left on Saturday and was glad to be home safe and sound. No trips for a while!