Friday, November 18, 2016

Ice Dyeing with Wool

This past Wednesday, I left my rug hooking group, came home and decided to try "ice dyeing" with wool. Several members of our group had tried ice dyeing with cotton fabric for use in quilting and had incredibly beautiful results. The cotton does not need to be heat set as wool does, so I was unsure how this type dyeing would work with wool.

Here, in pictures and words, is my procedure:

Using a square stainless steel pan, I placed the wool as shown.

I then added synthropol and water to wet the wool.

After the wool was sufficiently wet, I drained the water, and
scrunched the wool to form nice peaks and valleys.

Next came the addition of the ice. I realized later that I needed more ice, but at this point, I went with what I had. Something I soon learned was that the ice could not be moved. It stuck to the wool!!

After placing the ice, I sprinkled dry dye over the ice. This is when I realized I should have had more ice. Some of the dye went directly onto the wool, when optimally, it should have been only on the ice. Live and learn!

The two photos above show the movement of the dye as the ice began to melt.

This is what the wool looked like when I placed it on the stove, covered it with foil, and simmered for ten minutes. After ten minutes, I added some vinegar but did not really stir. Cooked the wool for another 30 minutes after that.

The pictures that follow show what the wool looked like after being washed and dried.

Here's my thoughts on this process. I definitely needed more ice. I liked using dry dye, but it can lead to large spots of color on the wool that may not be as pleasing as you'd like. I'm not sure what hooking with this wool will look like, but I think you could get some stunning results using this wool for appliqué.

If you give this method a try, let me know how you make out!

As always check out my sales on Etsy and Ebay. Links are to the right.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Beginner Rug Hooking Classes

I have begun teaching a beginner Rug Hooking class. This is a real "learn to hook" class, discussing all aspects of hooking for the beginner. As we progress, I hope to talk about color planning, patterns, wool dyeing, etc.

I am located about 25 miles north of Albany, New York in Saratoga Springs. If you know of anyone interested in learning to hook, please feel free to contact me. At the moment, we meet every other Thursday.

Happy hooking!

Monday, November 7, 2016


Hope you will all get out to vote on Election Day! We live in a great country where we get to choose our leaders, so get out and exercise that right to vote!

Here's some red, white, and blue wool to get you in the mood!

Tomato Red


Blue Prim

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Meet Faye!

As I've mentioned before, I take class every other week with Jule Marie Smith. She has us push our limits in the rug hooking and fiber art area whenever she can. This month's challenge was to hook a face and create a doll. I was skeptical at first having never made a doll, but I decided to give it a go. I figured if it didn't work out, so be it.

The fun part about this project is that we all will be bringing our doll creations to Julie's at the end of the month for a tea party!! We're even having tea sandwiches!

I got busy with my doll a few weeks back and finished her up yesterday. I downloaded a simple body from the Web, but was really flying blind for the construction. The sewing together of the body parts went smoothly, but then I had to attach her overlarge head to her tiny body. Surprisingly, it went well.

Here is Faye. She doesn't sit up by herself, but she's quite posable if she leans against something.

Her hair is braided using a multicolor yarn, and the body is made of a cotton fabric. I think she's quite something!

I'd love to hear what you think!!

My Etsy shop is loaded with wool. Take a peek!