I really love to hook “nonsense” and this rug is perfect for that. Absolutely whimsy at its best!!!!!!! The dog is hooked using at least 12 different darks. Muddling had become one of my favorite things to do in rug hooking and the body of this dog is perfect for that. The basket is hooked from a marvelous red paisley that my good friend Cynthia Norwood gave to me. And the neat, neat collar is hooked using one wool, a big time fun check.
Don’t have the grass and flowers hooked yet under the house, but SOON!!!!!!! Another of my favorite rug hooking things is to use “waggles AKA strips” for small areas. Sooooooooooooo I hunted through my “waggle pile” for the doors and windows. This truly does stretch your imagination. Usually we just “go and cut something after much thought,” this is much more spontaneous and fun and will bring more interest to your rugs. Hopefully will be more photos soon. I am having a good time with this rug.
These shapes looked like “blobs” until I got some background around them. Sooooooooooooo now they have more shape and look more fun. I had a blast hooking the animals and again used some of the wools that I had “stashed,” and then for the small dogs, just some of the wools from the big dog. Orange is not my favorite color in my house, but I love it in rugs–go figure!!–and so the owls are a “HOOT”. And hooray for Purple trees!!!!!!! The most surprising thing I did was hook in a Pink bunny! And then used the pink in the rainbow too!!!! The old green/beige/taupe backgrounds sort of dull everything down and make it work together. The background is “puddles” of wools and very neat to do. I probably used about 9 or 10 wools in the background. Wish I had more time to hook!!!!!!!!
So now here I am with orange, pink, and purple in my rug. And then why not teal and purple birds. Big surprise to me!!!!!! The purple in the right bird is a wonderful purple paisley that Cynthia Norwood gave me.) The stars are sort of a golden reddish hue with a touch of purple in them – so what else is new!!!!!!! Then as I laid wools down to try and figure out the moons (I love that there are three of them), purple seemed like the perfect thing!!!!!! Actually this is one “wacky rug,” soooooooooooooooooooooooo “just have fun with it,” I said to myself. It has been interesting to see how this rug has developed. I usually do not try to color plan a rug and then hook it, I watch to see how things are coming together and then continue adding color, softer wools, or whatever seems to come next. And next is always a surprise in this rug!!!!!!
No more hooking until January – that is probably a good thing – I definitely need some time and space to see what is next!!!!!
Wishing everyone the blessings and joys of this wonderful season.
OKAY!!!!!!!!! So now the center is done!!!!!!! Unless I make a few small changes that is. I did switch off the pink I used at the top of the rainbow and then hooked some of this same wool as a partial outline on the bunny. Am much happier with that. The “sun AKA circle” at the top right was wonderful fun. Just lots of different strips of reddish/goldish wool plaids that all melt together. I love to do that!!!!!! The backgrounds got “scary” for me. Did not pull anything out though, that was good. Just sort of “felt my way” through the color changes and prayed that it was right. When you are working on a background this large, it is hard to see the “rest of the story” until you pull your rug off of the frame. Hope to start the border tonight.
SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO – I am finished!!!!!!!! – HOORAY!!!!!!!
This rug has truly been an adventure. As always the first part was VERY easy and fun. The dog was almost a rug on it’s own – very warm, friendly and cuddly. THEN – the house and barn – and yet again easy and fun. I knew the little dogs needed to be dark – at least in my rug, however when I hooked the bottom left dog I hooked a spot in him that as the rug progressed became too busy and muddled. You can see that by looking at the finished rug without the border above. Odd how hooking the spot dark – just melted in and the area became much quieter. A super neat lesson in (as Emma Lou would say) “less is more”.
Okay – the bunny still bothered me. I put every color known to man there, and then some others – but – pink was the answer. I decided to outline the entire bunny with the neat pink plaid I used in the rainbow and for just part of the outline of the bunny before- and hallelujah – that made all of the difference. “Who says we are smarter than the wool”????
Decided the owls need “‘tweaked” – they were okay but not good enough. So “sharpened them up” and made them “lay better” in the backgrounds.
As for the background wools – God sort of guided my head on which wools layered where. I started with the “grass” and then stayed fairly light up past the dog and rainbow until I got to the moons. I guess I thought I should go a bit deeper. Maybe it was night!!!!!!! – When I did that – I saw that it kept the bottom of the rug in balance with the top. What a neat lesson that is – very exciting. The “clouds” over the stars are a wonderful gray purple that seems to keep a feeling of almost “spooky and playfulness in this area, which also adds to the balance of the rug.
Honestly – you would think that with the “oddness” of what is going on here that you could almost “get away with anything”, but not the case. I would say this is one of the most complicated and thoughtful rugs I have ever done.
And now on to the border – and YES - it was very easy to do. I had decided that the curvy line in the border should be hooked using the background wools – from the very lightest to the medium darks. I just picked them up randomly and hooked. Since the rug had so much playfulness in the center – then I saw that the circles should be that way also. I used lots of the wools from the rug, but also other wools that I just LOVED!!!!!!!! Then I thought I would hook in some of the neutrals from the background in the circles. I like the way that they play with the other colors in the border.
I began hooking the background of the border in a dark “olive drab check”. I started in the upper left hand corner and loved the way it looked, but after I got down part way on the right side – I GOT BORED!!!!!!! – so hunted around for a wool of the same value that would be fun to use for awhile, then another and another. I did NOT mix the wools – always hooked in patches. I kept that up all the way around the rug. As I got around to the bottom left I decided to use the first wool again – and then move off to another wool, ending up with a neat maroon wool for the top left corner. None of these wools “pull away” from each other, so provide a very interesting border story without it being “jumpy”. Fun to do – just be careful not to have a big “jump” in the wools.
I honestly love my rug – and it definitely made me leave my comfort zone and hook for the sake of the rug, not “what Barb Carroll likes”. Comes back to the old story – what color goes there – not what color should it be.
If you have any questions – please let me know and I will be glad to try and answer them. I once said that “God’s hand hooked with Mary Sheppard Burton’s as she did her rugs – and I believe he was with me too. This was an amazing project.