Sunday, May 3, 2009

New Projects

I probably need new projects like a hole in the head but I started on 2 small mats (for Me) to demonstrate alternative materials for hooking. One is a table runner on monk's with irregular cat paws in acrylic yarns, 12 x 30. It'll be in shades of purples, blues, teal and golds. I'm using a number of Lion Brand Homespun on this because it's thicker than most of the yarns in my stash and I've also decided after knitting and crocheting a lot with wool I really hate the stuff to work with or make anything out of it. I had bought it for baby blankets and ended up giving my kids wool creations instead. I want this to be a sort of hit and miss type rug and washable. I had gotten this piece of monks off Ebay and hadn't found a use of it until now. If it's going to be a usable table runner I don't want to use my good wools, not with my family.

The other is a "Here Be Dragons" welcome mat on rug warp 20 x 28 in t-shirt cottons. I'm using about 3 old black ones that vary a little in how black they are and wear for the background. The colors are reds for an old holey tie dyed Con-Cat convention shirt, a dark burgundy tie die, and a pale blues, pinks, purples and whites tie dye that is at least 20 years old and too holey for wear. I decided to go with a very simple palette on this. I ended up with 2 Walmart bags of ripped strips mostly of 1/4 to 1/8 width. This is a good rug to practice my lettering skills on. It has Here Be Dragons at the top in wave style, and Welcome in large letters at the bottom. Between them is a tribal sort of dragon done mainly in the Con-Cat reds with burgundy accents. I screwed up when I drew this out originally on the fabric. I had a big dragon behind the Welcome letters which was okay but not that great either so I did the smaller tribal one over the top of it. I opted for the simple 4 colors instead of a bunch of ones as I wanted a) see how little material it would take for this size mat, b) wanted to do something that was okay looking but not so pretty people would be afraid to use it, c) it could be easily washed and d) demonstrated recycling and easy to find fabrics.

I'm also planning a mat or doll done in cotton yarns and/or cotton quilting fabrics. Just have to get more rug warp and monks. My other designed piece of rug warp, the sheep and wool welcome mat in an earlier post is going to be done in wools. If it's all about what you can do with wool it needs to be in wool. I have one 1 yard piece of monk's left right now and I'm debating what's going to be on it. I am eyeing the Heatherfield's again as possible xmas stockings for grandkids. I've seen some wonderful examples on the web for doing them with hooking and leaving the backgrounds plain which would be great with the Heatherfield and some other ex cross stitch fabrics in my stash.

The rug warp is interesting. A little stretchy and not so easy to pull the larger hoops through. I'm doing it on my big oval hoop and have to keep adjusting it. But overall it's not bad to work on. The monks is not bad but it still has a tendency to split, and separate if I don't pull my hoops exactly right.

Getting ready for this show has been a good thing. It has been forcing me to really work on projects, come up with ideas and also think how I am going to demonstrate and explain the hooking, especially using a variety of materials. I may be ready to even think about teaching classes next year if any one would want me as teacher that is. If I do do classes I am going to concentrate on hooking with recycled fabrics and materials, hooking with fleece and roving, hooking combined with felting, maybe making 3-D sculpted objects, and maybe doing fantasy character rugs. These are subjects very few people are doing in hooking. I guess I can think outside the box easier (years of practice) and I don't have the company of other hookers, except on the web, to maybe guilt me into sticking with the usual wool strips. I also have this huge stash of craft materials and fabrics either inherited from relatives or bought over the years and dragged with me through multiple movings that I really feel the urge to do something creative with and hate giving away. Every time I do I end up reacquiring similar stuff and in double and triple the amounts I got rid up. My house hates a vacuum, I guess, and I have to have x amount of stash to make it content.

That's one of the reasons I have been thinking about hooking some of sewing or quilting cottons into rugs. Cotton hooking is very popular over in the UK as is proddy which I may get back into. I have also been thinking a lot about learning to braid. A couple of the Rag Rug books I get from my library has directions for making cotton fabric rugs. It'd be a great way to use up a lot of calico's, especially the ones that are rather loud or I hate the color combos in. I've also been thinking of adding a braided edge type wool frame to Walk Me maybe in browns, or dyed over camel golds.

I have too much in my head I want to do....


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