New Rug Hooking Pattern & Lots of Dyeing!

This is the completed sample for the Fall rug hooking class at Pieceful Gathering. The background is a brown and black plaid; I love the way it hooks up! The leaves are an orange overdyed plaid from the store and the flower uses some of my hand dyes. I really like plaids and stripes, but I think they can be overpowering and like to mix in overdyed whites. I don’t love this piece; don’t know why, but hopefully prospective students will!

I also had a dyeing order from the store, four colors for a wool applique pattern. Katie picked out a few samples she liked and then rummaged around for a yellow. She held one up and said “This is okay, but I’d like it to be less green”. And I agreed. It was a yellow with black added and the blacks often lean towards green. So it was off to the dyeing studio (;-D) to come up with some new formulas. Peter was gone for a whole week, so I took over the kitchen for dyeing and the diningroom for making sample pages, thinking of formulas and doing dry work. The first thing I did was to mix up a stock solution for another red (351) and yellow(199c). I like to have both a blue-red ( fuchsia) and a yellow-red (magenta or scarlet). They dye tremendously different colors. And yellows are squirrely so it’s good to have several to play with. A dye that produces a ferociously bright primary yellow may not stand up to the other colors when mixed. Below are four samples I came up with. The screen colors aren’t great, but hopefully you get the idea. The green-y one in the middle wasn’t good; it was a yellow that I kept adding black to. (I find it’s never a good idea to formulate colors on the fly….) I was pleased with the other three though. My favorite of this group is the second one on the right. I was unhappy with what was happening (or not) as I was mixing the dyes and I put the two yellows together (119 & 199c). Honestly; you just have to try everything you can think of when creating a color palette!

The next thing I decided to do was to do a value study of the three yellows that I liked. When doing primitive rug hooking, there generally aren’t many values involved, but to understand color better, I like to see “where the colors will go” when intensifying the dye. And wow – am I pleased! Look at the group below! I was very surprised to see that the nice yellow became gorgeous shades of orange. This is the new yellow plus a tad of black.

And this pale yellow surprised me again; it became so rich. That middle gold is a great color and there’s another wonderful orange! This is the formula using both yellows.

One can’t help but think of pumpkins when looking at those colors and it seems like everyone is blogging about cooler weather and Fall. It is cooler in Chicagoland as well, but sticking with the season we are in, how about these lovely Mexican sunflowers that Peter and I saw at the Chicago Botanic Gardens? Those deeper oranges would be very nice.

This is the mellow yellow that I chose for Katie’s pattern. The other colors she chose were muted three color formulations, as this one is. And this is what I expected the other value studies to turn out like; darkening into browns. These are very nice browns and I know I will use them in a variety of projects.

And here are the black-eyed Susan’s at the end of our driveway. I could use all of the yellows and oranges I dyed in a design of these delightful flowers.

I must apologize to Peter – my one week of dye experiments turned into more like two weeks. The process of dyeing and finishing wool takes a long time and I don’t have a lot of pots. And when I get going, one formula or idea leads to another….. Happily, he walks around the clutter and has learned not to drink any colored water! Wise man.

2 thoughts on “New Rug Hooking Pattern & Lots of Dyeing!

  1. I’m glad you had great success. I love the oranges and yellows. I think it is about time to get some cooler weather. We are running 10 degrees cooler here which is still above our norm. Hoping we don’t have any more hundreds, but hey, it’s still August or maybe I should say, it’s just August. Your flowers are lovely. Do you get to the botanical gardens often?


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