Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Lessons in Unhooking

I feel like I hit another hooking milestone today - I have begun unhooking.

When I first started hooking, I couldn't understand why people would ever, EVER pull loops out unless there was a major crisis.  As a rookie, I work so hard to get those loops in there that the mere THOUGHT of pulling them out makes my heart hurt a little.  But yesterday, that all changed.

I hooked my tree line in this beautiful green wool that I love so much, only to discover halfway through the tree line that I don't have enough wool.  DRAT.  I had already hooked the outline on the trees, so I knew I was going to have to pull some of it out.

I'm going to blame a lot of my rationale for what happened next on Susan Feller, from Ruckman Mill Farm, and author of the fantabulous new book, "Design Basics for Rug Hookers". 

Susan may not KNOW I've been stalking her a little bit at shows, but I have.  The secret is out.  I've watched her do tours at Sauder Village, and give advice to other hookers on color choices and hooking styles, and it's because of Susan that I have pulled out a lot of loops in the last 24 hours.

You can sort of see what I'm talking about here.  I love the dark green trees, but ran out of that wool.  I had already outlined all of the trees in the darker wool, but I have this other wool with some lighter tones, so I thought "I'll go crazy and mix it up!" I pulled out the loops (gasp!) along the top outline and replaced it with the lighter checked wool.  I thought I'd stick with the lighter green on the left side, because that looks like the side that has light, hence the shadow on the barn.

So I put the lighter wool in, but then I thought about Susan.  She talks about movement and what would things be doing in nature?  Would this lighter tree have a dark splotch in the middle of it?  Possibly, but it would look more natural without the one row of light green wool going vertical.  So I pulled it out.

I re-hooked it with darks, and then some dark patches in the light.  Close-up I'm not sure I love it, but from a bigger perspective it seems a little better.

I think I like it better.  I will probably need to add a little bit more of the light green to make it look less choppy, which is still a shame because I loved the trees with the dark green.  But now is not the time for regrets, but for moving forward.  I thought one should only pull out loops in a major crisis, but I've realized that not completely loving or at least believing what you hook looks real does constitute a major crisis that requires the pulling out of some loops.  This is all an experience in my journey to learning to hook. 

I'm off to finish hooking a row on the border today.  Not sure about the clouds - would you hook those in white?  In cream?  Other suggestions?

1 comment:

  1. Julie,
    You sound like me when I first started blogging! I love what you've changed in the tree line. You're right...there's more movement and it looks great! I can relate to your learning process...I'm on the same track...but when you reach a new milestone, it feels so good! I love the pattern you're working on!
    Unhook on!