Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Gimme An "A"!

I'm getting close on finishing the A, and in what is exciting news for me, I finally got an outline color for the letters!  Yay!  No more indecision!  This means I finally have all of the wool I'm using for this rug.  Oh wait...except the bird.  Dang.

Here is the rug so far - I'm loving how it's turning out:

Just a bit more of that Gene Shepherd Roman Sun and I'm done with the letters!  There is a small shadow outside of the letters and on the inside of the O and the A.  The picture that came with the pattern from Nola Heidbreder shows a light brown or burgundy outline for the letters, but I wasn't a big fan of that color.  I thought about taking the ruby red color from the side of the barn and bringing that in, but alas - not only do I not have enough wool to do it, but as much as I love that ruby it seems like it would be a little harsh against the letters and the sky.  Someone suggested the green, but I love the trees and don't want to detract from them.  What do you do when you can't make a decision?  Make someone else do it!

There aren't many rug hookers in the Quad Cities - if there are, I have yet to meet more than four.  So imagine my delight in discovering a new studio opening in Davenport - Wheaton Woolens, by Beth Anne Smiley!

This is a picture of Beth Anne from her website, www.wheatonwoolens.com - here she is actually at The Wooley Fox, enjoying a camp.  Beth is opening her studio in this adorable 1860 stone barn on her property.  The other hooker I know in town, Julie Bohl, was at the studio as well, and she and Beth Anne took a look at my rug and made a number of suggestions as to what color would go well with the rest of the rug.  We finally settled on a beautiful navy blue - I'm hooking it in now, and it is really giving the letters the "pop" they need without overpowering the whole thing.

Beth Anne is holding rug hooking classes in her barn, so be sure to check out her website for more information.  The more the merrier!  I'm going to the Omaha area to see my mom for her birthday, and fortunately I'll be within 10 minutes of Janice Lee's shop, The Rug Hooking Store and Black Horse Antiques, so I think I'm going to finally get some "closure" on that Magdelena Eby purse I hooked last fall.

Only two weeks until Sauder!  Be sure to go to their page on Facebook, "Rug Hooking Week at Sauder Village" to stay up-to-date on what's going on!

Monday, July 16, 2012

The Trouble With W

I've been working on my Iowa Postcard rug in hopes that I can get most of it done by Sauder Village, but let me tell you, hooking these letters has been a challenge.  Here is the rug so far:

So maybe....MAYBE...I'm getting toward being 50% done, but these letters?  They just might kill me.  Things that I can hook in a swirl, or a line, or an outline - no problem.  But hooking in a diagonal line on a somewhat horizontal stripe???  Yikes.

It may not look SO bad from this picture.  In pictures of my face from a distance you can't see the wrinkles either! :)  So let's zoom in a bit:

Here is the W a little bit closer.  NOW you can start to see the caddywhompus rows and loops.  I notice the right side looks a little better than the left side.  I think that's because on the right side, I hooked in straight rows, and then filled in later.  On the left side, I just tried to hook row next to row, moving loops over as needed to fill the space.  Overall, I like the look of the right side better, and may end up unhooking some of the left side of the W.  I'll need to get away from the letters for a bit and then re-visit it.  Now for the REALLY honest picture:

Oy.  Here is that left side of the W, warts and moles and all.  I'm using Gene Shepherd's Roman Sun wool, so there are four different shades of this lovely yellow-orange color. 

I'm hooking them in stripes on the letters.  The color is fantastic, but my rows can certainly use some help.

If anyone has any great tips or methods for hooking on a diagonal, I'd love to hear about it!  In the interim, the next section is waiting to be hooked on my Bee Line 14" Orbiting Frame (which I love, and will have at Sauder Village).  I hope I get an "A" on it!