A Bad Dye Job?

A Bad Dye Job?

I’m beginning to think there’s no such thing as a bad dye job in rug hooking. The fibre can always be used somewhere, or at the very least overdyed to make it fit in, or marry, with other fibres.

Earlier this week I made an effort to dye some fibre to replace a plaid. It was for a kit I’ve since backed down on. It didn’t work. I’ve decided kits are low on my priority list.

Back to the dye job that didn’t work. I used two techniques – spot dyeing, where you sprinkle a bunch of spots of dye over scrunched up material and bake in an oven, and painting on wool, where you actually take a paint brush to the wool and paint the dye on. But here’s the rub. I didn’t use paint brushes. I used small 10 cc syringes without the needle.

The spot dyed wool looked better once it dried, but I was pleasantly surprised by how well the painting-on-wool fabric looked when hooked! Check this out!

Dye Samples

I can certainly see trees in the darker painting-on-wool pieces at the bottom of the photo. Yes, the bottom three samples are painting-on-wool. I layered three pieces on top of each other, and thereby sealed my demise. It was a mistake. When painting-on-wool I must remember to do one layer only.

My other mistake was not having a spray bottle to mist the dye setting agent on the fabric. That meant I had to add liquid with the setting agent in it. It was too much liquid.

We all learn from mistakes and I definitely learned from mine. And, thankfully, I managed to make some beautiful wool to hook into my wall hangings.

I hope everyone is having a good week. I’ll write more later!

A Dyeing Sort of Day

A Dyeing Sort of Day

It’s been overcast and rainy, interspersed with the odd sunny day since I last posted to the blog. During the sunny days I’ve been working in the yard. On the rainy days I’ve been working on organizing the house and my studio.

I’ve also been designing my first rug hooking kit to send away. It’s an attempt at “The Wind”. I’ve been in business eight years now and have shied away from doing kits. That is primarily because a lot of the fibre I use is “as is” textures from the 1960s – 1970s which I purchased from my rug hooking teacher. I just can’t find them anymore, especially the plaids.

So today I’ve been trying to replicate a plaid, or come close to it, with a spot dye. It’s drying now. I tried to use a painting on wool technique earlier, but it did not work. However it did result in a gorgeous green/gold piece of wool! It’s a one-of-a-kind piece of wool. I have a lot of those…

Another reason I shy away from designing kits is because I paint with wool strips, one strip and colour at a time. I work with values a lot. It would be very difficult for another person to duplicate my work. It just isn’t doable, even if they had the same textures. So whatever kit I prepare is going to look slightly different than the original.

Yesterday I was busy dyeing tree trunks – gradated spot dye with Majic Carpet chocolate brown and black. I think it’s a bit on the dark side, but the darker values can be used for backgrounds. The three lighter shades will go in the kit for the tree trunk. However, they are not the exact same colour as the original tree trunk. The dye formula has gone missing in the move.


I’m enjoying getting back into dyeing and handling fibre again. I love colour and creating with it. I hope the recipient of the kit is happy with it and the end result.

Week in Review

Week in Review

Hello! I had a fun week this week. I was able to attend a short workshop with Lucy Richards and a friend of mine. It was hosted by Diann McDonald, an Oxford punch certified instructor. It was a great chance to meet Diann and get to know Lucy’s Wooly Mason Dye system. I was picking up my set of cool colourway ProChem dye cards while there. So excited to have my dye jars made and ready to go! Thank you so much Lucy and Diann! The eight value spot dye swatch turned out perfect by the way.

Aside from dyeing fabric I also finished reading Karen Miller’s book “Eyes Open to the World”. It was very interesting and I can hardly wait for her second book to come out. Only one suggestion, and it’s a practical one…Karen, ask your publisher to put a sturdier cover on your next book. I’m afraid I’ve managed to bend this one. Hubby, a retired librarian, and I are contemplating ways to reinforce it so it can withstand the wear and tear I’m going to be giving it. We think our best bet is to head to Staples and see if they can do anything with it. Thank-you for a great read!

I finished the second bed sock now. They’re a bit big, but nice and comfy for bed.

Bed Socks from Ella Rae yarn.

I haven’t had much time for the appliqué quilt this past week. Must get back to that. I would like to have the top finished by summer. I had some wonderful rug hooking friends donate some old freezer paper to the cause. For some reason freezer paper is difficult to find locally. I am doing freezer paper appliqué and will need a fair quantity of it.

We’ve finished house hunting folks! We’ve found a cute little split level with 2 bedrooms up and 1 down. It’s in a nearby community close to Halifax, N.S. It’s an R2000 home, meaning it’s warm. It needs updating in the baths and kitchen, but it’s small enough we can handle it. Other than that, it’s just a case of painting. I’m very happy and we’re excited to get into it…which won’t be until April at the earliest. We’ll see. Lots to do before then anyways!

I’m knitting cushion covers for the new living room furniture. The yarn is Sublime Organic Cotton DK. It’s showing the patterns beautifully! I’m using stitch dictionary books from a used bookstore and a garage sale as guides for ideas: Mon Tricot’s “Knitting Dictionary Stitches Patterns” and Maria Parry-Jones’s “The Knitting Stitch Bible”.

I finished the “Heart” wallhanging and am hooking matching coasters. These are fun pieces for around Valentine’s Day. They probably won’t be ready this year, but they will be ready for next year!

I hope my readers enjoyed reading and have a productive week. Take care!

We’re Here!

We’re Here!

Our stuff has arrived! We are truly and for good moved to the east coast of North America!

We had a fairly uneventful trip east, aside from Hubby picking up food poisoning in Northern Ontario. We spent an extra night in Thunder Bay before moving on to Sault Ste. Marie. Other than that we made a few visits with relatives along the way.

We stopped in at the rectory in Chelsea, QC. It is home to an artists co-operative involving over 100 different artists! Some very interesting fibre work happening there.

We also stopped in to visit Lucy Richards in her home in Moncton, NB. She is the source of the Woolly Mason Jar system of dyeing fibre. I purchased one of the color card sets and some accessories to try her system next year, when we move into our new place.

We arrived in Halifax area last Monday and just set up our technology today. Too much to do otherwise! We’ve checked in with one child, but not the other. We’ve had a winter storm and Hubby is sick with a cold. We will hopefully see the other next week.

I’ve been to a SCRABBLE night with the ladies and, with their help, came in second in the game I was playing. They are very friendly people.

Our host likes games, so Friday night pizza and games continues! We may switch up the meal part a bit, which is fine by me. I’ve eaten a lot of pizzas in my lifetime!

We’ve been exploring the area where we’ve landed. We’ve discovered a pharmacy not far away, a few grocery stores, and some good restaurants. Our host is a wonderful source of where to buy things cheap! She’s a great recycler/make doer!

We’ve been to the Health Department for new health cards. Next up is to use them. This week is doctor week. I’m stressing over it already.

We’ve also discovered we are next to a beautiful small lake. In fact, we are on a hill and you can see the lake through the trees. Great for walking! Hubby has been on several walks, but I’ve been a bit slower to partake. I’m tired and still have my ‘cough’.

In fibre news, I’ve been spinning a lovely red purple Merino wool for my South Korean rug. I’ve yet to process the yarn, but will take a photo when I do.

I also have some golden yellow and lemon yellow Merino to spin together. I think. I’m not sure. The golden yellow is in the landscape down here in summer and fall (goldenrod). The lemon yellow is more of a stretch for this landscape. I’ll have to think on it before I combine the two.

I found my knitting today and think I’ll work on it as well. I’m still working on that Ravelry Dropped Stitch Scarf from home spun alpaca and silk.

I’m also checking out the rug hooking collection at the nearest library. I have a few books to read the next few week – a couple on silk stocking mats, and Karen Miller’s book.

Well folks, have a great week! Hope all goes well with everyone!

Dyeing – Resources

Dyeing – Resources

There are resources out there to help you in choosing a dye powder and mordant, and that tell you how much to use.  I highly recommend checking them out.  The following are my suggestions and opinions based on what I’ve used in the past 33 years of dying.

One resource is Karen Casselman’s “Craft of the Dyer”, which goes through various mordants for wool and has a handy chart that shows you how much of a mordant to use for one pound of wool.  She focuses on dyeing with lichen, which can be difficult to find in parts of the country.

Another is “Dyeing Wool and Other Protein Fibers: an introduction to acid dyes” by Susan Rex.  The author provides a comparison between the more common dyes and provides formulas for figuring out how much you need of each type to get the color you need.  This is a difficult to find resource and you are more likely to find it on a used book site like Abes Books.

Note:  neither of these books is for the faint of heart or the beginner.  These are detailed dye books for the intermediate to advanced dyer.

For beginner dyers, I recommend Majic Carpet dyes.  These are food grade dyes, but don’t be fooled.  From the distributor of Majic Carpet dyes “My dyes are professional grade acid reactive dyes…Majic Carpet Dyes are for master dyers and beginners and everyone in between.” (please see comment section below for further comments about the dyes from Wanda Kerr).  You still need a mask everyone!  And separate utensils and pots.

While I enjoy using Majic Carpet dyes, and have used them for years, I also have found them to not be as lightfast as other dyes.  However, lightfastness can also be affected by the dyeing process and the mordant you use.  I used to use vinegar, but now use citric acid.

Books using Majic Carpet dyes are: Barbie Baker-Dykens dye books (“Formation of New Formulae” and “Basic Color Theory”), or Susan Logue’s “Past & Present Antique Colors & Spots”, Christine Little and Susan Logue’s “Antique Colors and Spots – Book II”, Christine Little’s “SkyBluePink With a Green Smell – Book I”, and “Seeing Spots Before Your Eyes – Book 1”, available from Encompassing Designs in Mahone Bay, Nova Scotia.

If you want to use ProChem dyes there are a multitude of dye books out there too.  I like Gene Shepherd’s “Prepared to Dye”, but I also bought the DVDs for the book to clarify some issues.  If I had to choose between one or the other, I’d buy the DVDs first.

There are a lot of dyeing resources available.  Many more new ones since I started dyeing.  Plus if you search the Internet you can find detailed instructions on different dyeing methods.  Just make sure they are suited to the fibre you are dyeing.

Silk and wool are animal fibers and take up dye differently and use different dyes than cotton or synthetics.  Nylon will dye with the same dyes used on silk and wool, but all three will take up color differently.  I find silk to be the lightest, then wool, and then nylon the darkest.  Also some colors are made up of more than one color pigment, and different fibers prefer to take up different colors.  Meaning you could put nylon, silk, and wool in a medium green dye bath and get a blue green nylon, a light yellow green silk, and a wool closer to the desired green color.  Of course, this also depends on the dye used.

So there’s a few resources for you to work with to get started.  If you have any favorite resources, post them below.  We’d like to know.

Dyeing Tips – General

Dyeing Tips – General

Hi all!  Time for another edition of Dyeing Tips. 🙂  Bear in mind these tips are ones I go by when dyeing the bright colors I prefer to use in my wall hangings.  Whether your color is lightfast or not (lasts a long time) depends a lot on the type of dye and chemical used to set the dye, as well as the methodology used for dyeing.  I hope this helps people.

Depending on the wool, pre-wash it before dyeing.  Because my yarns are not pre-washed, I don’t pre-wash a lot of my fabric.  However, I simmer both yarn and fabric in the dyeing process, so they are ‘fulled’, or partially felted, when they dry out.  Any undyed fabric or commercial fabric is pre-washed (for example, up cycled fabric or fabric I want to use off the bolt).  It should be noted here that I am creating wall hangings, not rugs for the floor.  You may feel more comfortable running everything through the washing machine and dryer before hooking, especially if it is a floor rug made completely from wool fabric.

Soak fibre in water with Synthrapol or DAWN original dishwashing liquid soap overnight before dyeing.  Not doing this can cause the dye to absorb unevenly on wool fabric, leaving the inner part of the wool white and the surface blotched.  When the inner part is left white after dyeing we call it “white core”.  It is not good as the color doesn’t stay on the surface of the wool fabric as long as it normally would.

Squeeze out the soaked wool and rinse before putting in the dye bath.  Some people dye with the Synthrapol in the dye bath.  I find it bothersome as the foam or suds get in the way of seeing how well the color has absorbed.  Plus the dye bath seems to have a greater tendency to boil over.

Never ‘shock’ the wool.  If it’s been sitting in cold water overnight, put it in cold water on the stove and heat up gradually.  It usually takes 15 minutes on my stove to go from cold to simmering.

Dyeing wool should be simmered, not boiled to death!  We’re fulling the wool, not boiling it for a coat.  Also, dyes absorb best at a certain temperature…simmering or just below simmering.

A word about mordants.  A mordant is the agent used to set the dye.  Rug hookers often use vinegar or citric acid, but you can also use dyer’s alum and other chemicals.  Add the mordant according to directions.  You can pre-mordant, simultaneous mordant, and add mordant after the dye stuff is added.  I prefer to add the mordant once the fibre has been in the dye bath and comes to a simmer (approximately 15 minutes on the stovetop).  Be careful not to add too much mordant.  It will make the fabric stiff in some cases (alum) and cause it to disintegrate prematurely.

Vinegar acts as a mordant, but is really a ‘modifier’.  It does not hold color for very long compared to other mordants.  I prefer Citric Acid for this.  Though dyer’s alum is good too.  There are many different types of mordants and before use one needs to research the safety requirements and suitability for the fibres they are dyeing.  A word about alum:  be sure you have dyer’s alum and not regular alum.  Dyer’s alum is a different chemical that gives different colors.

Leave the fibre in the dye bath until all the color has been absorbed.  This usually takes 45 minutes to an hour on my stove.  I suggest ‘cooking’ the fibre for one hour after it comes to a simmer.  Not leaving the wool in the water long enough can also result in white core.  It can also result in the color fading more quickly than it would otherwise.

And last, but not least, keep a record of everything you do.  That way if you have to go back and dye more, at least you have a guideline to go by.  Better to have something in writing than counting on your memory or trying to color match a swatch or stripette (worm) by eye.  Ask me how I know!

There you go!  Those are my general tips for dyeing fibre.  I’ll post another final post on dyeing resources next week.  Have a great weekend everyone!

Dyeing Tips – Safety

Dyeing Tips – Safety

Someone suggested they would like to hear more about dyeing on my blog.  Often you see I will share photos of dyeing in progress and the finished fibre.  But I rarely share dye formulas or methodology.  There’s a reason for that: there are a lot of variables in dyeing.

Different brands of dye react differently to fibre.  Different fibre respond differently to the dyes. Different chemicals in the water can cause a color to come out differently.  Depending whether you’re in the city on municipal treated water, or country on well water, you can get different colors.  Sometimes in the city different chemicals will be added to the water different times of year, resulting in different results in the dye bath.  Also there’s the question of mordant – what you use to set the dye.  Different mordants give different colors too.  And there are more variables yet.

While dyeing can be a fun experiment, to actually dye a specific color twice can be a challenge.  That is why commercial yarn dyers use dye lots on their balls of yarn.  The best advice I can give in the dye business is to dye more than you think you’ll need for a project.  Better too much than too little.

As for safety in dyeing?  Always wear a mask to protect your airways from breathing in dry dye powder when you mix the dye powder with water before adding it to the dye bath.

Wear rubber/latex gloves to handle the dye powders. Dye powders can make a person very sick, so be cautious!

When mixing the fibre in the dye bath there are special dye gloves you can use that insulate you against simmering water.  These are nice for just picking up fibre and transferring it between pots, sink, etc.  They come in different sizes, like regular rubber gloves and the latex gloves.

Always work in a well ventilated room.  When I dye in winter it is only on warm days when I can open the windows and doors and get a cross breeze flowing through the house.  I keep the fan on in the kitchen at all times.

Protect the surfaces you are working on with newsprint or an old cookie sheet with sides that you are designating specifically for dyeing, or both.  I actually have an old metal cookie sheet with sides that I line with newsprint flyers to set my dyes on and mix them.

It goes without saying whatever touches dye does not touch your mouth or get used for food consumption in any way, shape, or form.  Keep a separate measuring cup and measuring spoons for dyeing.  As well as a separate large wooden spoon, tongs, and dye pot.

Akin to the above rule is “Do NOT eat while you are dyeing fibre”.  There are too many chances for things to go wrong.  If you must eat, do it in another room.  Do not prepare food around the dyeing process either.  You would be surprised how easy it is for dye to spatter or loose powder to get on the countertop without you knowing.  I just don’t risk it.

Have a roll of paper towels/some old dishcloths designated as dye cloths to wipe up spills.   Comet will wipe up stains on laminate countertops.  Not sure about granite and the like.  Wash the dishcloths separately from your other laundry and store them with the dye equipment.

Never leave the dye pot unattended.  It boils over easily in my experience.  Nothing like a dye bath mess to clean up on your stove!

That’s about it for the first post on dyeing.  Catch up with you later for more!

 

Dye Days are Here Again!

Dye Days are Here Again!

Hi everyone.  This week I’ve been busy dyeing fibre in-between being sick with a cold.  I must admit, the humidity from the dye pot is soothing on my system.  I’ve been opening the window a bit to air out the place.  Right now our temperatures are well above freezing.  Hopefully tomorrow I can do some more dyeing.

I’ve embarked on a hooked wall hanging project based on our South Korean trip that uses different colors and a different palette than I’m used to using.  I don’t have those colors in my stash.  Consequently there is a lot of dyeing to do.  I am only about half done.  So far I have dyed silk, wool, and nylon.  Also yarn and fabric in both silk and wool, and some old nylons.  I am getting some lovely mid-tone colors.

Have a great weekend everyone!

 

Friday Review

Friday Review

Absolutely no rug hooking done this week.  However I did work on the website. Or rather my web developer did with my input.  It should be fully operational now. If you encounter a problem please email me under the “contact” button.

I designed a pattern based on our travels in South Korea this spring, and put it on backing today.  It is large – 36″ X 25″ – for me.  I will have to do some dyeing for it.  Probably tomorrow or next week sometime.  I find my days getting busy now I’m back home and well again!

It’s come to my attention that my photos could use a bit more organization. To that end I spent considerable time today organizing them.  I have them in three places, supposedly. Unfortunately, due to technological and human failure, I have some only in one place.  I need to organize and rectify the situation.

How do you organize your digital photos?

I have thousands.  Right now I set up a file system that starts with ‘Photos 2006’ and has folders up to this year.  Inside each folder I have the year and month folders (eg. 2017 August).  After that I tend to fall apart.  Right now key events get their own folder in the year folder, among the month folders.  For example, “2017 Sauder Village”.

This seems to be a good way to keep photos from getting lost.  Unfortunately, I still have to use the search engine more than I’d like to find images.  I need to get these labelled properly and under control.

I have close to 16,000 photos (including duplicates and edited versions).  I’m looking for a good way to organize these so I’m not panicking whenever someone needs a photo of my work.

I plan on a working Saturday and taking a break Sunday. I hope everyone else has a great weekend!

Dye Day

 

I knuckled down yesterday and dyed some fibre for “Escapees”.  I needed a variety of lighter greens.  My stash is mostly blue greens at this point, and I have a lot of them.  Might need to colour plan a wall hanging to use some of those up.  I also need oranges and grays for “Escapees”, but I have the grays from a long time ago, and the oranges were dyed earlier this year.

My website has been up and down this past week.  There seems to be irregularities with it.  I have my web developer working on it.

I’m thinking of sorting through my leftover worms and offering some for sale in the near future.  I’ve been thinking of doing a scrappy rug for some time, but now “Escapees” has come up and it will probably be a while before I start something else.  I seem to produce leftover worms at an amazing rate!

I’ve finished designing the photo book for our South Korea trip.  Hubby and I are “letting it sit” for a few days before we send it in to be printed.  He may have extra photos and text to add.  I’ve been impressed enough with the program from this company that I’ve decided to create a mini portfolio through them.  It would be more like a look book – just a taste of my work.  It’s much smaller than the large book we’re doing for our trip.  The trip book is 12″ x 12″ and 145 pages long.  The portfolio book will be 5″x7″ and 100 pages long…or thereabouts.  Not entirely sure yet.  First we’ll see if the trip book turns out okay.

In big news:  I will be off August 7th – 12th to watch my niece swim in the Canada Games.  This is a great achievement for her and we are extremely proud of her.

Below are some of the results of Dye Day in more detail.  I’m loving the casserole dye jobs.   The photos are showing more white than there really is on the fabric.  That’s wool on the left and silk on the right.

 

There she be!


My new iMac. Still loading updates. Still have to configure mail.  I’m making this post off my iPad.  

I pulled out a new pattern to start hooking.  It’s called “Escapees”.  It’s a design of some nasturtiums escaping their fenced in garden and reaching towards the sun.  Again, an actual photo and place on Vancouver Island, B.C., Canada, where everything grows with wild abandon!  Last week I adjusted the pattern.  This week I’ll be dyeing fibre for the backgrounds. I need some medium toned Kelly green.  

This will be my demonstration piece for the Cathedral Village Arts Festival Street Fair on May 27th.   I will be between Montague and Athol Streets on the south side in the shade. That’s on 13th Ave. in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada.  If you’re in the area that day come check out my booth!

Weekly Review – Dye Jobs and other news

Well, here are the results of this week’s dye jobs.  The photos do not do the colours justice.  They are more intense and deeper than the photos show.  I really enjoyed dyeing these colours.  I’ve been away from the dye pot too long!

An added bonus this week was receiving Gene Shepherd’s “Prepared to Dye” DVD set in the mail Monday.  When I wasn’t dyeing fabric I was watching his DVDs.  He does an excellent job of making what some see as complicated into a much easier to understand and do process.  The first DVD in the set covers the basic traditional rug hooking dyeing methods.  The second DVD is devoted to various spot dyeing techniques.  And the third DVD is devoted to various dye bleeding techniques.  I am excited and eager to try some of his techniques.

All this dyeing and class prep got me thinking it might be time for another trip to my favourite rug hooking supplier in Cochrane, Alberta – Legacy Studio – for more supplies.  I’ve been making a wish list for the trip.

I am also busy preparing for tomorrow’s Start to Finish class.  It’s on colour planning and material selection.  By the end of the class we should be hooking rug.

I hope everyone has a good weekend planned.  This weekend is a special event for us.  Hubby is being honoured at a community event and his 65th birthday is Monday!  We plan to make the most of it.

In my studio – Dye week!

Hi everyone.   This week is the first dye week I’ve had in a long time.  I’ve been putting off dyeing since Hubby retired last fall.  Now is the time.  I warned the boarder and Hubby and we had a discussion about mealtimes around dyeing time – I do not mix the two!  Our Chinese boarder had to struggle with the English a bit, but once he figured out dyeing meant adding colour to fibre he was okay.  Have to watch how I use the word ‘dyeing’!

I am running out of my bright coloured fabrics.  Lots of the more sombre colours in my stash still, but not so much the bright ones.  Today will be yellows and oranges.  By the end of the week I hope to have some bright colours to showcase in my Friday Weekly Review.

I had a great From Start to Finish class on Saturday, even if it was a bit rushed.  My student learned a lot, and I learned a few things about teaching too!  I am looking forward to this coming weekend’s class, in which hopefully we’ll move at a slower pace.  I am excited to see how my student’s rug progresses.  I love the simplicity of the design already.

Sunday Hubby and I went for a drive to a small community to check out a new restaurant – 641 Restaurant.  We really enjoyed our time there and I took time to take photos for some ideas for rug making.  Lots of cool things there.

A half finished Shortbread Cookie Cream, or some such. It was raspberry and strawberry sauce with lemon curd, whipped cream, and a shortbread cookie. Lots of fresh raspberries and strawberries for garnish! Excellent!

An interesting chandelier…

Another interesting light fixture.

Hubby and I loved these glasses. Easy to handle and easy to drink from.

A funny sign.

I plan to work on “Moss” more this week as well.

I also want to delve into the rug hooking books that arrived last week more.  We’ll see if I have time.

Hoping to have a successful week, and hoping you do too.

 

Rest and rejuvenate

Yesterday we were on the road again.  Today we’re resting, doing laundry, and visiting with relatives.

I’ve been interested in what’s been happening while we’ve been gone.  Seems it’s snowed every place but where we currently are.  I am hoping to have clear roads all the way home.

In the meantime, here are some rug hooking videos to check out on YouTube:

Cindi Gay – rug hooking channel – An entire channel on rug hooking I’ve yet to explore! 🙂

Deanne Fitzpatrick – hooking smooth curves – Deanne has an entire YouTube video on rug hooking.

Wanda Kerr – Dye fixes for ugly wool – Wanda has an entire YouTube channel on dyeing.

 

Weekly Review

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It’s been an interesting week.  I have hooked some on Dancing Tree, and I have spent time dyeing fibre blue .  Mostly dyeing fibre.  Each batch of fibre takes 1 hour to dye.  Plus prep time and clean up.  All told I’d say 1 1/2 hours from start to finish, if you don’t count soaking the fibre overnight so it will accept the dye more easily and thoroughly.

I am also starting to prepare for the Cathedral Village Arts Festival Street Fair.  Checking over inventory and prioritizing what I might want to put on display for sale.  It’s that time of year to organize my thoughts and design a booth to share with my friend.

I am also neck deep in tax season right now, and busy with putting out wild fires in that area.

Hope everyone has a great day! 🙂

 

WIP Thursday

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Not many works in progress.  I knit a few more inches on the Cellular Baby Blanket.

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I dyed more pastel blues yesterday.  I’m trying out the colours in my Pro Chem dyes.

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Today I’ll be dyeing more pastel blues and hooking more on Dancing Tree.

I also hope to go outside and enjoy the sunshine.  I hope everyone has a great day!

 

Inspiration Wednesday

It’s another beautiful day today!  Blue skies!  Hmm…and speaking of blue…  Look what came from the kitchen yesterday morning.  And today I’ll be dyeing more blue.  Time to replace some of the lighter colors in my palette.  Have a wonderful day everyone! 🙂

Dye day 1a

Dye day 1b

Dye day 1c

Dye day 1d

In my studio…

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This week I am focusing on the background for Dancing Tree.

It is also looking warm enough to open windows and dye some mid-tone and light blues.

And I want to be thinking about what to hook next.  I’m seriously thinking something scrappy might be in order.  For those of you who do not know, a scrappy rug or piece of hooking is a piece made of leftover scraps (also known as worms) from other projects.  I have a huge bag and some boxes of worms that seriously need to be used up.

In…and out…of my studio…

AGR the Barn

Hubby and I were over to the Art Gallery of Regina this weekend to see my wall hangings on exhibit.  It’s nice to see them hanging with so many other local artists.

This week will be a mix of in and out around here.  A lucky someone purchased Prairie Sky – the large version.   So today I’ll be packing it up and hopefully, shipping it off. 🙂

The weather is forecast to be in the teens for most of the week.  That means yard work, and maybe just some general fun with the camera and my rug hooking frame outdoors.  I will also be working on cleaning the room our new boarder will be going into the end of the month.

I still need to put hanging sleeves on Sprouts and Blue-eyed Grass.

Still contemplating my next piece to put on backing.  I may pause to dye some silk fabric, especially if I can open the windows.  Might have to wait till next week for this though.  We are getting a couple of cooler days midweek this week.

AGR Dead of Winter

In my studio…

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This week will be a busy one for me.  We have company till Tuesday.  We will be celebrating Hubby’s birthday tonight…for the third time this weekend.  We’ve had a fair bit of company. 🙂

This week I’m hoping to remove the remaining colour from the nylons.  Last week I managed to get them to a pale yellow.  But I am after white, so there will be more colour removal yet.

I also managed to scan sketches of potential wall hangings into the computer.  I have them on my laptop, and did the editing and re-sizing this weekend.  I’ll print them off to put on backing as I work on them one by one.  Usually I draw directly on backing for my wall hangings.  But these are more detailed pieces that I want to maintain element placement and scale, so I am going the long route to putting them on backing.

I also hope to go out on more walks and photo shoots of the neighbourhood for more inspiration.  I love capturing moments in time with my camera.  Though I am still a bit self-conscious about using it.  It’s not a cell phone camera, but a big DSLR camera.

Other activities this week?  I am hoping to start the actual hooking of Blue-eyed Grass.

 

Weekly Review

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I finished Sprouts. And I started Blue-eyed Grass.

I removed most of the colour from the nylons, but need more RIT colour remover to finish the job.

I scoured my sketchbooks for more wall hanging ideas.  Will transfer some on backing today, as I still have to wait to pick up the RIT colour remover.   I will be spending some time sketching as well today.

I was to the opening of the Art Gallery of Regina 40th Salon Show this week.  It was a great evening celebrating a diversity of styles of art and craft.  My work showed well and I was pleased with how it was hung.  A big shout out to the people who made it happen.

It’s a nice sunny, warm day here today, and I hope to go outside with my camera.  Nothing like a little spring inspiration.

Have a great day everyone!

WIP Thursday

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Hi everyone!  How’s your morning going?  Mine is going great.  I managed to put Blue-eyed Grass on backing the other day.  Today, if the temperature warms up to above 10 C, I’ll be popping open windows and taking some dye out of the nylons.

If not, then I’ll be drawing more designs on backing for some hooking fun.

In other news, I knit a few more rows on the cellular baby blanket, but not enough for another photo shoot.

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WIP Thursday

My current rug hooking WIP is The Barn.  Colour planning is the objective for today.  It could be a challenge that sees me hanging about the kitchen over dye pots again.  We’ll see.  I’m trying very hard to use up what fibre I already have…and I have a lot.

The Barn is a slightly larger pattern than Wascana Creek.  It has similar elements and started out as a plein air piece also.  It will be interesting to see this develop into a larger piece.

I will also be working on updating my hooking portfolio.  I have let it get sadly out of date.

My non-hooking project for the time being is the knit baby blanket.  I tend to put it aside until I know I have an hour to work on it, because it takes that long to knit a full repeat of the pattern.  I’m a slow knitter.  It is a lace pattern that also requires concentration, so I prefer to do it when I’m alone.

That’s my plan for today.

What’s everyone else up to out there in Internet land?

Planning

A few of my many sketchbooks...

A few of my many sketchbooks…

What’s a girl to do when she’s sick?  Why planning of course!  I spent most of the afternoon yesterday going through my sketchbooks and coming up with some ideas for next year.  Look forward to new products, new wall hangings, and new ideas! 🙂

In other news, Okra and Paisley Prairie Sky made it back from a very successful summer in Weyburn, SK as part of their Fibre Art Destination 2015.  The exhibits were a huge success, attracting many national and international visitors, as well as more local ones.   Hopefully there will be another Fibre Art Destination in future years.

For now, Okra and Paisley Prairie Sky have gone up on my Wall Hangings for Sale page as of today.

As for my week in review…hmm…not much done that I’d planned.  Too sick/busy processing food.  I did over dye the yarn that arrived the other day.  Here are the results…

Over dyed to yellower greens, but too dark for my purposes.  Would work for a Boreal forest scene though. :)

Over dyed to yellower greens, but too dark for my purposes. Would work for a Boreal forest scene though. 🙂

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This one worked just right for my purposes! 🙂