I finished two hooked rugs before we went on vacation. The first rug was a gift for Chelsea and her boys. Chelsea has had pet rabbits for many years, so I hooked the pattern, "Spring Delight" by Mary Johnson. I fell in love with all of Mary's whimsical patterns and the color palette of this rug. Hooked rugs are very soft and comfortable to walk on; they feel great underfoot. Our grandson Hugo discovered this as soon as we placed the rug on the floor. : )
The next rug I hooked was a small 16" square from a pattern I saw in a library book titled, "Wool Rug Hooking" by Tara Darr. On this rug, I wanted to try a binding technique by wrapping cording with wool to form piping, then hand sewing it around the edge. I was pleased with the finished appearance of this binding. The only drawback is that it's a little thick around the edges.
I signed up for a rug hooking class that took place the week we returned from vacation. Our local Roanoke rug hooking group collectively hired Lisanne Miller of W. Cushing & Co. in Wells, Maine to come for four days and provide us with a workshop. We each brought a rug of our choosing to work on. Lisanne provided assistance in technique and color planning. Lisanne was great and I learned a lot. This was the first class I ever took and I would love to take more some day. I especially enjoyed the quiet, social aspect of the days, sitting side by side with other women all working on our projects. Lunches were catered each day and this was also a nice treat.
I decided to begin a pattern called, "Vermont" by Karen Kahle. For this pattern, I wanted to stretch my comfort zone and explore a more freestyle design, blending colors and creating a landscape that appears both like a primitive folk design and an impressionist painting. So... I took on quite the challenge. I find the most frustrating task for me is acquiring the right color wool. Unlike painting, I can't mix two paint colors to get the desired shade. I need to find wool that already exists in the colors I want to use. Karen Kahle, who designed this pattern, dyes her own wool to create the exact shades she wants. I'm inspired to try dyeing wool one day, but I'm still far from there. In the meantime, I have to hunt down, beg and buy my wool. Otherwise, I'm having a grand time working on this rug. Household chores have gone by the wayside because I'm so focused on this project and I want to make use of every minute that I'm able. I'm the only person bothered about the pile of ironing and the unswept floor, so it's not a big deal for now.
School (thus work) begins in ten short days. Sigh. I cannot believe how quickly summer break flew by. Here's a peek at the "Vermont" rug as of today. Hooked rugs look raggedy when they're first started with all the loose ends and no background color. But, we'll get there. Give it a couple more months. I'm feeling optimistic.