Sunday, February 10, 2008

My Challenge Rug

Oh is it cold here today! It is only about 1 to 2 degrees outside. I just came inside from snapping these photos and it was cold.. Brrrr! To date this is one of my most favorite rugs that I have hooked. In November of 2007, I challenged hookers from the Primitive Rug Hooking Group, PRHG, on Ebay to a challenge. The challenge was simple....send me 5 worms of similar color for each participant that joined the challenge. Over 40 women signed up, so each participant had to send me a total of 200 worms. Thankfully, most of the women had separated their bundles the 200 worms into bundles of 5 worms. This is a picture of what the worms looked like preshipping. They covered a queen size bed! Next, I separated all the worms into groups of 40 and each participant received the same set of 40 bundles (200 worms). The challenge was to use each of the 200 worms in the pattern I sent them. The participants could choose from either a snowman or sheep pattern. They did not get to see the pattern until they received it via email. It was up to each participant to enlarge the pattern to whatever size they desired and were able to change the pattern as well. To motivate the participants to finish, they would receive the second pattern if they finished by the deadline (January 6, 2008).

This is a picture of my finished challenge piece which is 54 by 18...BIG!

I love it not only because of the colors in the rug but because of how much I learned from hooking this rug. From the beginning, I knew that I wanted my sheep to be dark and also my background. While at my local fair this summer, I fell in love with a sheep and wanted to hook a rug of her. Isn’t she wonderful? So the struggle for me in this rug was to use the white, lavender, blue and taupe colored wools. I planned on using them in the curly Q’s in the sheep coat but they looked terrible against the dark wools. They also didn’t look good next to the primitive hues in the border. Finally, after much struggle, I decided that I would use them in the faces of the sheep. I love the faces..If you look at them closely, you can see that I used light blue, light lavender, taupe, grey, and cream colored wool in the face. Mixing the colors in this way, gives the faces of the sheep much more depth. Had I not be challenged to use those wools, I would have never hooked the faces with these colors. In my opinion, the colors make the faces special.

The star and red half circle at the bottom of the rug also taught me a lot about combining colors. From the beginning, I planned on hooking the star mustard but I had wools from the challenge that I couldn’t incorporate into the face of the sheep or the triangles. So I had to hook them into the star. There is some gray/black textured wool along with some purple and even orange wool and it all blends nicely and makes the star much more interesting. For the red half-circle, I just hooked all the red wool that was left from the challenge along with some of my own reds and incorporated a few worms of purple from the challenge. Using the wools in this manner, made me realize that using many different wools of similar value, create interest and depth in a rug.
Oh one other tip that I’d discovered while hooking this rug that I would like to share with you. The bodies of my sheep blended into the dark background. So to make the sheep more prominent, I outlined the sheep in a lighter colored wool to help the sheep stand on their own without disappearing into the dark blue background. One other tip, I used about 12 to 13 different colors of blue wool in the background which gives the background a lot of interest and movement. In this picture, you can see I used purple, green and many different colors of blue for the background.
I bound this rug last night and am hanging it in my studio today. It is a pleasant reminder of how to incorporate color into a rug. In the next coming days, I’ll share with you some of the pictures of other rugs from the challenge.


primitivebettys said...

Maria.... I would just like to say.... you are a Super Star! Your challenge taught me so many new things about hooking that I couldn't even put them into words. It was a joy from the beginning to the end. Thank you a million times over for offering up such great fun!

Cotton Eyed Jo said...

Betty is so right! Your challenge was a great way for all of us to learn how to use colors in a different way. You said the same thing as well. You did so many generous things in getting this challenge organized for PRHG and I doubt that I'll ever enjoy any challenge more. Thanks again!

kelley said... the photo of all the wool strips...thanks for all your work on the was great fun for everyone involved...both patterns were incredible gifts to the group...