May 31, 2010

A New Rug Hooking Project: Berry

A couple of weeks ago, on a post about blueberry blossoms, a reader commented on their similarity to the fruit. A little chime went off in my artist brain, and I did a series of sketches based on this idea. What I finally came up with alludes to the flower and fruit without precision; I chose yellow for the bell shape, as a contrast to the purple, which is closer to the hue of grape than blueberry; the ripply flourish at the blossom's opening is gone for simplicity's sake.

When I work on a sketch for a ruglet, I keep my dye sample book in front of me as an aid for color mixing; by checking the available dyes, I have a better idea of colors I will need. The pencil notes you see under the watercolor remind me which dyes I plan to use.

I dip dyed the end of the yellow wool into light green so I can give the bell form a slight sense of volume; the change will be very subtle. The purple wool has a nice variegated color range, created by crowding the wool in the dyepot so the dye doesn't reach all the material evenly; I love the color shifts that come from hand dyeing, which gives the work a quivering uncertainty, more lively than flat hues. I think these three colors are quite gorgeous together, and hope they look as good when hooked.

The hooking patterns for this piece, which is 10 inches square, are: following the outlines on bell and circle, and random for the green background. As the weather is a bit cooler, (we've had a lot of much warmer than normal temperatures), I can enjoy sitting and working with wool on my lap.


  1. wonderful colors for this. the unevenness of the dyed wool is so water-color-ish.

  2. thanks, rappel. The variegated color does have a look of washes, unevenly floated on a colored ground.

  3. Once again, I like the watching the process unfold, from the uneven floating to the ruglet. And then I am pleased by how the qualities of the wool make the finished product less perfect. Colors remind me of my favorite eggplant.

  4. I'm glad you like the less than perfect too, Julie. As for eggplant, I adore it too, and the color is definitely an aubergine.