Friday, April 25, 2014

Dear Edith, I'm two timing you!!

When I managed to find a little hooking time this week, it wasn't spent with Edith. We are on a bit of a break lol. Not really, I just had something I needed to get back to before my class at Trent in June.

When I taught my Primitive Class at Loyalist last summer, I quickly sketched a fun little pattern which has a motif from each of the students' rugs. I hadn't touched it since last summer, so I dug it out to work on before my Primitive vs Wide Cut Class at Trent.

 The only part I had worked on was the lettering in the centre, which wasn't really working for me. So I changed it. All of it!! The lettering. The design. The wool.

Here is a picture of the before:

Here is what I replaced it with:

Quite a departure!! In this version, I AM loving the lettering. And the colours will all be in the motifs around the outside, so it will all feel anchored. It is much more fun, which for me is half the battle.  Did I mention that working in an 8 cut might be the other half!!

But don't you fret Dear Edith. You and I will have some meaningful time again very soon. 

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Small Space. Big Reminders.

Today was the first day this week that I had time to spend with Dear Edith - the name for my inherited kilim. And although I tackled only a tiny motif, I was reminded of many truths about all purchased patterns, all kilims and burlap.

Here is the little area (please excuse the bad photo):

I guess this is the first place in the pattern where precision kicked in - or in my case - didn't.
For all the hooking I got done today, there was as much if not more ripping out and here's the first lesson I had forgotten (I can hear Barb D'Arcy wagging her finger at me as I write this...)

Check your pattern!!
Printed patterns are exactly that - printed. And as much as reputable companies do their best to ensure that they are "on the straight of grain", things shift and sometimes the straight lines running across a motif are anything but. And the print falls on a line of the burlap and you hook slightly above or below it on one repeat but not the next, your precision will be very "unprecise".

So Barb, when I get to this part on the other side of the centre, I will take a ruler and line up all the tops and bottoms of these little flying arrows.

It's not always best to hook the outline first.
Since I had to keep pulling it out anyway, I would have been smarter starting with a centre line in the rust colour and taking it right across the motif. Then I could have hooked everything above and below it to the outline - and then done the outline.

Don't jump up or down a thread.
When you are hooking with a #4 cut, and hooking on burlap, it's very easy to accidentally shift up or down one thread. In a non-geometric wide cut, a single thread shift is not the end of the world. Here it is! Or at least in this precise little motif it is. Lucky for me, it only appears above and below the large centre motif, so I don't have to deal with it too often.

Burlap isn't Rug Warp!!!
I can't remember the last time I hooked on burlap, but there is a reason why I don't. It's called irregular thread size. Invariably you run into that the biggest thread in the worst possible place. That is why I switched to rug warp a long time ago and haven't looked back since. Rug warp has the most regular thread count ever, which is why I love it so much. It makes it much easier to hook in a straight line every row.

I did persevere and got all my rows even - all my outlines are where they should be, and I will be much smarter on this motif when it comes around.

These were all good reminders of things I already know. So is hooking in a 4 cut in a straight line. But when (notice I did not say "if") this project is completed, it will truly be one of a kind. It will be the only project that I undertake in this cut size - or a 4' x 6' size.

But fear not, Dear Edith. I am not deterred. Simply more determined to give you your fair share of attention and one day walk all over you and the many reminders you hold for me.