New Hooked Rug – Day 9 ~ Helen’s Tapestry

I got up early and had a chance to hook this morning!  : )   I was excited to work on some of the motifs on the left side of the rug…to add weight and balance to the left side and to add some touches of colour to keep the rug from looking too dark.  I have redesigned the two “bushes” on the left…the lower one with red berries and the upper one with the orange padula leaves!  I’m really enjoying the experimentation and having fun with the rug.  It is a beautiful pattern, either done the correct way on the fine linen or adapted for a wider cut as I’m doing here!  (the rug is 32 by 54 inches!!)

It’s actually fun to choose which motifs to keep, which to eliminate and which to change!!!  It’s quite a challenge…because I want to keep the “feeling” of the original Helen’s tapestry rug!  Of course, I have no idea what it looked like!!!  LOL

I thought you might like to know why I chose to use some of this bright, wild orange (photo below) on my  “padula” leaves on the left of the rug!  : )  Because the backgrounds are dark, I stand back and look at the rug to see where I can add brights and lights to keep the rug from being boring!!!  I chose to use some loops of this bright orange because I knew that the duller orange that I used on part of these leaves, and the brown background here would tone down the brights.  (The orange would appear more intense on a black background)  But the brights add a little spark to the leaves and that is why I did it!  If I don’t like the effect after I have hooked more on the rug and I think these early decisions detract from the total rug, I can always change them!  : )

When you look at the photo above, where you can see all that I’ve hooked so far, you can see that the “weight” of the motifs is heavier on the right side…the cat, the larger green leaves, the larger mass of water, the big old rose flower, etc.  I felt there needed to be more weight on the left side to balance the rug.

Also, you can see that I am adding the natural, creamy white colour of the bird to some of the leaves, flowers and animals to highlight them and to add some spark to the designs.  I can always remove these highlights later if I find that I’ve overdone it…but, again, balance is what I am looking for.

By the way, the pattern was sent to me without this “leaf motif” being drawn on completely.  The leaves (when I looked up the pattern in the pattern book) looked more like holly leaves and I decided to change them!!!  : )

You will note that I am not worrying about the “light source” in my shading…that is making sure that I decide where the light is coming from and then putting the light colours where they would naturally be.  Because I have decided to do this rug in a naive, primitive, folk art style…I do not need to worry about that.  However, If you do this rug in the more realistic fine cuts and are hooking the motifs and shading them as they naturally would appear in a photo, you will want to shade the motifs correctly!  : )

I hope that my explaination of why I am doing what I do is helpful!   : )   I know that others would do things differently, choose different colours or handle this pattern in a different way…and they would have good reasons for doing what they do!!  : )  As you know, many wonderful and experienced rug hookers would certainly have colour-planned this rug before pulling up the first loop!  : ) 

I have been told by many of my rug hooking friends that my  way of hooking, starting out,  colour-planning as I go and using odds and ends of wools would absolutely drive them crazy!!!!  LOL  (I always say that with me, I’m already there so it doesn’t matter!!!!)  I realize that my methods can be somewhat unorthodox…but they are what please me!!  : ) 

The best thing is to do what you think is correct for you…and, if you are trying for a specific technique, an experienced teacher is a must for success.  Thank you for coming along on this adventure with me…and I appreciate the encouragement!!!!


Author: Sunnie-oldcrowfarm

I am a folk artist now living in Vancouver, Washington. We loved our Vermont "Old Crow Farm" but now I live in a little cottage with a bright yellow front door! I no longer have my business but still love designing and hooking rugs and experimenting with colour...! I do "mystery rugs" on my Blog and that is great fun!

5 thoughts on “New Hooked Rug – Day 9 ~ Helen’s Tapestry”

  1. Sunnie, your blog has always been a part of my day and I’m always happy and interested to see where you’ve gone on this rug.

    Your explanations as to why you’ve done something the way you have are also a huge learning experience to me as well as your color choices. I’m now learning that I’ve been too “literal” in my hooking and my color planning. Perhaps I should do as you do and just let it flow?

  2. WOW, Sunnie…you’re really going to town on this rug. Good for you! What size is this? I’m sure I could look and find it…but I’m lazy. I know it’s LARGE…you seem to have gotten a LOT done! YAY! And, you’re right…I could never take on a project like that without having it all color planned (or at least a specific idea of what I’ll use) before I started. You’re very intuitive…your rugs are always totally awesome! I’ll be watching you…

  3. Thank you so much, everyone! As I’ve said, I really appreciate all the encouragement! : )

    I think that one of my hopes in doing these rugs (and letting you know my joy and my struggles, my strengths and my weaknesses as I hook!!!) is that rug hookers who have…
    been too worried about always planning before starting or

    feeling that they can’t really do a nice rug unless they use particular colours or

    needing someone else to tell them what to do, etc…

    will see that you really can do even a challenging rug well with many different methods! LOL

    You might enjoy trying something different for a change…and the freedom is glorious!!!! I love the feeling of surprise and the wonderful experiments you can do with rugs… and that is why I do things the way I do!
    Hugs to you, Sunnie : )

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