After returning home from Susan Feller’s Retreat Into the Mountains in West Virginia, I got to work in earnest on my Five Fish rug design. I wanted to finish it up and hang it by the dining table as a summer-y accent.
This pattern, now on the Shop page of my website, is 24" x 18”, which I think is a perfect size for a wall hanging. I did the fish and plants in #8 cut wool strips and the water in #8.5 cut wool strips. Most of the wool I bought at the Woolwrights’ hook-in in March.
I used five different blues for the water and I barely had enough to finish the rug. Whenever that happens, it forces me to be creative. In this case, I mixed the blues that I did have and added a few more lily pads to fill up the space.
I used more of the light blue wool in the center of the design to create a feeling of movement among the fish, as though they are swimming quickly to grab food on the surface of the water.
While at the Retreat Into the Mountains, we were shown several excellent finishing techniques. I used two of them while binding Five Fish. One technique, shared by Susan Feller, involved folding the linen at the corners in a certain way to reduce the amount of bulk there. I also used a great suggestion by Nancy Parcels of placing a strip of wool, the same color as the binding yarn, at each corner and whipping the wool over it. It works like magic to make the yarn cover the corners without going over and over it, as I used to do. Thanks to Susan and Nancy for teaching this old dog some new tricks!
There’s a lot of beauty out there, and learning new techniques makes my hooked rugs better than ever!