Two dogs ready to run.

Sydney and Whiskey are ready to go home to their owner.  I worked like crazy to finish up the hooking and binding this week.  Not without some changes in my plans, however.

I had dyed some wool for the background using the Blue-Red-Yellow dye plan.  I enjoy doing this kind of dyeing, because it’s done in one pot.  First add the blue dye with citric acid, stir twice and leave it alone until the dye is taken up by the wool.  Then add the red dye with a bit more citric acid, stir twice and leave alone until that dye is taken up. Then do the same process with the yellow dye.  The end result is wool with a beautiful spotty richness showing primary and secondary colors. 

I was pleased with the dyed wool, but when I held it up to the dogs, it was much too distracting.  I put so much blood, sweat and tears into hooking the dogs that I did not want to make them vie for attention.  I decided that I liked the dogs against the natural color of the linen, so I found a beautiful neutral herringbone wool, named Winter Wheat, from The Wool Studio’s most recent swatch mailing.  While I was at it, I also ordered some similar wool with very subtle color stripes in it, named Fruit of the Loom, which I used for the border.

Another change in plans was that I had thought I would use the antigodlin, or higgledy-piggledy, kind of hooking for the background to give interest.  [Nancy Parcels wrote an informative article on this method in the Sept/Oct 2016 issue of Rug Hooking Magazine].  I found the neutral background wool was so soft and blended so well, that the antigodlin loops would have gotten lost.  So, I did my usual method for doing a background- hook a shape, fill it in, hook another shape, fill it in, etc.

All that is left to do is to have the rug photographed and then mail it on its way.

There’s a lot of beauty out there and in the successful finishing of another hooked rug.

Sydney and Whiskey all set to go home.

Sydney and Whiskey all set to go home.

It takes a village.

My work in progress [WIP] is a work in progress. 

Judy Carter’s book, Hooking Animals [© 2014 Stackpole Books], is bookmarked and often referred to as I go along. Judy mostly hooks with narrow #3 and #4 wool strips, but I am hooking these dogs with wider #7 wool strips.  That’s as narrow as I like to go, so I have used Judy’s book as an inspirational jumping-off point. 

It has taken me years to realize and accept that I hook the way I hook.  Although I have learned and incorporated many helpful hooking tips through the years, I must have confidence in my own abilities.  I plan to look to my friend, Nancy Parcels, for inspiration as I do the background. 

It does indeed take a village!

Another lesson that has been obvious as I hook, unhook, and re-hook this dog rug, is that I need to employ a bit of good old, Artistic License.  I have certainly done that in the past.  In this case I tried many colors for the eyes and although the eyes of these dogs are usually brown, in the photo there is a definite yellow/gold cast.  I settled on a rusty-orange wool, which gives the eyes more definition and helps them stand out.

 I shall be jumping over to do Whiskey’s head next.  After that, the rest of the rug should be less stressful.  Don’t quote me on that.

There’s a lot of beauty out there and in channeling the hooking tips of expert rug hookers.

Sydney, the German Shorthaired Pointer, is a work in progress.  I'll do Whiskey before making any more changes.

Sydney, the German Shorthaired Pointer, is a work in progress.  I'll do Whiskey before making any more changes.