A Lesson on Poppies
If you've ever had the chance to visit Deanne's Studio here in the quaint town of Amherst, Nova Scotia, you understand that poppies are an ever present element of Deanne's rugs. Whether they're the focal point of the mat, or you see them lazily poking out in a faraway field, they add a pop of colour and interest and have evolved into a signature component of her mats. Seeing as poppies are so common to Deanne's rugs, kits and patterns, I thought a post with tips and tricks on how to hook them would be a valuable lesson!
First of all, you want to look have a look at a natural poppy, if you can that is. If it's the middle of winter or you're stuck up North, then Google Images might have to do. Looking at the flower in real life will give you an idea of what kinds of materials will best represent the poppies softness, beauty and uniqueness when you're hooking it into your rug.
For colour scheme you can make your poppies a variety of bold reds, corals, magentas or a magenta and red mix, or an unrealistic colour scheme that gives your rug whimsical character. Make sure when picking your material that you pick at least 3 shades of the colour you've chosen for your poppies, make sure to include warmer and cooler tones. Adding yarns or sari silks in with your wool can add pops of colour and texture. The larger your poppies are the more varieties of colours you can use when hooking them. Deanne also suggests that you hook your poppies using different widths of wool to add some personality.
As for your poppy centres, they are typically dark but not quite black. If your poppies are in the background or not detailed you can get away with black centres but typically you should use a nice mix of navy and purple. Don't hook your centres in perfect circles and remember to use a mix of fabrics and maybe throw in a bit of a dark plaid. If you really want your poppy to stand out, also outline your petals in a dark fabric.
Hook your poppies loosely, in irregular shapes to avoid them ending up as red, unrecognizable blobs on your mat. Start hooking each petal from the inside out, not in straight lines, and work on one poppy at a time. This ensures that each is unique and it's own individual flower ready to stand out and make your rug even more beautiful.
- emily dunne