Thursday Live: Changing directions, textures and a new rug reveal
Thursday Live January 14, 2021
Each week Deanne shares her thoughts, latest projects and helpful hints from her rug hooking studio. She talks about creativity, rug hooking techniques, and offers suggestions and encouragement to help you create your own projects. You can watch this week's here. THURSDAY LIVE
Roadblocks to Your Creativity
The following are some habits that may be keeping you from accessing your full creativity without you even being aware of it! Keep an eye out for these routines that could be hindering your hooking:
-Keeping the same books on your shelves for years, try switching up your books about every year or so, or when you're done scouring them, donate them.
-Watching TV and Netflix a lot, screens keep you from experiencing the world around you.
-Pinterest: it has a way of pulling you into it's DIY vortex of doom but beware, things don't always look the same on a screen as they do printed out in a book or once you actually create them. An in-person visual is always your best option.
-Relying on your old tricks every time you take on a new project, without tweaking them a little bit or modifying them to suit the new things. Take advice from your friends and fellow hookers every now and then, you may discover your new favourite technique.
-Not using new fabrics and materials in your work. Using the same old stash repeatedly can eventually give your rugs a dreary appearance and make them unintentionally all look the same. Explore new materials you don't usually play with, and frequently buy new pieces of stuff that catches your eye, it doesn't need to be excessive, just don't use the same cut up sweater for the next 3 years.
-Asking the same people for their opinions over and over again. You get the opinions for others to get an outlook that isn't yours, by asking the same people for theirs all the time, you're defeating the purpose.
-Sticking to your favourite artists for inspiration in your rugs. Artists are always evolving and there's always new people on the scene, look for new motivation and creativity in other people from time to time.
-Not keeping a notebook is a big no-no. Your brain is like an endless abyss up there, not jotting down your thoughts, ideas and doodles means there's less of a chance you'll ever retrieve them again once they slip from the front of your mind. Even keeping a list on your Notes app in your smartphone can work.
The following are a few tips on how to keep your rugs simple and to make sure rug hooking doesn't become a stressful part of your life.
Try keeping to a small palette of colours when working on a rug, about 3 or 4 works well. You don't want to try to utilize an abundance of colours and force them into working together, as this can become a bit of a nuisance if there's any hiccups that occur while hooking your rug.
Use simple shapes for design inspiration in your rug. Cirlces, squares, rectangles, triangles, stars, all look nice in a rug but aren't too overpowering or difficult to create. Other shapes can sometimes end up looking wonky, or if the shape doesn't work out the way you were expecting, it may add unneeded frustration into a time that should be overall relaxing.
If you're a beginner at rug hooking, you'll want to start out with a manageable project. If you take on an overwhelming challenge right in the beginning, you may become discouraged and give up the craft all together. Completing small projects and getting used to hooking will give you the satisfaction to continue on making rugs in the future. Bigger is not always better!
Don't worry about any rules you've created for yourself or what anyone else told you. You make the rules when you're rug hooking, you're creating the rug for you, and it needs to please you. Taking rules out of the equation will give you the freedom to express yourself and take any expectations off of your shoulders.
Try not to overthink about your rug while you're hooking it, just continue to work towards finishing the mat. You'll feel much better with a completed project in front of you than a half finished rug that you keep unravelling and rehooking! You may not always end up loving the finished result but you'll eventually learn what your likes and dislikes are in the rugs you're creating.
Making your rug complicated is an active choice, keeping the art simple all depends on your mindset about it. Keep it simple and relaxed, leave it as a hobby that you enjoy and whatever you end up creating is fine. Have an open mind and don't be afraid to experiment with different elements of rug hooking!
Tips for Hooking Big Rugs
-Make sure you start out with enough wool to complete your large rug.
-You don't have to use every colour throughout the entire rug, using a similar shade in different areas works well and will keep the design light.
-Have the rug set up on a frame in a visible place so that you get into the habit of hooking a little bit every day. This is a good habit to get into.
-If you're getting bored make a design or colour change instead of putting the whole thing away.
-Try not to get held up by not knowing what colour to use in an area, you can remove a small area of colour at any point without affecting the rest of your rug.
-Borders are a good way to tie together a large rug.
-Big rugs are hard to complete sometimes so stay focused on just getting it done and not necessarily making it perfect in every way.
-Be patient, you won't know how it's going to look until it's done and you can step back from it and see it for what it is.
-You can create a big rug out of small patterns that you've repeated over the whole rug.
Creating Simple Abstracts
If you're interested in creating an abstract rug, but are unsure of where to start or what colours you want to use, you can always create a single colour abstract.
First you want to gather a large variety of wool and materials in different shades of one colour. You can use as much or little texture in your rug but you do want to have a bit of contrast to incorporate into your rug. Using more texture and less wool will make the wool stand out, and vice versa. As you add colour and texture, keep your vision of the finished rug in mind, it will guide you in creating a very unstructured rug. Balance and composition are still somewhat important but there's no need to get hunk up on them when creating an abstract, it has to please you first and follow the rules secondly.
When hooking a colour or texture, make sure you hook enough of it to make an impact. Constantly changing your colour will end up making your rug look like a hit and miss, you want to give each element its moment to shine.
You want to hook your rug loosely so that it looks like your colours and blending together seamlessly and not just laying next to each other like blobs of similar colours. If it's a large piece put in some contrast colours that are a little different yet still work with the overall colour scheme, these will become a nice focal point that the eye will be drawn to.
There are no rights and wrongs when creating an abstract rug and experimentation is key. Some of your techniques will surprise you at how well they work and others maybe not so much, be creative, brave and follow your instincts and vision of the finished product.