WoolCake: Live Videos and Notes From Deanne — simplicity
Being home and hooking rugs.
This hooked rug was created as a tribute to domesticity. Flowers on the table. An oriental carpet underneath the table. A wooden floor. Clay vases. All the things I love. They are the comforts of home. When I walk into my house at the end of the day and see the flowers, feel the rug under my feet. I am soothed.
In this time that we are all facing together, we are getting back to domesticity. We are in touch with our homes, our families. It is not easy, this time. Right now I feel so grateful for my quiet home. I am comfortable. There is food in the fridge. There is a yard to go out in with space around us. Today I worked from home. I got plenty done. I was able to text my coworkers with questions and have answers right away. It was good to be here.
I will go in on Sunday and fill orders. We are all working alone when we go to the studio. We make sure there is just one person there at a time to help prevent the spread of Covid 19. We are all taking it very seriously. We are all healthy and want to stay that way.
So we are learning that this is a time Of coming home to the idea of home and appreciating it. Our homes are our place in the world. They are the spot where we belong. We all have work to do in our home. We have projects. We have books. We have crafts. There are things to do and now there is time to do them.
I hope you are reading this as a break from hooking your rug, or baking a cake, or putting away the dishes. I hope you are home, safe and cozy, and that there are flowers on your table.
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.