January 6, 2018

First Hooking

Embroidery has been a passion of mine for a number of years. I do have difficulty following someone else instructions so I have been designing my own work for some time now. I use my designs in any technique that I am working on. A few years ago I was commissioned to design a pattern for another Embroider. As I gathered my notes and prepared drawings I found I was leaning to the very old style of Jacobean, so much can be put in to the motifs.  A few months ago I joined a Rug hooking group. I really am very new to the technique but while visiting the group earlier this spring I learnt it was an anything goes group and one member had a pile of shredded silk ready to use in her art piece. I knew then I would be comfortable in the group. They go from the very primitive to the contemporary. In mid-December there was a gift exchange which was to be something one made, in an 8”x8” format – Could be anything but had to have fibre. I decided to use one of my Jacobean style motifs and see what I could do with it.

End results, I was pleased with it . Not a great picture and the piece was not blocked or finished at the time. It went to the gift exchange and I forgot to taken a better picture.

The basic technique of hooking is simple - using a small hook – you pull a piece of yarn or strip of fibre up threw a loosely woven ground fabric that is held taught in  whatever way you can get it tight and still work in the design –.  The difficult part – getting loops going in the direction you want them to, keeping the loops all the same height ( if that is the look you want) – deciding what size strips to use which can be thin yarn to ½” strips that you cut with scissors a rotary blade or a cutter ( if you have one). The most difficult issue for me, and it is for everything I do, is colour. In the 8x8 for the flower I used an expensive Japanese wool yarn that looked good in the skein but was ugly knitted up. -I really don’t care for stripped yarn- But by cutting out the colours I wanted to use it did work well in the motif. For the back ground I used Briggs & Little  – heavy weight - that I had hand dyed a few years ago. I loved the variations of the colour and by hooking in circles or following the shape of the leaves I was not getting to blotchy. This was a learning piece. I discovered when the back ground was half done that the tones of blues were to close to the greens and light purples and all nearly blended together. But I did enjoy the meditative process of the hooking and continue to work on another of a much simpler design.
Learning in process