Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Loved the Karen Kahle Class

As you know from prior posts, I had the good fortune to take a three day rug hooking class with Karen Kahle in AZ.  Karen's unique style is my favorite in the world of rug hooking.  Karen brought a nice assortment of her rugs along with 8 boxes of wool!  The rugs are incredible to see in person and pictures do not do them full justice. 

Karen contacted us many weeks before class and asked us to select a Primitive Spirit pattern that included hit-n-miss as part of the pattern.  I was in heaven over this direction for class.  Hit-n-miss is my all-time favorite addition to a rug to achieve an old, folksy look.  I can't get enough of hit-n-miss, but it can be a little intimidating to me to select wools for it.

Day 1.
Karen worked with us in small groups according to the pattern we selected for class.  Four of us were hooking the pattern "Heart and Hand." 
Heart in Hand by Karen Kahle, original rug.
Heart in Hand by Karen Kahle, close-up.
To assist us in achieving the famous KK look, Karen pre-assembled an assortment of wools for each of us.  The assortment represented the colors of Karen's original rug, or a special color palette as requested by the student in pre-class planning. It was a fun learning experience to see the wools each of us would use for the same pattern.  It was also a great way to learn more about the colors Karen selects for a rug.   
The assortment of wools for my rug, following similar colors to Karen's original rug.
Each assortment of wools contained around 32-36 fat quarters.  The assortment was a suggestion, not a requirement for use, so we were free to purchase whichever fat quarters we wanted from the assortment.
Having the assortment of wools was a big help, but I also found that it meant I had to really study the selection of wools to determine when, where and how to use the wools. 

Karen never uses one singular wool to define any part of her rugs.  A compilation of wools make up each motif in her rugs.  For instance, a flower may have 6 - 8 wools; a background 8 - 10 wools, etc.  To achieve the variance so natural to Karen's work, you must study the individual motifs carefully and decide what wools to use, how much of each wool to use and how to vary the use of the wools in relation to values and contrast.
As you can see from the flower close-up, there are at least 7 - 8 wools in the flower.  In the background there are another 8 or more wools included. 
Wools in my assortment for use in the background.  Adding more than this selection would be consistent with the KK style.
In the next post I will show more pictures from this same pattern but with a different pallete of wools and my progress on the pattern. 

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