Thursday, February 9, 2012

Progress on the Magdalena Menagerie Rug

I've been busy this past week with a medical crisis affecting my 91 year old mother.  I haven't hooked since I left AZ two weeks ago; I can't tell you what's been going on in the world.  I can barely tell you what day it is –it’s been like that.  But I can tell you all about hospital emergency rooms and skilled nursing facilities (SNF) and that you have to watch everything that goes on AND what doesn't go on in a SNF.  You have to be an advocate for your loved one.  My mother is now stable, but her health is so fragile it can turn in a matter of hours.  We hope we've turned the corner on this episode, but it has required watching every medical intervention carefully, on her behalf.   My mom is worth every breath I can take to help her, care for her, advocate for her.  She’s the best!

Fortunately I had drafted my prior blog posts before the medical crisis emerged so they were easy to post, but now I've got to get creative and do some live blogging.  It feels good to focus on something hooking related again. 

So, onward to the Magdalena Menagerie (MM) rug.  I took the monster MM rug to AZ with me.  Silly girl!  It is huge, and what was I thinking?  I only had my little 10" x 10" sit on frame for the trip (it packs easily) and the MM will be nearly 5 feet wide when finished.  Still, I was able to complete quite a bit on it.  So with this post I'll share some of my work on the rug.

When I started the rug, I swore to myself I would hook all the little circles in the lollipop bush first.  But I couldn’t stand it; they are routine and tedious.  So I moved on to the crows.  Simple enough, but after hooking the right crow with dark outlining  (left), I decided to change the outlining to a lighter wool (right).

After hooking the two crows, I moved on to the dog on the left side of the rug.  I hooked him using an assortment of dark gray/black/brown wools.  I want the wools in the dogs to be a mixed  assortment of several wools.  That’s how old rugs were hooked – using whatever was available  and mixing them together.  

This doesn’t seem like a big challenge, but making the mottled motif look good is another story.  The camera flash makes this dog look really splotchy, but in person all the wools blend together quite well and are more consistent in color than the flash allows. 
Once the dog's body was hooked, it didn't appear old and worn enough for my taste, so I had to fiddle with it.  To add a little aging to it, I snitched some of my husband's light brown 4 cut wool (yes he's a hooker too).  I tucked narrow strips in-between my hooked rows in random lines.  The lighter wool appears like faded lines in the dog.  I like the way it looks with the faded lines.  I know it's hard to make out in these photos, but here is a close-up of the lines I added.  

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