Tuesday, April 10, 2012

"Are Ye Patriotic" Rug - 3rd Installment

Note:  to fully appreciate my discussion in this posting, it is best to read the prior post where I define my viewpoint on hooking primitive versus old.

In this post I will share some of my thoughts about the hit and miss bunting in the corners and center of the “Are Ye Patriotic” rug.  These motifs were the biggest challenge for me in executing this design in my effort to get an old looking rug. 

Mindful of the actual colors of Old Glory, I pulled red, white and blue wool from my existing stash.  At this point I should confess:  I’m not a red and blue person for the most part.  They are not colors I use a lot or lean toward.  The red I had on hand is a dark plaid and you get the jest of it being red, but in fact it’s not what I’d call a true red for the American flag color.  The blues I have are either very dark navy or light blues.  

I didn't want a bright red so I liked the plaid I had on hand but along with the blue it was quite dark and stark in contrast from the rest of the rug.  After I hooked one corner of the rug the Maggie’s Girls told me my blue was too dark, it looked black from a distance.  I had to agree and I also thought this was true for the red being too dark, so I reverse hooked the area.

Next I tried dyeing some red wool using formulas by Susan Quicksall of Holly Hill Design in the "Dyeing for Color" dye book.  The two reds I dyed are the Redwork Red and the Hollyhill Red.  They are beautiful reds.  Still, they were too much contrast for my dulled and tarnished rug if I went with the traditional red, white and blue.

I was discouraged and uncertain what to do next, as I wasn’t happy with any of my red, white and blue choices.  I was sort of grumbling to myself when my eyes fell upon a plaid that was laying in a mass of wool near my hooking corner.  It is a plaid from an up-cycled skirt and it looks really old to me.  I ripped a strip of it, ran it through my Townsend and started my hit and miss using this old looking wool.  I added a couple bright strips from the Redwork Red, some beige in place of white, a few other plaids with red and or blue in them and I stayed with my nave blue.  Bingo!  This mixture is not a true red, white and blue but it looks old (to me) and it satisfied my itch for old versus primitive appearance.

Revised selection for the bunting hit and miss.  The middle strip is the up-cycled
skirt that mysteriously caught my eye and ended up forming the solution to my dilemma.
To show you the differences between what I think of as primitive versus old looking I have added photos below.  The first photo is based on my original red, white and blue bunting that I reverse hooked after finishing one corner.  With Photoshop I was able create an image to show you what the rug would have looked like in the original red, white and blue.  There is nothing wrong with this version.  It’s good, but in my opinion it’s primitive but not necessarily old looking.  It is also very heavy looking in my opinion.  
Original hit and miss bunting - cute but PRIMITIVE
Next I am showing you the revised selection of wool and I think this looks much better for the old look I was after.  This version is the finished rug.
Finished rug - hit and miss bunting in a different selection of woolens - OLD APPEARANCE
Here's a close-up of the final hit and miss bunting:

You decide, but I like the second version best. To me it smacks of oldness for some reason, and the rug looks really old in person.  I love it!  

In the next installation of this series I will show you how I finished off the border of the rug with a braided look.

The paper pattern for "Are Ye Patriotic?" is now available in my Etsy Shop.

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