Monday, July 2, 2012

Achieving "Old as Dirt"

My Magdalena lollipop bouquet is coming along and is close to being finished.  I have hooked quite a bit since last Tuesday's Maggie's Girls meeting.  Even though I'm retired, it is hard for me to find lots of free time for hooking, but I did spend some concentrated time on this rug through the weekend.

I have had some mixed feelings about the rug, but I am increasingly feeling better about it and am most happy with my efforts to get an "old as dirt' look.  I think I've said this before, but sometimes I don't like my rug until the final 5 minutes of hooking it.  Or sometimes I don't like a rug until it's bound.  Funny huh?!
As I've mentioned in prior posts, I'm incorporating some alternatives to wool into this rug.  So far my dyeing efforts on plain cotton have failed miserably and I do appreciate several comments I've received on how to improve the dyeing efforts.  But in the end, I'm not sure it's worth the effort to try to dye my own cottons, so store bought quilting fabric seems to be the best alternative. 
Above, I have added some Sari Silk to the rug in a few areas.  It doesn't shine when you see the rug on the whole.  I selected a color that is muted in tone more than bright, as Sari's can be.  
Above, in keeping with olden times when materials on hand were used, I have incorporated a mish-mash of wool selections into the background around the circles.  The wool is all of similar value, so it blends together well.  I believe this type of hooking adds to an old and aged look.  The yellow appears a little brighter in this photo, but it actually blends in well when you see it in person.
Above, here is a closeup of one of the cotton fabrics I've hand torn and hooked into the rug.  I like the tattered look but the strips of cotton are a bugger to hook compared to wool strips.  The antique rugs I own have lots of homespun and cotton fabric in them.  Remember, whatever was on hand was used.  Our fore-mothers were good at being utilitarian in purpose.
Above, another few rows of cotton fabrics hooked among the wool fabrics.
Above, the pinkish tone is the flour sack dish towel I tried to dye rust color.  The cotton only took up a bit of the color, but it has blended nicely with my other background wool selections.  Actually hooking with the dish towel fabric has been my favorite of all the alternatives to wool.
So, now you know most of my secrets!  Are you going to try them too?
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