Saturday, March 26, 2011

Crazy Horse Quilt Runner: Week 12

Hi Everyone!  This was a fun rug hooking week.  We had class at Anita's on Wednesday, but I spent that time working on some Unfinished Buniness. With any luck, I will have Finished Buniness to show you very soon.
Back to Crazy Horse... the empty area between the right and left sides is starting to fill in!

Here is the section I worked this week.  I hooked the leaf near the deer, fixed the little bird and hooked the "rainbow" background. That leaf is the last of the three leaf motifs in this general area of the rug.  Stylistically, these three leaves are very similar, so I hooked them with the same wools, just varying them a tiny bit here and there.  Now that I see this close-up photo there is STILL something to fix on that silly bird!  Where he changes from red body to orange tail is supposed to look kink of jagged - it does, sort of, but not enough.  Just looks like a goof-up now.  Maybe third time will be the charm!

I also got a bit of a start on a background section over by the funky chicken.  This section is rather wide with a line right down the middle (a stem), with little leaves coming out on both sides.  I decided to split the section, using my green and turquoise background colors.  The photo below shows the beginning of the right side - green leaves against turquoise background.  The left side will be the reverse.  I'll show you how it turns out next week!

One of the challenges of splitting this section was What Color to Make the Stem???  After much deliberation, I decided to use beading on the stem with the same two colors - the turquoise and the green.  Here is a close-up.  The question is... will it show up when both background colors are hooked in on either side of it?
That pressing question will soon be answered!  Check in next week!

Several readers have asked what cut I am using for this rug...  I'm using a #7 cut.  There are a few smaller pieces here and there, but only to fill in a little space.

Also, do not fail to check out Susan Quicksall's beautiful website:
She offers this pattern and other similar "crazy" patterns (a smaller version of this rug, a tote bag), plus her wonderful hooked rug designs with birds and animals, flowers, baskets, samplers, kits and a dye book.

Speaking of crazy, we are in the midst of basketball craziness here in our little town of Lawrence, KS.  The Jayhawks are in "The Elite Eight" and will play tomorrow afternoon for a chance to be in The Final Four.  Here is my favorite basketball photo so far from the tournament games...  this is KU Jayhawk Thomas Robinson.  Before this photo was snapped, he leaped to retrieve a ball sailing out of bounds - turned a 180 in mid-air, did the splits to keep his feet off the court ('cuz remember he's out of bounds!), then, the photo captures him as he passed the ball - to a teammate!!!  All of this in what, one tick off the clock?  It was amazing.  Photo by Nick Krug for the Lawrence Journal World.

Happy Day and Happy Hooking! 

Friday, March 18, 2011

Crazy Horse Quilt Runner: Week 11

My favorite thing about this week's progress is my new turquoise background.  I have three areas hooked in and I really like it.  Here is the overall shot for this week.

Most of the work this week was still over on the left side - filling in background.  Check out the turquoise!  As much as I love the turquoise, I realized that my color plan called for LOTS of "blue" in the background swooshes (in my rug, blue=turquoise).  So I decided to revamp the plan just a little bit.  I don't want to overdo it!

I hooked this little leaf and a little bird, but the little bird is not yet ready for its close-up!  Something just doesn't look right!  I'll get that little bird fixed and in here next week.  There is one more leaf like this one, a bit smaller.  Then... I Am Finished With Motifs!
My blog friend Gayle posted a picture this week of her darling hit or miss rug that was inspired by a rug photo from the Lenexa hook-in.  If you have not seen it, check it out on her post dated March 15th, Gayle's blog.  I told her I would post a picture of the hit or miss I made for my foyer, so here it is.  It measures 40" x 60".  Each block is 10" x 12".   You draw the grid (this one is on linen), then just alternate the direction of hooking for each block.  Pretty simple!  This rug is a combination of all different size cuts, colors, textures, solids, you name it... it's in there!  It is a bit more colorful-looking in real life than in this picture.  I should probably photograph it in the daytime!  We all love it here in this household... it feels really soft and comfy to walk across it.
Have a great week everyone!  Happy Spring!!!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Crazy Horse Quilt Runner: Week 10

Week 10!  In case you are just seeing this "crazy" project for the first time, this rug is Crazy Horse Quilt Runner, designed by Susan Quicksall.  I began hooking this rug on January 1, 2011, and I have now been working for ten weeks!  Here's the overall progress shot for this week...I continued to work over on the left side, filling in background behind the sheep and horse and purple chicken.

Working the background of this rug also includes lots of little Objects that Appear in the Background - like pennies and little leaves and flowers.  There were plenty of those this week!  Now I see that one of those purple flower petals fell off of the flower right above the 5-pointed star!   How could that happen???  (Attempt at Humor.)

A very big step was taken this week.  I finally found the Perfect Turquoise!  I am using seven colors to create the background in this rug.  One of them one was to be "blue", but in my mind it was never a true blue.  My first attempt was a light blue herringbone - it was too pale in the mix with all the other colors.  The second attempt was a teal blue.  It was close to what I had in mind, but I still had Fear of Commitment!  My third attempt was a very dark greeny-blue, but when hooked in, it was too similar in value to my beloved purple/plum background - it was actually hard to tell them apart.  Then, at Wednesday morning hooking with Anita White - Success At Last!.  As if she had read my mind, she had just dyed a beautiful big stack of stunning turquoise wools!!!  Many of them were strong textures, so she agreed to dye more of that color over an oatmeal wool with a very light texture.  Ta-dah!!!  Here it is!  There are a few strips hooked in right above the kitty in this photo.  I absolutely love it - and can't wait to show you how it adds a wonderfully bright touch to the overall palette.  (Wait, can a "palette" have 57 colors???)  I don't actually know how many colors are in this rug, but I could count all my little zip lock bags and find out!

Last week I mentioned my sore hands.  Several readers sent in advice - Thank You!!!  I have taken all of your advice!  I bought a Hartman hook from Anita - so now I have three very different hooks to use.  Another reader recommended The Hook Book by Alice Beatty (found it on Amazon for $3.00!).  There is a great chapter describing the actual hooking motion.  (By the way, the book is now called Basic Rug Hooking, by Alice Beatty and Mary Sargent).  I am really trying to concentrate on making a few little changes to what I do in hopes of helping my hands!  All this concentration has really slowed me down - but like with most movements, I think I will get faster with time and practice. 

Have a great week everyone!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Crazy Horse Quilt Runner: Week 9

After spending last Saturday at the hook-in, it was fun to work on my rug this week and think about all the other rug hookers out there doing the same thing and creating all their masterpieces!  If you have not seen photos of the rugs at the Rock Creek Lenexa hook-in, check out my two previous posts.  There are also photos on Anita's blog.

I continued to work on the "other end" of Crazy Horse this week.  Here is the overall shot.  With this much of the rug completed, it is starting to be like wrestling an alligator to work on it!  I have one of those wonderful turning frames on a floor stand, but actually turning the rug is becoming a challenge.

I completed the purple chicken, the horse, the sheep, the heart, and a bunch of pennies this week.
The third and final chicken!
 The second and final horse.
The horse is hooked with the wool pictured below.  It is pretty thick and almost "spongey" feeling.  When you cut it, you end up with some lighter strips and some darker strips.  My plan was to use darker strips on the legs, tail and mane - lighter strips in the body area.  It pretty much turned out that way although I see a few areas I want to go back and work on.  I'm not sure why, but seeing a photograph of the hooking helps to point out things you had not really noticed before!  I guess the photo is a way to experience Super Focus!

This is the one and only sheep in the rug design.  I think it turned out so cute.  The gray squiggles are hooked with a wool I bought at the hook-in last Saturday.  I think it makes a nice subtle contrast with the creamy color.   Here is another example of something I hadn't noticed until I saw this photo....  I need to fix the eye - there is a little tail sticking out! 

I'm excited that we start back up with classes at Anita's this week!  We've not been together on Wednesday morning since way back in December.  I want to start thinking about the border of this rug.  I know I'll use the same basic colors I've used so far, but I will need more wool.

We are getting close to Spring here in Kansas.  My husband took this wonderful shot of a robin sitting in our Zumi Crab tree last week.  Pretty soon this robin will be able to sit in the same place and be nestled in beautiful white blooms!  Hmmm.... rug design possibility???

Have a great week and check back next Saturday to see how Crazy Horse is coming along.  I may actually have to slow down a little bit, my hands (both of them) are starting to have some unusual pains!  Hmmm... could it be from rug hooking???  I hope not!