Monday, July 6, 2015

School's Out...Rug Hooking School that is

My trip to Montpelier Vermont to the Green Mountain Rug School was a very pleasant experience. The accommodations were very nice and the hotel was located in the middle of town on a street lined with many great places to eat and little shops, even a farmer's market. I met many nice women "hookers" at  breakfast and lunch served daily in the ballroom.

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After our meals we all went to our respective classes to learn and hook. It was reminiscent of the quilting bees held in the olden days.

I wasn't really sure of what to bring in preparation of the class and spread my wool all over the house trying to decide what I would need.
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As usual, I made quite a mess. I've had to admit these days, that I make a lot of messes of my own.
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I started cutting bunches of over-dyed wool that I had in my stash and never really knew what to do with. I began formulating an idea of what my motif for the class would be. I had a lot of cool colors like turquoise and teal.
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Shortly after arriving and meeting some of the ladies, I met three ladies that live 20 to 30 miles from me. We are going to start hooking together. That fact, and getting to know my teacher are two of the highlights of the rug school.
My teacher, Karen Schellinger, is an author of the book Dyeing Wool and has a degree in Natural Health & Holistic Nutrition. She also teaches children and adults by employing  various forms of art therapy. She is an interesting educator and a very compassionate woman.
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We had the opportunity to dye our own wool in a workshop under her supervision and guidance.
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We came up with some awesome pots of wool.
This is one of mine with all the different scraps.

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Karen showed us a tip to try when your water is boiling and you haven't added any dye yet. She dropped two natural colored strips of wool into the pot with the scraps.

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Before adding any dye at all, a certain amount of color bleeds out of the wool creating very subtle results. This is a step worth remembering to get soft color for a certain background, in this case, sky or water.
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Karen had draped wool strips at our work stations that she had dyed while writing her book.

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Very inspiring pieces and all techniques are featured in her book.

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We turned the drabbest wool into pieces of art in less than 2 hours.

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I used shades of indigo and teal in my dye pot and my idea of what I wanted to hook really took hold. 

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That afternoon, with the rest of the class and learning about Zentangle, my idea came into fruition.

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Everyone had a plan on what to hook now and the fun began. I had to plan a motif around the colors I had before me and peacock feathers were all I could see!

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I quickly drew the feathery outline of the tail end of a peacock and some giant plumes and I was ready to hook.
By the time we had our Round Robin time of sharing, the pattern of bold colors and wispy feathers started to emerge.
The entire time at GMRS was so much fun and it was inspirational to see everyone's talent and styles. From whimsical to traditional to bold, everyone was working on something and I wished I had asked my fellow "hookers" if I could take pictures of their projects. The funniest part of the dyeing workshop was how everyone tried to dry their wool in time to start hooking with it the next morning or even that same afternoon. I had my wool draped over the windowsills, hanging from lamps and luggage racks and over the shower rod of my hotel room. It was a great learning experience and a pleasure to meet so many fellow "hookers". We will check in with each other from time to time to share our projects I'm sure. Many thanks to Karen for sharing her knowledge of dyeing and color theory, but especially for her wisdom and compassion.

One more thing, I promised to share my autumn rug pattern by Joan Moshimer called "Pine Woods".

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My goal for finishing is September.
Thanks for dropping by and feel free to comment or just say Hi.