Sunday, November 2, 2014

How I Choose Wool for Rug Camp

Actually, I have done my wool selecting differently depending on the rug.  You can start by asking yourself some of these questions:

~Do You want a light or dark background?

When I hooked Magdalena's Farm with Barb Carroll my only request was to have a primitive black background and I didn't care what other colors she chose to put where.  Obviously I was quite happy with the results.  Barb used all of my wool except for the grey horse and she sold me only the amount needed to hook the horse.
This is how I packed wool for that camp. As you can see I took many more colors than needed but look how easy it would be to show the teacher what colors were available. 

I put small pieces on one of those rings you can buy at craft stores.  Think they come in a package of 3 and are used for Dream Catchers.  I put a large safety pin on the piece of wool and put it on the ring.  The wool pieces are usually less than 1/4 yard but will put a little more of that color in a container.  But having that ring, or those rings makes it easier to show the teacher rather than picking up the whole container.
Extra wool in those colors were in a plastic container which also went with me to camp.  I could leave the container in the van and only go there if I needed more than was pinned to the ring. The wool on the rings is in the colorful mesh tote.
~Is your rug for a certain room in the house?

Answering that question might lead you to a color for the main motif or choice in background as well.  Such was the case with my Ali Katz rug.  It was planned for my garden bath and my Jacuzzi tub, sinks, etc. are navy blue so I wanted a dark blue background. 
~ Do you know exactly what colors you want where already?

Again that was the case with Ali Katz because it was adapted from a silk painting I'd done in 1998.  So really the color planning was pretty much done for me, all I had to do is go thru my wool and select the colors.
There are also those times I want to replicate the antique rug and want to do it at home where there are mounds of left over wool strips.  That is what I did with Magdalena's Lollipop Bouquet.  Oh my but I do love this rug.
So for Betsy's class I am taking Magdalena's Olde Ducks pattern that I drew out.  Here are two pictures of the original.  As indicated in the book, it is unknown if the two color pictures were actually two rugs hooked by Magdalena or a picture before and after repairs may have been done, since there are slight differences.
I'm not planning on hooking my Olde Ducks exactly like Magdalena did hers as I don't want my smaller ducks quite that dark.  I'm trying to take a variety of uncut wool and several bags of woolie worms to give the rug an old look.  A lot of my pre-cut strips will remain home and this is the first time I've tried taking just SOME to do an old rug so will be interesting.
Evelyn Lawrence did all the research on Magdalena and has hooked all of her designs.  If you are interested in getting your own copy of Rug Hooking Traditions with Magdalena Briner Eby you can order it from Woolley Fox

Have a great Sunday.



  1. fantastic seeing in to the mind of other hookers...look like another great rug in the works...

  2. Oh my goodness, your Katz rug looks so perfect in that setting.
    I always find your post to be a source of information. It makes sense to ask those questions before choosing the colors for a particular rug.

    We've got wet snow, freezing rain and just plain rain and cold wind today. A real yucky weather. A good day for hooking if I had something on the frame. At least I have some freshly dyed wool to dry in the dryer.

  3. I know your Olde Ducks will be wonderful and so old looking!
    Happy Sunday.
    Hugs :)

  4. Love how the rug looks in your bath, very fun piece.
    I usually go by what I am using it for and where it goes, if a room is darker, I might go with lighter shades.


  5. Love the wool on the rings. I place small swatches on my rings and only use them as a reminder of what wool I have.

  6. Your Lollipop rug is my favorite!!!
    Taking a class with Betsy is going to be such fun!!!


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