I’ll admit, dyeing a rug may seem like a drastic move. After all, somebody (me) put hours into hooking the rug, who in their right mind would take a risk and throw it into a dyepot!!!
I made this Block Party Rug for my book, Rug Hooker’s Guide to the YARNIVERSE! to demonstrate how with yarn, we can take advantage of natural colors in our designs, something that is impossible when hooking with fabric strips, so the Block Party Rug showcased some of the yarn companies that are doing natural colors.
That served its purpose, but as time went on, I decided the rug seemed kind of drab in my booth. Not many people are looking for a natural colored rug, especially one with so much white in it. So what did I have to lose?
First, I soaked the rug in plain water. Then I filled the spray bottle with water, and a tiny smidge of Sugar Plum dye. I laid the rug out on the grass, and started to spray the dye on the rug, front and back. I quickly noticed that the Sugar Plum wasn’t adding to the natural colors, it was looking too muddy.
No problem. I just switched to Turkey Red, and kept adding layer after layer of color until I had evenly distributed dye, both front and back.
Now came the moment of truth. Putting the rug into the pot and heating it up.
After it simmered in the pot for about 20 minutes, I rinsed it out: I first filled another pot with hot, soapy water, and transferred the dyed rug into that. Then I filled another pot with clean, hot water, and transferred the rug, squeezing it to remove excess dye, to the new pot. Be very careful, the rug is hot, so do wear gloves, and take your time with this part.
It seems some dye collected in a part of the rug that was folded down too tight. I think I could have avoided the splotch if I would have lifted the rug and moved it around in the simmering step. You live and learn. But it’s not a tragedy, it’s just a new challenge, right?
I overdyed some new yarn, using natural colors, so I would have something to play with, then I re-hooked some of the sections, hoping to even out some of the splotchiness.
It ain’t perfect, but none of my rugs ever are! Now I have a rose colored, quilt-patterned rug that I think will have a much better chance of finding a home! Stay tuned!
This month’s Featured Rug is actually a bunch of rugs, made by Jane Sittnick of Newbury, MA. Jane is an intrepid artist who hooks with all sorts of non-trad materials, like t-shirts and sweaters. You’ve got to see her artistry and ingenuity!
What a great segue for me to announce my upcoming book (in which Jane’s rugs and those of many other wonderful artists are featured) called T-Shirt Treasures, coming out next month!
Don’t forget that for every $50 you spend at Little House Rugs between now and Nov. 25, 2018, you will be entered to win the Antique Flower Rug (below).
Happy Hooking Everyone!