While I have not -- obviously -- been writing, I have been working. This rug, Paisley Sheep, has been in my brain for a couple of years. It has changed some since the initial design -- I always thought it would have a black background -- but it is one of those rugs that hooked up quickly, because all the work was done in my head. I love when that happens, and I LOVE this rug.
The sheep's coat is made from the Standing Wool Rug technique, another rag rug technique that I learned from Nola Heidbreder and her sister Linda Pietz years ago in a class called "Historic Rugs". Lots of people incorporate this technique into their mats these days -- they are often called "quillies" after the Victorian paper craft of quilling. I like to stick with the original name, but I don't stick with the original technique. I like to shape my circles using a needle and thread, squeezing and manipulating them as I go, often using layers of different colored wool. I love to do it, but it takes a lot of time, as every piece is hand sewn and then applied to the linen backing before I begin hooking. I've used the same technique to add interesting edges to smaller mats as well.
The leaves and paisley shapes in the background are hooked with by sister Barb's hand-dyed wools -- the colors are Irish Moss, Watermelon, Citron, Vintage Teal, Mango, and Nova Lox. You can find them in her etsy shop: thimblefolk. The brown is my own hand-dye, Hedgehog Brown. I decided, once I had the body of the sheep completed, that a black wool background would create too harsh a contrast. The brown worked out just right.
The finished mat measures approximately 18 by 20 inches -- not too big. The pattern will be available in my etsy shop shortly. Click here to get there: The Paisley Studio.
Happy Spring! The warm weather can't be too far away.