So how is everyone doing? I have had comments from a few who is way ahead of the group and are anxious to move on..you know there is always a couple overachievers in the group. So, let's see what you have done. Please email a photo to firstname.lastname@example.org and I will post it for the world to see!
I guess we are ready to start on the background. I hesitate to say background, maybe we will just talk about the designs around the pumpkin, since there isn't a solid block anywhere to be found.
In case you haven't noticed, the pumpkin has a lot going on..all kinds of action and color. We have to take it down a notch and calm down the periphery to keep the emphasis on Senor Pumpkin. If we keep the same action in the area around the pumpkin, it confuses the eye of the viewer as to where to look first. To avoid that there are several things we can do. Two are in the design itself. First, make the motifs around the pumpkin simpler. For instance, the diamond design is repeated but in a larger scale. The same scale is used for the checked field. The two lower corners have simple bold designs, no fussy details. Secondly, the fields themselves are larger. Around three of the four sides there are only four design fields. Compare that to how many different patterns are in the pumpkin. The third way to emphasize the pumpkin is in the color planning. We have to make the contrast a little more subtle in the design fields. I will use the lightest rose, the light turquoise, white as the background in some of the fields. The periphery of the rug is the perfect spot to use some of the beautiful blue and white design elements seen in the pottery.
So let's start with blue and white at the top...what are those curved lines supposed to be?
Do these photos help them make sense? They are brush strokes, and deep blue on a white background is definitely the way to go.
Let's start.The idea is to make them look like commas with one rounded and fatter end where the brush is put down then tapering, like a flick of a paintbrush. Here is the how it will look.
Now how to get there...
For each brushstroke we will start at the fat end. For the small short strokes,the fat end is actually just the end and the first loop side by side then turn to make the curve for two or three loops. Then end the comma point by turning the end 90 degrees from the loops.To make the fat end more pronounced bunch up a couple loops then turn to make the curve as shown in the second photo.
Go ahead and hook the next comma in front of it. It will look a little crowded, but when you put just one row of white between them, magic happens.
Let's move over to the right corner, the diamonds. Diagonal lines a little tricky, just keep reminding yourself to turn your hand so the hook is perpendicular to the line you are hooking. I chose the soft lightest rose for both of the top corners for the backgrounds. The diamond grid is in the darker,softer green.
Start with the diagonal lines.Diagonals can be a little tricky. Just be sure that your hook is perpendicular to the direction you are hooking.They are always going to be a little bumpy until you can smooth them in with rows next to them.
Now, go ahead and hook one row of the light rose against the pumpkin. Then go ahead and hook a row on either side of the green. Depending on how thick your wool is,the sharp points at the top and bottom of the diamonds are a little tight to fit in a loop. To avoid pushing the diamonds out of shape, I started and stopped a strip in those corners. The two ends fit in there just perfectly.
Then, just go ahead and fill in the diamonds. Not too tight...just keep that diagonal theme going.
Here is an option if you want to do a little improvising. Often the diamonds will have little dots inside them. You might want to add them to your work.
Are you up for one more design field? How about the clouds under the diamonds? As I was designing the piece I had in my mind what I expected it to look like. The clouds had to be done in the two shades of turquoise. So, just grab the darker shade and hook the outlines...
and fill them in.
To avoid getting carried away, hook the arch below the field. I used the brown in two rows. Then hook the light turquoise following the curve of the arch, interrupting it only for the dark as it abuts the arch. Same thing with a line on the edge of the rug. Hook one straight line to keep the edge even, then fill up to that line. As you fill each cloud try to keep the motion of the curves and angles.
Well, that should keep you busy for a little while.
I am off to the Green Mountain Guild's Hooked in the Mountains show in Burlington, VT next week. Stop by and meet Laura and me in the Seaside booth. I'll be the one frantically trying to stay ahead of you all and finishing my Senor Pumpkin.