I'm back finishing my rug "Got Wool?" It is made of all alternative fabrics except a section of the outside border where I meld into wool alone. One of the problems I face is trying to achieve a look of continuity since the alternative fabrics like commercial polar fleece and velvets I choose have really created leaves full of color and depth that not even a spot dyed wool can handle. The commercial fabrics are all about vibrant color and lots of distinct patterns that hook up with a very colorful pixelated look like this:
The solution? I developed a 'seeding' technique. First I hooked my leaves as I would normally do, with a number of values and dapple dyed wools, so that the leaves look like this:
Then I went in and over-hooked little seeds of bright and dark colors, squeezing them in between the rows and loops at random (like seeding the troughs in a plowed field). You have to be careful to move the loops aside before plunging into the rows, because it is easy to puncture the wool already hooked. Also, since you are overhooking, you are creating a back that will be layered in the places you have over-hooked, a real 'no-no' according to the rug hooking experts. But again I find myself more than willing to sacrifice standard 'good girl' technique to achieve the look I want.
Here is the result of seeding, so that the leaves fit in to the piece now: