Rug retrospective 2009: Dyeing

The biggest thing that has impacted my rug hooking this year is the creation of a full palette of colors and the development of the Palette Dyeing technique. The idea is to have a full range of colors that are all related to each other like the paints on an artist's palette. Beginning with the creation of three "primary" colors (red, yellow, blue: left photo), I blended these formulas to create the secondary (orange, green, purple: middle photo) and tertiary colors (red-orange, orange-yellow, yellow-green, green-blue, blue-purple, purple-red: right photo) on the color wheel.

In the end, I had twelve colors in my color wheel, all dyed in eight graduations. I discovered that the first two graduations are really tints (color plus white) and the other six are graduations of the pure color. When I added black to the color, I ended up with shades (of red: left photo), and when I added gray to the color, I ended up with tones (of orange-yellow: middle photo). When I combined complimentary colors in my dye formulas, I ended with with fantastic neutrals (right photo).

My process is laid out on Rug Hooking Daily in a rug camp called Palette Dyeing. We have 78 campers, and I am hoping in the new year that more and more of the campers will post pictures of their palettes and hooked color wheels. When I spoke to my sister Tiffany, she said that she has created three primary colors that she loves and has dyed her secondary colors which have turned out just right for her. She wants to finish her tertiary colors over the rest of the break. I will probably return to the dye pot tomorrow, since I need to create one more neutral and then redye some of the colors I have already used up in my hooking.