I have been hooking the Satu piece mainly on the weekends when I have a bit more time. I have counted up another 9 1/2 hours which is putting the overall time into the rug at 44 hours now. I am finding that color coding the value zones is helping immensely. Why didn't I think of this earlier? I am never lost in my pattern as I have been so many times before when hooking previous large rugs. I have done very little reverse hooking at this point in the project. I think I just need to get more of Satu hooked before I know what, if anything, I want to alter. Whether a color or value is wrong will depend on the overall piece. It is just too big, and I have hooked too little to know yet.
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This week I was able to work on Satu in three sittings, about 3 hours each. I am trying to get his eyes finished and across the bridge of his face. I want to see the color and make sure it is what I want before getting too far in. The only stumbling point is that today when I worked on the right eye, I mistakenly had a piece of the backing folded in the back, so I hooked the entire eye through two pieces of linen. Real bummer. I had to take out the eye and do it again, so that took an extra hour. Total time so far: 34 1/2 hours.
On Friday, I spent 7 hours at the Stash Sisters Hook In, Hankamer, Texas. I made good progress on Satu, hooking a large portion of his left eye. I need to make some minor adjustments, including adding a purple wool to my mix. But for now, here is my progress.
Yesterday I spent the day (12 hours) dyeing wool for Satu and then cutting strips and organizing my colors. My color plan is to go grey and green for my cooler colors and golden orange and maroon for my warmer colors.
Cool colors: 115 Milk Weed; 150 Gray Lichen; 123 Shades of Dusk; 106 Moorland Moss; 158 Will 'O Wisp
Warm colors: 104 Somerset Sunset; 157 Sunkissed Gold; 121 Toadstool; 124 Rose of Sharon
Today I transferred the pattern on to my linen backing. Because of the size, this took another 2 1/2 hours. I also color coded the transfer so that it will be easier for me to find my place on my visual. The pen colors are coded to the value zones. Between the lines and the zones, I should not get lost as often!
Total time on the project so far: 18 1/2 hours.
I am recording another 2 hours into my project. This time reflects what it took me to put my sticky grid onto my visual and trace Satu onto it. For my grid, I use FibaTape which is a sticky grid that drywallers use to patch holes in walls. If you want to check it out for yourself, here is a LINK to purchase a roll from Amazon.
To use it, I unroll what I need, lay my visual face down on the sticky side of it, and then trace my pattern onto the grid. When I am done, I remove the visual from the grid and stick the grid to my linen foundation. I am ready to trace through it. It is so much better to use than screening because you can see through it easily, and it is so much better to use than red dot fabric because you don't have to worry about tearing it with your pen or deal with it slipping around.
Because I am dealing with such a BIG image, I decided to try to use different color pens to mark the different value zones when I traced. I have found that it is sometimes very hard to keep track of where I am when I am hooking when all I see is lines and more lines. I am hoping that the color pens will help me keep track of where I am on the map.
I used black for dark zones, red for light zones, and blue for medium zones.
TOTAL TIME LOGGED: 4 hours
My job has been keeping me very busy and I have been too tired in the evenings to do very much in terms of rug hooking. I have finished a few more snapshot photos so that Nine is now complete. All nine of the 10" by 10" canvases are hung in my dining room, showing Alexander from year one to nine. The only reason I finished them when I did is that I had a deadline. Watch for my soon-to-be-published article on hooking wool snapshots in Rug Hooking Magazine.
Today I decided that I need to start another BIG rug. And I have decided to track the hours it takes me to complete it since everyone always wants to know how many hours are in my rugs. I decided on a subject. It is going to be my third rug in the Faces of the Houston Zoo series. This one is a photo we took of Satu, a male tiger we saw over the Christmas holidays when we visited the zoo.
I am going to track on this blog my progress on the rug. So let's begin today with what I did. I am logging in my first two hours to prepare my visuals. I took the photo and cropped it to size in iPhoto at 36" by 48" since I want to mount the rug on a gallery wrapped canvas that size when I am finished hooking it.
Then I played with the photo in my photo editing programs and filter programs until I got the image to showcase the value zones clearly. After this, I put the photo into an photo enlargement program (I use Posterazor) and printed it out. It took 30 sheets of paper to print, so there was quite a bit of taping involved.