Mandrill finishes off the original Zoo Zone series

I have completed the final ninth mat in the Zoo Zone series, the Mandrill. While I plan to hook more animal faces in the future and add to this collection, this is the original nine that I will be teaching at the ATHA Biennial in Denver this August. I will have patterns and instructions available in Denver for each of these faces for those who are in the class and for those who happen by my classroom and want to try to hook one if these charming animals. Even the mandrill is grinning! They are all show offs for sure, loving their picture taken.



Starting Hasani the Lion

Ashani the Lion 2019. April D. DeConick, photographer

Ashani the Lion 2019. April D. DeConick, photographer

Alexander and I had a great time at the Houston Zoo taking photos of the animals. We were so happy to see that a new lion is prowling there, and spent most of the day coming and going near his exhibit to see if we could get a good enough photo for me to create a companion rug for Satu the Tiger. On our last round of the zoo in the late afternoon, Hasani the lion decided to get up from his nap and climb the central rock where he sat there really looking sassy, the king of the animals. We go so many great shots it was hard to decide which to use for my inspiration. But here is the picture that well was picture perfect.

I spent two weeks creating the pattern, transferring it to linen, and getting all the wool cut and organized. This time I am trying something different with wool organization, using floss organizers in tight baskets. Each organizer has 8 different wool in one value. I have 8 warm wools and 8 cooler wools in order to help create the kind of shadows and light I hope to achieve.

The colors for Ashani are:

  • 5-Goodfellow Yellow

  • 22-Butterfield

  • 42-Sea Shells

  • 28-Lady Willow

  • 41-Fincastle Brown

  • 58-Wiil ‘O Wisp

  • 18-Red Birch

  • 38-Rosewood

  • 49-Fingorn Forest

  • 55-Nymph Green

  • 23-Shades of Dusk

  • 20-Black Cherry

  • 15-Milk Weed

  • 51-Fruited Raisin

  • 46-Black Orchid

  • 33-Highland Lilac

Zoo Faces for ATHA

My latest project is Zoo Faces, which I am teaching at the ATHA biennial in Denver in August. I plan to have as many 7 x 7 inch animal faces hooked as possible so that students have their choice of mats to hook themselves as they learn my Zonalism technique. I just finished five faces, and hope to add another five over the next two months. The faces are all hooked with #6-cut straps leftover from my larger projects.

If you are interested in the class, check back occasionally to my website to see new Zoo Faces posted as I finish them.

Also, if there is an animal you want me to create, leave me a comment or send me a message by email.

Billy the Bighorn, a new project of a new year

I am finally able to write a post about a new project.  Billy the Bighorn is inspired by our vacation to the National Parks last summer, when we spotted a herd of bighorn sheep on the top of Mt. Washburn, Yellowstone National Park.  Even though we weren't able to capture a close up photo of one of these bighorns, I was inspired by a photo taken by Steve Woodruff (see below with link to its original website).  Mr. Woodruff kindly gave me permission to use his photo and adapt it to a rug.

Over winter break I was able to complete the dyeing for the wool which includes these colors:

  • 14 Faune Brown
  • 27 Lake Agate
  • 48 Tanglewood
  • 58 Will O'Wisp
  • 36 Red Roan
  • 6 Moorland Moss
  • 45 Rosehip
  • 38 Rosewood
  • 21 Toadstool
  • 51 Fruited Raisin
  • 23 Shades of Dusk
  • 7 Sherwood Green
  • 20 Black Cherry
  • 59 Briar Rose

The rug is being created to cover a large bench footstool, the top is 21 1/2 by 44 inches.  I was inspired to do this when at the end of our vacation to the National Parks we ran across a used upholstered bench in a used furniture store.  I was so delighted, we bought it without too much further thought and then had to figure out how to load it in our van which was already stuffed full of suitcases and other travel necessities.

Before we went back to school, I managed to get the pattern created and drawn onto the linen foundation, my wool stripped, and hooking started.  Billy has an eye!




More on Satu

I have hooked another 15 hours into my big mat of Satu the tiger from the Houston Zoo.  I am almost halfway finished.  I have done very little reverse hooking on this piece.  It looks small in these pictures, but it is huge, 36" by 40". 

I wasn't sure that I would like the amount of green and pink that I am adding alongside the oranges and maroons.  But I think the combination is stunning.  I am looking forward to moving down into the neck area and adding the cooler tones to balance the piece.

My photo inspiration

My photo inspiration

Satu in progress

Satu in progress

Slow but steady progress on Satu

News on the might notice that it looks different.  I have completely recreated the Red Jack Rugs website and have a subscribe button to the right in the sidebar.  If you want to receive my new posts via email, sign up and they will be sent to you automatically.

Satu rug on my rug frame 2014

Satu rug on my rug frame 2014

I have 25 more hours to log in on Satu, the tiger at the Houston Zoo.   This means I have a total of 69 hours into the project at this time.

I have really only been able to work on this piece on the weekends, and then only a few hours here and there.  I hope once summer hits, I will be able to sit down and get him completed. 

One of the troubles is that I have run out of my dark wools, so I need to spend a couple of days dyeing.  I have found this to be the case with most of my projects.  I run out of my darkest darks before any other value.  I assume that this means that we need a majority of dark to pop out the occasional light and anchor the medium values.

There is nothing to report in terms of new things I have learned yet.  I did find that I was using too dull of colors in the oranges on the top of the head, so I had to go back in with some brighter orange wools here and there.  That seems to have fixed the problem.