New color group on RHD

Click Heidi's yarn to go directly to the RHD groupHeidi Wulfraat has started a new group on RHD called "Talking Color".  It is meant to be a space for rug hookers to talk about color - generate ideas and share thoughts.  Membership is open.

Here are some of the great internet links to color that Heidi provided:

Color Wheel Basics

Color Matters

Definition of Color

The meaning of color

Meaning of color; New Age

Acid dye : definition

with acid dyes:

Immersion dyeing: Jacquard instructions

Tints and Shades: definition

Color blindness

Felissimo colored Pencils

Loopgram: Dimensions of Color

I thought it would be fun to post here one of the lessons that is part of our Palette dyeing rug camp on Rug Hooking Daily.

There are three dimensions to color that we need to understand as rug hookers and dyers, especially if we are creating our own color palettes.

1. HUE = the color itself (red, yellow, blue, and everything in between them); 3 primary colors from which are mixed the 9 colors in between them
2. VALUE = the gradation of color (darkness or lightness of the hue)
3. INTENSITY = the purity or saturation of the color (dullness or brightness of the hue); different intensities are created by adding white, black, and/or gray the color
More about INTENSITY. There are three main ways to change the purity of a color, to make it less intense:
1. Tint: the color plus white; the white will dilute the color and lower the intensity while lightening the value.
2. Tone: the color plus gray or the complementary color; this will neutralize the color, graying it.
3. Shade: the color plus black; darkens the color, lessening the intensity while darkening the value.

This is a tint diagram which adds gray to the color:

For a rug's color to work, we need to be aware of more than HUE. We need to be aware of the VALUES and INTENSITIES of our HUES. Most rugs that we hook are hooked in medium values. Rug hookers are generally afraid to hook with light values, and use dark values too sparingly. This means that the rugs we are hooking end up looking flat. What pops rugs is contrast of value. And this is most easily achieved by using light and dark values along with the medium. The lower the intensity of the color (more muted), the more the color will recede in the rug, giving a sense of distance. So differing intensities of color will help to achieve contrast too.

To achieve the most successful color in rugs, it is wise to include different values and intensities. I try to remember to include in my rugs dark and light values, along with dull and bright intensities. This is the DAL DAB rule. In every rug, it is important to hook dark and light, dull and bright.

Dyeing for Rugs 101: Starting with Palette Dyeing

I began with the "dump and dye" process because I didn't know any better. I thought dyeing involved putting some dye in a pot with some wool and being surprised about what came out at the end.

Now surprise is fun until you ruin a number of yards of wool at $20 and $30 a yard. Or you run out of a wool you dyed for a background of a rug and need to reproduce its color and can't. Or you try someone's recipe from a book and end up with an entirely different looking wool than what is pictured.

Over the years I realized that I needed a process that would allow me to reproduce my colors with a fair amount of consistency, if not exactness. Also, as my art advanced, I wanted to create my own color palette, one that was unique to my rugs. So I took classes from great dyers like Sibyl Osicka, read a number of old dusty dye manuals, experimented a great deal, and settled on a dyeing process that I call Palette Dyeing.

This is not an advanced dyeing technique, although, unfortunately, it is often taught only in intermediate and advanced rug hooking classes as "gradation dyeing." But it is more than gradation dyeing, and is not just a process for fine-shading hookers. It is a process for ALL rug hookers, no matter your preferred hooking style. It is creating your own signature dyes for your rugs in a process that will allow you to reproduce any of your colors in any value at any time.

Hue is a particular color. Value is the lightness or darkness of a particular hue or color.
Once you learn how to dye in this way, and settle on a number of dye formulas that you like, you will be able to create gorgeous wool in crock pots - mottled, dip-dyed, scrunched, transdyed, overdyed. And you will know what color and value you are going to get.

The goal is to create a particular color or hue in eight values. This is done by creating a liquid mother solution which is carefully measured into quart mason jars. Water and one 6" by 16" piece of white wool are added to each jar and processed. The result is a wool of one color (or hue) but in a range of values as I have picture here. A particular green, red, blue and yellow in eight values each.

When you want to reproduce one of the values of the color or hue, you simply use the same amount of dye per the same amount of wool, and voila, you will have the same gorgeous wool again. If you need four times the wool, you multiple the amount of dye four times and use four pieces of wool 6" by 16" and you will have the same gorgeous wool multiplied.

So in this series Dyeing for Rugs 101, I'm going to take you through this process to help you get started learning to dye and creating your own palette all at the same time!

It is extremely important that you keep track of your dyeing recipes and the results of your dyeing. You will be creating your own dye recipe notebook which will contain a number label for each formula (your initials plus a number: AD1, AD2, etc.), a dye recipe, and snippets of the dyed wool. You will also be creating a large swatch ring, containing 1" by 6" swatches of all your hues and their values.

Loopgram: Poison in rugs

Phyllis Lindblad has a very interesting post on her blog RUGHOOKER, about her visit to Sauder Village where she learned about "poison" in rugs from June Mikoryak. Apparently it is a known technique to give rugs a punch. It is where you put a weird strip of color in your rug, something that doesn't really go with the rest of the rug.

I didn't know that this had a name. I came upon it totally by accident this spring, when I was experimenting with color as I hooked. I found that if I put an odd color in a couple of the elements (like the edge of a leaf, or around the toes of a frog) that it looked great, improving the pop of the rug.

So I guess I used "poison" when I hooked Mr. Toad's Garden. It shows up mainly in the veins of the leaves. I hooked them purple and pink and blue when my rug was about orange and yellow. I also used it on Mr. Frog's Pad, hooking weird color around the frog's feet.

I'm so glad to know that this is a named technique, although I would rather call it "Taffy" than "Poison" since it sweetens the rug rather than killing it.

As for "antigodlin," I didn't quite understand this technique (also mentioned by Phyllis in her post). Phyllis will you explain more about it in another post?