Sunday, 26 July 2009

Finished Projects 1: Rabbit Wool Rug

I started making this wool hooked rug in oh probably 2003, having bought the rug canvas in about 2000 and the wool itself, well back when I was a student in Wolverhampton in 1990.

The rabbit/ hare motif is taken from a cross-stitch book - The Art of William Morris in CrossStitch by Barbara Hammett (David&Charles 1996). Where it's used on a picture as a pair of Brer Rabbit's with a scottish thistle rising between them with the suggestion you could use it to do a family tree. In the book, the finished size (including the thistle) is 14"x20". But by using rug canvas instead of on 14 count Aida, the rabbit itself is about a foot square-ish.
You can see the rabbit more clearly from the back, but I rather like the slightly formless shape given by the texture of the rug wool. I was originally going to do two rabbits facing each other, but then I liked the empty space without the second rabbit. When I started the rug, it didn't take long to do the rabbit, but I didn't fancy the slog of hooking the plain area, which is what I've been doing in the last few weeks and now it is complete!
Most of the wool is 80% wool/ 20% nylon quite coarse weaving wool which I bought for the princely sum of £1.54 for 11ozs at a crafts hall in Shrewsbury in the spring of 1990. I used most of two 11oz hanks of the blue and maybe half a red hank of a similar size plus some of the dark red, so it probably comes to about 26/27 ozs wool in all.
The Shrewsbury wool is : the background a Royal Air Force blue, the main Pillar Box red and the dark blood red shadows. The highlights wool is a fancy yarn I got from Texere Yarns mill on an huge cop, a mohair/ nylon mix with bits of shiny filament in it - it's a sort of golden and red mix. I used two strands of Shrewsbury wool and 6 strands of fancy yarn per stitch. The colour values aren't great, but I wasn't going the sweep the yard just to photograph the rug with decent values!
The rug is 14" wide by 40" long (count 46 wide by 130 long) and it took about an hour to do a block of 10x10 stitches of background. I made it as a runner for beside a bed. But am undecided as to whether I will keep & use it myself, give it as a present or try and sell it. So at the moment it's safely encased in plastic so it doesn't get motheaten - I think I've sorted the moth problem here, but in case I haven't....

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