Tuesday, May 27, 2008

my little pony

Well folks, I can barely believe it - but my Carousel Horse is finally finished. If I had known how easily it would all come together in the end, I would not have wasted the last three months procrastinating. (note I said easily, not quickly!)

I am so, so happy with the finished product. Every time I look at my little mat, two things come to mind right away:
1. I can't believe I made such a thing!
2. It's so small - why did I spend so much time hooking it?

This project is unlike anything I have every hooked before. It is definitely the most shading that I have ever done...and the first time that I have hooked anything remotely realistic looking. There was much learning involved, and lots of re-hooking, too. I even used the burling iron and peephole that AJ had given me when I first started hooking years ago - they had been collecting dust until now!

I was petrified of hooking the horse's head - and if you've been following along, you'll know that it's been months since I've worked on this mat...and it's all about the head! In the end, all I needed was a deadline to get me going again. I hooked all evening on the Friday of the long weekend, and completed about half of what was left. The rest of the hooking was finished on Saturday morning. The hooking fairy must have been perched on my shoulder - everything worked out! Here is a close-up of the head...

Saturday was a rug hooking marathon of a day. After I finished the hooking, I pressed it quickly, sewed on the silver trim, and proceeded to whip the entire thing before I crashed and went to bed around midnight. All that was left for Sunday were a few beads to be sewn into place. The green beads are from an old necklace of AJs...

All along, I'd been planning to needle-felt the name of the horse on top of the background. I had used this technique for my Memories of My Mother rug...and liked the results. As I was getting closer to finishing the last bit of my horse, I knew that I wanted to use something that would pick up on the metallics used in the horse's trim (hooked using gold and silver pantyhose from Winners). I dug in the stash and rediscovered some silvery tape or ribbon-type yarn and I ended up just sewing it on, in the end (since obviously the lurex threads don't felt, and there wasn't enough other fibres to do the job).

Sewing on the trim was a time-consuming process. It took about 3 hours in total, with my rug on the frame as I sewed though the loops and backing with tiny stitches. I tried having one hand on top and the other down below to save time and movements, with varying results due to a lack of coordination ;-)

I couldn't be happier with the trim - I think that it really adds the finishing touch. Not only did the silver trim help tie everything together, it was also a way for me to include my initials and the year. Without the addition of the name on the left side, the horse would have looked really off-centre.

Without further ado....please allow me to introduce Dapple Aimee...

Dapple Aimee will be joining some of her friends at the Powassan Hook-in on June 7th. Once I have more details about where and when the collection of horses will be on display, I will let you know...