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By Peggy Hannum, Lancaster, PA
24"x 36" #6 cut, House of Price
(see color photo pg 38)

(click on image to enlarge)

Last year at Northern Teachers’ Workshop, Shirley Bradshaw taught a delightful class with this Charco pattern on wide cut linen. Shirley had a wonderful selection of visuals: pictures of an array of colorful fish as well as two versions of the pattern that she had hooked.

It was one of those days, in the middle of an intensive week of each day beginning a new project, when I just was not in a very serious mood. Being the excellent teacher that she is, Shirley was ready for someone in her class who just wanted to play. On the side of her desk was a little plaster of paris funky looking fish! That was just what I needed and when I spotted it, the fun began.

Before I left workshop I had hooked the two top fish, one emulating Shirley’s little funky fish. I had asked her if I could take ‘him’ back to my room that evening to hook him. Shirley said: “He’s yours. I picked him up in a Dollar Store.” Hookers are great people! He sits on my desk, and I have to smile every time I look at him.

After workshop I picked up my 14 year old grandson, William, who was coming back to Pennsylvania with me for the month of August. I had about ‘shot my wad’ of creativity at that point and had three more fish to go. I told William, who is creative and artistic, that he had an assignment. The other three fish were his! The next day over lunch I reminded him, so he got some paper and colored pencils and drew off the three bottom of what we now referred to as our ‘funky fish.’ I was pretty impressed with his creativity and speed and, I must admit, a bit deflated by the fact that it had taken me all week to come up with my two! I love the one on the left with the eyelashes and the wicked tooth. She really speaks to me.

Earlier in the spring the group lesson in my two classes had been different techniques of dyeing wool for water. Since I don’t particularly like to use the same formulas or colors of wool in both classes or to end up with a great pile of the same shades of wool, I did two different batches. I ended up with a considerable array of ‘water.’ What could be better! I collected the stash and separated the pieces into light, medium and dark shades; some green, some aquamarine, some blue. I chose about 12 different pieces from the piles.

Since the drawn pattern already has the basic wave designs with wonderful movement, it was fun just to pick from the various piles of wool and ‘do waves.’ Shirley’s rug did this very effectively with shades of blue.

Here are some water ideas. Many are great ways to use up odd sized pieces of wool. Once you get going, you can create your ‘variations on a theme.’ As for the fish, I just pulled out some wild colors, mostly oranges, yellows, bright green, rosy red and purple.

Many of the dyeing ideas and formulas were garnered from an old article in The McGown Newsletter, vol. 14, no. 2, an article by Orpha Blaisdell, Eau Claire, WI entitled, Hooking Pictorials. Lucia Ferraro and Helen Lynch were in the process of compiling the Index to all of the McGown Newsletters, so I just gave them a call and asked if they had any listings for ‘water.’ And voila! At our next class they came with this wonderful article in which Orpha had compiled pages of dyeing ideas and formulas on EVERYTHING you might desire to hook in a pictorial from stones to skies and water to grass and on and on for pages!

What a treasure trove! Now that the Index is completed and will soon be published, we can all have access to this wonderful resource. As you have already read in past issues, you can put your name in now to reserve a copy of the Index with Lucia Ferraro: lynferr@att.net If you don’t have back copies of the newsletters, you can borrow them from the Chairman of Loanables, Linda Bell.

From Ophra’s article (all Cushing dyes)

1. In a pot overdye a yard bundle of greens, blues, grays, and peach with t. of Silver Gray and t. Aqua together
2. In a pot overdye a 1/2 yard bundle of green, blues, grays and peach with t. Aqualon Blue and 1/16 t. Navy together
3. Spot dye yard of sky blue - Dorr 6356 or Woolrich Light Blue - with t. Ocean Green and t. Chartreuse each in 1 CBW with c. of vinegar
4. In a pot overdye a yard of blues, grays and peach with 1/8 t. Copenhagen Blue, 1/8 t. Blue, and 1/8 t. Silver Gray together Some other good formulas: (Pro Chem dyes)
5. WFS 66 “Aquarium” over yard of Dorr Natural
6. WFS “Bright Water” over 1 yard Woolrich Light Blue

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Peggy Hannum
Lancaster, Pennsylvania
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2015 Peggy Hannum
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