Red is the color of the season


I have been in a red kind of mood lately. It is certainly in harmony with the season. I can see this color passion reflected in all of my preferences, especially in the clothes I wear, and the projects I create. I have been dyeing wool for a new rug, and used my Vintage Dye Book colors Mr. Lincoln and Pepperberry as formulas for this project.

jane austen and reds

I began hooking this design a month or so ago, and decided that I wanted some more vibrant reds than the ones in my stash. So I just got time in the last few days to start dyeing. My 2 dye formulas were pretty close to what I wanted, but I also wanted variety. What I did was divide my recipe into fourths, and made mini batches of each color, ripping my wool into fourths. That way I could see how my first batch came out, and then improvise for successive batches, adding a bit more of this or that or using another base wool to get just what I wanted. This is a great way to get variety, as I typically use the wool from most or all of my dye experiments. Oh, I did find myself referring to dyeing as my dye experiments, and realized that when I approach dyeing, it always comes out a bit different than expected, hence the process becomes my dye experiments.

So many things come into play when you dye wool, as there are variations in the very water that comes out of our tap. The packet of dye can be caked and not measure properly, or have some other variation. The temperature of the water can vary, the wool we use to dye with and how we prepare it, when we add the fixative, the speed of take up of the dye in the water, etc. All can add up to a surprising result. So I have learned to take it slow, and divide my formula. That way I don’t have a whole yard of something I can’t use in my project.

So, my results were exciting to me, and I can’t wait to start hooking again!


I have also been knitting a scarf in shades of red yarn that I have spun. This is a merino/silk in a lace weight 2 ply, approximately 320 yards. I am knitting a linen stitch with #8 needles with 46 stitches to make it loose and drapey. I am loving it so far.


santa ZThere is red beneath the Christmas tree this year, as I have a lovely Olive Rose polka-dotted Santa among the packages, putting me in good cheer.

Thank you for joining me here as you bustle about your holiday. Happy to have you share in my crafty passions.

What color is exciting you this season?

I wish you a colorful Christmas filled with love and creativity, Karen


28 thoughts on “Red is the color of the season

  1. Love your dyed reds. Red is my color all year round. I am interested in your scarf. You say 46 stitches using #8 needles. What stitch are you using?
    Merry Christmas to you and your family
    Carolyn B


  2. Red is also my passion right now! Love you dye experiment colors … beautiful!!! Your scarf is also fabulous! Wishing you all good things throughout the holiday season and a very blessed 2015! Happy Crafting.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Merry Christmas Karen! Your scarf is beautiful and I love the red wool for hooking! I may have to try to dye that color after the holidays! As always, thanks for sharing your expertise!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Merry Christmas! I noticed your rug is punch hooked using wool strips; how do you like it? I was wondering how your frame works as well. Thanks for sharing, 🙂


    • keen eyes! yes, i am punch hooking this with an old rug crafters tufting tool, worked from the back. i love this technique. the frame i found at a yard sale — it also is an old rug crafters frame and was never used. i did some upgrades to it and it works great! more on that in another post.


      • Looking forward to the post. Your frame looks adjustable in size and the one I have is stationary at 24″X24″. I have 2 old tufting tools – one wood, one metal. I believe they were both made in the 70’s. I’ve only used the Oxford Punch with rug wool so far. I really want to try again and create a more painterly feel rather than a color book style.


  5. Your wool reds are my cup of tea! So pretty.
    Enjoy your blog posts . Looking forward to more posts on your punched mat & frame.
    Merry Christmas 🎄Blessed New Year 2015😇MZL


  6. Karen – Thank you for publishing the full WordPress report… I took advantage and really enjoyed some of your past posts. I wish you a truly Wonder-FULL New Year of Creativity and sharing with others. – Jacqueline from Cape Cod


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