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A good start on Star Island

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Sometimes it is just hard to start a new project. Maybe it’s because it’s a type of design you’ve never done before, or maybe it’s partly a sign of doubt about the project or maybe, about your ability to “get it right”.

During these last four days at the Star Island Rug Retreat, I finally got a good start on a rug design I have been planning for way too long. I fiddled with the design for quite a while. It is going to be the first rug I’ve done of this type – a portrayal of an old historic home in my town.

I took pictures of it, and fooled around with them for a while. Here is my photo after I ran it through an app called Waterlogue, which just simplifies the colors as it adds a watercolor look:

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And then I fooled around with my photo a little more. Here it is, after I sent it through some sketch app on my iPad, to accentuate the details:

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Then, after I had it all drawn out on linen, I turned the linen over and started all over – this time making the house itself larger. The house was the whole point of the rug, and it just needed to be bigger.

And because I had put off getting started on it for so long, I decided this was the project I would take to the Star Island Rug Retreat this week – a lovely spot on an island eight miles off the New Hampshire coast. And that meant I had to decide on all the colors of wool I would need. No room to haul all those “just in case” wools one can easily shove in the car if it is just a regular rug camp that you can bring your car to.

So… design done, colors chosen… I finally got started on it. And it’s gone quite well. I got the majority of the house hooked, then decided I had to pull out and re-hook the windows so they showed up better against the white of the house. I hooked the house roof, then pulled that out too, and re-hooked it in a paler gray. But though I am usually very resistant to “reverse hooking”, these changes seemed to be ok with me, partially because it took me so long to just get going on this project. Here is how far I’ve got, at the end of our Star Island retreat:

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So the moral of this story is that sometimes, you just need to jump in and do it. Be brave! I came across this saying recently: “Just get started – you can’t steer a parked car.”

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