Hooking the leaves on any tree is more about observation than it is about hooking. Really spend some time, or at least an hour or so, looking at trees. This hour will save you hours of hooking frustration. Hooking the leaves on a tree is all about finding the shape that will give your tree form. Every tree is different.
I wanted this birch tree to be light and lacy. I am hooking this birch tree from memory so the shape is not exactly right. I didn’t want to hook the tree exactly as drawn either, so this is a compromise. In the last post, I hooked the main branch system. Hook it in solid without worrying about the leaves. Later, when you begin to hook the leaves, cut a loop and pull back the wool a loop or two to hook the leaves in front of the branches. This method will give you a solid tree that is supported by the trunk and avoids branches that are not connected to anything. It’s a bit of fussy hooking but stress free. You don’t have to worry about how the branches are connected, you just hook.
My main tool for hooking trees is the right wool. I dyed these spot dyes specifically for this project. Normally I would use whatever is in my scrap bin, but since I am making kits for this project for the ATHA National, I started fresh. I wanted one to be darker and duller than the other.
I first dyed the wool using the same blue that I use for sky, Pemberville Blue. The formula is in my dye book. Then I spotted the wool with various greens. They came out with too much blue showing so instead of washing them, I rearranged them in the pans and spot dyed them again. This was one time where I wanted the base color of blue to show in the final product, but I wanted to limit how much was showing. After the second pass, I had something that I thought would work.
I took the sky wool and the leaf spot dyes with me to my Thursday hooking group and hooked for about 2 hours. I got a fair amount of the tree done, enough to know that I might have to do a bit of tweaking, but I am going to continue for now. I’ve learned in the past that if I make changes too soon, I often loose the specialness of the initial hooking. Let it go and wait until more is hooked in. Right now I’m thinking I may need to add some darker spots. I’ll know more once I see how the stuff on the ground gets worked up.
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