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  • Leo Goes Toe-to-Toe With Iris...

Leo Goes Toe-to-Toe With Iris...

Well, as many of you know from our Facebook and instagram posts, I’m finally working on my very first wide cut piece! Leo the Lion has proved interesting, instantly gratifying, and occasionally mindless. I did, however, start to run into road blocks as I neared the end of the border. So I called for reinforcements in the form of our resident specialist in color this year: Iris Simpson. I’ve known Iris for quite some time… this is not her first rodeo for Green Mountain Rug School! What I remember about her from my childhood is that she has one of the most perfect English accents I’ve ever heard! It made me instantly like her and feel at ease, which is saying something because I was an immensely shy kid! As an adult I’ve added to my fun facts about her and really admire her work with color. Below is a doodle that she drew, hooked in monochrome, and she also recently finished it in color too! 

To see more pieces from Iris visit her teacher page here. (She has used every color palette there is! No seriously... go look!)

For this reason and her impeccable nature of knowing what the issue is with a frustrating rug, I reached out to her to help me complete the border of leaves for my newest piece, Leo the Lion. I began choosing colors for the leaves randomly, but as I neared the end of the border I realized that my leaves weren’t going to “match up,” or rather that I’d end up with two of the same color next to each other causing them to blend together into a blob. But I couldn’t just add another green that would be absent from the rest of the rug… that would stick out like a sore thumb! It just didn’t look right and I was at a loss. And so I stepped back to wait for the master of color herself to help me figure out what to do. 

From the moment we started working together I felt new life come into the piece. Iris reinvigorated my sense of excitement for Leo! Her style of teaching as she describes it is, “One of cooperation between teacher and student.” She values the thoughts and opinions, likes and dislikes of the student, which is evident in her questioning during the lesson. She tailors her teaching specifically to you, which requires a teacher who is also an incredibly versatile rug hooker. But it’s so relaxing to talk to her! Iris says that her goal is to, “Have a comfortable classroom of learning and laughter!” and she goes out of her way to make sure that everyone is comfortable, at ease, and learning a lot! 


She tailored her directions to my own sense of what I thought Leo should look like and came up with mini lessons in the short time that we talked. We talked about balancing color throughout the rug, overlapping shadows and shades of leaves, and how to use multiple pieces of differently colored wool to achieve a shaded effect with a #8 cut and no swatches. I love the result… Leo and I are back on track and in love again! Take a look below…

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