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Color Marriage with a New Twist

Annie Spring's dyeing secrets

By: Loretta Scena

This is a wonderful “stash building” dye exercise for anyone to try. The original process was developed by Annie Spring, a McGown certified rug hooking teacher from Massachusetts.

Several years ago, as a new teacher, I was asked to speak about dyeing at a local rug show alongside dye masters Michele Micarelli and Vivily Powers. I remembered learning this dye process during my training at Northern McGown teachers workshop and decided to ask Annie if I could speak at the rug show about her “Color Marriage with a Twist.” She was very gracious and told me I could certainly teach her method of married swatches anytime I liked, as long as I explained that this was her concept. It is my pleasure to share with you my version of Annie’s method of marrying swatches. The results are always a surprise and always beautiful. 

Annie started out with seven Dorr Potpourri swatches, each containing six values. Since I dye my own wool, I now use my own swatches, which work just as well. Any swatches having up to eight values will work and the kaleidoscopic stash of wool you end up with can be used in a variety of rugs, or in just one rug. 

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