Friday, June 23, 2017

Hooked Items #4

Obviously my records of what was hooked when has been best.  So what I'll do is show rugs I've hooked beginning from 2007 forward but not commit myself to an accurate year.  

There are so many... I mean we are talking another 10 years worth here folks.  So after today will take a break then give an update on the Gossip rug. Then, if you aren't too bored for me to continue showing rugs I've hooked will resume at a later date.

Below was a Semper Fi design kit Polly Minick offered with proceeds to help wounded military.
That year I also hooked 1847 Turkey which was offered in a Needl'le Love booklet.
I was spellbound by a Kindred Spirits pattern named Crow Sampler so purchased the pattern.
Then when I began to hook it decided to make a change and put the border all the way around.  Here is the way I hooked it. 
During 2007 going thru a devastating divorce, rug hooking wasn't as much a pleasure as perhaps a way to make ends meet at shows.  So started hooking smalls, try to sell them and kits at shows.  I'd demonstrate hooking and try to sell my dolls. 

Here is one such small design I developed.  There were others but this is one I found easily.
Another Polly Minick design I hooked was Patriotic Sandpails.
I think Small Flowerbox, a design by Karen Kahle,  was my salvation to work on after my divorce.  There were small motifs to hook and finish, flowers to start and finish.  This helped keep me focused and take one step at a time.
Okay chickadees, I think you've probably had enough of my boring rug show for a while.  There are several years yet to go so will save them and come back to 'real time'.

Happy Friday.


Thursday, June 22, 2017

Hooked Items without a Birth Date

Sorry for the brief detours now I'm back to bore you with more rugs and other items I've hooked.  

There are two rugs where the date had been lost in time.  One is a kit purchased from ebay and a design by Pat Cross.  Not sure of the timeline but it must have been between 2002 and 2003 while still dipping my toes in the water of rug hooking and not having much wool stash.

The person had hooked a couple circles, started a star and hooked a little background.  Guess she decided rug hooking was not for her. Some great wide cut wool and a great design was thinks it may have been a kit from  Pat Cross herself.  Although it is a basic two color rug I find it enjoyable to see when walking into the sewing room and wool room.  
This a pattern in one of Pat's books Called Purely Primitive.  Just pulled mine off the shelf and there is a host of wonderful designs to draw on your own and hook.  
The other rug in question NOW has a birth date.  I was determined to research to find out when this was hooked.  Knowing that I'd kept the wool from the kit thought that might lead me to the date. 
Here is the catalog from which the pattern was ordered.  AH HA!  2003.
So now I plan to enjoy and use those colors stashed for what reason??   Why not use them?  I've been guilty of saving favorite wool colors, aromatic soaps..for a special occasion?.  Will definitely use them NOW.

I'd planned much more for my blog post but got carried away with research.  PLUS cleaning the porch in this heat and humidity used up a lot of my time.  

Chat with ya tomorrow and hope you enjoy the post more than today.


Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Types of Rug Binding

Just another minor detour from my hooked items theme.  There have been two recent inquires from two different folks wanting more information about binding rugs.

Although I've posted binding information several times on the blog before, newly joined folks may not have seen them.  THERE IS a way to do a 'search' on my blog using key words to find what you want.  At the top left on my blog is a white block where I just typed in "binding a rug" and this is the information which popped up: 

Yet, wanting to please my readership (lost one today...wonder why?) thought I'd show you different ways I've bound rugs.  In the beginning I used only the 1 1/4" binding tape.  I was taught to do a row of straight stitching 1/4" away from the last row of hooking and then 1" away from that do two rows of straight stitching 1/4" apart with a row of zig zag stitching connecting the two.  Then you could trim the foundation knowing it is protected from raveling.  When the binding tape is attached it protects the foundation from further harm.
At rug camps I learned other ways to bind using complimentary wool. The colors of this wool on the lion below goes well with the inside colors.  It was cut on the bias, covered a cord and sewn down the appropriate length to cover the edge of the rug.
This is what the back looks like.  I felt the edge of the bias wool needed protection so did a zig zag to prevent it from raveling.  
Also have done several rugs using a wool whipped edge.  Most recent was the Magdalena Goat.  The formula for 'how much yarn' is that it takes 12" of yarn to whip 1".  Bless Kris Miller of Spruce Ridge Studios  for reminding me when I had a brain fart once.  
Now another question rises to the top, right?  You're wondering if you need to use binding tape if you whip.  Some people do but it isn't necessary.  The object of binding tape is to protect the foundation and whipping the edge does that.  The Magdalena Goat it is crisp, clean and no loose edges of foundation to be seen so did not use binding tape.  

I have also used cotton fabric in wide widths such as this.  I felt that the stripe would lend itself to a complimentary look if an edge were to show.  The Cherries and Candy Stripe piece is for my harvest table and not the floor so wouldn't see traffic.
Another binding technique was used on the Chicken Challenge rug below.  It was taught by Betsy Reed in a class.  If you would like to see it demonstrated on a previous blog post you can see it HERE.
NOW speaking of the traffic ~ this is the rug which was at my front door for 14 years.  Below is the back side and was also a wool covered cord with the self-binding a the back.  The wool was the same Dorr #44 used for the background.  This wool was cut straight of grain rather than bias.  Note the more squared corners than in the bias border previously. 
Below you can see how the walking of 14 years at the front door wore down the wool. The foundation is still perfectly fine and glad I pulled it off the floor when I did.  Plans are now to repair the edge with wool whipping around the cord all the way around.  I won't put it back at the front door again but it is too special to me to let it fade away.  This was my precious first hooking project and want to preserve it for my family.
There are additional binding techniques which I have not tried ~ one is the crochet edge and the other is with a braided edge.

Several booklets are available to teach about binding and other basics but I can give you two sources.  One is called Finishing Hooked Rugs ~ a publication from Rug Hooking Magazine.
Another is by Kris Miller which also gives basics of rug hooking.
Have a great evening everyone; for those of you who 'may' be looking forward to more of my hooked rugs perhaps I'll begin again tomorrow.


Monday, June 19, 2017

Patriotic Rider

A few weeks ago Lisa, a follower and steady customer, asked me to design a rug pattern for her.  She owns horses and attends horse shows frequently so it made sense she would want this in her home.  I gave Lisa two design sketches and this is what she chose.
Frankly I believe she made the better choice.  When I design a rug don't normally sell it until I've hooked it so the potential customer can see how it looks hooked.  This case was different as it was for Lisa and she was ready to start hooking.  Lisa has done such a fantastic job on it so far that now I want to hook it.  But before I can do that two rugs need to be completely hooked and another one bound.

Happy HOT Monday to you all.  I will continue with the next episode of "my hooked items" in a future post.


Sunday, June 18, 2017

My Hooked Items #3

The year 2006 brought forth new experiences for me.  Feeling a little more comfortable with a hook in my hand and my abilities did something I'd been insecure about trying ~ narrow cut hooking.

The intimidation was not just internal but also external.  When starting to hook on the eastern shore the hobby/art/craft was consumed with McGowan narrow cut designs and rug hookers.  As mentioned in a previous post, the McGowan school would only allow McGowan, Primco or Charco designs.  

There appeared to be an atmosphere that wide cut hookers were not considered 'real' rug hookers; if your project wasn't a flower using dip dyed wool with fingering technique or an oriental rug you weren't up to snuff.  Or at least that is what I felt.  

So under the tutelage of Jon Ciemiewicz decided to hook my Rottie Memorial in #3.  Hey, I was used to hooking in #8.  Yes, I was able to get good detail with the #3.  As soon as the dogs were hooked decided the background would be hooked in a wider cut so used #5 (or was it #6?) for the background.
As a side note, when the dogs were alive and would groom them would save each of their hair in a baggie.  Later, a dear friend spun each of their hair on a narrow piece of wool roving.  That wool was hooked at the nape of necks of each dog.  And, the dog tags were added just recently when being found while cleaning out my shed. Below is the photo from which the design was hooked.
Just as soon as the Rottweiler narrow cut was hung on the wall I drew out a primitive design and hooked the pups in #8.  That one is on the floor beside my bed and has been there since 2006.  Many is the night that Ben will lay on it.
That same year at Cape May I took a class with Bev Conway where I hooked her design named Rufus.  I had seen someone the previous year hooking it and loved the wild a crazy colors of the mane.  Now remember, I'm not normally a wild and crazy color person but it was another 2006 challenge and experience.  But hooked in #8 of course.
As I was doing artisan shows (primitive dolls and hooked items) thought hooking items to sell might be in order to help support my habit.  So I hooked the following items which sold at shows.  Some of the same design were hooked over again to replace the ones sold previous and purses were really popular, particularly the cat purses.
Decided to try a hooked penny or cat's paw purse and it even sold.
This same year I hooked Stars in Blocks and purchased the kit from ebay because someone didn't want to finish it.
My original way to document what I hooked was with photos on my computer's hard drive.  Then the unthinkable happened computer crashed and along with it many of my hooked rug photos were lost. When I could find photos of them most times I'd 'cropped' the photo so the date of the photo changed.  Now, I have started a Word document with the rugs by year.  

What makes it difficult tho is getting the timeline right.  One such example is this 1880 Running Horse adaptation which has a last date of 2010.  But I know it was hooked before that so will include it in 2006.
That horse rug has been sold but guess I had better pull out all my other rugs and check the dates before continuing with this 'my rugs' story.  Also need to back track and make a label for those which have been neglected.  Let this be a lesson to all of you, learn from my mistake.

Happy Sunday everyone.


Friday, June 16, 2017

My Hooked Items #2

And so it continues.......  In my previous post was able to get 3 years worth of rugs in the one post.  But eventually found my rhythm and production of hooked rugs and items increased per year.  All newbies learn not to twist the wool, how to control the loop to prevent it from falling down when the next loop is pulled and finding that rhythmic feel.     
In 2005 I hooked Fall is Here, a design by Vermont Folk Rugs.  I was beginning to establish more of a wool stash and had a better sense of putting colors together.  I even over dyed that blue wool for the about getting BRAVE!  The first time I dyed it was if I was about to perform brain surgery and kept reading the instructions over and over from the beginning before doing each next step.
Then in an issue of Rug Hooking Magazine there was a delicious article by Karen Kahle with loads of pictures and a free pattern insert.  AH HA! Gotta hook that baby (I thought), and so I did. 
In one of Karen's catalogs I saw a pattern called Stop and Smell the Roses so that was the next to be hooked.  It remains on the floor since 2005 and still in great shape.  It is in an area where it is walked on several times a day but not in front of the kitchen sink or front door.  If I were to hook it now the white rabbit wouldn't be so white and would have picked a better choice of wool for the bunny on the left....Oh, and the basket would be different, lol.
Can't say anything bad about Harry, a design by Sally Kallin (Pine Island Primitives), since I purchased the kit.  I loved the rug when it was featured in an issue of Rug Hooking Magazine.  So contacted Sally and ordered the pattern and kit with like wool. 
Although I'd always been creative...oil painted, made dolls and used to draw, I was very insecure about designing my own rug/mat.  And I wanted something for fall so designed a small very humble Pumpkin Runner and a side pocket for me to use to keep pen and money in at my shows.  The pumpkin runner sold so not all was lost.
A few years later I would design a small runner called Mache' Jacks which is a far cry better attempt at designing pumpkins.  But, in 2005 was still feeling my way around.

Soon after decided the side pocket didn't work so made some zippered pursettes.  I made a couple ~ sold one and kept one.  Since I made both black and white dolls thought I'd put one on each side.  At camps people have taken notice and taken photos of it.
Then came my first adaptation and cannot remember where the idea came from.  But was determined to hook a larger rug and experiment. Again came the 'brain surgery' of dyeing wool for the background color (hey, what did I know?, lol)

SO you see that I used a lot of what I had on hand...greys, black, white and overdyed white with YELLOW, lol.

FYI, yesterday's blogpost has been updated with more photos I've found.  It made sense to me to add the photos from 2001 in that post than add them here.  ....So, take a trip back in time and see what is there.

Happy Friday to you all.


Thursday, June 15, 2017

Some of My Hooked Items

Recently my friend Lauren (Rugs and Pugs) posted photos of rugs she has on the floor.  It appears all of hers are in low traffic areas which will definitely extend the life. Seems a lot of people are afraid to place rugs on the floor anywhere, even in low traffic areas.

After her blog post a follower  asked me to post photos of all my rugs. Told her I'd have to do it in segments or by year because I'm sure I've hooked well over 80 rugs and if you add purses, mitts/pockets , etc. there would be over 100.  Well, here goes...... 

2001 and just a newbie began my hooking with small stuff.  I'd see wonderful antique rugs in Country Living Magazine (the old publications) and wanted to replicate those.  But you have to start somewhere, right?

My first lessons were from the booklets of Kindred Spirits.  The very first piece hooked was a piece like this.  But not this one; sadly I didn't have a photo of the poor sad thing.  But below was like my very first project.
Then, being really brave (I think) decide to hook some purses.  The middle purse with the three flowers was my second project from a Kindred Spirits booklet.  The other two were ..uh, ...designed by me with a universal and not copyrighted star.  
So making purses for shows and expanding my hooking experience became the new norm and love instead of dollmaking.
In 2002 I hooked and stuffed Max the Cat, which stood 26" tall.  It was a free pattern from Bonnie of The Wool Street Journal.  People were to hook their rendition and submit photos for a forthcoming issue.  This was my presentation and that backdrop was red but shows up pink in the photo with flash.  And of course the cat looks washed out.  As I had no space to keep it ended up selling it at one of my shows.
In 2003 I attended my first ever rug camp and hooked a pattern sold by Charco, #1105 Heritage.  It was hooked using #8 strips.  This rug was in a very high traffic area at my front door until recently.  It held up very well and only the edge of the wool wrapped foundation was worn.  Not the foundation itself, but rather the wool covering, was worn so rolled it up and put another rug in its place.  But hey, it was at the front door for 14 years.
September 2003 at Cape May I started a rug called Eat Crow by Anne Hallet.
This rug is still in front of my kitchen sink where it gets lots of use.  It still looks great but on occasion will need a damp soapy cloth to clean up a spot where something has dropped on it.  Again, 14 years and going strong.  I am getting a little bored with it so will need to find something else to place there.
Same year I hooked Patriotic Angel, at kit, which I believe was put out by Hooked on Rugs.  My sweet Daughter-in-law loved it so gave it to her.  
That year I also hooked Sam's Hats, a design by Woolley Fox, which also was given to sweet Cathy, my DIL.  
In 2004 I hooked a floral pattern by Patsy Becker which resides on the step landing and gets lots of use when I climb to the sewing room and wool room.  If I'd had a better wool stash would have hooked this differently.  The background and border was hooked using Dorr #44 which was popular back then as a primitive black.  It was also left over from the wool purchased to hook Heritage above.
The same year I hooked a small runner designed by Brenis called Circle Whimsey.
Also an oval Hearts and Flowers w/checkerboard design by Kindred Spirits.  The outside border and inside dark blocks are hooked with a blue and deep red plaid wool.  I didn't have  much of a stash back in those days and used what I had.
Below is Humble Beginnings, another Charco design.  When I had my teacher color plan the Heritage design (above) had her color plan this too and it includes the Dorr #44 for the border.  Must admit this one is resting on top of an antique chest at the foot of my bed.  Since it has a very light background didn't want it walked on.
Both Humble Beginnings and Heritage above were hooked in April at the McGowan Rug Camp in Ocean City, MD.  At that particular time only McGowan pattern designs or Charco designs could be taken to the classes.  McGowan patterns were NOT me.  So purchased a Charco pattern book to make my choices for a rug design.

A few years after the classes of 2003 and 2004 the McGowan Guild mellowed and decided to accept pattern designs by other artists.  I'm sure that choice gave the camps more revenue with that decision.

Pineapples and Flowers is a design by Bev Conway and until just recently was on the floor between kitchen and living room, another high use area.  This one shows only having been flattened by use but no dirt or damage.  I got tired looking at it so put another rug there just recently.
Below is a very washed out rug called Mouser which is an adaptation of an antique.  The photo was taken outside on my deck as natural light was supposed to get a good picture... or so I thought.  This sold at one of my shows years ago and would love to hook it again.
Am not sure if these were all the rugs hooked in those years since I didn't start recording my pieces until years later and was at the mercy of photos, memory or having the rug on hand.  I'm much more diligent in recording rugs as they are in the making now.

Have a great day.  It is lovely outside today and a good day for the men to replace the roof on the shed since it is low humidity.