Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Last Day of 2013

I promised myself that I would have my departed Shadow Memorial hanging on the wall THIS year.  And by golly girl dog I kept my promise.  As of this morning binding on Shadow was almost 1/4 done so spent the rest of the afternoon finishing that and preparing a sleeve for the dowel.  Now she will hang on the wall and begin the new year at my right side every day..... like she always did.....by my side.
So that leaves just the antique adaptation Hearts and Swags piece for me to make into a pillow.  That will be fun and a challenge which I plan to do before binding Santa and Deer.

Speaking of which...... I haven't pulled a loop on the Santa rug all day but plan to do so tonight.  HA, which means my plans are to spend a calm new years eve hooking and will welcome 2014 behind closed eye lids.

Have a great evening, and will chat with you NEXT YEAR.


Monday, December 30, 2013

Well I'll Be... Bells

As many times as I've looked at the antique Santa and Deer rug picture I never noticed until now there were bells on the Deer's collar. 
So yup, had to hook those babies in.  There are three but the ones on the sides don't show up well, the one in the center does.  Perhaps I'll have to work on that and make a different choice of wool so the other two show up; or better placement of the wool color against the brown body.

For sure I'm happier with the new shape of the face and collar rather than halter across the nose; it defines the shape of the head better and gives the deer a sweeter look.  My deer needs a bit of a bigger nose too I think.  Now need to hook the ears and decide on the antler color.
The glove color was also changed out and went with a different and slightly brighter green.  That was an over dyed piece I did on  Honeycomb wool of which I only had a smidgen. 

And... the border.  I've been pondering the border since drawing out the design.  There was the thought of no border, a plain all around border like the antique or hooking swags randomly here and there. 

When it came time decided to go with a regular framing.  I figured the swags would detract from the focus of the main objects.  But maybe next time I'll do the swags.  That is if I ever hook it again.  

What I'm using here is wool from a man's suit coat (recycled wool, ain't it grand?).  The wool has the green from the trees, brown like the deer and a smidgen of brown/gold. This wool appears more green than brown but I've another I just might try before the final decision is made.

Oh, for background think I'll go with the tan/brown plaid texture (thanks for your input Louise).  It seemed to do well around the moon with the brown part of the plaid hooked closest to the gold. 

Sunday, December 29, 2013

What to do about Santa

I'm having issues with my Santa and Deer rug.  It seems that all I do is air my dirty laundry on my blog about the decisions or issues with the rug I'm working on at the time.  And truly I do enjoy hooking, but since it's only me and Ben here there's no one for me to vent to other than my readers.  Oh don't you feel special now ~ haha.  But it also gives any of you newbies comfort knowing that you aren't the only ones who are in a quandary on what to do next.

So here's the skinny........ I've tried two different wools for possible background choices and not sure I like either because they will both make the moon disappear.  Hmmm, maybe if I use the most blue part of the texture wool which is to the right of Santa's beard around the moon it will be okay.  Oh, I've put a black arrow at Santa's cap and that is a tail sticking up and encroaching on the pom pom of Santa's cap.

Then there is the tan texture hooked in above the deer's butt and toward the tree.  Since the original antique had a tan background with a darker brown border thought that might be a good option. 

So...... do I go with the texture which has blue to make it look like sky or go with the tan/brown texture similar to the antique?  Decisions decisions.
The other problems are Santa's gloves (yet again) and the Deer's face.  For Santa's gloves think I've got it figured and will re-hook using the green in the tree limbs instead of the texture used for the trunk I used. 

So that next decision is what to do about the deer face.  The original antique has a collar around the neck instead of a halter across the nose.  If I change mine it will eliminate the issue I have on how to separate the face from the chest of the deer.  And, just now I walked away from the computer, pulled out the wool and re-drew the face.

So guys, gals and hookers all..... check back tomorrow to see what I've gotten myself into now.  Hopefully it won't be another 'hot mess' but a lovely antique adaptation going in the right direction.

Ta ta.


Saturday, December 28, 2013

Figuring out Santa

I'm still having fun figuring out my vintage Santa and Deer rug but so far haven't decided on my background.  And sure hate having nothing left to hook except background and border.  Usually after I hook a motif will do at least one row of background around it so it frames the motif as well as making less background to hook all at once.   Well duh, I haven't chosen my background yet.

Here is what I've hooked on Santa so far.
Dang..... I think I've got to find yet another mitten color for Santa as the glove still gets lost in his coat.  And Tried a textured plaid for the deer's eye and just might go with flat black so it shows up more.

Now to the ticklish situation of background.  The wool to the top right of Santa's head (near the moon) I have plenty of but it is too light for what I want.  The softer wool to the left is all there is in my stash and that is what I was going to use but there's not enough of it.  NOTE TO SELF.....("find out who sells it and order more"). 

The light textured wool to the right is what I THINK I'll go with because it will give the appearance of sky, soft neutral and think it will work okay around the deer and trees.
Even I don't know which direction I'll go on the eye or background yet (for certain) what I choose might not be what you would have chosen .  There is no right or wrong it is just what our personal color preferences are; I mean we have to live with our rugs so it is ultimately our choice.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Vintage Santa and Deer

Here is the current picture of the progress on Santa and Deer.  Really wanted to keep on hooking but needed to cut more white wool for Santa's trim and decide an alternate color wool for Santa's gloves.  What I chose sure seemed like a good idea at the time because it had some gold and green in it but the value is just too close to the coat and it gets lost.  So now I'm thinking of going with the plaid used for the tree trunk which has some red but a lot of green.  Oh well, back to the drawing board...uh make that the wool cutting board.
If you look at my Santa you will see that I chose to go with a more primitive look for the face, sorta like the original.  My friend Shari (remember her perfection hand sculpted Santa in a previous post?) hooked her Santa with the eyes more realistic in appearance.
My background wool hasn't been chosen yet as more of the elements will have to be hooked before I decide that.  And, as I look at the original antique again am considering re-drawing the placement of the 'collar' from what I have on the nose like a halter, to more of a dog type collar like the original.  The jury is still out on that right now.

This is what the original looks like.  Part of me wants to have a dark brown border and tan/brown background like the original.  But not sure what I'll end up with since I've deviated from the original colors and design in so many other ways.
Before beginning to hook this design I'd also considered using various reds for Santa's coat like the original but figured that if I choose to sell it or given to my family, the more traditional red might be enjoyed more.

Hope you had a marvelous Christmas holiday with family and friends.  For those of you with other cultural celebrations I hope those were wonderful as well. 


Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Here Comes Santa Claus

There really must be a Santa Claus, because here he is.  Actually, this is a Santa that my talented doll maker and hooker friend Shari Lutz has  created for a customer.  Do you believe the talent that woman has to create such a lifelike face?   The face is NOT from a mold, but is hand sculpted by Shari using sculpy and glass eyes.

If you wish to see other items she creates, click on her name and it will take you to her web site.  She does other folk art, not just Santas.
And speaking of Santa....I've had a marvelous time hooking today when I should have been cleaning.  But hey, it is just me and Ben here and tomorrow I'll be at my son's house with family so just may as well enjoy my Christmas eve the way I wish, right?  That's what I thought you'd say (think).

Once I started hooking Santa realized I'd messed up on my drawing (after comparing it to the antique again) and made a re-deux.  If you compare this photo with the previous post you will see what I mean ~ the deer chest and Santa coat/arm area.
And this is what I accomplished today.
It was fun checking my bags of left over wool strips to see what I could use in this one as it is rewarding to know that the leftovers are being used up little by little.  The eyes were left over blue strips as were the lips, nose and cheeks.  Santa has a wind burn, har har, he does look a little tan and for that used a wonderful wool that makes a nice primitive flesh.  Most of his beard was also left over strips.

Since there are no plans to change the dimensions or border of the piece have sewn my pre-binding line.  So now all I have to do when the hooking is done is steam and trim off the excess backing before the binding.

As you can see from the note at the bottom of the design, it measures 23" x 25 1/2".  I'm sure the antique was larger but this is the size I wanted since there are no plans for it to be a floor rug but rather something to pull out and place on the harvest table at Christmas.

Have a marvelous holiday.  Peace be with us all. 


Monday, December 23, 2013

One Down and Two to Go

Yup, finished binding and have hung Long Island Farm (design by Lucille Festa) so tomorrow will begin binding my Shadow girl. 
Meanwhile, I'm going thru withdrawal and need to start pulling loops on something.  Each year I plan to have a Christmas themed rug to put on my harvest table and for years had wanted to hook the vintage Santa and Deer.  About 3 weeks ago decided that this was the year I'd start hooking it and wanted to work on it between Thanksgiving and Christmas.  Well, duh..... Christmas is in 2 days.  So this is what I've drawn so far.

Wasn't sure if I wanted a border of two rows, or draw swags here and there, or no border at all.  The only pieces I've hooked with no border were my two memorial rugs of the Rotties and of Shadow, all others had a border of some kind.
The purpose of the picture is to see which white I want to use for Santa's beard and which to use for his clothing trim and to see if it shows up too white.  And in this picture it looks like the red might be too bright, but then guess it depends on whether it is the bright red or the dark which shows at the top of the loop.
Drew the stick trees and sliver of moon at the last minute.  Now fix a salad to go with my new pot of homemade soup and pull some loops.
Have a great evening everyone; I've only one more gift to wrap and I'm ready for Christmas. 
p.s.  Lauren, next post I'll give dimensions
        I forgot to measure it.


Sunday, December 22, 2013

Making Some Headway

Yippee, I've pulled the last loop and steamed the antique Hearts and Swags piece.  Have even gone so far as to clean up all the wool strips from this project and put them away.  Thought I'd post a picture of it after being steamed and before being made into a pillow since the shape of a pillow will distort the look of the design.  This is a picture without a flash.  I love the look of the curl from the hand torn.  But not all wool used was hand torn as sometimes I wanted a thinner row of a color.
 While the steamed piece is resting I'm determined to finish binding Long Island Farm and get it hung.  I really want to start hooking another project but must get some of these pieces completely done.... meaning the binding.  Having 3 hooked items hanging in the balance to be bound is wearing me down. 

When I get ready to make Hearts and Swags into a pillow I'll do a tutorial of sorts.  Obviously my will power won't hold out and somewhere after having one bound and hung I'll start that new project.  Then will bounce between that new project (secret right now in case I change my mind on design), binding Shadow and making the pillow.

Have a great evening.  Yikes, just 3 days and it will be Christmas. 


Thursday, December 19, 2013

Santa times Two

Here are two Santas I made using a canvas type fabric which would be sturdy and handle a gesso coating and paint.  These were fun to make and to experiment with different media other than my usual primitive tea dyed style.  I forget the designer of this or would give him credit. 

Another Santa I made is using wool for clothing, sheep's wool for beard locks and tree trim candy cane to hold.  His pants were vintage worn blanket.
By the way, my grandson made his presentation as Albert Einstein in his class project at school today.  He was so stressed and was SO happy to have it over with.  Here is a picture of my wonderful grandson Zach in costume just before school.  Grandma made the wig and mustache, but appears grandma should have given Einstein a bit of a hair cut before he left for school.  However, Einstein DID have unruly and long hair which is what we were trying to achieve as it was in the making.
Believe me I have numerous other photos of Zach in costume and while I'm very proud didn't want to bore you with more photos.  BTW, Zach is 10.

Good grief.... Christmas Day is less than 5 days away.  YIKES.  I've got to purchase some 'what if someone comes and brings me a gift' gift. 

Hope you have a great evening and hope we'll all get through this holiday jolly and wise.  Ya think?  Har har......just throwing in a little humor there.  Please be kind to one another  AND, whatever holiday you are embracing, I hope you enjoy it to it's fullest with your family.


Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Santas and What I've Been Doing

It has been fun looking at Ali Strebel's blog and checking her daily Santa collection postings.  I've made and sold numerous Santa figures during my craft show life and of the many sold don't have pictures since they are on the 3.5 diskettes which are now antiquated.  So here are a couple Santas I was able to obtain pictures of with the use of newer data. 

This one someone inquired on my blog if it was for sale....and it was.  However, the person couldn't receive my response because she did not put her e-mail address on her profile page so it was a "no-reply" blogger.
And this one was made using part of a cutter quilt.  And when I say "cutter" it really was destroyed before I used it.  Often I will find quilts in a thrift shop which I CAN NOT cut up.  They are brought home and I enjoy them.  Hmm, think that is another day of blogger posting I'll save.
So now what have I been spending time doing since it isn't obviously rug hooking?  That would be making a wig and mustache for my grandson's class project where he transforms into Albert Einstein.  Of course there is much work that Zach is doing himself, but grandma has the resources to make the wig.  Items cannot be purchased, as in going to a costume store to buy or rent a wig.  All items must come from the home.  If only he'd gotten Abraham Lincoln.....sigh.  Just a top had would do.

To make the wig I started out with a lined shower cap and cut away the plastic so that what was left was the lining.  Then I proceeded to cut wool in various lengths and using a needle stitched 3 strands at a time into the wig base and knotted off a couple of the pieces of wool at the base to secure. 

This is Icelandic carded and spun (not twisted) wool from their sheep. When I was a hooking fanatic my Icelandic girlfriend would purchase it for me.  So this was great for me to use to make Einstein's hair. The grey was three ply but the white was only one ply so adjusted accordingly. 
Here I placed the partially done wig on a stand of sorts, so I could see how full it was.  Oh my but such a long way to go.  (by the way, the doll to the left is from my doll artist friend Shari Lutz and the one to the right is made by my dear friend Frannie Meshorer.
The wig and mustache are done, and eyebrows IF he wants to use them.  Not sure if the class project is tomorrow or Friday but his mother has PROMISED me photos of him in full dress before he is dropped of at school.

This has been fun helping and sharing in classwork with my grandson.  BUT, like him, I'm glad it is over.  Hey, I already went thru school already, worked already and now I'm retired and it is time for this old broad to play and have fun so I'm ready to get back to playing with my rug hooking again.  But can't wait to see pictures of him which I'll share.

Have a most marvelous evening everyone.  Grandma is going to play tonight with her Antique Hearts and Swags pillow.


Monday, December 16, 2013

Antique Hearts and Swags

It's been a few days since I've given you an update on my progress on this piece.... uh, because there hasn't been much progress lately.  I've been busy helping my grandson with a project at school, which I promise to bore you with later.

This is the pillow 'wanna be' and measures 20x20.  I'm looking forward to leaning back on it where I sit to hook.  I'm using a variety of hand torn from 1" to 1/2" and some previously cut strips from my stash in smaller widths for certain areas.

And this is what the original antique rug looked like.   Provenance is New York 1875 and original dimensions were 34 x 41 according to the auction house.  Oh my but what I wouldn't give to make mine look like this beauty!!!!!!
The antique rug was much larger but I reduced it to two different sizes and chose to hook the 20 x 20 as a pillow. 
I'm still slowly working on binding two other rugs but other projects have intervened so will just take one day at a time.  But once they are done will have a celebration and show-n-tell.
Have a great evening everyone.  Life is Good!!  And oh my do I love those tee shirts to wear and spread the word.  For some this is a tough time so a <smile> just might make a difference.


Sunday, December 15, 2013

More Dyeing

Thought I'd start off first with an adaptation of an E.S. Frost Rug that I hooked.  While perusing photos came across it and remember how much I liked the colors and blotches of different colors in the background.
After doing the faux paisley dyeing yesterday there was a little red dye left so thought I'd use it up.  Actually, I had to add a little more of the Egyptian Red dye because what was left wouldn't have been enough to dye the wool I grabbed.  Soaking here are parts of a skirt (or maybe a jacket?) and a wool pocket.

And this is what it looked like after being over dyed with the red.  Now it can be used with that white toned down.
HEAR YE, HEAR YE.............
My friends Lynne Fowler and Eric Sandberg are starting a hooking group in Onancock, Virginia.  It will be held the second Monday of each month  at Ker Place.  There is no cost, but the Museum would appreciate it if one would join or make a donation.  Please bring a lunch.

Also, beginners are welcome but there will not be any formal class however, they will take beginning supplies.  If you are a newbie you can learn by just watching what other hookers do.  A great way to be exposed to different rug hooking equipment also, not to mention getting away to be with other rug hookers.

Lynne asked that I post this on my blog to spread the word.  So if you are local to the area or are up for a drive the second Monday of each month, you will be welcomed with open arms.

WHEN:  2nd Monday of each  month
WHERE:  Ker Place, 69 Market St., Onancock, VA
TIME:    10 a.m. - 4 (flexible)
LUNCH:  bring your own

If you have questions, Please contact Lynne Fowler at:  lynnevfowler@gmail.com

Thanks for dropping by to visit, comments and questions are always welcome.  Just remember that if you don't provide your e-mail address on your profile I will not be able to reply to you.


Saturday, December 14, 2013

Faux Paisley Dye Results

I've been a very busy girl today and haven't pulled a loop or done any binding on finished hooked pieces.  Between working on the paisley dye project, working on my grandson's handmade wig and mustache for him to be Einstein at school, AND making homemade vegetable soup there's been no play time for me. 

Please don't get me wrong, I'm having a BLAST helping my grandson with this endeavor and is a story I'll share later....anyway...back to paisley.

Joan Moshimer's instructions wrote that she used Dorr's Mint wool as the base wool since it was a pale grayed-green helping to soften the colors.  At first I'd considered ordering a yard but figured there must be something in my stash that I could use even if it was in pieces.   And pieces it was. 
Also I chose a variety of greens since I wasn't sure exactly what Dorr's looked like in person.  Besides, it might be nice to have different looks since you already saw the various antique paisley colors available that Deb purchased.

Joan chose Cushing dyes of Egyptian Red, Gold and Aquagreen as her dyes.  She used FOUR pieces each 10" x 18" (to fit a large flat pan).  The wool I chose might have been a smidgen longer or smaller in length but wider, but approximated the amount.  And then soaked in water with a little detergent for a while.
After pre-soaking the wool pieces in detergent squeeze them out and put them in a solution of 4 cups warm water mixed with 4 TBS vinegar.  The vinegar will help absorb color quickly.
Then mix:
  • A.  1/4" tsp. plus 1/8 tsp. EGYPTIAN RED in 3 cups boiling water.
  • B.  1/8 tsp. GOLD in 2 cups boiling water.
  • C.  1/16 tsp. AQUAGREEN in 2 cups boiling water.
Since I didn't have a 3 cup utensil used for dyeing decided to use two cups and fill them each with 1 1/2 cups water.

NOTE TO NEWBIES:  You can see a piece of my nose mask on the far right, which I use when my dyes are opened and until they are dissolved ~ better safe than sorry.  AND, a little hint is to put some water into your measuring cup, swirl it around and dump it out before putting your power dye in and it will prevent some of the particles from floating around.
Then into the flat baking pan put a sheet of aluminum foil lightly crumpled.
Next Joan squeezed out the first piece and laid it over the foil. 
Using dye solution A spoon splotches of it all over so only small areas of original mint color remain. It looks white here because of the flash but it is mint green.
Then with dye solution "B" Joan spooned on to cover the remaining mint color here and there even onto the red, using much less of B than A. 
Next, Joan's instructions say that solution C is spooned on here and there using even less than B.  My colors seem to be very limited here I know.  But also in her article it says the bottom wool will be the darkest since all the color will drain down.  Being timid I was a little conservative in my colors and guessed the top would drain down.
This repeats, laying each subsequent layer over the previous.  FINALLY pour over about 4 cups of water/vinegar mixture, cover and bake at 300 degrees for 1 hour. 

And these are the results, this without a flash and can now see that I was a little stingy with my red dye.  BUT, this was my first try. 
And this with a flash.  Think I was scared of this since I was putting red over green fearful of getting a brown.  Ive more mint green so perhaps one day I'll try it again. 
But this will be good to use for flowers, part of a sunset, tulips?  Hey, mistakes can always be used for something even if it didn't turn out to be for the project you intended. 

I'm very envious (jealous) of my gal pal who can color by eye.  I'm sure that Lynne is chuckling right now if she is reading my blog and I'll get a response from her by tomorrow for sure. UPDATE: Lynne did write me and said that SHE was envious because she's been wanting to try this recipe but hasn't done so yet.  However, she is planning to experiment one day soon.

Have a great evening everyone and now I've go to go back and stir my homemade vegetable soup.  Have a great weekend and remember to be kind to one another. 


Friday, December 13, 2013

Antique Paisley

Have you ever hooked antique paisley shawl strips in one of your pieces?  I have and it did add a nice look to the piece.  Even at my local thrift shop just once I had the opportunity to pick up a piece of paisley and was very surprised to find it there.  It is old and fragile and mine didn't fare too well when trying to hook it. 

However, I purchased a nice piece from Kris Miller at camp once and hooked well.  You may wish to contact Kris to see is she has any paisley for sale if you are interested in trying it.  Seems to me it was like $10 or $12 for a small piece about the size of the ones rolled up in the picture above.  When hooking with real paisley you need to cut the strips wider and it will curl, which is exactly what you want it to do.

My friend Deb went bonkers over antique paisley and was on the hunt to purchase as much for as good a price as she could.  For any of you who have checked, you realize paisley is expensive.  Yet my dear friend Deb gifted me with strips from all the various colored paisley she purchased.  In the picture below, all of the paisley is her gift to me except for those two little pieces to the far right.  That would be a small piece of the fragile paisley I pick up at the local thrift shop but as mentioned, is too fragile to hook with.
And this is a rug that Deb hooked with Barb Carroll called Hildafern (a Woolley Fox design).  All the leaves in this rug were hooked with paisley.  As you can tell she has quite a selection of colors.
So this weekend I intend to try something new with the dye equipment.  One of the hand outs that Betsy Reed gave the class was an article by Joan Moshimer on "How to Dye Paisley". 

No, it isn't  over dying the already beautiful antique paisley, it is trying to achieve a faux paisley look.  Well of course it won't look like real paisley, but I'm going to give it a try and will post everything in stages for you to see what I do.  I just might end up with a mess because if complimentary colors are used in equal quantities it could be that I'll end up with a gray mess.  But hey, it's been a while since I've pulled out my dye equipment and want to play a little.  Besides, the heat will be nice with these sub freezing temperatures here.

Have a great evening, try and stay warm and be kind to one another.


Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Pillow Wannabe

Back on my frame is Hearts and Swags, an antique adaptation that I started at Betsy Reed's class this past November.  It was put aside once coming home from camp so that Long Island Farm could be finished as well as my girl Shadow's profile.  So I'm back having fun doing the hand torn hooking, which is all new to me.
One thing I've noticed with the hand torn is that it tends to grow a little once you make that first snippet.  Perhaps it is the angle of the tip of the scissor's position which causes the direction of the rip, but my torn strips aren't consistent.  Maybe this adds to the primitive look, and for sure it doesn't cause any wear and tear on a cutter since I'm not using one.  Also must say that it hasn't hurt my hand by either the ripping or the pulling loops.  Yet, this is a rather smallish piece (20 x 20) plus the fact I stepped away from it for a while to hook the other rugs.

This piece is going to be a pillow, it will be my first hooked pillow and I'll not hook the backside but will use the patchwork technique Betsy taught us in class.

Have a great evening folks, Hard to believe it is just two weeks away from Christmas.  Please be kind to one another as you find a parking space at the mall, stand in line at the register, etc.  'Tis the season where patience and time are short so kindness needs to be stronger.  LUV ya'll.

Saundra (and Ben)

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Talking about Rug Hooking Frames

Okay newbies..... you asked for it.  Now it's time to talk about frames.  Just like most of you I started out with little money spent on equipment until finding out if rug hooking was something I wanted to continue.  And, just like with cutters, there were fewer options available then than now.

My very first frame was a stitchery hoop but not the nice one which would sit in your lap that quilters use.  Mine was just the hoop with a short expandable screw.  It was rather difficult to do a two-handed task when you need one to hold the hoop.  So I placed the side of the hoop against my midriff and pressed the other side up against a table.  Not fun and hooking was slow not only because it was a new task but also the awkwardness of the hoop.

So when I decided to purchase my first used Bliss cutter I asked the teacher what kind of frame she would recommend.  At that time the supposed crème de la crème was the Puritan frame.  Since she was reducing her teaching and students, she happened to have a used Puritan frame with floor stand for sale. Now I was set.  This is a picture of a Puritan frame.
Used Puritan Frame and Stand
I couldn't stand the frame because mine didn't tilt and rotate.  Perhaps other ones could, but not mine and I didn't know how to go about making it rotate.  So in the attic it went when I discovered there was something new called a 'sit-upon'.  I've since sold the Puritan.

As I didn't know any USA sit-upon manufacturers I purchased one from Quilters Woodwork in Canada.  I love it, still use it when I go to camps.  That one goes with me to the sleeping room and another floor frame stays set up in the class room. 

Now there are several good quality frames and here is a picture of one offered by Searsport.  Notice the narrow paddle. 
You don't really sit on it but rather your thighs hold it secure and I was able to prop my feet up on the coffee table and hook forever.  The frame tilted and rotated as it was on a swivel ball and I was in heaven.  If only I'd gotten a bigger frame so that I wouldn't have to move my rug as much. 

And I did.  I purchased the larger 12 x 16 solid oak frame from Rughooking101.  You will notice the paddle is somewhat larger and it would be nice if they could narrow that down a smidgen, but it is a very good frame which I also continue to use.
Then later got lucky and purchased Rughooking 101's floor stand used from another hooker.  So now I had the sit-upon or could put the frame on the floor stand. 
And then the Snapdragon was born.  Oh boy does it keep your backing tight!  And yes....sigh...... I also have one of those as well as the Townsend Orbiter.  I'm having trouble with either my computer or Blogger as I'm unable to post the other pictures.  But if you follow the link you can see what the Snapdragon looks like.  Must say here tho, since there are some small magnets it is not a frame for anyone who may have a pacemaker installed.

When I first got a frame with gripper strips it was dicey at first until I learned how to move my arms and hands around the prickly strips.  If you already have gripper strips and having that issue, here are some things you can do to keep from getting scratched:

~ cut a pair of socks open at the toe area, make a small hole for the thumb and a larger area for the four fingers.  Voila, a hooking arm protector.

~  probably won't work on the snapdragon, but other gripper frames you could buy 4 paint rollers (cardboard inside not plastic), cut down one side and slide over grippers.

~ you could also either make or buy an elastic stretched gripper cover which some hookers make and sell.

Now you're thinking, "what does she do with all those frames?"  I do honestly use them all.  Not all at the same time tho.  My Townsend is used when I hook a large rug and it was fabulous when I hooked Wee Folk.  Sure wish I'd had it when I hooked Domestic Zoo.

When I go to a rug camp I usually take two frames; my snapdragon on the floor stand for the classroom and then I take a sit-upon to use in the hotel room to hook at night.  And, when my gal pals stop by for a hook-in they can use one of my frames and they don't have to worry about bringing one.

But, I have also had 3 rugs going at the same time and had all three on 3 different frames so they were ready to go when my mood changed.

I'm sure you're also wondering...... IF I could only afford one frame which would I own?  Hands down it would be the Snapdragon whether on a floor stand or sit-upon.  AND, you could buy both and use the top on either the stand or sit-upon. 

Have a great evening everyone.


Monday, December 9, 2013

Having Fun and Hooking Letters

It is such fun to hook something that is fun and no stress.  No, my Long Island Farm isn't completely bound yet and Shadow hasn't been steamed yet.  I just needed to play and have fun working on the Antique Hearts and Swags design started with Betsy in November.  No, don't have a picture to share of that just yet but will do that tomorrow.

For the newbies I already talked about cutters and still owe an episode about frames but that would require a lot of work and already it is after 5 p.m.  However, there is another topic someone has asked me to cover and that is about hooking letters.

No I'm not an expert and normally don't follow the rules anyway.  Usually I just hook my letters in the same size wool strips that I'm using for the rest of the rug.  After the letters are hooked then I do a row of background around the letters to secure them in place.  Once hooked in don't normally pull them out and hook using a different size.    Here is the Crow Sampler by Ali Strebel that I hooked and the letters are in #8.  I did take some creative licence by carrying the circle border all the way around.
Another rug I hooked with letters is Stop and Smell the Roses by Karen Kahle, again hooked in #8.  I really need to tone down that white rabbit on the right and say that every time I post a picture somewhere.
I've heard or read where some hookers will use a thinner wool strip to hook the letters, then hook around those letters with background.  After which they pull out the letters and hook in the designated color using a slightly wider strip.  Hey, I don't care much for ripping out already hooked loops despite what I previously did with my poor Shadow memorial.

My girlfriend Shari hooked this antique adaptation and took the lettering to another level by outlining her letters with yet another color other than background. 
Shari hooked the letters in a red #8.5 wool strips and then outlined them in a #6 wool strip.  UH, I don't think I'd want to do that......once is enough already.  But Shari made quite a great statement in her rug and the words don't get lost.
Letters?  Hey, you can hook a flower stem, right?  That is nothing more than hooking on the line (or inside the lines) whether it be on the straight of grain or an angle.  So if you can hook a flower stem you can hook a letter.  Unless you're doing something special, all you have to do is hook the letters at the same height as you are the rest of your piece.
Have a great evening everyone.  And again, please be kind to one another.  Today at the grocery store I had two items and was in a rather long line where the people in front of me had half or full carts full.  It is a small store so at this time only one register was open.  The gentleman in front of me told me to go ahead of him.  I thanked him and said that chivalry isn't dead, and that his momma would be pleased at the great job she did in raising him.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Finally Finished ! ! ! !

Thank goodness I finally finished pulling the last loops on Shadow JUST NOW!  Many times I was tempted to post a current picture but knew I'd rip out, hook again and question my decisions even after that.  So this time my intentions were to just fill in the neck area the best I could and call it quits.  When she is steamed, bound and hung I'm sure that all I'll see is the beauty in her eyes, remember her spirit and her neck won't even be noticed. 
Should I  make changes?  Yes.  Am I going to?  No... Uh, or at least I don't think so.  But now that I'm looking at her on the computer certainly do notice things that should be better.  Oh my but she has been exhausting.  Shadow was started at Cape May in September and it is now 3 months later.  It has never taken me that long to do such a small hooked piece.  However, other rugs have been hooked and started since Shadow.  Shadow was hooked in #8 strips and before steaming she measures 19 x 23 (for you my sweet Lauren).

While I should be doing back flips I'm feeling like she still isn't done right.  SHEESH, enough already Saundra. 

Think it is time to take my big boy Ben out for a walk and get some fresh air. 

Have a good evening everyone.