Monday, February 29, 2016

Marching Ahead

That post name has two thruths.....tomorrow is March 1st and am marching ahead with hooking the background on Rainbow Cabin now that the rainbow angst has been calmed.  Here is a view of what it looks like now.
Yes there is a bit more background to hook but shouldn't take long hooking this small mat with #9 cuts.  THEN, to decide what size to hook the Out of Hand Rug Hookers Spring Challenge piece.  If you aren't a member and seem interested click on the link to join the group.

Oh, another thing this leap day has given me is another day logged as a post for the month.  Yippee, since some days cannot think of anything creative to write about and fear boring you with redundancy, I don't post. 

I so enjoyed last nights episode of Downton Abby to see the differences in the culture during the decades of life in England and the vast differences between life upstairs of the aristocracy and the downstairs servants.  Also, the differences between the Brits and the US.  

I only I'd started watching this show in it's first season because I refuse to pay to binge watch the show for all those seasons.  

Have a great evening everyone.  Hopefully spring will really be here full time soon since the daffodils and last two days of weather has been mild. Hmmm, weatherman tells me differently, we may have some snow this Friday or weekend.

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Over the Rainbow....

...and I mean that I am totally over the rainbow situation.  Am considering calling this rainbow finished!  Have hooked and reverse hooked colors in different places numerous times.  Either the colors didn't seem to work well together (think hit and miss) or had too much red or another color in one spot.  Really wanted to use the green wool which is in the limbs and stems but it didn't seem to work when the strip of wool was in my hand.  I'm over this damn rainbow ~ I think.
In looking at that photo again appears there still is too much red and to think I was worried about red elsewhere in the rug.

So contemplating this rainbow as finished have placed a strip of background wool along the underside.  Since the star on the left was made higher and into a flower perhaps it would work okay.
Now, if you look at the second photo again you can see what I'd considered hooking as a border along the rainbow section instead of the background blue.  Only considered that when hiding of ends in various ways didn't work out.  Yet, since it is a multicolored strip it isn't known yet if only the blue will show up or the red will show at the top of the loop.  Perhaps I'd be best served keeping the background wool all along the edge.

Plus, if I do pull out the blue then some of those now hidden ends would need to be redone inside the loops of whatever is hooked in its place.  See what I mean about being over it?  

There are some of you out there who are not intimidated by hit and miss.  While I do love the look obviously don't have knack for it.  Now, if it was regimented with 5 or 6 different colors of wool and they were worked in order over and over then that would be easy peasy.  I'm working out of my worm baggies and want it to appear primitive.  

Think I'll work on a little background along the bottom and safe sections of the rug and not bother with the rainbow any more tonight.

Wanted to get this piece further along before drawing out the OOHRH challenge rug.  Plus still haven't completely finished binding the two horse mats.

Have a great evening and hope your Sunday was as mild as it was here today.


Saturday, February 27, 2016

If at First You Don't Succeed.......

Oh I've been treading water trying to stay afloat with the Rainbow Cabin rug.  After reading some of the comments from readers realized that the secret to the red situation was within the rainbow.  

Okay, how to hook that section?  Looking at the design wondered if the rainbow colors should go completely to the edges on each side of the rug OR should that background color have one row all the way around.  
Hooking the rainbow all the way to the edges presented a real problem with tails meeting at the end.  And hiding the ends in all the ways I know wasn't pretty at the sides either.  So, I've pulled out the ends of the wool and will try and salvage what has been hooked in the rainbow. Have decided to hook one dark row of background along the edge of the rainbow.  That way the ends can be hidden or ended less noticeable.  

There's a lesson for you guys but if you're like me you'll have to try and learn what works for you.  Now...could be I don't know the right way so if any of you know the secret to doing the rainbow to the end on each side without a lump or too many ends, let me know.  Sure wish I'd taken a picture before I pulled out the sides of the rainbow.  

Oh well ~ will try and salvage the rainbow and hook my butt off tonight because Kelley has posted her challenge rug design on Out of Hand Rug Hookers  so will want to start that tomorrow or soon after.

Have a great evening everyone.  


Friday, February 26, 2016

Hooking by the Seat of my Pants

Originally I named the post "Rainbow Cabin Update" but changed it as that was much more suitable in this situation.  Thought I'd better check out the progress of the rug at a distance and computer monitor even tho colors can be deceiving.  Am questioning some of my choices on color but don't want to pull anything out...yet.
Looking at the rug in person and the PC monitor wish I'd chosen a darker roof color.  Well I'm not gonna pull all that out!  What I should have hooked first were the stars.  OR, duh, pulled out the wool worms used for the stars to see what roof color would be good with those.

So there really is a reason to color plan BEFORE beginning to hook yet after all these years I still choose to hook by the seat of my pants; which is a lot like painting yourself in a corner.

There should be more red spread around the rug since the window frame and door are red and in the central part of the rug.  Am considering putting random berries along the stems and leaves.  Or perhaps pulling out some of the star strips on the exterior in random places and using a red gold texture.  That is probably what I'll try on a star, photo it and bore you with yet another update on a mistake.

Decided to elevate the position of the left star and make it into a flower. You can see where the original star was with the points of the star sticking out near the end of the stem on the left.

Since there is no thing as a tree producing stars, then there wouldn't be anything wrong with random red berries hooked along the curvature either.....right?  

With the silly mistakes I've made with this simple part wonder how I might be able to screw up the rainbow?  I've no idea what will happen and what choices will be made with continuing on this rug.  Will need to get a grasp and control what I've got going now before starting the thinks.

But since the Out of Hand Challenge will begin tomorrow this might just be pushed aside until I can see it again with fresh eyes.

Hope you have a great evening.


Thursday, February 25, 2016

Tornados, Power Outage and Hooking

Last evening there was a lot of turbulent weather, high winds, heavy rains, thunder, lightening and tornado watch.  With the TV on I was keeping track of the tornado path and on the map you can see where Seaford is on it's pathway.  
I had taken a photo of the Rainbow Cabin progress, was walking to the computer to do a blog post and the power went out.  Then it was a slow, feeling my way in the dark for a flashlight, then candles, and my trusty storm lamp.  Hey that $10 Premier Storm Lamp gave forth enough light that I was able to sit, hook and have a glass of cab for a while.  Had my cell phone, wine, hook, wool and Ben at my feet.  Thankfully we came out unscathed but it was a scary go for a while.  Sadly not everyone along the tornado's path was so lucky.
Here is the progress on Rainbow Cabin, there were 3 different dark textures used in the logs of the cabin.  So far the only wool I've cut was the red for the door and a couple more strips of the plaid Texture I spoke of in the previous post for the logs ~ Which was from Dorr, #2011 Sage Green Gold.  But it looks brown to me.  Wanted more of that to put along the edge of the log cabin to have that white line against the dark background. 
Next I'll hook some on both the stars and the rainbow.  Stay tuned to see how it turns out.  Thankfully this is a smallish mat measuring 16 x 23 so that I can start on the Out of Hand challenge rug when it is announced by Kelley.

Have a great day everyone and hope weather is not turbulent where you live.


Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Okay, Here's it Is

Yeah, you've been wondering what progress has been made on Rainbow Cabin.  And sorry for the delay in showing you but must admit I didn't want to stop and take a picture even now.
My plans were and still are to use as many of my worms as possible. But we hookers know there has to be a flow and balance of texture, color and value.  

My first task was to hook the chimney which is to be stone and did use different colors from my worms.  

Since the background is dark that meant the chimney and roof needed to be lighter in value so did an outline around the chimney.  With the sides of my log cabin, as that would be next to dark background chose a great wool worm.  There were were 3 or 4 different wools used for the logs on the cabin.  But it required a special worm from my stash to put that light against the dark background on the sides.  

You will be very surprised what that wool is from Dorr .  It is #2011 Sage Green Gold.  There is a disclaimer there which says it cannot be ripped.  Well, yes it can if the cut is made in the right spot.  

As you can see the door and windows are not filled in yet.  I just wanted to keep on hooking.  And NO, the horse mats aren't fully bound yet either. BUT....did make a great pot of vegetable soup for tonight and a few days lunch and dinner. 

Enjoy your evening and please be kind to one another.


Sunday, February 21, 2016

Next on the Frame

Even tho the two horse mats still aren't bound, I've chosen a rug to hook.  It will be Rainbow Cabin, a Woolley Fox pattern.  The outside line of the linen has already been checked and it is definitely on the straight of grain, in the ditch and exactly as I expected.  The wonky lines on the cabin will stay that way...wonky.  Rainbow Cabin measures 16 x 23. 

Looking at the pattern just might take some creative license and move that left side star up a smidgen and put a stem on it like it is a flower. After all, there is a plant of stars over to the right.
Will start with my worms for the cabin and other motifs and hope to use as many of them as possible (gotta reduce these).  Don't think there's enough of the color for the roof so when worm stash has been used will cut as needed.  
Plans for the background will be the same as that used in Nantucket Broom Ride, which is Betsy's Pluto.  So that will be a wool which will definitely be cut.

Thank goodness I'm working on another of the patterns from my stash. Try tho I may, it seems that when one or two patterns get used there is a rug camp and another pattern beckons me to be added to the stash again.

Another mild day in the 60s here in Delaware but things are going to change tomorrow ~ will be in the low 40s.

Have a great Sunday evening and lets be kind to one another and to animals.


Saturday, February 20, 2016

How Color can be Deceiving

It is very interesting to see how textures look so vastly different in yardage vs. hooked.  And, color can change appearance depending on what color it is hooked against.  Hmm, when I'm at a loss of what to write about that might be a good topic on how grey can change the colors of wool hooked around it.  

Happily my second antique adaptation The Old Brown Horse and Bunny is done.  Below is a picture next to the wool used for the ground.
In yesterday's blog post one of my readers thought the ground color below was pink.  I can understand as below is the picture she saw.  In this confusing photo the lighting was different I guess...., whether it be natural light, flash, different room....whatever.  But when taping on the photo to enlarge you would have noticed it was orange in color.  But an easy assumption nevertheless.
Wish I had the perfect set-up for taking photos and more times than not the picture on the monitor is not what the rug or wool looks like in person.  All of us hookers at one time or another have excused the color of our photos.  These two vastly different pictures, taken with the same camera by the same person can testify that color isn't always what it seems to show on the computer screen.

That very same orange and grey wool was used to hook 500 Mile Betts, my adaptation of a Harriet Powers Bible Quilt block.  And must say it does look pink when compared to the background.

Something else I noticed too, is that the newest picture at the top doesn't show the garish bright blue sky either.  Which means the jury (me) is still out about whether or not to use black walnut dye solution to soften/dirty up the sky.    Just might still brush or dab some in spots just to give it a little old worn mottled dirty look in places.  

Meanwhile, the pattern has been chosen for the next project.  It is too late in the day for me to start cleaning up and putting back the mess I'd made and choose wool for the next project.  The two mats have been steamed, edges prepared for binding and think tonight will be spent binding.  

Yes, hate binding but am okay with doing that tonight ~ matter of fact it even seems like a calming event.  Particularly since I did 3 loads of wash, changed sheets, picked up limbs and pine cones from the yard, cleaned out the fish pond filters and basket, walked Ben 3 times, steamed and did preliminary binding work on the mats.   Whew, I just made myself very tired, lol.

Have a great evening everyone.


Thursday, February 18, 2016

Horse and Bunny Update

Contrary to the confidence Lauren, Julia and Jenny have in me my small horse and bunny mat still isn't done.  So now you want to know how big/small this mat is....okay, this one measures 13 1/2 x 19.

Oy but that blue sky sure is bright compared to the rest.  But be assured it will be subdued with dabs of black walnut dye solution once it is hooked.
Am so glad that I added the bunny to this lonely old horse.  It does add a little interest and makes the viewer wonder if they are old friends or just reaching out.

I'd considered hooking the green ground all across from horse to bunny and down to the bottom.  But my thought was to individually identify the position of both animals.  Am thinking that had I done the green all the way across the bunny would have been lost.  But with the green under it separately the bunny has a position of recognition and stature in this piece.

So now it's time to decide what the heck goes on my frame next since I'm getting so close.  Yeah, there's still the framing of the two horse mats but this hooking addict needs another on the frame right away so no boredom sets in.

Tonight I'll hook a bit more and tomorrow will peruse my stash of other people's patterns.  NO WAY am I drawing out an antique adaptation. I'll hook one of the patterns I've purchased which is in my stash.

Have a great evening everyone.


Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Time For a mini Rug Show

Some of the rugs I'm posting are recent ones I saw on antique sites or Pinterest.  Maybe you've seen them before or not.  Some may have even been posted on my blog previously but rugs are always fun to look at anyway.

Below is a deer with flowers and scalloped border which appears to be a double layer of wool or perhaps the scallops were embroidered or whipped.
Valentines Day is over but found this today during my on-line perusing and thought it post worthy.  Not sure of the date but see initials on the bottom left.  The red hearts against the directional hit and miss blocks is attractive.
Don't recall ever seeing an orange tabby hooked before.  So if anyone has pictures to share of some antique rug photos of tabbies, I'd love for you to share.
Wow, look at the beauty below.  It has all the elements I love... a blotchy old background, a gorgeous steed, red tongues as the border and flowers in the corners.  However, it will not be on my next 'to do' list since I'm already hooking two horses back to back.
A bowl of flowers, a shirred rug.  I wonder if the rug edge was an oval which became very worn or intend to be a random border design? 
I drew an adaptation of the following antique cats and heart rug design for Polly to hook, have the master drawing but haven't yet hooked it myself.  Too many other designs from others already drawn.
Here are two different antique Dove rugs, both are lovely.

Is this old or new folk art?  Which ever it is I was intrigued enough to save the picture of this naive hooked or punched piece.
This rooster was being sold by Garth and is supposed to be early 20th century.  Nice colors.
Okay kiddies, at least I posted something while continuing hooking on the background of the second horse mat.  Not sure if I'm happy with my choices but still going with it vs. pulling out.  

Have a great evening everyone.


Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Checking on the Bunny and Old Brown Horse

Since  the old brown horse (antique adaptation) looked all alone on the linen thought it needed a critter.  At first tried poses of a bird looking up but was way too small for hooking on this already small mat.  So decided to do a bunny. Must admit there were doubts as to whether or not the bunny would look like an animal at all using my worms.  

I have hooked, pulled out and changed colors to show define lines around the ears laying back on the bunny so now I'm checking it out. See the grey outline of the one ear?  Originally there was another half ear hooked with that same wool.  But pulled it out and used a piece of rabbit wool with a natural woven grey line instead.  Now wish I'd gone with my gut.  But hey, it still does look like a rabbit, right?
This is another setting on my camera without a flash it isn't blurry but too dark.
The rabbit wool started out with #8.5 strips... honestly.  Then after using those decided in certain places (face spots, tail and inside one ear) I should use a #8.  So took a piece of that same wool and cut across grain across the short side to have only enough for what I needed.  My 'go to' cut is #8.5 and #9 now so don't want any extra strips any lower than that collecting in my baggies.

Yesterday there was 5" of snow here in my yard.  Today with the rain (torrential at times) and temps in the 50s that snow is gone.  But winter isn't over I'm sure.

Have a good evening everyone; I'm going to have the last of my chili and continue on with my Old Brown Horse.


Monday, February 15, 2016

The Old Brown Horse

The old brown horse is all hooked and ready to start on the background. Normally I like hooking some background and the outside perimeter as I'm hooking so boredom doesn't set in early.  But as I was considering adding a motif wanted to see my wool colors next to a completely hooked horse first.
With the horse hooked below is what I'm considering using as the sky and ground.  Actually my first choice for sky was another more dull and somewhat grey blue but didn't have enough for the sky and the two colors wouldn't have worked well together.  So will use this blue then dab on some black walnut dye mix to dirty it up a bit after it is hooked.
The old brown horse seems lonely all alone in the pasture.  So was thinking of adding a friend.  IF I do this the new fella would need to be hooked in #8 or smaller.  Sigh, yes I can do that and since small wouldn't take long.   But try doing definition of ears in #8 on a small piece ~ may have to go the dreaded narrow cut route.
So there ya have it.  So see Lauren...... despite your thoughts it isn't all done.  And don't you three girls dare (you know who you are Lauren, Kim and Julia) say anything about the old brown horse's tail.

Our weather overnight was predicted for my county to have a powder snow with 1-3" north of me.  UH, ended up with 5" of snow here.  But yippee, tomorrow it should be gone since the temps will be in the 50's. Unpredictable crazy Delaware weather.


Sunday, February 14, 2016

Happy Valentine's Day

Wishing all my followers, readers and freinds a happy Valentine's Day.  
The oval mat is one which I recently tweaked the colors on in a previous post.  It is a design in one of Kindred Spirits craft books.  The hooked heart tucked in the front was hooked and generously given to me by Lauren of Rugs and Pugs.  The others I hooked.
An Annie with a hooked face I made wants to give you her heart "Be Mine".
A velvet and wool applique heart which was a pattern in (I believe) a Needl'love publication.
Another more primitive Annie wears her heart which also says "Be Mine".  Might still have this one left and in the container since she didn't sell at my last show.  Here she is hanging on the door but will sit as well.  Wings are made of warm and natural, jumper is vintage quilt.
Hope you have a very happy Valentines Day.  I'll be spending the day with the only man in my life.......Ben, my Rottie.


Saturday, February 13, 2016

A Horse is a Horse of Course of Course

If it seems I'm double speaking you're right.  Am also hooking two horses one after the other.  I liked the previous horse adaptation posted and am liking this one even more.  If this guy looks a little swayback you would be right.  But the original antique shows that as well.
I'm adapting this from the antique rug below and chose to not hook a border.  But perhaps in the future I may attempt a replication of this one as antique rugs are near and dear to my heart.
Have a great evening and hope everyone in this frigid weather is staying warm.  The winds are howling and burns against my face when walking Ben.  Think I'll have to locate the face mask.  The temperatures are below freezing and the wind makes it worse.


Friday, February 12, 2016

Can You Hook on Wool

I love it when a follower asks me a question.  This morning in my email was a question about whether or not one can hook on wool.  Kindly she commented she values my opinion so thought to ask before taking the "I can do that" attitude and buying something she can't.  

Truth is you can hook on wool if it is the right kind of wool.  While I've never hooked on wool (until today) did buy this cute pocket type purse on ebay from a hooker who did a great job.  It is fully lined and she did a great job hooking thru the wool.  I've had this pocket a few years and do not remember from whom it was purchased.  But if the person who made it would comment I'll give you credit and compliment you personally on your work and my enjoyment.
So today I pulled out a piece of wool which was a hookable wool but is woven very tight so was not fun to pull loops thru.
Even using my hartman hook and pushing it up the the thick shank it was difficult and even sounded like I was using a punchneedle on cotton.
When I removed the loops you can see the smaller holes where I struggled to pull loops and in the stem is where I pushed the shank all the way in to pull them.
When I took my thumb and rubbed back and forth to freshen the wool you can see some threads of the wool were split.  Again it was a tight weave and it had been a piece of clothing so not sure if it was a wool mix or not, but am guessing so.
Pulled another piece of wool which is hookable.  Originally it was a cream color with dashes which is overdyed.  Me thinks this is a Rebecca Erb wool, but am sure several providers offer hookable wool. Pulling loops on this piece of wool was effortless.
When the loops were pulled out you can see where the hooking took place.
But when I rubbed the area with my thumb you can barely see any distress at all.  This would be important in the event you wanted to reverse hook a motif.  You'd want a sturdy, easy and heal-able piece of wool on which to hook.  This was such a piece.
Recently I saw this beauty posted on Facebook.  The foundation is dyed primitive linen by Ali Strebel and hooked by Karen Thompson.
And my dear friend Deb hooked and gifted this one below to me.  It is a better grade of burlap which was already dyed when purchased from a jobber.
So what I learned today in my mini-research is that I wouldn't hesitate hooking on wool if a hookable wool.  Yet, wouldn't want to waste that wool UNLESS it was the perfect color or textured background for the project.

IF you are considering buying a kit from someone ask to see the wool which will be used for the foundation fabric.  Also, there are several reputable people who sell wool, sell kits, experienced hookers and know which wool works for foundation hooking.  The people at Heavens to Betsy, The Wool Studio (ask for Rebecca), and Dorr are experienced sellers so would know immediately which wool would be good to use as a foundation.  

Teachers should also have a working knowledge and experience with hooking on their wool.  So ask for examples.  Or if you are at a camp ask the teacher to show you what a strip of wool hooks in a piece of wool you are interested in buying.   

Remember, you hold the purse.  You are the buyer and you want to know what you are getting.

Don't know if any of this has helped anyone else but it was a fun experiment for me.  So readers, or FOLLOWERS (hopefully) please feel free to ask questions.  Must mention tho, if you use GOOGLE and post your question I'll bet you get lots of links to numerous choices and not just mine.  Not that I'm trying to chase you away, but to give you options.

Hope you have a great evening everyone, TGIF.  But for me every day is a weekend.


Thursday, February 11, 2016

Finally Hooked

It's about time this smallish mat got completely hooked.  For those wondering mine measures 15" x 16" and should have been done some time ago.  Here is an un-steamed adaptation of an antique horse.
Here is the original antique from which this was drawn.  
Now I'm ready to move onto the other horse.  I'll hook this one differently than the one above.  This is also an adaptation of an antique rug.  Since I couldn't make up my mind which one I wanted to hook decided to hook them both.  This design  measures 13 1/2 x 19 1/2 before hooking.
Remember a few posts back I wrote about "...what to look for when buying a pattern"?  As you can see from my drawn linen that 'at least a 3" margin' doesn't apply to me when drawing for myself.  In drawing patterns there is usually some odd size pieces of linen left.  Naturally I like to conserve linen and will use small pieces for me.   So I will sew a piece of cotton on the side which doesn't meet the 3" criteria.  That way it will fit on my grippers while using up left over pieces of linen.

Plus I drew both horse patterns on the one linen but with enough space between the two to ensure there is enough between the patterns for binding.  

Now I've got to start thinking about what to hook next.  Will look thru my stash of patterns rather than considering drawing out something. Hmm, isn't that what I said before drawing out these two dang horses?

Have a great evening everyone.


Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Rug Eye Candy...but Not My Horse yet

When I don't do a blog post every day I feel like such a slacker.  Am so very close to being finished with the first horse mat....yes, a small dang mat..... and it still isn't done YET????  What the??????  Okay excuse #1 is the hair appointment to get those ugly mousy grey roots dyed today. Excuse #2 is that a pot of homemade chili was needed for this frigid weather knocking on my doorstep and is still on the stove.

Okay,  so let's see what I can find in my stash of photos.  Alrighty then, speaking of horses ~ isn't this rug below absolutely wonderful?  Those look liked hooked edges and know for sure I'd not wanted to bind that bad boy.  But it sure is a beauty.
The farmyard rug below looks really fresh but was on an auction site indicating it was hooked between 1900-1920. What was interesting is the shape of the barn on the left and how the right end is longer the the rest.  It's that little bit of naive style from someone who isn't aware of perspective and makes one think it may be an antique.  So....antique or artistic technique?  It sure is in great shape.
Here is a nice and different turn of a floral design with swags in the corner and  wreath shaped floral in the center.  I like this rug and I'm not so much into florals lately.
This buffalo rug is great too and think the hooker (antique or not) did a magnificent job hooking a dominant, majestic buffalo and did the sepia or faded out surroundings.   
The cows and farmyard rug is interesting.  To the far left it appears to be a horse head (no body) and larger than the cows going home.  Would like to see the unfaded wool underneath to see what the true colors were.  Also the story about the horse head on the left.   
Okay guys and gals the chili is done and I'm hungry.  My plan is to show you the first horse mat hooked tomorrow.  It's really close to being done.   Hope you have a great evening.