Tuesday, January 31, 2017

The Robins are Here

The robins have been in my yard for at least a week now, scampering about, tilting their heads and listening or looking for worms.  The majority of the time they come up with a worm at the end of their beak. Finally since doing this blog post decided to investigate and satisfy my curiosity about the delightful Robin and how they catch their worms.  I won't tell you, but rather let you learn yourself by clicking HERE.  

A few years ago I participated in a swap which covered all 4 seasons.  A person could join for certain seasons or all and we signed up for each season when the group leader was taking names.  We also had different partners at each swap.  

Requirements were they were to be 8" square so that if all the participants wished to join their pieces together for a wall hanging or larger mat, they could do that.  We were to just turn the foundation back and tack it down, no binding necessary.   
The robin above is the one I hooked for my swap partner.  This swap was fun and did participate in the other 3 seasons as well.

Was a great day today, no snow and temps crept over the 50 degree mark.


Monday, January 30, 2017

A Winter Wonderland

This was the view this morning when taking Ben for his 9 a.m. walk. Must admit it was beautiful and peaceful.
Below is a bird house awaiting a spring nester and maybe the same bird will take up residense there again this year.
While this was the scene at 9 a.m., about 3 hours later most of the white stuff had melted away from the warmth of the sunshine.
There is a saying in Sussex County (as is the case in a lot of states I'm sure) ~ "....if you don't like the weather stick around for a couple hours".  Yup, tis the truth.
This afternoon with all that snow having melted there were more flurries and even a few pieces of light hail.
Just think, in a couple months there will be birds making nests in these houses.  And just yesterday saw some daffodils showing their yellow tight blooms already.  Hope that is a sign of an early spring.

Happy Monday everyone.


Sunday, January 29, 2017

The Horse Trainer Returns

Am finally getting close to finishing this rug and must say that I LOVE it. Yet it seems all rugs in progress are my favorite at the time.
There's still tweaking I want to do on the horse's hindquarters.  Yeah, it is a PRIMITIVE and let it slide for a while but in looking at it on the PC just now know I won't be happy until it is tweaked a tad.

This has been a lot of fun to hook and rewarding using worms for the border.  Yet, I wonder when the bags are gathered and put back in their place if there will be a noticeable reduction....hmmm, doubt it.

Have a great evening everyone.


Saturday, January 28, 2017


Something went haywire on my blog yesterday afternoon and another blog took over my entire screen.  When I went to remove that one suspected, I lost all my favorite blogs to visit.
haywire: Abstract insane psychedelic shapes as crazy wallpaper
I am trying to remember all those who were on my blog side bar but know some are missing.  Please let me know if you aren't here and if you'd like to be....provide your link and I'll add you.


Thursday, January 26, 2017

Plans For My Day

Plans for the day are to sit and hook all day ~ only stopping to walk Ben or eat lunch.  So not many steps will be logged onto my fitbit today.  But twice this week I had over 12,000 steps days.
There is still lots of hooking to be done and more than be accomplished in one day.  As there aren't any pattern orders I will plant myself on the sofa and hook.
This rug is only 48" but it got to the point where the weight on one end was causing the frame to drop down and the rug was dragging on the floor.  Since is was so weighty on one end decided to pulled out my 16" Townsnend Orbiter.  I tend to forget I own one since it is in collapse position and standing in a closet.
Above is the clutter I am surrounded by; it is convenient and more efficient to have those bags of worms by my side but it is rather unsightly.  They have helped greatly in each and every block along the border and the clothing on the trainer himslf.  The clean space between the wool strips is where I will be today.

It is rainy and dreary here today and a wonderful hooking day.  


Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Vintage Rug Show

Yeah, you all love it when this happens....I know...
Above, for Kelley, are two grey or tiger stripe kittens playing surrounded by an oval.  This rug was framed and it has a vintage appeal to it BUT.... the artistic part with the tails extending into the border make me wonder if it is a talented hooker and not really vintage. Whatever, it is wonderful!
May have shown the above chenille shirred rug before, not sure.  The date on the auction site said between 1930-1950 it was hooked.
Interesting that I should be hooking the Horse Trainer and above is a hooked piece called Man and His horse sold by Pook and Pook but could see no provenance or date. It was hooked with directional hooking vs. following the shape the animal's hair grows.  
As inspiration for something small, above is a primitive flower in a circle, swags in the corners and filled in with what was on hand.  No info on date or other, but sorta looks like it could be yarn, cotton or nylons.
Be still my heart.  I won't hook it as it is too prissy for me but those colors speak to me.  Perhaps because it reminds me of the design below which has been beckoning me to hook it forever!!!!
That would be the 1877 Urn.  Oh my, oh my....

Okay guys and gals, time for me to pull a few loops since life got in the way today and didn't get many pulled.


Monday, January 23, 2017

Guess Who's is Back.....

.....that would be my delightul Horse Trainer.  It is an antique adaptation originally hooked by Julia Eastman Stubbs of Maine which was a much longer runner but I chose to hook just the horse trainer.
Oops, when taking the picture the left side was cut off and that section still needs to be hooked.  I'm getting closer to the end of this project and am already looking forward to moving onto my next.  My grandson's sports rug has been drawn, wool picked and am already excited to start it.

In case you're wondering, the rug above measures 22 x 48.  Below is the original Julia Eastman Stubbs runner which originally measured 24 x 84 long.  I'm not sure if that included the scalloped edge or not.
 Have a great evening everyone.


Sunday, January 22, 2017

Rug Camp ~ Patterns, Wool and Other Supplies

My first rug camp was a McGowan camp mentioned in my first rug camp post.  In the beginning only a Pearl McGowan pattern could be taken and no other.  Then they became somewhat less strict and allowed patterns from the Primco/Charco designs.  Now they allow anyone's design in the class.  I believe they realized a loss of revenue since new hookers craved and developed a new style where primitive and wide cut was more popular.

PATTERNS ~ Was asked what size pattern one should take to class.  If you are a newbie I'd suggest something small so you aren't overwhelmed and will have a sense of accomplishment at the end of the camp.  Don't take a 24 x 36 or larger unless you have been home practicing and have established a rhythm pulling loops.

Choose a design which makes you happy and will have fun hooking. You can purchase it on your own or if a pattern your teacher offers you can have her bring it to class for you.  Frankly I'd rather pay postage and ponder it at home before camp.

If you have the supplies and can draw  your own that is okay too ~ BUT, be sure you are not stealing someone else's design by seeing something on Pinterest or someone's blog.  You could always email that person to ask who sells the pattern or if it is an antique and in public domain.  I won't get into the detail of what determins public domain as it is complicated. Okay, you have your pattern and what about the wool?

WOOL ~  Teachers will color plan from the wool selection you take. Sometimes when using your colors she/he might have a suggestion which would make the rug better (in their eyes).  You are not required to buy from the teacher but they have a huge selection and better than ours.  It has been my experience that the wool purchased was a great choice and did make my rug better.

My favorite colors are barn red, old gold, earthy greens and browns, blue.  My background choices usually are either primitive black or a dirty cream/white.   Depending on the pattern and the room it will go in determines my colors and background.  Sometimes I don't care about the color of background and let my teacher (particularly Barb) have free rein.  
Above is part of how I take my wool to camp.  I pin colors onto a ring of wool choices for the rug about to hook but have larger pieces in a tote which I would keep in my car until I needed it or by my side in a tote on the floor.  You can choose your own way of transporting your wool.  In the patriotic bag are rolled up rugs for the rug show at Cape May back whenever.
And below is the result of those colors on the ring and my background. The design is called Wee Folk and was offered by Vermont Folk Art Rugs.
Take your own wool you like and something for the background.  I don't take more than a half yard of any unless it might be my background color choices.  No need to take your whole wool room as there will be plenty for sale from your teacher or other teacher's classrooms.

OH, that is something else... protocol....there is an unwritten law that you can't visit the other teachers' classrooms to buy wool until the second day after lunch.  This way it allows that teacher's students to get first dibs on the wool she has taken.

OTHER SUPPLIES ~  Here is a list of what you should take:
  rug hook
  cutter and blades
  Ott or other light (just in case)
  Sharpie (just in case) but the teacher always has one

If you do not have a cutter please let your teacher know before arriving so she/he can take one for you to use or unless you are traveling with a companion who has offered you to use it during class.

Rug camps are a perfect time to try someones hook, another style frame or cutter so you know if you'd like to own one.  Please ask and most hookers will happily comply.  While I often volunteer to let admiring hookers test drive my equipment I wouldn't want them depending on my cutter the entire camp.

Here are optional supplies to which I and my gal pals indulge:
  snacks for the room

Have a great Sunday evening and sorry for the rambling.  Seems this subject can't be reduced to one or two paragraphs.  If I'm forgetting something please feel free to let me know so that it can be covered in a future post.


Saturday, January 21, 2017

Rug Camp Info Con'td.

One question asked was what about brand new wanna be hookers who don't know how.  At Rugs by the Sea (hosted by Norma Batastini and Linda Woodbury), they offer personalized one on one instruction the first day to anyone who doesn't know how to hook.  Then after lunch that person joins the class they enrolled in.  There are other camps which do the same I'm sure. 

Most rug camps limit enrollment to 12 students per teacher.  I have seen the occassional 15 in a class.  That sounds like a lot but the teachers usually know the returning students who don't need handholding so understands the limits to which she/he can accept students. 

Then there are smaller camps, like Barb Carroll hosts.  In her classroom there are only 4 or 5 students she will teach at a time.  This makes for a delightfully friendly atmosphere and lots can get accomplished.  Well that is unless you are like me when talking to someone you look at them and aren't pulling loops. Somehow I've lost the ability to multi-task I guess, lol.
Above is a picture of Barb and me back in 2012.  Will definitely have someone take a picture of us together this May for SURE.

Each teacher has their own personal teaching style they find most successful.  I LOVE the way Barb teaches as there is no darn way you can forget what wool she has suggested goes where.  She color plans with one student at a time and quoting Barb..."she builds a rug" by working on certain motifs/elements at a time then introduces the next wool. 

Barb will cut a snippet of your wool and staple it to a piece of paper with a colored sharpie marking where that color goes on your rug.  If you tap the picture you will some blue ink on my pattern, she is picking wool which will be hooked in that spot.  On the piece of paper is a color relating to the wool stapled.  Easy peasy.

First day at a class everyone wants to start first but all 12 can't be first. Kris Miller (Spruce Ridge Studios) has pieces of paper in a box 1-12 and each person picks a number which will reveal the order in which students will be chosen.  There have been some people who traded their #1 to go later if they weren't ready.
Above is a photo of Kris at the top left and her class.  We sure do look like happy hookers, don't we?

Since you don't know who will be first or last for color planning it is always best to take a project to work on until the teacher gets to you.  I usually take an in-progress rug to work on; my gal pal Deb has taken a rug to bind...or you could take a portable knitting project.  You will feel productive and won't get bored.

Okay, guess I'll save more for a later post since I seem to ramble on. Still want to talk about what students and teachers expect, camp list of supplies, wool, pattern size and anything else you might want me to chat about.

Happy Saturday.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Rug Camp Insight

A loyal reader, Carolyn, had a great suggestion ~ to inform newbies on what to expect before choosing a rug camp and other questions.  This post is based on my personal experience and what I have observed from attending various camps and teachers.  

Here goes.......okay, you've saved up your money and want to attend a rug camp.  Maybe there is one close to you which would be convenient so no hotel is needed.  

There is a camp just one hour from my house but still prefer to stay at the hotel to enjoy the ambience and excitement with the other hookers. Plus, it gives me more hours to hook without having to cook, lol.

What about choosing a teacher?  Some rug camps offer up to 4 or so teacher options and the registration form usually gives their names and hooking strengths/training.   

In the beginning I didn't know any teachers so had no clue who to choose.  I asked the camp organizer who would be a good fit for me using wide cut and was new the camp experience.  I was told that the McGowan trained teachers could do all cuts.  

Well lucky me to have such a great and patient teacher in Mary Lou Bleakley.  She did my color planning and asked me what I was hoping to learn.  Told her I liked wide cut and wanted to learn shading.  This was the result of my very first camp with Mary Lou and it was hooked in #8.
The design is called Heritage, was a Primco design purchased from House of Price at the time.  The rug has been at my front door since binding it in 2003 so the green wool has faded somewhat.  Thank you Mary Lou, if you read my blog.

If you don't recognize anyone then Google the name to see if you can locate rugs they have hooked or additional information which may help you decide.  If you still don't find any information then ask the camp organizer a question..... "what does this teacher hook when at home?"   They may be trained in all cuts but if you are a primitive/wide cut person then lean toward that teacher who enjoys the same style.

Didn't realize how long this post would get and I haven't even touched the surface of other topics:  what rug to take, what equipment is needed, what teacher expects from the student,  what the student should expect from the teacher, camp etiquette/manners.  Tomorrow I'll discuss more about rug camps.  So if any of you have your own questions, please feel free to let me know.


Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Time! Where Arth Thou?

Perhaps I need to sleep less to accomplish more during the day. Seems my planned list didn't meet my expectations and was home all day. 

This is all that I've accomplished on my rug since the last posting.  Yet there are still more patterns to draw and two rugs which are calling my name to be hooked next.  Maybe that is my problem....wanting to move onto another rug too soon.
Any newbies have questions?  I'm open for questions or suggestions on blog posts.


Monday, January 16, 2017

More Antique Rug Eye Candy

So as to not bore you with yet another update on my rug with minimal progress, thought I'd give you a show.  I've been busy drawing out patterns but today time was spent cutting and serging 18 rug linens. So now those patterns need to be drawn.  Good thing is this will put pennies in my pocket to buy more wool and help paying for rug camps.
Above is what looks like a St. Bernard and was reportedly guessed to be late 19th or early 20th century.
The double chickens above also makes good use of the hit and miss background using 'what is available'.  Can't help to chuckle thinking of the old question..."why did the chicken cross the road?"  In this case it is to get to the chicken on the other side.
The Cat and Flowers above was said (on the auction site) to have been hooked around 1930.  It must have been hidden in a trunk for all those years for it still to have these bright colors.
Although faded, the two white horses tethered to a tree is a nice soft antique rug.  Below is a copy of the corner of the rug where you can see the true colors up close.
More soft colors is the kit and miss blocks with cat rug below.  A little eye candy for all of you, especially Kelley.
Okay chickadees, I have to save some eye candy for when I need to slide by so that is the show for tonight.  This will allow me to pull a few loops before resuming my pattern drawing duties tomorrow.

Today is a Martin Luther King holiday.  He truly was a peaceful leader who was lost too early.  Hope people of color who choose to riot, burn and shoot pollce officers will remember what Martin Luther King's message was about.

Have a great Monday evening everyone.  


Saturday, January 14, 2017

This and That (and Rug Update)

After three months I finally have prescription glasses and trying to get used to them.  Not sure if my frustration with them is because for 3 months I'd gotten used to readers and peaking above them for distance ~ or if the location of the close reader section of my bi-focal glasses aren't in the right position.  More on this at a later date I'm sure.

Anyway..... after working several hours drawing patterns today decided it was time to take a break and pull some loops on the Julia Eastman Stubbs antique adaptation.  

Yesterday after taking a photo of the rug decided the ground under the trainer was wrong.  Here is what it looked like yesterday.  See the light wool under foot?
So, pulled out some loops and rehooked that part.  Here is what it looks like now and much better to my eyes.
On another topic here is a recent purchase, was very inexpensive and something I never knew existed.  Since my hands are arthritic, have lost strenght and have pain, it is sometimes difficult to hand sew.
I'd like to thank Jennie of Over the Hill and Running for sharing this information on her blog.  I purchased this thru my local Walmart so paid no shipping and the cost was $3.58 in 'no sales tax Delaware'.  

FYI, It is called Needle Puller and if you tap on the photo to enlarge, you will see it says LoRani at top left and Dritz at bottom right.   I purchased the Medium/Large which would equate to a medium size for my finger and large for my thumb.  They fit fine and my fingers aren't dainty, lol. Can't wait to sew rug labels on now knowing it will be easier.

Have a great weekend.


Thursday, January 12, 2017

Even More Rugs

I'm holding off showing the progress on my rug so thought I'd entertain you with another rug show.
Such a pretty mat with a mixture of soft and brighter colors.  No date or provenance but like it.
The above rug has an interesting shape and must have been hooked for a particular spot, thus the shape.  Colors are awesome and part of my color palate.
The rather art deco oval rug above was reported hooked in 1930 and was found in Missouri.
Seems as tho mother goose is chasing away an inquisitive feline.
Info on the Cats and Kittens rug above is that it was hooked with wool and cotton on burlap ~ no other info.
A very striking and well preserved rug above was reportedly hooked 1900 and may be an Ebenezer Ross design.
And another possible Ebenezer Ross design is the Lion and Palms above.  
The above rug intrigues me on so many levels.....  First it was hooked by MB in 1881 as hooked in the oval rug.  The ball of yarn on the rug is a very bright red yet the rest of the piece is rather dull.  That is with the exception of the colorful sky from the window.  

And then there is the off centered borders with no border on the bottom.  And the inside lighter two side border.  This piece reminds me of a Gees Bend quilt only it is hooked.

Have a great evening folks.  Today was like summer outside (almost), tomorrow will also be mild in the low 50s.  Heaven can't last forever, but will drive to pick up my glasses tomorrow and no longer putting on and taking off these 'readers' which I wear halfway down my nose.   


Wednesday, January 11, 2017

'Tis Vintage Rug Show Time

There are rug photos on my flash drive which have not been shared yet so figure it is time to show them.  Then maybe next time my blog will have more productivity on my current rug.......Or maybe not since there's an order for standing for 26 patterns which I need to get busy on.
Above is that lovely blotchy antique background.  Two birds, blooms and pot with the circa being 1900s.  
The heart mat above was a pattern request from Lisa, a regular reader) and noticed she has been busy hooking it in time for her Valentine's display at home. Cathy G of Orange Sink was kind enough to show Lisa's as well as the works of others who attended her hook-in.
More hearts above with ends pointed toward the center gives a look of a flower ~ yet they are hearts.
The girl riding a dog auctioned by Pook and Pook was given the date of 1870.
Cute circus elephant was to have been hooked in the early 20th century and original dimensions were 24 x 29.
This spaniel on a harlequin style rug is said to have been hooked in the late 19th or early 20th century.  No size or provenance was provided.
The two cats have been lovingly worn.  A great use of hit and miss as the hooker made a chain design around the cats to change an otherwise boring all hit and miss into her artistic challenge.
Two horses above have a berry design surrounding the top and sides, my very favorite blotchy sections denoting 'making do' and love the scalloped edge tho that isn't something I'd personally do unless it was a smallish table runner. 
Above are two horses in grass.  And this hooker definitely improvised with the light grass and wool, cotton or nylons in various colors. The bubblegum pink inside line certainly catches ones attention.

Okay folks, time for me to pull some loops and then tomorrow I've got to get serious about drawing out numerous rug patterns.    Thankfully the temperatures rose and last night's rain washed away almost all the snow.  YIPPEE, and even tho it was in the low 50's it felt like summer compared to the sub zero temperatures and wind of late.  So it feels like we're having a heatwave.