Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Questionnaire for Rug Hookers

My friend Shari gave me a very good idea for this evening's blog post. We are interested to learn from both brand new rug hookers as well as seasoned hookers how they came to enjoy this rewarding craft/art.

Inquiring Minds want to know.

Here are some questions she and I have come up with:

1. Who or what inspired you to want to hook?  

2. At what age and how did you learn to hook (self-taught, family member, classes)?

3. What do you look for when choosing a pattern (subject, designer,  size, spot in house)?

4. What are your favorite colors which usually find their way into your rugs.  

5. Who was the best influence when starting to hook?

6. What was the biggest hurdle to overcome when starting the hooking process?  And the one which when the 'lightbulb' went off made hooking smooth sailing?

7. Where is your favorite spot to hook and do you multi-task listening to radio, books, watch TV or just quiet moments?

OH!!!!!!   To make this a complete interview of you and your rug hooking journey it would be great to have photos.  So if you'd like to provide a picture of your first project and/or your last completed project please include a photo and let me know who the designer is.

You have probably heard my answers to all these questions during the process of my blog days but plan to share my information and am sure Shari will as well.

So I'm looking for volunteers of both newbie and seasoned hookers to share your input.  I'd prefer you send a personal email to me HERE.  IF you are unsuccessful in sending me an email using that link it is because GOOGLE is NOT playing NICE with other email servers  AND if e given a choice ... choose OUTLOOK.

SO, make your comment on my blog and I'll try to figure it out. Meanwhile, you don't need to type out the question, just the number assigned to the question.  You can copy and paste the questions into the email link provided above and then send.  

Let me know if you are a newbie or have a few years of hooking under your belt and if you don't want your first name mentioned on my blog please let  me know what too and will  make your 'interview' anonymous.   

Also, if you have any questions this will help me provide more information to hookers who are looking for a connection IF they don't have one.

Happy hooking.


p.s.  If the link on the word HERE isn't working for you then go to my proile page and choose to email me.

Monday, February 27, 2017

A Visit with Magdalena's Goat

Well, it's not a big 'bang', this is what the rug looks like now.  Friend Evelyn hooked and whipped the edges of hers in less than a month; yup, same size as mine and original size Magdalena hooked hers  (29 x 36). No way mine will be done in less than a month.
I took photos with my digital camera on two different settings.  The one above should show close up detail of color and LOT pulled from my worms, thus variation in the colors of blues, reds, etc.  The photo below shows a more subdued photo. 
This evening and tomorrow I'll work around the top right corner, but as slow as I am don't think my plans to attempt the horns will be achievable.  No can do the horns until the corner has been worked.

I'm sure Lauren and Kim are already thinking~~ so where is the picture of Evelyn's rug?  Not yet.  Won't show hers until mine is hooked.  And what is going to be fun is that she and I are going to Cape May rug camp same week.  So I'll be able to see hers in person and not a terrible photo like mine usually turn out.  

Have a great evening everyone.  Rain supposed to come tomorrow so maybe that will be a good hooking day.


Sunday, February 26, 2017

Primitive Rug Show

Guess that got your attention.... everyone loves a rug show.  And this will give me another day of working on the Magdalena Goat before showing you my little progress.
Above is a rug which sold for $3,813 and tho hard to see there is a dog in the center.  
Shame there is so much damage on the rabbit hooked rug above.
The lion is said to have came from a farmhouse and is late 19th or early 20th century.
Red Doves above with a hit and miss sawtooth border.

In case you're wondering, yes I'm aware all the rugs so far have on a red in them.  At first it was a coincidence then decided to keep on looking for rugs with that predominant color.
And last is an eagle with two lions below.

Happy Sunday everyone.  Yesterday it was 80 degrees according to my thermostat and today is back to normal February temperatures.  So I have on my turtleneck and sweat shirt.  But hey, it was wonderful while it lasted.


Saturday, February 25, 2017

Has Spring Sprung?

Sure hope so and hope we don't have a freeze or snow storm in March. Many of my daffodils have flowered, numerous crocus started blooming last week, and yesterday even saw a couple flowers on my forsythia bush.
There are still many daffodils left to bloom and they manage to come up even thru the many leaves which haven't been raked up.  The property is just too large for me to rake up all the leaves, plus the trash men won't take them.  I tried putting a fair amount in my trash container once and they weren't taken away.  They left a note saying I needed to find the proper facility which takes yard waste.  Now imagine that.... they won't take leaves which will decompose into soil yet they will haul away animal feces tied in a plastic bag and tossed in the trash.  Makes no sense.
Today I must cut Ben's backyard and mulch up the remainder of the leaves which haven't been raked up and moved elsewhere.  Am tired of raking and hauling the leaves further into the woods so will try mulching with the mower as Ben needs his yard to be tidy.
Am slowly working on Magdalena's Goat and this is the mess which surrounds me as I hook.  Perhaps later today I'll be able to pull some loops.  But right now I've got to see if my mower will start AND gather some vinyl siding so a worker can apply that to my shed after a new roof is put on it.

Happy Saturday.


Thursday, February 23, 2017

Wool Used and Update on Magdalena's Goat

I was asked what wool was used in the goat's head.  Actually numerous different colors and values was pulled for the goat itself because I knew my worms would work well for the background.
Above the lightest colors were used in the muzzle of the goat.  The rest is what was or will be used in the remainder of the goat.  Some of the wool has been over dyed previously and have no idea what recipe. And in all honesty some of the over dyed wool was from terrible mistakes ~ so don't toss your mistakes as they are treasures for another project. Some wool was as is purchased from our favorite wool vendors Heavens to Betsy and The Wool Studio.

Wanna see what Magdalena's Goat looks like now?  I've a lot more to do.  Must admit that when working on the rug up close the colors look so darn pastel.  Yet, looking at the photos up close on my iPad they really are pinks and light blue, etc.  But me thinks me will give this a wash of walnut juice when it is all done.
Tomorrow will be a slim hooking day too.  If only I had a 'nanny', could afford to have servants for ..... housekeeping, cooking, yard work, maintenance on vehicle and house as well as appliance maintenance, that would be great.  I'd take care of my boy Ben and do my own laundry.  

Yeah, wouldn't that be the life??  Just dog companionship, smelling clean clothes and hooking all day.  SHEEH, now I know why I LOVE rug camps!!!!!!  For my friend (you know who you are Lauren, lol) the dimensions of this rug is 29 x 35.  

As mentioned earlier, I was asked if I'd sell patterns of this Magdalena Goat.  The answer was yes, but not until after I'd hooked mine so people could see how mine was hooked ~ especially since the antique is so hard to understand.  

Moreover, for my personal linen I did very detailed line drawing as you can see.  When selling the pattern it won't be as confusing as the one I'm hooking, it will be a more simplistic version.

Okay, back to my duties since the 'nanny' never showed up today.


Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Goat, Deer or Lamb

The auction site listed the rug as "a portrait of a lamb..." and no mention of Magdalena Briner Eby as the hooker.  So the local auction house was not familiar with history of hooked rugs.  As soon as I saw it knew immediately it was a Magdalena rug, sent a photo to my friend Evelyn.  Obviously at least two other people recognized it as a Magdalena also.  If you click that link and scroll to the bottom you can see the bidding war between someone on the Internet and perhaps someone at the location of the rug.  

Okay, so is it a lamb as the auction indicated, a deer as a follower indicates or a Goat?  

So what is a lamb?  A lamb is a young sheep and would not be born with horns.  A young sheep is considered a "lamb" until the age of 1 year then considered adult.  Lamb's tails naturally hang downward.  So the listing auctioneer was wrong in calling it a lamb.

Below is a photo of a mother adult sheep who needs shearing and her baby lamb.
Notice the tails are longer and are in a natural relaxed downward position.  
The sheep (adult lamb) above is adult with horns.
A whitetail deer buck running through a field.
Above is a white tail deer with it's antlers, not horns, and a slimmer muzzle.  White tail deer inhabit that part of Pennsylvania where Magdalena grew up.  In a natural position the tail hangs downward, unless they sense danger then lead deer will put its tail upward with the white showing to alert the group and to flee.

Okay, so neither of the above looks like the primitive shape Magdalena hooked, so what about the goat?    
Ah, the goat has hair, not wool and the tail naturally curls upward. Look at the curvature of the horns, the stockiness of the legs vs. the slimmer legs of the deer and sheep.  Sure looks like a goat rug to me.

Below is a Magdalena hooked rug named "Farm" which appears in the booklet.  Notice the similarity in the shape of the horns, the 'bouncy' goat behavior of the legs.  Yup, a goat.  Plus Magdalena lived on a farm and tended to the farm animals.  Thus she was familiar with the shapes of the animals she tended.
In the Magdalena booklet it was mentioned that the photo found was not known to be the front or the back of the rug.  The original rug above was purchased by an antique dealer from the family and as of the writing of the book was the only goat rug found to have been hooked by Magdalena at that time. However, the dealer Thomas Thomas said he had seen other rugs with goats on them.  So now there are two and I'm elated to be a part of the finding.  

Below is my hooked version of Magdalena's "Farm".  
Notice the goat shape in this rug is the same shape as the Goat I am hooking.   Also note that Magdalena got artsy, for lack of a better word, on the horns.  Actually, I find that more note worthy than whether it is a lamb, deer or goat.  Why did she choose to show the detail of the ridges on the horns?  

Have a great evening folks and eventually this evening I'll be able to pull a few loops on my Magdalena.  

OMG, I just looked at my 'stats' on my blog posts.  Since posting this story about this Magdalena rug I've received the most visits EVER.  In the last three posts I've had over 1,000 visits.

Have a great evening everyone.


Monday, February 20, 2017

Magdalena Goat

Sure haven't accomplished much in the way of hooking and am reminding myself that it is NOT a race to see how fast this can be hooked.  Plus, since I have a blog feel the need to do posts daily and shouldn't feel the need to do that.  So, as much as I'd like to do daily posts just might chill like other bloggers do and post every other day or perhaps once a week.

Yard work is upon me once again (I'm the gardner, mini-maintenance person (including doing vehicle oil checks on a 2003 van), house cleaner, cook, dog sitter, and now in the midst of having roof replacement on a shed and soon on the house.  

Oh, and have a few patterns to draw but my table is full of wool and cutter which needs to be cleared off and put away first.  Saundra....deep breath...let out...sigh........  So here is all I've accomplished.
There is a question of whether the antique rug below is was a deer, goat, or... as the auction site called it a lamb.  AHhhhh, think this might be my tomorrow's blog post.  
I've been asked if I would sell patterns of this new Magdalena GOAT rug.  And the answer is YES.  However, not until after mine is hooked so people can see how mine is hooked.


Saturday, February 18, 2017

Magdalelna's Goat Continued

So here is how those on-line auction houses work.... a rug can be sent or delivered to an antique dealer/auction house near you.  They could be part of the live auction process on-line so whoever shows up at the auction in person could be in competition with someone bidding on line. This way it doubles the chances some one's property will be sold.  This process is not only for rugs but other valuables.

It was interesting looking at the bidding history of this rug after the fact.  Obviously the auction site was not aware it was a Magdalena as the starting bid was a low $100.  I'm sure had they realized its importance in the hooking community that it was a Magdalena the beginning bid would have been higher.

The starting bid went from $100 to an immediate INTERNET bid of $1,500.  AH, someone knew it was a Magdalena.  From there it progressed with competing bids and internet until the final price of $10,000.  So more than one person was aware of this valuable piece of folk art work by one special woman... Magdalena Briner Eby.

Here is all that I've accomplished on my version so far.  Seems as much time is spent looking for a similar suitable color of wool thru worms and yardage as in really hooking.

My problem is going to be when hooking the horns.  Magdalena used what she had so her hooked horns are hard to distinguish.  So my hooked version of the rug won't be a replication of what she did.

Here is what she was trying to achieve.  Look at the ridges of the horns.
If you check yesterday's post of the original Magdalena Goat and the horns, you will understand what I mean.  

Am still having fun and loving channeling Magdalena.


Friday, February 17, 2017

Magdalena's Goat

Oh where to begin?  There's so much to tell about this so don't think it will all happen in this post.  

First, the measurements are 29 x 36; the Magdalena was framed so the original colors on the back were not visible.  Only the front was seen so colors would have been faded most likely.
Yet, as you can see bright red still shows up.  This must have been kept well to avoid wear and fading.  Yes, the rug IS hooked on burlap and in close-up photos various textiles can be seen which indicate it is OLD. And WAS determined to be an original Magdalena Briner Eby hooked rug.  What a prolific hooker that woman was.

Some of you may have caught the rug photo on Pinterest or same auction site as me.  The auction site said it was a lamb, but sending a photo of the rug to friend Evelyn (Magdalena researcher), she said Magdalena didn't hook any lambs ~ it would have been a Goat.
My friend Evelyn is the person who has diligently researched and hooked every rug found thus far by Magdalena.  That is why, I promised to not post this on my blog until after she hooked the rug. After all, I consider her the "Guardian of Magdalena rugs". OMG, she will hate me for mentioning her name.  

Inside this book it shows a rug which, until now, has a photo of the only rug hooked by Magdalena with a goat.  If you would like to purchase this book or other great hooking books click HERE.

Oh my, there's so much more that I could write and more that I want to hook tonight before showing my poor accomplishments.   

Good evening everyone.  Hope my friends in California as well as Canada are doing okay.  I shutter when watching the weather in California since living there for 3 years.  So earth quakes, mud slides, and flooding remind me of those years and glad to be home with hurricanes, humidity and medium snow.

Happy Friday everyone.


Wednesday, February 15, 2017

A Rug on My Frame

Oh yeah, and this new rug would be an antique adaptation ~ a recently discovered Magdalena!!!  That is why I am so excited to start it.   As I had home ownership issues today was not able to get nearly as much hooked as I'd planned.  But here is a teaser.
There is also an interesting story about this find which I'll share tomorrow when there is more hooked.  

Sadly as there were issues with my garage door opener which I couldn't resolve, the repair people are coming tomorrow to remedy the problem. Hopefully there will be something to share tomorrow.  If not...the next day. 

Hope all are warm in Canada and dry in California.


Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Finally Finished!!!!!

OMG, am so happy that I could scream!   Yes, I still love the Horse Trainer rug, and yes it was fun to hook...the whipping?  Uh, not so much.  But it is finished and with that extra touch of whipping.  The wool yarn was purchased from Ali Strebel at a rug camp and have two more hanks which have been dyed differently.  Plus have a bit more of left over from Horse Trainer which can be used on a smaller piece.
And the label has been sewn on the back.  Fini!  The label has a picture of the original rug hooked by Julia Eastman Stubbs with her scalloped edge.
My new pattern is already drawn on linen and ready to go.  But think tonight I will just relax and bask in the pleasure of knowing that sometime tomorrow a new rug will be on my frame.

Meanwhile, have no fear, my hands will be pulling loops ~  I'll work a little more on my grandson's Soccer rug.  Heck, this will definitely be a piece of cake and no problem having it all done way before Christmas.

Have a great evening and hope my Canadian neighbors and friends still have electricity.  Hope the impending other storm goes away.


Monday, February 13, 2017

Oh So Close!

Okay, I'm guilty of taking breaks from whipping the edge of my rug with wool yarn so every once in a while needed to pull loops on my grandson's rug.  This one is a piece of cake compared to my son's Cave Man Rug and my grandson's Favorite Sports Rug last Christmas.
So, when the last of the wool whipping is done on the Horse Trainer my grandson's rug will rest for a few months so that I can begin my next project.
Above is the Horse Trainer and all that is left of whipping is 36" at the bottom. It WILL require one more steaming.  I have concerns with the corners. It looks wonderful from the top and coverage is good.  But it seems the corners curl and are longer (stretched out).  Am hoping the steaming fixes the look.  Any advice from your experts????? 

Have a great evening and plans are that whipping will be accomplished tomorrow.  BUT.... I have a pattern order which needs to be drawn, the wool room needs to be cleaned up before before wool can be cut for the new project.    Trust me there is no one more excited about starting the next antique rug adaptation than me.  So we will ALL have to wait.

Have a great evening and am so sorry for the horrendous snowfall for our neighbor's in Canada.  Hope you still have electricity and enjoying your Storm Meals.


Saturday, February 11, 2017

Whipping With Wool Yarn Part 2

I'd forgotten just how labor intensive (time wise) this process is. Maybe that is why most of the time I choose binding tape. Wanted to start my new hooking project this weekend but am pretty darn sure it won't happen tomorrow either.
But at least I'm on my way to finishing this one so moving on to the next is in the near future.   
Only the left side and around two corners have been whipped.  I'm to blame for stopping and starting, getting on the computer to check emails, fast forwarding during commercials to watch recorded shows. But hey...I'll be here again tomorrow (I hope) so no need to rush. Afterall, every day is a weekend for me since retiring several years ago.

So now will share with you the formula as to how much yarn is needed to bind a rug. Must admit that I had to call on my gal pal Kris Miller to remind me so am posting it on my blog.  That way not only you will know but when I forget can do a 'search' on my very own blog, lol.
The hank of wool below is what I'm using to bind the rug.  It was purchased from Ali Strebel at Cape May rug camp but she also offers yarn on her web site.  

The FORMULA... It takes 12" (one foot) of yarn to whip 1".  Yes, sad but true.

This rug measures 22 x 47 which equates to 138" times 12" of yarn to whip around......OR 1,656" of yarn required.    Yup, but think you'd want a tad more to cover those corners and to tuck the ends of the yarn under.  So would want a tad more than that.
The hank of yarn above measures 28" (almost 29) and it is on a round so times 2.  There are 39 strands of yarn.  So the calculations are:

28 x 2 = 56" TIMES 39 strands = 2,184" of yarn required for whipping this rug.  So there IS plenty of yarn.

THIS WOOL YARN is thick so am using a single strand to whip with. So am wondering if using a thinner piece of wool yarn and doubled would require twice the amount.   I'm not sure because I've only whipped with either thick (bulky) wool or with cut wool strips.  The remainder of the time I've done the wide wool covered cording or cotton binding.  

Have a great Saturday evening folks.  You may not hear from me tomorrow unless this marathon binding is completed.


Thursday, February 9, 2017

Whipping With Wool Yarn

As a hooker who hates binding rugs but loves the hooking process I've chosen to finish binding Horse Trainer as quick as possible ~ bite the bullet so to speak.  Reason because there is yet another rug calling my name...in addition to my grandson's rug.  Oh yeah.... a surprise and an antique adaptation.
First thing is to prepare your edges so the rug doesn't unravel when moved or shaken over a period of time.  You are seeing two rows of stitching as I'd thought of using binding tape instead of whipping. Binding tape is usually 1 1/4" wide so stitched out just 1" to ensure no foundation peeking out from under the tape.

Then after deciding a wool whipped edge it required a little more foundation to roll forward.  Therefore after the heavy rug was hooked did additional stitching another 1/2" outward.
Above is cheap black cotton crochet thread purchased almost anywhere. This is what I'm using to prepare the edge for whipping with wool. 
Above you can see that I've started rolling forward and using that cotton thread to PRE 'whip' the foundation in place.  YES, it IS double work but I personally find it better for me to have a smooth and prepared area to whip with wool.  Rather than holding the curl and whipping with wool and the curl gets unfurled to make lumps.
Am almost around the corner for the prep and tomorrow will start the wool whipping.  That will be part two of this and I'll give you the formula for how much wool it takes to hook a rug.
See those wonderful little red clips holding the curl of the foundation? They are Clover Wonder Clips and wonderful for holding the edge and you don't get stuck with straight pins.  BUT, they aren't cheap and I used a 40% off coupon to purchase mine.

Have a great evening and hope my Canadian friends can open their front door tomorrow.  KIM, hope you enjoyed the pizza and beer as you will need that energizer bunny to get your car cleaned in the morning.


Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Antique Rugs to Show

Anything to do with a rug show is every body's favorite blog title.  For days I've promised myself that mundane task of whipping the Horse Trainer rug would begin.  Uh, it still hasn't happened.  

As soon as this computer is shut off I'm going to finish hand sewing a label on another rug and will begin the first stage of whipping my rug. Will take a couple pictures of this process and share some information about whipping with yarn.  
Above is an antique folk art rug said to have been hooked around 1860 with multiple animals, birds, starfish, hearts, and bulls eye.
A bias shirred rug dyed with vegetable dyes sold for $38,000.  Wowzer. Below is a close up of one of the flowers.
This blue cat below was to have been hooked around 1835 according to the auction house from which it was sold.
And another animal is this pink pig being walked by a boy, 19th century.
Below is a staggered brick shaped geometric.  No date was available.
Pleasing to my eyes as far as color is the two vases rug below. Although I've no desire to hook it I like the colors; said to have been hooked late 19 century.
And last.... a cardinal which came from a farmhouse and was to have been hooked late 19th century or early 20th.
Okay guys and gals I've some work ahead of me so that I can be where I'd hoped to be last week.  Ah, but life does get in the way doesn't it?

Just so you know..... and for those of you who live in this are already know.... the temperatures reached 73 degrees here in the woods today. Tomorrow is another story.  Tomorrow it will be in the 30's and morning rain will turn to snow.  Predictions for snow level is only for 1".  But those weather prognosticators have been know to be wrong.

Have a great evening.


Tuesday, February 7, 2017


Yeah, sometimes stuff happens and you want to go in a different direction.  Don't think my regular readers expect anything different from me based on my history.    

My grandson's rug looks like this right now but will put it aside and do a couple other things.
Meanwhile I'll store the project and wool in this basket purchased from Overstock.  Sometimes they offer 3 baskets at a good price and sometimes none are being sold.  It is a hit and miss sort of purchase. So you need to keep checking back.  Sure do enjoy these baskets.
The Horse Trainer still needs to be bound and that is one of the projects which will be worked on while the soccer rug is on PAUSE.

Plus I have an order for patterns which comes first.  SO....there is nothing new to show from my hands.   

Have a great evening everyone.  


Sunday, February 5, 2017

New Project

Naturally I couldn't wait to put something new on my frame although not having started binding the Horse Trainer.  That new rug would be my grandson's next gift.

Last Christmas I hooked Zach's Favorite Sports Rug which included Nascar, the Orioles, Redskins and he loved that rug.  However, it didn't include the sport which he enjoys playing the most....SOCCER.  Zach's favorite team is from Barcelona so grandma is going to hook the logo for him this year.  
Must admit the soccer ball was the first thing hooked and my Sharpie didn't come thru properly on the initial drawing, so the hooking was YUCKY.  Wise move was to pull the hooking out.  Drew the lines again and hooked it. AH...grandma is happier with the soccer ball now. 

Hope you have a wonderful and peaceful Sunday evening.


Saturday, February 4, 2017

And the Winner Is (was)......

Me!!!!!!!  No one was more surprised that I'd won the wonderful hooked heart by Lauren (Rugs and Pugs) than me.  It arrived in yesterday's mail and could smell the lavender even before the package was opened. Didn't post a picture of it yesterday since the gift gave me the impetus to vacuum up the wool dust and make the room presentable for this gift.
Lauren hooked it with 1" wide wool strips and the curl of the loops are wonderfully mesmerizing.  She did the Betsy Reed patchwork back and, of course, her stitches are even and meticulous.  
The heart is stuffed with lavender and wool snippets (per her previous blog post) and love the scent upon entering my kitchen.
Sorry the photo above is so washed out from the camera flash ~ the star of the show (the HEART) is front and center in the picture.  The heart shaped candy dish holds dark chocolate and the purple just doesn't go but had no pink or red Hershey Kisses to put in it.  That will change tomorrow.

Oh, just so you know, Lauren does a delightful job of packaging her presents.  
Look at the back of the package with the heart sealing the tissue paper down...Uh, a heart!  And there was a strip of wool ribbon with a tag and special note written to me as the winner which I didn't photo but the memory is etched in my head. Thank you Lauren and am so happy that I was the winner too.  You do awesome work.  Hope you are having fun at Sauder and looking forward to the report back.