Monday, January 31, 2011

The process of binding a rug

As with most hookers, I enjoy the hooking process but not particularly fond of the binding process ~ yet it needs to be done to give your rug the longest possible life.  There are many ways to bind a rug and I have tried several ways.  With this particular rug "Brave Hunter" by Woolley Fox, I have decided to whip the edges with the same wool strips as in the border.  I will use up some of the strips I've already cut and they may be in either #8 or #8.5. 

This is the rug Brave Hunter which I hooked with Barb Carroll this past November.  The rug has been completely hooked for several weeks now but as I mentioned I love hooking and binding is not my fav thing to do, so I immediately started working on my Magdalena Eagle again.  But, I really do want to enjoy this rug and I can't until it is bound.  In case any of you wonder..... those flecks of white in the middle hills (not the trees) is the white section of the textured wool I used for that area.

It is very important to do a row of straight stitching about 1/4" away from the last row of hooking.  This helps prevent stress on the weave of the foundation during movement, thus keeping the loops firmly planted.  Then I drew a line about 2" away from the rug and did a row of straight stitching.  Then I usually do two rows of zig zag on top of that to keep the ends from fraying, but this time I did the straight stitch, one row of zig zag and since I have a serger thought I'd serge the edges also.

I will roll this 2" margin forward and whip it with wool strips without a cording.  Some people use cording wrapped with the backing, and I have also done that, but I've also had great success whipping a rug without the cording to fuss with. 

As I progress in this task I'll be sure to post pictures of the next stage.

Again I'd like to say how very important it is to take the time to properly bind your rugs; and that isn't just cutting it and covering it up with binding tape or whipping it.  The raw edges of the backing should also be well protected from raveling because even covered up, with the rug hanging, being walked on and moved, the weave will undoubtedly unravel with time.  And what a shame it would be to spend all those hours hooking and money spent on wool for a beautiful project just to have the wool loops pull out or shift.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

My Dog Shadow

Shadow is a German Shepherd Rottweiler mix but I have no clue which part of her is Rottweiler unless it is the floppy ears.  She is a wired and ready-to-go Shepherd from first thing in the morning until bedtime.  Which makes me understand why police use them ~ because they need something to do.

Shadow is 9 years old but acts like a 2 year old pup.  She could have easily been taught to be a working dog with the disabled, and sometimes I think I should have spent more time with her so she'd do my laundry tee hee, kidding.  But she does have a very abundant vocabulary.  If I say that I am going to fill up the bird feeders she leads the way to the garage is since that is where I keep the black oil seeds.  If I comment that I'm going to hang clothes outside she leads the way to the laundry room; and, if I say that I'm going to clean out the fish pond filter she heads straight to the back door.  Of course there are many other words that she knows and will respond accordingly. 

However, sometimes when I am just talking and she isn't quite sure of what those words are, she will tilt her head and jerk it back and forth as if one ear could understand better than the other.  That is when she is the cutest and I just break out in laughter.

She certainly does keep me entertained and she is a great companion to have around.  Hopefully she will live to a ripe old age as her mother (a Shepherd) did because she lived to be about 15 years of age.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Rottweiler Memorial

What piqued my interest in wanting to learn to hook rugs was the look of the primitive rugs I would see while looking thru issues of the older Country Living magazines, plus the fact that I have antique furniture (well eclectic and antiques).  So then as a hooker and visiting camps and rug shows I'd see these lovely narrow cut rugs.  I wondered if my choice to hook wide cuts and primitive was really because I would be lousy at narrow cut hooking.

So I decided to try a narrow cut but knew it would have to be something near and dear to my heart or I probably would never finish it.  So I decided to do a memorial profile portrait of my dearly beloved Rottweilers Shumba (the mother) and Panzer (her son).  They are hooked in #3 cut and I was so happy to have successfully finished that so did the background in #5.  If I thought I could have pulled it off successfully I would have hooked the background in #8 but knew there would be too much difference.

So just as soon as that was bound and hung on the wall I immediately drew out a primitive pattern of my dear dogs and hooked it in #8.  Ahhhhhh, I was in heaven.

Antique adaptation chair pad and rug

I have numerous hooking books with lots of inspiration for projects I wish to embark on.  Finally this past September I could take it no longer and just had to do an adaptation of a rug that I had seen in a book titled "Hooked Rugs" by Leslie Linsley.  I wanted to make mine into a chair pad but also made it into a rug. 

The original round rug was 36" in diameter and I didn't want a round chair pad but rather one which would better fit the shape of the chair I use here at the computer.  And for the rug I wanted a rectangular shape.

For the chair pad I tried to stay fairly true to the colors of the original but for the rectangular rug I wanted a brown red stag.  So rather than pulling that book out and pining over wanting an adaptation of the antique rug, I now feel fulfilled and have two of them to enjoy each time I come into the computer room.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Domestic Zoo

Here is a picture of my Domestic Zoo.  The original rug which was designed and hooked by Magdalena Briner around 1890 measured 24" by 70".  Mine measures 22 1/2" x 65 1/2" and trust me when I say it was heavy enough to work on with those measurements.  I don't know how people can hook room size rugs comfortably.  

Magdalena hooked images she was exposed to and which were in the world which surrounded her.  I still find looking at the rug very interesting but sure wish that Magdalena was here so I could ask her exactly what some of those shapes were.  I can only guess.  I can see several leaves, two snakes, cats, dogs, chickens, birds, donkey, horse.  Some appear to be cherries, pear, an apple cut in half, and there are hearts near some of the animals which makes me think they were her prized or favorite or perhaps pets she was memorializing.  It looks like one of the snakes may have been after the bird.  But again, I can only guess and imagine what was going on in Magdalena's mind as she drew the rug out.

And, for all of my Magdalena rugs I have made a label so that years from now if mine is found tucked away somewhere it will be known it is not an antique and people will know it is not the same dimensions as the original.  I feel it is important to give Magdalena credit and that the true size of her original works be known. 

I hope you have enjoyed reading about Magdalena

Organized Chaos

Here is a picture of the location where I hook.  To the left of the sofa at the window is where my loyal companion Shadow sits to guard her domain and keep a watchful eye on me.  You can see how I have started out attempting to be somewhat organized with my strips separated into little baggies of darks, reds, yellows and oranges, whites and tans; it is quite a full blown rat's nest.......... yet.

And tucked under the base of my sit-upon frame there are more strips of wool and on the end table beyond the hump of wool on the arm of the sofa there are more wool strips.  So I'm getting close to the full blown rat's nest.  Then I get so frustrated because the strips become a knot and it requires me to once again try to get control over the mess by semi-organizing once again.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Back to the Magdalena Eagle rug

Let's see if I can successfully post this, after having lost the whole thing last night...sigh.. guess there is some truth to 'you can't teach an old dog new tricks', I'm not the brightest bulb when it comes to computers.

Anyway, my friend Evelyn brought the information about and now famous rugs of Magdalena Briner to the public eye and did an article about her works in an issue of Rug Hooking magazine a few years ago.  So far I have hooked two other of Magdalena's rugs, Domestic Zoo which is a long runner and Dog and Crows.  I have not displayed them in my home yet because I have a special room in mind for them where they can be on the floor together when this one is done and they will age the same rate.

Here is the Magdalena Eagle in progress.  There's just a little more left at the bottom to hook and then the binding. 

I will be quite happy when this is done because Magdalena's rugs seem to require more work than any other rugs I have hooked.  The reason is because I'm trying to stay relatively true to the color choices of what Magdalena had to use while I'm using what I have.  Tho I start out all organized with my colors together the wool eventually turns into a rat's nest of mixed colors all twisted together all around me. 

When the rug is done I will post a finished picture of it.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Magdalena Eagle

This is going to start out as a test tonight.  Because, I spent about 45 minutes typing and with a picture of the rug and all was lost.    So this is my test and will do it all again tomorrow.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Little piece of Heaven

Brrrrr, it was cold this morning when I took these two pictures.  You can probably see the frost on the leaves.  But I wanted to introduce you to my little piece of heaven in the woods where I've lots of bird houses, bird feeders, a salt lick and keep buckets of water to feed the deer during drought season.

It is still in the frigid teens but I will soon be tucked under my rug hooking project happily hooking away.  As soon as I have to move the rug on my hooking frame I'll be sure to post a picture of it in progress.