Saturday, May 31, 2014

Magdalena's Farm Rug in Progress

I was tempted to keep on hooking and take a picture later and update my blog this evening.  But that is exactly what happened yesterday ~ ...oh Saundra, just hook in that small empty space.  Okay, so now let's hook around the horse.  Oh, but I want to hook that space under the goat's belly.  So then it became almost bed time and too tired to mess with the blog. 

The rug is spread out on my back deck and photographed in natural light, no flash.  I can see it has ripples so should have taken more care to spread it out better.
Magdalena's Farm is the perfect size for me and measures 24 x 38.  My gal pals Deb and Mary were hooking much bigger rugs which you can see in a previous post from Barb's camp.  The longest rug I ever hooked was Domestic Zoo and that will maintain as the record if I have anything to do with it.

As I'm looking at what I've hooked am trying to decide whether to finish the area to the far left and fill in the background or finish the bird motif.  Think I'll finish the left side so that I can call that part done.

If you're interested in ordering Magdalena's Farm pattern just e-mail or call Woolley Fox I'm sure they can fix ya up.  I've attached a link to the Magdalena page for your convenience.  You can see how others have hooked this design and see other Magdalena patterns while you're there.

Have a great evening and please be kind to one another. 


Thursday, May 29, 2014

WOO HOO! Last Loop Pulled

Yup, the last loop was pulled on The Cat's Meow rug but it still needs to be bound and that's not my favorite pastime.  Yet it is a necessity unless you have the financial resources to have someone else do it for you ~~ uh, I don't.  Once it is bound I'll have a good pic to post on my web site for patterns.  Here is what it looks like after the last loop was pulled and the picture was taken with a flash so it is more bright here than in person.
A picture without a flash which is a tad blurry.
Here are a couple photos taken while at camp last week.  This picture is taken by my gal pal who used a lense which distorts the picture, you can notice it particularly by the curvature of the corner cupboards ...sorry.

To the far left in this picture is Barb's daughter Robin having lunch with us; then there is me, Shari and Deb. Missing is Mary, who is taking the photo and Barb who is relaxing upstairs during lunch.
And, a person who was sorely missed this camp was our wonderful gal pal Char who has become a Snowbird.  This past year she became almost an extinct being since we've not seen her.  We read messages from her but not the same thing as having up close and personal contact.  So here is a picture from a previous camp at Woolley Fox with our gal pal Char. 
In the picture above is Shari, me, Deb and Char.  We sure are busy hooking and having fun.

With the time left tonight it will be fun hooking on Magdalena's Farm rug started at Barb's.


Monday, May 26, 2014

Back to The Cat's Meow

You have no idea how much I wanted to continue hooking on Magdalena's Farm rug which is what I was working on at Woolley Fox.  But there really is so little left on the Cat's Meow, and as it was started first, makes sense that I should finish it first.  Besides, it will just make the reward of working on Magdalena's Farm even sweeter with having to wait.

So what I have left should be quick and easy, I hope.  Here's what's left to hook... just a wee bit more on the top left corner and then it will be the binding to do.  Once finished I'll post a picture of my finished piece on my web site for pattern orders.  But if you are interested in purchasing the pattern before it is posted on my web site you can write me HERE.  The dimensions of this rug are 30 x 30
Enjoy your Memorial Day with family and friends as we thank those service men and women who made the ultimate/life sacrifice to keep us free.  They all put themselves in harms way doing what they felt was their duty to protect our Nation and our people. 

My heart goes out to all those families who lost a son, brother, husband, father or friend.  God Bless our Military and God Bless America.
Flag in the Blue Sky

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Honey's, I'm Home!

I arrived home Thursday around 5 p.m. and about 2 hours left to my drive home the car radio was interrupted with tornado and extreme thunder storm weather warnings moving all around me. My eyes kept a watchful eye in the rear view mirror and couldn't get home fast enough.  Since all ended well I guess it was a fitting big BANG to the class at Woolley Fox.

Did I have fun you ask?  Uh, yeah, and I always do.  My friend Evelyn wrote me asking if I was happy with the rug I hooked there.  Seems a silly question since Evelyn hooks at the camp so knows the answer herself.  My response to Evelyn was, "Yes, I like every rug that comes out of Barb's class".  Mine is no exception. 

Here are some pictures of my pals rugs and the pictures were taken 2 1/2 days into the class.  This is a picture of my friend Mary with her rug and the picture is taken on the deck of the Guest House on the Woolley Fox premises.
This is my friend Shari who is working on Barb's pattern called Rags.  She is hooking the dog in the color of her dog.
My gal pal Deb is hooking Magdalena's Animal Parade which is a humongous rug measuring 33 x 79.  She is hooking it in #9 strips.  You should see that duck up close and personal....awesome.
And finally mine, which is Magdalena's Farm and measures 24 x 38.  All those markings on the rug translate to instructions from Barb.  She has a great teaching technique which makes it easy to remember.  Since these are small classes Barb brings each student to the planning area individually and concentrates on THAT rug only.  Once that student is ready for the next stage then Barb calls up the next student.
I love everything about my rug ~ everything!  What's funny is that I'd become accustomed to putting some sort of purple in the rug since my first class with Barb.  She had already color planned everything except the background and the corner swag.  I was beginning to wonder if this would be my first rug from a Barb class without could that be?  FINALLY, there was that bit of purple I'd come to expect and enjoy in a rug from Barb's class. 

I'd intended to come home and finish up the Cat's Meow rug which is very close to being done.  But, I just wanted to continue the ambiance I'd enjoyed at Ligonier with Barb and my gal pals so have kept this on the frame.  Tonight I'll continue hooking on this rug and tomorrow think I'll finish up the Cat's Meow and be done with that one since it is so close to being done.

Gals, if you ever get the opportunity to take a class with Barb please treat yourself.  It is an experience watching Barb's brain work on the color planning process.  Sure wish the talent would rub off on me but no matter how many classes I've taken with her I still don't feel my magic happening with the color planning.

If you are interested in taking a class with Barb at Woolley Fox, click HERE to see the information.

Have a great evening everyone.


Friday, May 16, 2014

My Bags are Packed and Ready to Go

Anyone my age would remember John Denver's song which was recorded by Peter, Paul and Mary ~ " bags are packed and I'm ready to go....".  But I won't be Leaving on a Jet Plane.  I'll be going to Ligonier, PA for a class with the wonderful Barb Carroll at Woolley Fox.

I was lucky enough to purchase Magdalena's Farm from Barb when it was half price so that is what I'll be hooking in her class.  Here are two photos which I pulled from Barb's web site so you can see how two different people hooked the same design.  The top one was hooked by Elaine Cathcart and the one below was hooked by Kathy Wadlington.  I just love that frolicking rabbit-eared looking Deer.
 I'm undecided on whether I will do a dark background or a lighter background but I'm going prepared for both ways.
The plastic containers hold the wool I'm taking to Barbs for my rug; one has colors in it, another lights, and the other darks.  Yup, a lota wool.
This is what is stashed inside the yellow collapsible tote.... small samples of wool for Barb to select from which also happen to have larger pieces in the tote.  So really, I could keep the totes in my car and only pull the wool from there that Barb selects for my rug.  That beautifully hooked Woolley Fox rug you see on the left was gifted to me by my departed friend Lesley Coveney. 
Sitting on top of that tote is a plastic bag filled with the over dyed wool for the background on Cats Meow rug (below).  I doubt much more will be hooked on it today as my frame will need to be packed.  I'm heading out in the morning to stay overnight with my pal Deb and Sunday morning we will both head to Ligonier, PA.
I'll have my iPad handy but will only have access to Barb's wifi when close to her house as there's no signal to the Woolley Cottage which is where we will stay.  So until I return, please be kind to one another and 'hook on'.


Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Who's Ready for an Antique Rug Show?

Oh but guess that will get a lot of hits on my blog; just the mention of 'rug show' is good enough but add the word 'antique' brings even more views.

Every once in a while I treat myself to web surfing looking for vintage rugs for my next wanna be.  That's how I found my present cat project which is a delightful rug to hook.  You can see my progress and the original antique if you scroll thru previous posts.

Even tho my son is grown and grandson too old to like it, the Three Bears has always been one on my list of rugs to hook.  So I've saved some antique pictures here and there when I could.  Here are a few.
And another; and I thought I'd saved more photos but these three were the only ones I could locate on my flash drive.  That's okay, I'll keep collecting them when I see them.

Oh but I liked this a lot.  First off I have always loved horses and owned one as a teen.  But more than that is to try and be in the mind of the hooker who also loved their horse.  She/he used a bold color for the horse, then outlined it in a light value to make it stand out.  So to make the horse stand out even more used a darker row around .
Some of you may like florals and I personally like the triangle borders.  Plus any antique rug which has changes of color because they "made do" is very charming.  Very interesting rug with lots of possibilities.
And it isn't the Three Bears, it is the Three Pigs.
Another floral I like and with circles in the border.
Although I recently swore off of hit and miss, this one is tempting.  Look at the cottage with the larger than life flowers.  A lot is going on in this rug and I like it.
It is getting close to the count down before rug camp so took a little time to relax and look for antique rugs.  There's lots more for me to do between now and when I leave on Saturday morning for Woolley Fox.  Next post I'll show you which design I'm working on with Barb so stay tuned. 

Have a great evening everyone.


Monday, May 12, 2014

The Cat's Meow

Ooh, think I like that name for this rug instead of what I've been using.  I've dubbed it 'Cat, Birds and Blooms' but that is quite a mouthful.  Besides I'm really enjoying hooking the design so think it IS "The Cat's Meow". 
Things are working out well as I get to the count down to Woolley Fox camp.  This rug is the only one on the frame and all but one has been bound.  The Granny Geometric is left and will be bound on the 4 hour road trip to Woolley Fox as my pal Deb drives.  That way it will keep my mind busy as we climb the elevation in the mountains of Pennsylvania.

Hope everyone had a great weekend and for you moms out there, hope it was extra special.  Hugs to all and please be kind to one another.

This one isn't on my web site yet but I did post a picture of my Santa and Deer rug there today.  As soon as this one is done I'll post it on my web site too. 

Speaking of web sites... mine really needs a day shifting things around.  Oh well, one day I'll get around to it.  So all I can recommend is you just scroll thru all the old stuff and maybe you'll find a block which has something new in it.  Yup, sounds like a rainy day activity for sure.  But not this week as I'm leaving for Woolley Fox at the end of the week and lots to do before I leave.

OH!!!!!  The rug name......I'd love to hear some suggestions for the name of this rug.  So far I've called it these:  Cat, Birds and Blooms  ~  The Cat's Meow.    But I am open for suggestions and would love to hear them.  Normally I don't sell patterns of a design until after I've hooked it to have a picture for people to see of what I did.   But this time 4 were sold immediately. 


Saturday, May 10, 2014

Cotton Binding a Rug Part 2

Now all bound, the little circle mat graces my harvest table.  It is in good company with favorite INSIDE birdhouses.  They were made in Cape May using re-purposed treasures rescued from shutters, old electric and door knobs of the Chalfonte Hotel where Rugs By the Sea rug camp is held each year.  If you are interested in learning more about that camp write Norma by clicking HERE.
In the previous post I recommended bleeding out the dye from the cotton binding.  Once dry I cut a length around the circumference of the rug and I always like to add about 2" for the heck of it.  I'd rather cut away an inch for the trash than end up an inch short. 

If you look closely in the photo below you can see the thread which is on one side and can be pulled to gather around the curved corner or a circle chair pad.  If you feel both sides one side feels a little sharper or ridged and that is the side which would have that gathering thread.  Sometimes it takes several attempts to find the pesky thread and sometimes I've hit it on the first try.  If one end doesn't work the play with the other end.

I start the gathering even before attaching to the mat and later manipulate it in the spots where the gather is needed.
I used black Perle cotton to attach the binding tape around the perimeter near the last row of hooking.  In the photo below you can see that as I near the rounded corner it will require gathering on the inside so that it will lay flat.  Also, I started the end on a straight and not the curve.
 As you work around the hooked piece you need to work the gathering to the proper areas inside the mat/rug. 
Here is a picture of two rounded, gathered and stitched corners.
Happy Mother's Day to all you moms and hope you have a wonderful weekend.


Thursday, May 8, 2014

Binding a Rug with Cotton Binding 101 part 1

To me, this mat called for a cotton rug binding rather than whipping with wool or yarn.  Sounds like a piece of cake but there really is more to it, particularly if you are hooking a round chair pad or rounded corners.  Today's demonstration will be with the circle mat just hooked.  This is what it looks like at this posting ~ not finished with the binding but want to show you the whole process. 
Newbies there are revelations here which you may want to learn.  For instance cotton rug binding WILL bleed and if you have put a lot of hard work into hooking a project it could be compromised if you don't take precautions.  Just think about all the work on a rug and someone comes in out of the rain or snow and gets your rug wet?  Oh, not on the floor so you're safe?  Maybe not.  Suppose someone spills some ice tea or glass of water on a mat on the table?

So I'm using black cotton binding (looks grey with the flash) and unrolled several yards so that I could bleed it out. I poured in a little detergent (NOT with bleach). 
And then I started running warm water into the basin. Hey, I'd just turned on the water at this point and look at the red that is bleeding out of the binding.
A little while after the basin was filled, but before heating, it looked like this.
An idea hit me that since there was all this free dye why not use it to my advantage, right?  So went to my repurposed finds and these pieces of skirt had too much white for my liking so in the pot it went. 
 Here it is being submerged into the dye pot and that yellow you see is a reflection of the light above my range and the flash.
The wool and binding was married for quite some time as I stirred and tugged to move the wool around.  Finally the cotton binding was removed and I put in some white vinegar to set the color in the wool.
Meanwhile, I rinsed the cotton binding and hung it on the clothesline outside.  When I prewashed the WOVEN cotton fabric for the binding on the Chicken Challenge rug it was my plan for the cotton to get knotted, raveled and tangled to add to the primitive look.  But didn't want the regular cotton binding tangled so hung it on the line.
Would you believe there was this much dye left over AFTER?
Alrighty then.... this is what I started with...
 ...and this is what it looked like after being in the cotton dye residue. 
I didn't realize how long this would be and by now everyone is getting bored or restless.  So LESSON #2 will continue tomorrow.

Have a great evening everyone.  We had one gloriously warm day today and hope you all had the same.


Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Rug Hooking Smorgasbord

At least the entire post is about hooking albeit talking and this and a little of that.  The circle mat has been completely hooked and given it's first steaming.  It has even been trimmed and serged 1" beyond the last row of hooking.  
Eventually I'll get around to giving a tutorial with binding tape showing 'how to' with the curved corners.  But that is in a near future post. 

So then it was time to clean up those pesky but usable leftovers which had collected once again.  I had reduced them from the huge web tote which was stored for years with the Granny Geometric.  So that rug hooked those were separated out.  But then found another basket with leftovers in it which were instantly redirected to the circle rug.  Now that the circle rug is hooked this is what I gleened from the leftovers this morning over a few cups of coffee; you can see the empty basket in the background.
Then into the appropriate colored baggie they went to be useful once again on another rug.  This was time well spent as it is a great resource when you need a certain color and don't want to pull out yardage to get a couple strips.  However, the first time around was a struggle since I'd waited so many years before separating them out.   

Sometimes, if I've precious little of a certain wool that I like and it is on the shelf I'll fold the strips and insert them into the middle of the wool.  That way I don't need to search through my spaghetti string wool strips to find extra.

Plans were to also post a picture of the vintage Cat rug to show my progress but think I'll hold off until next post in order to get more hooked. 

OH!!!!!!  speaking of the Cat rug.... remember my post of 'dying in anticipation'?  Click on that previous link if you can't remember.  Anyway, most of that wool (if not all the wool) was purchased when Heavens to Betsy had their remnant bag sales. 

Well guys and gals, while they last the remnant bag sale has started.  So click on Betsy's link and grab yours before they are gone.  This has been a fun time to get larger samples of wool they have without buying yardage, and also fun to do what I did by have a variety of wool to overdye in the same dye pot.  Check it out.

Have a fantaboulous evening and please be kind to one another AND to defenseless animals.


Monday, May 5, 2014

Plain Wool, Over dyed Wool, Textured Wool

Before I start writing about different types of wool I'll give you an example of how a textured wool can and will work in even the most precise hooking project.  I'd never have believed it if it hadn't happened to me.

Here is my dearly departed Shadow girl which was hooked last September at Cape May with Diane Stoffel.
The wool taken for Shadow was some dip dyed (flat) wool dyed for my Rottweiler Memorial some years prior so the colors were appropriate.  Also took some textured blacks/darks.  But sadly my stash for the over dyed wool was running out and there was way more to hook on Shadow than I had taken to camp.

So Diane took me shopping (at camp) to find a suitable wool to use for Shadow's unfinished face since I'd used up all my over dyed wool.  OMG, her face.  You have no idea how frustrated I was having to make the switch.....well, if you go back that far in my blog you will see my ongoing struggle. So this is the wool Diane chose (the plaid), and I used the light section for some parts and the darker for the darker parts of Shadow.
Interestingly enough, it worked just fine.  And if you look with a critical eye you will see the variance in the photo below. 

So, would I have preferred having enough of my over dyed wool?  YES!  While it is only a hooked piece it was a special girl of mine and I wanted her to be hooked as I'd planned.  But I'm pleased with how she turned out and Diane made a dang good choice!  I'd take another class with Diane Stoffel in a heart beat!!!!  She's funny, good at what she does and her color wheel lesson is off the charts fun.
To continue....when first starting my journey with rug hooking and having absolutely no stash I, as most of us, resorted to the thrift shop.  I mean, why would I spend good money to buy wool yardage when it can be purchased for much less at the thrift shop and just for the washing, drying and dismantling of the fabric?

My first mistakes were:

~ buying clothing with any percentage of wool no matter how little
~ buying flat colors and no textured (check, plaids, herringbone, etc.)

Some of that wool did serve me well during my practice (struggle) but as my rug hooking experience matured realized that a significant amount of wool in my stash was not usable.  You see, I'd never been to a rug camp before, didn't know any other hookers in my area so was self-taught.  And now there is the Internet where other hookers communicate on groups and blogs if you aren't lucky enough to be able to go to a rug camp.

The preferred wool is 100% wool but even then you need to be careful to NOT buy WORSTED wool.  Worsted wool is a process which makes the wool thread, will not full even when washed with tennis balls.  It is worthless.

Don't buy wool with Polyester but it is okay to buy wool with 10% nylon as it will accept acid dyes and won't harm your cutter.  It is also a luxury if you find clothing which has cashmere mixed in.  Ooh la la... it makes it very soft.  I've purchased some clothing with which was 85% wool, with cashmere and nylon making up the other 15%.  It has a feel which I can identify if my fingers ever touch it in my wool basket.

Then once you take it home do not take it into your home until it is ready to be washed and dried.  That way you don't bring in unwanted moth eggs.  I would usually dismantle the clothing out on my back deck or in the garage if too cold outside.  Then take it in and wash it on warm and dry on low with a couple fluffy towels. 

Have a great evening folks and if any of you newbies reading my blog want to ask questions please feel free to write me at  If you post your question on my blog and you happen to be a "NO-REPLY" blogger I'll not be able to respond.  If you want find out if you are a NO REPLY click HERE.


Sunday, May 4, 2014

BACK to the CAT

Oh but I was hoping to have all the background done on the right middle around the kitten and bird but didn't get it done.  So I hooked in the colors for the areas I've planned.  Must say here that the dye job I did in anticipation of this rug has been delightful to use.  If you want to see what I did click HERE.
Okay, so my plans are to finish the right side middle of this rug and then save it until the circle/penny mat is hooked.  Therefore I'll be flipping between the two rugs again so I can save some hooking on this rug for the evening arriving at Woolley Fox plus give me something to work on until Barb gets to me for color planning my rug.  I'll debut the rug planned for Barbs in a future post.  So hang tight and check back.

Have a great Sunday evening everyone.


Saturday, May 3, 2014

I'm an Absentee Blogger and Sorry

When I first started my blog it was with intentions of motivating newbie hookers so they didn't feel alone and help them along without the struggle I felt during that new adventure.  Well, that is until I found rug camps and other people who shared the same love of hooking as me.  Then I didn't feel alone any longer.

Sorry I've been absent, but the delay in my posting was due to lawn mowing, weed pulling.  Oh... weeds!!!  Today I found numerous tunnels of those sharp spiky briar tree like things.  Don't know what they are called but I HATE THEM, and never could understand why God made those or mosquito's. 

Anyhoo...this is what my 'circle/penny mat' looks like now. 
Hopefully the next time you see this rug it will be fully hooked.  I'm having a lot of fun hooking the vintage cat rug so will have a struggle switching since in two weeks is a great rug camp with Barb Carroll and start something new.  EEKS, that means I've got this small  mat to finish before I go to Barbs for sure.  Oh my but the pressure is on now.

Have a great evening.