Sunday, November 30, 2014

Dyeing Wool Worms Without Knots

Most of us have them, some of us have more than others.  I find it very rewarding to use them up but some bright or white don't work in a worn look, particularly a Magdalena style rug.  Well, unless it is red ~ Magdalena used red in (I think) the majority if not all, of her rugs.  Guess those red union suits got used to the very end (pun intended).

While working on Magdalena's Olde Ducks noticed that my light and off white wool strips soon became either pinkish, yellow, bright white... in other words, not to my liking.  Soooo, it was time to pull out the dye pot and select a bunch of mixed wool strips to overdye.

I had a little of the dye recipe "Olde Patina" left from a dye job in readiness of hooking an antique adaptation I call "Cats Meow.  Since it worked so well with wool for that rug figured I'd overdye some worms with the last of the dye.  There was about 2 tablespoons of the recipe left, just enough to maybe dye close to half a yard.  But, it is a little hard to judge how much wool it is when it is reduced to worms.

I saved this mesh bag from my grandson's summer freezer pop treats knowing it would come in handy for a project such as this where it was important to contain the unruly worms.
Below you can see just how white some of my whites were ~ not a pretty sight in a rug if you are doing an aged look. 
The open end was secured.  I used the white clip first but then decided to add the twist as well.
 Here is the wool simmering with just one tablespoon of the recipe.  Since I wasn't sure how much would do the job figured more could be added vs. having it turn out too dark.  And it did need that second tablespoon of dye.
This is an old dryer but love the table that fits inside which allows for the heat flow but the drum doesn't move so the strips don't get tangled.
Next I put a piece of netting on top so no worms would fall thru the holes.  This is the comparison on results from my previous dye job for Cats Meow and the worms dyed today, pretty close I'd say.
The wool looks dark in the photo above, not only what I dyed today but the sample of what I dyed previously.  With dyeing the worms the raw edges of the strips absorb a bit more dye than had it been a half yard solid piece.  If you want to see how it hooked up in "Cats Meow", click on that link and it will take you to my blog post, you'll see it hooks up a mild aged background and I used all of those pieces of wool in the rug that you see stapled to the paper. 
Have a great Sunday evening.

Saturday, November 29, 2014


Heavens to Betsy, Betsy!!!!  What a great deal and I love those sheep with Santa caps.  Looks like a pattern in the making to me.
For those of you who may not be on Betsy's mailing list, she is having a great sale:
on any website order
Now through Sunday at midnight
you could save up to 30%
use coupon code: SAVE15  at checkout
To place your order click HERE.

I looked at my wool to see what I needed and first thing I did was check how much Woodland Junction was on my shelves because to me that is a MUST HAVE. Seems I have plenty for now.
Here's another shelf (shelves); and some spilled over onto the floor.
Oh, and there's the wall to my right...
Uh, and to the right of those shelves.  Notice the container which was at November camp with me that hasn't been put away yet?  AND....the stack of wool in front of the shelves stacked on a foot stool?
Then there is the wool on top of the ice cream parlor table and chairs which can't fit anywhere!  Lauren, you think YOU had a problem?
So do ya think I ordered any of the wonderful sale wool even though there are a couple colors not in my stash and was tempted? No, thank goodness ~ but it isn't Sunday midnight yet.
Have a great weekend and enjoy the wool bounty coming your way if you ordered.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Black Friday

Oh how I stuffed myself yesterday, and did partake of a couple items which are only on my plate once a year.  Frankly, there were a few years when they did not appear on my plate at all until my cholesterol and triglycerides were under control.  So now only once a year I put a small dollop of dressing and mashed potatoes on my plate. 

Since my son and Cathy don't like dark meat I got to bring home the carcass and dark meat.  Today's lunch will be part of a turkey thigh and fresh cooked kale.  This afternoon the process for making turkey rice soup will begin, along with freezing turkey meat for recipes to come.

As there is only Olde Ducks in the process here it is all there is to show you the progress on.  Didn't get many loops pulled since the last time but here it is.
Here is what Magdalena's original looked like.  It is not known if Magdalena hooked two rugs or if one picture was taken of the original and then again later after repairs.  I'm looking at both pictures as I hook mine with my selection of wool and worms.  Trying desperately to reduce the number of already cut wool strips that I can.
As much as I'd love to be working on a second rug at the same time, there are so many bags of wool worms around me which gets unruly at times, just can't bring myself to make the clutter worse.  Maybe a dye pot should be brought out in a day or two just to give me something else to do.

Have a great day everyone.


Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving

Many of you aren't reading my post right now because you're in the kitchen getting ready for tomorrow's festivities.  If not in the kitchen you are cleaning or setting the dining room table......

And Me?  I'm sitting on my you-know-what in my home, while my dear son gets things ready to cook the meal for me and the family tomorrow.  My dear daughter-n-love is probably cleaning.

This is a design by Needl'love that I hooked a few years ago.
Being THANKFUL..... I'm thankful for my son (Greg) who didn't grow in my belly but in my  heart ~ he was adopted when he was 8 months old.  I'm thankful for my beautiful daughter-in-love (Cathy) who is the daughter I never had, am grateful for my handsome, smart grandson (Zach) that Cathy and Greg made together.  I'm also thankful for my sweet boy Ben who was also adopted.

OH, lest I forget that I'm also thankful for my personal and on-line friends.  You all are my rock when there is no one else to talk to but I know you are all out there in cyber-land.  Thank you!

Have a great evening and have a Happy Thanksgiving with family and friends.


Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Magdalena's Olde Ducks

This is the rug started in the class with Betsy Reed in Ocean City, MD.  It is a rug Magdalena hooked in the 1800's.  As I was semi-following Magdalena's palate (but using what I had) didn't really need hand-holding but it sure was nice to be in Betsy's class to enjoy her company and her to give me input when I was stuck. 

Here is a picture of where I am right now.  Yeah, I know..... not much accomplished.  But remember I also recently finished the cute Jolly snowman and bound the Folk Art Horse. 

Anyway, the only wool cut so far for this rug was from the three pieces you see here.  The rest of the wool is and will be from my worm bags to give the rug an aged look.
And oh my what a mess these individual bags become when they mingle.  Magdalena used a lot of red, darks and lights in her rugs.  I'm guessing that the Union Suit reds got used a lot when they no longer were functional. 
I derive a lot of pleasure using my wool worms.  But as mentioned above they usually end up I a hot mess knotted ball.  That is because I'm a slob and lose control of my colors. 

So how did Magdalena hook??? Did she hook a section with what fabric pieces she had at that moment?  Did she hook the pieces as they became available?  That would explain how she never ended up with a hot mess of a ball of wool worms. 

Although I wouldn't want to live back in those harder times I sure would like to visit or be a fly on the wall for an overview of live back then.  Hey, wouldn't that be fun for us hookers to be a part of a 'life back then' experience ? 

Have a great evening everyone.


Monday, November 24, 2014

Home Ownership and Ben

Last night the slow leak under my kitchen sink decided to roar it's ugly head.  When first aware I put a container under the sink to catch the drip in order to delay repair but realized it wouldn't heal itself.  Thankfully today was able to get a plumber just 3 days before Thanksgiving.

Since I have a Rottweiler, it is always an issue inviting workers in since Rotties get a bad rap ~ so I always ask if they have a problem with a BIG dog.  Thankfully my plumber was okay with Ben. 

Ben was 3 years 7 months when adopted and happy he is a well behaved dog.  Sadly Rotties get a bad rap ~ yes they can be badly behaved when not well socialized or irresponsible owner breeding and training. 

Anyway, the plumber was here about 2 hours and I needed a new kitchen sink faucet unit.  Was hoping to have the bill today but one is being sent to me so have no idea what this is going to cost.  EEK!  Plumbers, electricians, doctors and lawyers make darn good money for their hours or quarter hours of work.  Unfortunately we rug hookers can't claim the same for our time and materials.

Sorry to bore you but here is a picture of the first meeting of my big boy Ben on his previous property.  The owner had him tethered to a tree to be sure he was there when I arrived to meet him.  When I got out of the car I looked at him and said, ...."Ben, I know you, but you don't know me".  The owner unleashed him, Ben sniffed and I told him to sit.  This was the very first picture of him that I took. He looks so sad and humbled.
When I look at this picture even now I'm not sure what he is feeling.  Ben did have manners because he followed my command.  He lived either in the basement or was let run free.  Unfortunately he would chase cars. and the faster the vehicles would drive the more he wanted to chase.   That could have been a deadly game for him.

Now when I gently grasp his face and talk to him I will say, "Hi, Ben..... I know you but you don't know me".  Ben's ears will perk up like he remembers our first meeting.  
OMG, I sure do love my boy Ben.  Isn't he handsome??  BTW, when the plumber wanted to talk to me and explain the plumbing issues, Ben put himself between the plumber and me.  Ben was doing his job protecting his mom and his home.

If you are wanting a dog or giving a dog to someone for Christmas,  please research about the characteristics, needs, size and activity levels of animals before you choose.  Having a pet is like having a child.  They require doctor visits, annual shots and meds to keep them healthy.  Pets ARE a responsibility and we are their caretakers.

And, please consider adoption.  Look what I have and he was 3 years 7 months.  With Ben I visited him 3 visits to be sure it would work.  All I can say is I love my boy Ben.

Have a great evening.


Sunday, November 23, 2014

Two Mats all hooked

Magdalena's Folk Art Horse mat is all hooked and almost completely bound.  The pattern was purchased from Woolley Fox when they had their sale about 8 months ago or so.  This a picture with a flash but makes everything look washed out.
Here is a picture without a flash which gives the more true color but is a tad blurry.
Notice that delicious mottled tan block in the top center?  I can't remember it's name but it was purchased from Betsy and when I was in her class this month picked up a couple more small pieces.  My roomie Deb noticed how nicely it hooked up so she went on a search through Betsy's wool to pick out a few quarter yard pieces for herself also.  I've included a piece of that wool to the right of the mat so you can see what it looks like.  When Betsy and Eric have it remilled I'll definitely buy some more. 

And of course I can't forget that Jolly Snowman that I purchased from Star Rug Company last winter.  He is on my school marm's desk all ready for the season.
Have a great evening everyone.  December is coming soon and I usually buy myself something special for my birthday (which is in December) as well as a Christmas gift to me.  This year I'm going to order a Townsend #9.5 short cartridge.  So if any of you have one you'd like to sell or if any of you know of someone having a sale on them, please write me HERE.  Do you know they are now $168 each?????  OMG!

Have a great evening.



Saturday, November 22, 2014

A Secret Revealed

Ever wonder why we hookers do what we do and how we think?  Well the secret has been revealed.  Take a look inside a hooker's brain.
Now my behavior is clear to me so there's no more guilt about the wool I buy, how many frames, hooks and cutters I've purchased, it is in my DNA.  My rationalization for those 'duplicates' is..... each frame has a different function (sit upon, small for small pieces, Snapdragon for taught foundation, big frame for larger rugs).
I started hooking with a small shank beginner hook and it worked fine.  Then met the Hartman.  I purchased one and it was temporarily lost and was in a frenzy.  So hey, maybe I should get a 'back-up'.  It all makes good sense to me!
My first cutter was a Bliss, then purchased a Fraser 500...... then the Townsend was born so have that also.  After inheriting another Bliss that makes 4 cutters.  Perhaps one day I might sell one of the Bliss but since I only have cartridge sizes #6 - #10 for the Townsend what if I need a smaller cut?  One of those other cutters will hold the smaller size blade for convenience and not have to change sizes.
If only wish there was a way to tweak that part of the brain with the unfinished projects.
Have a great Saturday and hope you are warm.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

I'm in Love.....

.... with my snowman.  Yes, tis true.  It was love at first sight when Maria (Star Rug Company) posted the pattern "Jolly" on her blog last year.  Then my blogger friend Lauren (Rugs and Pugs)bought the pattern and she posted a picture of her progress.  That is when I knew he had to be mine too.

I was so hoping to have him done by this evening but figure it is close enough so this is what my JOLLY snowman looks like right now.  Just HAD to share.
I loved Jolly so much that he needed to be a little different from the others.  Jolly needed a star to light his way to the tree destination.  So hooked a star at the top, thus you can see the lighted path under the feet.  Dang, there is an empty area under his left hand so I could hook a lantern.....nah.

BTW, 98% of the wool used is pre-cut, left over wool worms.  I did cut a few dark navy blue pieces for background wool to go with the existing blue wool but the rest is all left overs.  Oh my but it gives me such pleasure to use those worms.

My Magdalena Olde Ducks is sitting in the wings but since it is getting close to snow time wanted to be sure to have a snowman piece on my harvest table.  Now I wonder if my dear sweet daughter-in-love will try and sneak out of the house with the new man in my life... my Jolly Snowman.  I'll bet she does because she LOVES snowmen and I've hooked her a piece and made an applique quilt with snowmen.  Will definitely have to keep my eyes on that one for sure.

Have a great evening everyone.


Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Ali Katz Patterns

As my loyal readers know, I recently hooked a rug aptly named "Ali Katz".  I gave it that name since it was the rug to be hooked at Cape May with Ali Strebel.  A few people have inquired as to the availability of the pattern. 
So I have decided to offer it in two sizes.  The one you see here measures 24 x 34.  But for those of you who want a square rug I will offer one measuring 24 x 24 which would NOT include the zig zag  on the two ends.

If interested check out my web site HERE and click on the Patterns link to the left.  You will need to scroll down a little to find the pattern and prices.

Presently I'm hooking a cute snowman and hope to give results tomorrow.  Doctor appointments and other errands has demanded much of my time lately so plan to sit down now and hook a little with a small bowl of yogurt and fruit.


Monday, November 17, 2014

Guess it is time to show you what I started at rug camp.  For some time I've wanted to hook Magdalena's Olde Ducks.  Just so you know, I've hooked some loops and pulled out some loops.  Those of you who read my blog already know I'm always second guessing myself and while it isn't my favorite thing to do I DO reverse hook. 
Working on Magdalena rugs my worm basket is my best friend to give the rug an aged look. Looking at this picture already I see things which will be reverse hooked.  Yes I DID want to deviate a little from Magdalena's original but that is because she used what she had then.  And I'm using what I have now.

My friend Evelyn Lawrence did all the research and replicated all the rugs done by Magdalena Briner Eby.  This is the book to have IF you would like to learn more about Magdalena and her rugs from the 1800's.
You can purchase them here:
Oh my but I do see BIG changes needed in the Olde Ducks.  SO......tomorrow I'm putting on the sweet Snowman pattern purchased from  Star Rug company last year.  It was SO dang cute that I had to have one.  It needs to be done before December 1st OR sooner if that snow comes.  

I know, I know...... you wanted to see the snowman, right?  HA!  I knew you did.  You'll  have to wait until tomorrow.

Have a great evening but must say it's gonna get chilly real quick here in slower, lower, Delaware.


Sunday, November 16, 2014

Rug Camp in OC other teachers

The other teachers at the Ocean City Workshop were Jon Ciemiewicz and Betty McClintic.  Jon was in one of the suites on another floor and Betty was sharing the same room with Betsy.  I thought for sure that there was a picture taken of Betty but guess not....sorry.  She is quite a lovely lady who is good at fine cuts.  Also didn't get a picture of Jon since his class was on another floor.

However here are a couple pictures of Betty's class.  This is sweet Grace who was in Betty McClentic's class and visited our group to chat with friends.  Look at what she is using as a wool strip organizer and place to put her snippets.  Smart southern gal who makes do.
 The great gal to the right is Kimberly who has 'Brooke Shield eyebrows'.  She and Susan (in Betsy's class) are bosom buddies.  The two of them together are entertaining and hell on wheels.  Loved listening to their friendship families' exploits.
There was an impromptu rug show of class rugs in progress (for those who chose to participate) as well as finished rugs for those who chose to bring them.

This beautiful piece of art is by none other than Jon Ciemiewicz.  Can't you just feel the hot breath of the animal and the rough edges of the cave? 

 Jon's depiction of Native Americans always gives me chills for their beauty.  Standing in front of his works is looking at a true artist.
Here are a few of the students' works.  Frankly I'm not sure which was in Jon's class or in Betty's class since both were narrow cut.  But, I'd say the animals would be Jon's class.


Hope you enjoyed your weekend and hope we can all stave off the winter weather coming soon.