Thursday, April 30, 2020

And the Results Are In.....

Shessh, after the first comment I thought there was going to be a mutiny for not showing the results yesterday 😁.  Guess I better not delay any longer.....  Actually some are rather lackluster and most of you were probably wondering about the brighter sure Donna was.  This is the before.....
Below hanging on the line in natural light.  You can see where the brighter red clothing was placed against the plum as it bled more profusely ~ this is the front.
And this is the back side.  Remember the light wool is sandwiched between two darker pieces of wool so one side would look different than the other.
In the house this is how the wool looked.  I've folded the wool so you can see both sides in the house with a flash.  This is how I'll show the other dye results so you can see how it translates to natural light vs. flash.  Frankly I wasn't impressed with any of this wool and still wonder why I purchased that plum wool or that to the left.  Perhaps will use them when hooking a hit and miss rug also using selvages.
Another coil was made of the bright blue, tan and olive green.
Here are the results.. first is the front where the blue was on top and green on the bottom.  Hmmmm I hung the wool incorrectly on the line, sorry.
It appears the olive had little impact on the wool at all and I'm not that impressed with the bright blue side either. 
Inside photo, guess the green did dull down the tan a little but still not impressed.  
OMG, guess I snapped the photo and moved as the navy blue doesn't show up in the first photo.
This is the back side with the navy blue which I thought was very disappointing.  Why wouldn't navy blue bleed?  Since it was from my OLD gathered wool stash perhaps it was a processed fiber?  Lynne, any idea?
 And the inside photo where you can see only minimal change in the brown from the gold and NO change with the navy on the other side.  But, I do see a sunflower in the making with one side.
Okay Donna, hope I redeemed myself even though none of the projects showed magnificent transformations.  Hope you can find Karen's booklet and try this experiment yourself to expand your wool stash and dip into the dyeing without dyes.  In the booklet Karen shows results from her favorite marbleizing colors.


Wednesday, April 29, 2020

No Dye Supplies? No Problem ~ Marbleize your Wool

Years ago when starting to hook not only did I not dye wool but didn't  have a wool stash.  During the fall and winter went to the thrift store to purchase good wool clothing, dismantle, then wash and dry them to start my stash.  

At the time I had no clue about using textures as I hadn't yet had a class with the Queen of primitive hooking.... Barb Carroll.  So started collecting flat wool of every crayola color I could get my hands on.  Since Barb's classes I've given  away a lot of flat wool to beginners but still have some for 'just in case' and for marbleizing.

Recently follower Donna contacted me as she found a 2015 BLOG POST  about marbleizing but no results.  For some unknown reason I couldn't find the 'after' photos in my archives either and surely don't have old photos of them.  So promised I'd do the process again just for her.  Here ya go......

To marbleize wool you need 3 colors with the lightest wool sandwiched in the middle.  I decided to do 3 pots.

The first three colors are navy blue which looks black in the photo, bright yellow/gold and brown.
A bright blue, tan and olive,
 And plum ugly pink/red and bright red.
Karen Kahle published one of her small booklets several years ago which provides all the info on Marbleizing wool, which is in the photo.  Gather your twine and roll your sandwiched wool.  In order to take a photo and not have the wool unroll I put pins in it to keep the roll in place.  
 After you achieve the roll you secure one end, twist the roll until it coils up on itself. Then tie it all together.  It helps if you have a partner to help because you need at least three hands  to keep it secure and I only have two.
Then in the pots they go with water and a little detergent (without bleach).  I don't bring my water to a boil because I don't want felted wool but the water does get very hot.  The red pot had great bleeders but not the other two pots.
Not quite sure exactly  how long the pots were on the stove as I was doing laundry and other chores.  I'd stop at the pots and push the wool coils down or flip them over to release some dye.  Am thinking the pots were steaming on the burners for about an hour.  

Then I poured white vinegar in the pots as the mordant ~ Didn't measure but it was probably 1/3 or 1/2 cup in each pot.  Turned off the burners and let the wool steep in the water until it cooled.  Took the pots to the laundry sink, rinsed the wool a couple times, put the wool in my washer to spin the water out.

Tomorrow I'll show you the results.


Monday, April 27, 2020


This is an updated photo of my Cat's Paw mat which measures 15 x 23 1/2.  Not sure what will be on my frame next but better decide soon since I'm slightly more than half done with this.
Here is my initial sketch for the pattern but used up the length of my linen so drew some extra circles to fill it in.  Feel free to enlarge or use this for yourself if you wish.
Would love for you to share your photos with me.  

On another note, I receive W.Cushings flyer via email as many of you do.  Lisanne had asked me to send her a picture of the Windy Day when I was finished but was still surprised to see it at the top of her flyer this morning.  Surprised but very honored...thank you Lisanne, it was fun to hook.

Happy Hooking everyone and try to stay well.


Saturday, April 25, 2020

Let the Show Begin....

It's about time for another antique rug show, don't ya think?  Someone requested a pattern for this Bowl of Flowers with primitive scrolls.  Don't know the original size of the antique but she wanted it 24-ish so enlarged it ended up being 24.5 x 28.
I have previously posted this photo where it was referenced as "Boy in Silk Hat".  I thought it looked more like a train conductor myself and wondered what the bottom part looked like and if it had tongues too.
Recently while perusing old issues of Early American Life magazine saw this photo of the entire piece.  I thought there had to be tongues at the bottom and this confirms it.
Sweet Birds and Flowers below, again no dimensions or other info.
Another floral and perhaps the designer/hooker couldn't decide between scallops or triangles so she incorporated both in the border.  Again, no dimensions or other info.
This Cat's Paw rug was hooked about 1920 and was located in Pennsylvania.  It measures 27 x 41.  Perhaps this will inspire you to join me on hooking a CAT'S PAW rug.
As you can see Blue Bunnies was hooked 1913
This Giant Flower fills up most of the 28 x 45 sized rug.  Hooked 1920.
An obviously happy Dog circa 1890-1910, with geometric border.  Dimensions are 24.5 x 39.
A typical primitive folk art landscape where the bird is larger than the chimney or doors on the house.  Hooked late 19th century or early 20th, it measures 24 x 45.
 Here is a view of the back so you can see how badly the color had faded.
Horse with braided border 25.5 x 40 early 20th century Provenance Steven Score, Boston, MA.
Holly Hocks hooked by Mrs. Goetz late 19th century Canadian rug found near Mennonite site in Clifford Ontario measures 29 x 46
Well, that's it for today's show folks.  Since the sun is shinning and it isn't raining today I should go out to do some yard work.  But just ate lunch and my fully belly is pulling on my eyelids.  I won't take a nap because I wouldn't sleep tongiht but think I'll sit and hook instead.


Thursday, April 23, 2020


As this April's rug camp was cancelled due to the pandemic I've been fantasizing about going to rug camp again, wonderful teachers I've had and things I've learned over the years.  

My first rug camp was 2003 and don't have one photo from that camp, other than the finished project from that class.  My very patient teacher was Mary Lou Bleakley who color planned my rug.
Having taught myself how to hook I was ready to properly  learn how to hook.  Plans were to attend only one rug camp because they are rather costly, particularly if you stay at the hotel vs. commuting.  Even tho that camp was just an hour away I wanted to stay and enjoy all the fun.  Why spend two hours a day travelling back and forth, go home to cook rather than stay to enjoy the whole shebang. 

That camp was so much fun it didn't end there with just one camp ~ it grew to 3 rug camps per year.  My long-time followers have either heard me say that or read it on my blog before.  

I'll never forget the first year attending Barb Carroll's rug camp at her home in Ligonier, PA.  
I was in awe of the Queen of Rug Hooking and the privilege of being given a tour of her home.  Was so star struck that I even took a photo of those talented hands and the rug she'd planned to hook next.
A photo of me with Barb at her color planning table.
Maybe one day in the future I'll enjoy another camp with Queen Barb.  It will be different as we won't be staying on her property but will have to find accommodations elsewhere.  But am sure it will be the same Barb and the same high level of color planning.  Even teachers have a lot of respect for Barb ~ one of my teachers, when she is wondering what to do next with my rug will say, "WWBD".  Translated that means "what would Barb Do?"  

At one class Barb was excited to share the hit and miss rug she'd recently hooked.  Am sure Barb used her good useable wool from her big basket of delicious worms.  But I've been saving selvages so one day I can do a bold hit and miss too.  For several years I threw the selvages away but decided to save and use them in a future rug.  After all, they are wool too and sometimes have extra colored threads which provide more color.  Oh, I have that same Shelburne Poster in my wool room, it displays rugs hooked by Molly Nye Tobey.  
Since the photo above is not so clear below is a better shot of Barb's Hit and Miss Rug.
Hope you have enjoyed reminiscing with me.


Tuesday, April 21, 2020


This could be a long post as I've a few this's and that's to mention.  So depending on the time of day or evening fill up your cup-o-tea, coffee or glass of wine before you continue....

Okay, this is what I've accomplished so far on Cat's Paw rug I drew and welcomed others to join me.  I spoke about it and my inspiration HERE on a previous post so check it out and feel free to participate at any time. 
If this would help, here is the line drawing which you can print out and enlarge to the size you want.  Happy hooking.
Also I did make a couple minor changes to Windy Day...this is now.  I hooked in a thin piece of brown in parts around the orange tabby cat to make it stand out more.
In a previous post I showed a wonderful salad with broccoli sprouts but yesterday had a salad with alfalfa sprouts I grew.  Honestly cannot say which tastes best but checked and learned broccoli sprouts DO have more vitamins, minerals and health benefits than alfalfa sprouts.  So when I've used all the alfalfa seeds will only purchase broccoli seeds.  This is last night's dinner and it was yummy.  You can see the remainder of sprouts in the jar.
This morning after breakfast I went out to pick up pine cones and limbs from the yard to cut grass.  After lunch I cut grass for an hour but still have another 25 minutes of cutting in Ben's back yard with a push mower yet to be done.  Didn't do that because we were under a severe thunderstorm warning.

From my seat on the sofa this is the sweet view of a bird house with mama and papa Black Cap Chickadees doing dual duty on the birthing/nesting.
As it was really windy day and severe storm warnings I went to secure the nest with another para cord. I stood on the front porch for several minutes to catch a pic of either of the birds coming or going but they wanted no part of that invasion.  As soon as I came in and sat down one of the birds left and the other flew in like a flash.

Nothing else got accomplished today but I've work waiting for me tomorrow ... have a line drawing for an antique adaptation order and still need to finish my new rug design.  Tomorrow before getting to those chores a trip to the  grocery store is required as I need a few things.

Hope everyone is doing well and staying safe.


Sunday, April 19, 2020

Sunday Happenings Here

On a perfect Sunday I'd be on my way to Ocean City, MD for rug camp.  But not this year.  Hope like heck all is well by September so Rugs by The Sea takes place as scheduled.  However I probably will still carry a mask with me.

Moving along........I was envious of Lauren's accomplishments of dyeing wool particularly since I have some of the same butt-ugly brown and cream plaid wool she had and I've never used.

Decided to over-dye the wool using two different recipes:  1/4 yard with Lauren's Fraktur Black and another pot using Tonya Robey's Evening Shade.

I gathered my Cushing dyes and proceeded to open up a fresh envelope of Dark Green for the Evening Shade recipe.  Say what?  Did someone make a mistake and put the wrong dye in the envelope?  So went to my stash of dyes but that was the only package of Dark Green here.
Oh well, it looked more like a shade of blue/purple to me but what the heck......I put dye in the cup, added 1 c boiling water and took a leap of faith.

Here are the results and in the center the wool used.
 On the left of the original wool is Evening Shade, on the right is Fraktur Black but mine didn't turn out like Lauren's (I'll go borrow pictures from her blog am sure she won't mind).

And on the bottom are two small pieces I added to Evening Shade when I didn't think it was going to absorb all the color.  For you non-dyers, here is an interesting fact for when you decide to dye.....not all dyes absorb at the same rate.  As the wool and dye mix had been in the pot well over 30 minutes when the small pieces were inserted, it appears the black and the Dark Green absorbed faster than Seal Brown.  That is why that piece looks  more brown.

Here was Lauren's before photo but her brown and cream plaid looks darker than mine...
And her after photo using Fraktur Black.  Her results look more grey and mine more brown.  Could it be the camera, is it the water?
Whatever it is, the wool I dyed today will be used whereas it would not have been the way it was.  Thanks Lauren for inspiring me to dye.


Friday, April 17, 2020


....are continuing into April.  I always thought it was "March winds" and "April Showers".  But appears to be "March and April Winds plus Showers".  Some folks have even seen April snows; it has been cold here but thankfully no snow.

Windy Day, a design by W. Cushing, is finally hooked but not yet steamed and bound.  Will look at it a day or two to see if there are any strips I'd like to replace before steaming.
For those of you wondering what my background wool is, this is it  but can't remember the name of the wool nor where it was purchased.
Now is a huge clean-up from my mess and transition back to the Cat's Paw project.  However ~~~ I've already got a plan for designing my next rug.  Loving how it is planned in my head but nothing is on paper yet.  But being a fickle hooker who knows just what will be my next project.

Happy hooking, stay well, and keep yourself entertained.  Thank goodness for rug hooking.


Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Just Say'n......

There are many long-time readers/followers but sometimes I forget about the newbies who haven't read some of my posts.  Yesterday I had an email inquiring how I made my labels from my last blog post.  Thankfully she typed the question in  "contact me" format, because were she a No-Reply blogger I'd  not be able to personally reply.  So 'berice..." thanks for contacting me and never hesitate to do so again.  Same goes for other folks  but please use the EMAIL ME spot provided.  To see how to make those labels click HERE.

But did you know that at the top left of my blog there is a search engine where you can inquire about anything.  Just use brief words like....dyeing wool, making labels, hooking frames, types of binding, different cutters, etc.    JUST SAY'N.

Back in March I showed you my first attempt at growing my own sprouts, which was a result of reading about Cathy's progress on Acorn Hollow.    I purchased Broccoli sprouts and some Alfalfa Sprouts from my local health food store rather than order on line.  Here was my first attempt.
I since purchased jars with stainless steel lids and screens and had two batches going..... the second batch started 4 days later than the first so when one batch was consumed the other would be ready.  FYI the tilted frame came with the lids from either Amazon or ebay (can't remember) but the wide mouth jars were purchased from my local Walmart.
Oh, since the slant provides drainage, these jars are normally sitting in a low container for the drip.  I now have a continuous grocery store of delicious and healthy sprouts.  Put some on my salad for tonight and will use some on a turkey breast, lettuce, avocado and tomato sandwich tomorrow.  Sandwiches are a rarity for me since I try to avoid that kind of carb.  My favorite way to consume carbs is PASTA!!!!!      JUST SAY'N.

A few weeks ago I made myself a mask to wear when going to the grocery store ~ in the event they had anything left I needed.  Right after that I made a mask for my son, DIL and grandson but forgot to take a photo of those.  Two were Americana in theme and one feminine for my Princess DIL.  

This might be a part of my wardrobe even after the pandemic and wondering if become an ordinary sight in America.  Maybe not forever, but sometime after to ensure my health.    JUST SAY'N.
There was something else I'd planned to mention but this blog is so long you're probably already bored.  OH!!!!!  Now I remember....

Yesterday was to be my hair cut appointment but due to them being NON-essential they were closed. Just might need to get out my scissors and butcher my own hair if they don't open soon.  

But thank goodness liquor stores are considered "Essential", otherwise I'd be putting a message in a bottle asking to "Send Wine".      JUST SAY'N.
The wine stopper was a gift to me from Skip and Deb Nees ~ thank you guys, I use it often and have fond memories.

Hope everyone has a great evening, stay safe, stay entertained with your favorite pastime or hobby.