Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary

Yup, that means the Mary Comstock pattern is/was back on my frame for a few more loops.  Don't get me wrong, I adore the bed rug Mary Comstock designed and hooked.  When finding this already drawn pattern posted on eBay for a descent price I went for it.  BUT, I didn't compare it to the original before clicking BUY.

When I draw an antique adaptation for myself it is usually always smaller than the original but is drawn to scale.  This pattern had bulbous leaves when they were elongated on the original.  Plus other abnormalities from the original.
This is a lesson for me to draw my own pattern if I want to do an antique adaptation.  I've hooked it this far so will eventually be finished if I live long enough.  Obviously I need to take a deep breath, look at what is drawn and just hook it.  Saundra, don't compare it to the original just hook the damn thing!

In other news.....remember this stump?  This is the one which was blown over a few years ago with 80 mph straight wind during a storm.  It blew this tree over which hit another tree which fell into a third tree.  This tree stump remained on its side for a few years and I couldn't reach the thorny vines until the tree guys pushed it over.
As of the photo above I'd already removed a huge holly tree stump and a massive thorny vine section.  Today with the last day of low humidity so went back out and yanked out more root systems to the other thorny vines.  But not all of them.  
Here is what was pulled out ~ it may not look like much but believe me the root system was deep and took all I had plus the shovel and claw rake, plus hands to pull it out.  Uh, there's more left but it will be too hot and humid tomorrow so will take a break.
Hooking is so much more fun!!!!!!!  Happy hooking.


Sunday, June 26, 2022


Actually it isn't a surprise is it?  This occurs regularly as we all enjoy a good rug show.  I have been hooking a little on the Cottage but haven't put the Comstock on my frame in a while; guess I should do that again soon.

This morning I did my normal perusing of antique rugs on web sites but didn't find anything but one.  However I've many saved on a flash drive from previous searches.  

The one I found is a child with 3 pups and said to be hooked in the 19th century.  Dimensions are 38 x 41 and as you can see has a hit and miss border.
An oval shaped rug with bowl of flowers measuring 22 x 40 was said to be hooked in the 1900's.
The dog rug below has quite an unusual border design.  This 1
876 Recumbent Dog rug measures 29 x 46.5.
Another Dog rug but with 4 cats and flowers.  It measures 36 x 69 and dated 1939.
Horse and Sulky rug no date provided but it measures 30 x 49.  At the bottom is inscribed Let her go.  
Oh my, just had a flashback from my youth ~ there was a horse race park less than a mile from my house.  I owned my own horse and the horse races were usually held in the evening or weekends so thought it would be a great place to ride Richie and let him run.  I was on the track when out of nowhere came this horse and sulky being exercised.  There was a near collision, the man screamed at me and I got the heck out of Dodge and never went back there again.  The driver, horse and sulky were fine so was I and Richie but learned a great lesson.

No date was provided but the Lion rug measures 17 x 31.  Interesting to me is the pastel colors make the lion less fierce looking.
This Lion below looks like he had one too many shots with the boys.  The hooker has him on patchwork, was hooked early 20th century and measures 39 x 60.
Scrolls with central bouquet measures 32 x 54 but no date provided.
Heat and humidity is back but very little rain to speak of so grass has only to be cut every two weeks instead of every week.  Hope things aren't crispy where you live.

Happy hooking.


Friday, June 24, 2022

Back To The Cottage (edited)

Just like leaving for a vacation to get away from everything, that is how it feels to work on Cottage and Apple Tree.  The previous rug projects are behind me and hysterical news media off the TV.  

I'd hoped to have the cottage its self hooked before showing it, but you know how that laid plans and all that.  Also think the original antique had a darker gold color just under the bird.  And I happen to have some but will compare and decide later.

EDIT:  Dear Robin asked me what cut I'm using so perhaps others are wondering.  I’m using mostly #8.5 with some #8 but the narrow white lines are thin strips I inherited so using those up.  At first I considered not outlining but think by doing so it dates it.  
Hmmm, just looked and not only that gold but the colors in the bird are darker.  Oh well, oh hell, I just have to 'make do' as my previous designed and hooked rug suggests.....
I'm anxiously awaiting friend Lauren (Rugs and Pugs) returning from a rug camp with Sally Kallin.  It does take time to get back to normal after a rug camp but looking forward to 'reading all about it'.


Wednesday, June 22, 2022


Mother with Fishbowl has been bound and while the eye and brow still bother me it is going to stay as it is, or at least for now with no plans to change it.  And, that shadow at the hairline doesn't look right either.  Oh well, at least it isn't in a tote and residing in the attic.  
Am still enjoying working on Cottage and Apple Tree and the Mary Comstock pattern is in the tote but within eye shot to torture me.

Have you ever seen a black haired squirrel?  A local woman used to mention them when there was a wine tasting and she lives within a half mile of me.  The condition is called melanism so is a genetic mutation.  I finally saw one at the squirrel gathering spot under my birdfeeders.  A few seconds before taking the photo there was another normal colored squirrel in the scene.  I waited for it to return so you could compare but was afraid the black squirrel would get 'squirrely' and leave.   If the black squirrel returns I'll try to capture a better photo of it.
The low humidity and low temps have given rise to devilish hot and steamy weather.  Later this evening a thunderstorm is expected and rain into tomorrow as well. 

Happy hooking or whatever form of entertainment floats your boat.


Sunday, June 19, 2022


Just before attending the first ever class with departed legend Barb Carroll I received a letter acknowledging the date of class and to bring only textured wool as she would not use flat wool even if it was mottled.  Prior to that I didn't have any experience using plaids, stripes, herringbone or checked wool.  Not sure if it was in that same personal handwritten note or another class, but also recall a note saying, 'bring your ugly wool'.  To me that was an invitation to all of her classes to find out how to work with some real uglies.

More than 2 decades ago a friend shared some wool with me that a friend of ours bought at a flea market.  A photo of it is below and thought it was the ugliest wool I'd ever seen...sorry Scotland.
Barb did use it in color planning of Lion and Trees.  If you can't see it immediately, some places it was used are first row of hooking under the lion, the ovals in a couple stylized trees and a questionable image to the far right bottom.  
Perhaps not a prominent usage of the ugly wool but at least Barb showed me ugly wool can be used.  Fast forward 20 years and I still have that wool, gee, wonder why 😁.

As I'm working on Cottage and Apple Tree I'm wondering how the heck I'm going to pull off a close resemblance to the tree on the left.  
You guessed it, the ugly wool...but used the Scottish Huntsman and a few recruit strips from the worm bag.  Wanted so much to get more of the tree hooked and background around it but, you gets in the way.
While it may not be exact it is close enough for my liking and happy to use up some of that perfectly ugly wool.

Yesterday was delightful to work outside so trimmed a big flowering bush which took a few hours of my time.  Hope I didn't kill it but it had overgrown so badly it needed it.  Today was another marvelous day to work outside and did some heavy duty work around that tree stump to remove root systems of several clumps of thorny vines and a twisted up root of a holly tree.  Was this a perfect day or what???  Hope it was in your area.

Happy Hooking.


Friday, June 17, 2022


...for the reveal of the new rug on my frame.  
Let me tell you it was a difficult decision because my love of all those  vintage rugs remained constant throughout the days since first posting.  Normally my passion wanes and I lose interest on one or two.  Not this time.   But this is the one I chose.... Cottage with Apple Tree.
Getting antsy working on the house since it is so big and want to move on to the trees or something else.  Question to I finish the house first and as dessert move on or have fun on another motif and go back to the house?   Hmmmm, guess I've another decision to make.  Oh if all of life decisions were that easy.

Mother and Fishbowl has been steamed and in the process of being slowly bound.  But not before doing one more tweak.  Will explain and show it in a future post.

Happy hooking.



Tuesday, June 14, 2022


After an arduous 2 months working on and off this piece I'm calling it done for better or worse.  I've tweaked the eye so many times am surprised the linen isn't shredded.  This project was done for me and never as an entry to Celebrations because my work isn't at that level nor worthy of such notoriety.   
Looking at the photo the eye still isn't perfect and, that isn't what a perfectly hooked fishbowl with water would like either.  But a mother and daughter have unconditional love so think Mother would forgive me and perhaps even tell a lil' white lie and say it looked perfect ~ tho I know it isn't.    

Now I can move on to steam & bind Mother (while it stares back at me in the living room), then hook Mary Comstock and/or the new one.  

Hope you are working on something you enjoy.


Monday, June 13, 2022


Sadness overwhelmed me when being informed Barb Carroll had passed away.  Barb was a rug hooking icon, a legend, master of primitives and color ~ she was my mentor.    I had her books and savored them not imagining I'd ever have the luck to attend one of her classes.  Here she is behind the color planning desk at the old Woolley Fox Lane and wearing her bold and wonderful necklaces.
My first rug camp with Barb 2008 I was in such awe of her that I even took a photo of her talented hands showing us the next rug ready for hooking.
A photo of Barb color planning Lion and Trees taken back in 2012 and so happy to have a photo of her with me.  
While I had a photo of those talented hands her creative mind couldn't be captured in a photograph, but the results of her creativity lives on in the rugs she color planned.   Barb would eye the design then say I've just the right wool for 'this', what ever this was.  She walked across the room and came back with a piece of wool.  

That was something else about Barb.  She never ever measured a piece of wool for a specific motif or border, it was instinctive and always was exact.  There was either just a short strip of that wool left over or it took exactly what she'd torn for that item.

Kinderhook Basket was the first rug first class with Barb 2008.  It hangs in this room and I often walk up to review the lessons I learned from her that day.
Barb was a devout Catholic, generous in sharing her knowledge as well as giving in other ways.  She would read my blog to see what I was working on.  One particular time when working on Nantucket Broom Ride and I had cellulitis she sent me a 'get well card' with various pieces of wool to assist with my problem.
That problem was what shade purple to use for the goode witch riding the whale because I didn't have a good one and was determined to make her clothing purple.  Barb also suggested that such an adventurous gal should have a scarf flowing behind her.  Oh, and red hair.  It was quite a surprising 'get well' package indeed.  Just one instance of her friendship and generosity.

She would also send cards for no reason, I kept one (wish I'd kept them all) which has a cut out primitive flower shape that I'd like to trace out one day and make into a pattern.  Her cards were always up-lifting and with inspirational words.

Nantucket Broom Ride is a design by Lori Brechlin and pattern sold by Spruce Ridge Studios.  The pattern won't have the scarf but I'll bet if you ask Kris nicely she'd draw one on for you since she has this picture on her web site.

I could write volumes about that LADY, and she was indeed a Lady in all manners of speaking.  She also had a great sense of humor.  You will be missed Barb, rest in peace and happy hooking in heaven with your friends Bobbi, Emma Lou and Jayne Hester. πŸ’œπŸ’œ


Sunday, June 12, 2022

Weekend Stuff

Pulled out the dye pots again to do a little Olde Patina dying which was successful.  This is about a yard give or take and done in two dye pots.  Each had some cream wool and off white wool.  One pot had 2 tablespoons of dye and the other with 1 1/2 teaspoons.  In antique rugs not all are soiled evenly so wanted various degrees of dirty white.  
Am planning ahead for when one of these vintage rugs becomes the next one on my frame.  And I have darker dirty/muddy available.  The first old rug is known as Wyeth Rose previously shown in my antique rug show.
Or perhaps the wool will be used when I want to hook these gorgeous deer.
Also cut and serged linen on which a design was drawn for the 'next pattern on my frame'.  Nope, it isn't on the frame yet because I'm determined to finish Mother and Fishbowl.

If you want to see the Olde Patina Recipe you can see it and a previous post when worms were overdyed with it HERE.

Happy hooking.


Friday, June 10, 2022


What was I working on in June 5 years ago?  Well, here is the finished rug.  It is named Gossip and sold by Woolley Fox.  However, if you purchase the pattern (designed by Bill Laraway), it won't look exactly like this.  I took creative license to make the feathered friends the way I wanted.
You can read more about the rug's evolvement by clicking HERE.

In case you're wondering, I've still not drawn out my next project but have enlarged the drawing.  Have decided to endure finishing Mother and Fishbowl come hell or highwater.  Tweaked the eye numerous times  over the last couple days and surprised the linen endured the torture.  Working on the fishbowl now and not stopping until that is done.  Once done am not sure I'll make any more changes whether it needs it or least don't think so at this point.

'Tis a very nice mild Friday and tomorrow will be rainy.  Which might be a good time for me to draw out a pattern.  Hope you have a great weekend.

Happy hooking.


Tuesday, June 7, 2022


My hip, leg and back was in such pain yesterday that walking was a struggle.  Yet I was determined to cut the back yard with the push mower so charged the battery in preparation.  Meanwhile I sat with a heating pad curved at the left hip area in hopes of diminishing pain.

After 5 hours of charging the battery I limped outside and tried the electric starter for the gas operated push mower but it wouldn't start.  Attempted that 3 times plus a few pulls of the cord and still wouldn't turn over.  Plugged the battery back in for half hour more ~ same thing.  Charged battery another full hour and the damn mower still wouldn't start.  Guess an unexplained force was telling me I wasn't meant to cut grass yesterday.  And today it is supposed to rain.

Had a haircut and other things to do this morning and plugged in the charger for the mower battery before I left, came home and ate lunch.  After those additional 3 hours of charging was able to cut the grass.  Score!!!!!!!  

The Comstock rug has been tucked away for the last several days.  Chose to emotionally free myself from the pressure and decided to push forward on Mother with Fishbowl.  This is what I accomplished during these last few days.  I'll tuck it away for now until I muster enough courage to work on the fishbowl.  The curtain in the photo had a non-descript design but tried to make the otherwise blasΓ© background a little interesting by doing squiggles.
Here is that same photo changed to black and white.
And the original photograph.  After seeing my hooking and the photo noticed a real need to fix mother's eye.  I'll work on that before moving on and putting her in the tote!!!!!!
Still haven't decided what I'll draw out for the next project and have looked at the three favorites trying to decide.  For this afternoon I'll plop the Comstock pattern on my frame and see how long it takes before making up my mind on which to draw out.  Stay tuned because it might soon.


Sunday, June 5, 2022


Am finally labeling rugs and a couple were hooked during 2021.  Per Lauren's (Rugs and Pugs) suggestion I used a light weight iron on fusible interfacing/stabilizer to the back of the labels.  Don't know why I hadn't thought of that previously because I had some from my clothing and craft project days.  Sure does make the labels easier to stitch ~ thanks Lauren.  Also Lauren suggested I put photos of the original antiques on the labels again, which I did.
After pulling thorny vines I felt like getting out the dye pots but without the mess of mixing up dye.  Thought I'd look in the tray to see what was already mixed and use it up.  

There was a bright plaid I've never used and don't know why I purchased it.  Knowing I already had a small jar of dye previously used to 'tone down' wool plucked it from the tray.  The subjects and results below were lackluster.  Since the dye was old it may have lost its potency.  The left side was the wool in the pot and very little change.
However, after the wool was soaking in a pot of soapy water and even after simmering on the stove with dye, the water had pink color from bleeding out of the bright wool.  I didn't want to pour in white vinegar and the wool re-absorb some of it's pink color back.  So decided to pour that water into another pot on a piece of lavender repurposed skirt.  I do like these results on the right and at least the entire day wasn't a bust.
In another pot I used some of that same original old dye on the large blocks of pastel.  Again there's very little difference but you can see the left side is what was overdyed with the spots of mottled color.  
Appears in order to get better results I'll need to mix up fresh dye.  I'm still unhappy with bright plaid but will try another 'tone down' dye challenge in the future.  But today I'm so over it.

Still undecided what my next project.  Will trace out a couple antique adaptations posted previously.  Maybe by the time I've traced them out I'll have come to a conclusion on what my next project will be.  Meanwhile am still plugging along pulling loops on Mother's background (curtain) while avoiding the fishbowl.  Perhaps when the background is done the fishbowl will appear to be less an issue with me.


Thursday, June 2, 2022


In other words, I'm in search of 'the next one'.  As you know I've become unenamoured with my current projects.  So went perusing my favorite sites, my flash drives and also the Magdalena booklet to see what rugs I haven't hooked yet.  There are a couple Magdalena's I haven't yet hooked but passed them by this time.

This is just the auditioning of rugs because maybe tomorrow none of these will float my boat ~ that fickle factor ya know.

I've probably posted this Cottage with apple tree, birds, horse and chicken rug previously.  It  measures 30 x 42 but I wouldn't draw mine that big, said to be circa 1920.
Oh nice!!!!!!  Given the name Wyeth Rose by the auction house, makes  me wonder if one of the Wyeth artists owned it at one time.  The dimensions of the rug are 34.5 x 62.5 and hooked late 19th century.  It would be fun using my 'old patina' overdyed wool and color worms to work this one for sure.
Still stuck in my head from a previous post, is this rug hooked late 19th/early 20th century.  While the original antique measures 32 x 52.5 if I choose this one mine won't be drawn that big.
Oh, and this Deer hooked late 19th /early 20th century is still on that list too.  
For some reason this geometric with horses also appeals to me.  Perhaps the colors?
Unfortunately I've not exhausted my vault of antique rugs so haven't made a decision.  Therefore will trudge along on pulling loops, sewing labels or whatever it takes to make this humdrum feeling pass.