Saturday, July 30, 2022

Cottage and Apple Tree

It's finished all but the whipped edge and I'm working on that task a little at a time.  There are only few things I have a two-step process on; one is doing that pre-binding stitching all the way around the design even before pulling the first loop.  And the other is rolling the foundation forward and running a basting stitch all the way around before whipping.  Oh, and I love those little clips;  they're very handy and they come in different sizes.   Purchased mine from Minnesota Fabrics but am pretty sure you could order them from Amazon.

Yeah, Robin I can hear you mumbling something like....'no wonder you hate binding you're doing it twice'.  But I find it easier to control the edge.
Although this design and the colors were out of my box it was a most enjoyable piece to hook.  The dimensions are 22 x30 and hooked mostly with #8.5 with a few #8 and the thin outlines were inherited narrow cut strips which I'm glad I saved.  Amazing how many times I've gone to that bag in search of certain colors.  However last year at Cape May I gave a bunch of strips to a friend in colors I do not like and she used them in a purse she was hooking.

Lovely day here today with less humidity, thank goodness.  Think I'll even walk to the mailbox instead of riding my bike.  Happy Saturday.


Thursday, July 28, 2022

Time To RANT !

At least I managed to get a few loops hooked in before pulling some out and high frustration level of needing to rant.  Will show comparisons so you can understand my frustration better.  Here is a photo of the original Mary Comstock rug which is featured in the Kopp book.   Look down the center of the design ~ at the top is a bloom with a grid, the next gold/beige motif is where that bloom and leaves go into.  Below that the right and left stems join into the center of the bottom motif with a grid.
I've already redrawn and hooked my revisions of some leaves.  So compare the antique to the drawing below. 
On the pattern there is the top bloom but no middle motif drawn, only bulbous leaves.  So I drew and started to hook a middle motif.  Then realized if I did would have to eliminate two leaves, one on each side on the stems.  

The drawing with black Sharpie from the person who redesigned a good rug also didn't draw the right and left stems going into the middle of the bottom motif.  So in red Sharpie I redirected it.  That's when I knew this had to go back in the bag.  Perhaps the pattern and wool will have a longer wait out of my sight than the last pause.  

Yes the pattern is smaller.  I've reduced the size of patterns for myself before but still follow the original lines of the design.  Okay, time for me to get happier and work on my new project...drawn by me!!!!!!!!  And drawn smaller but like the antique not my vision of how I believe it should be.  Why change a perfect design?

Okay, happy hooking...that's about to happen for me as soon as I walk away from the computer.


Wednesday, July 27, 2022


The Mary Comstock rug is back on the frame for a short period of time as that's about all my patience will be able to take.  You see in order to make it look more similar to the antique I'm re-drawing some many of the elements and it gets frustrating navigating the various lines even having used different colored Sharpies.

Never will I ever buy an antique adaptation from someone else again even if it is on sale.  I personally like the antique adaptation to look exactly like the original antique.  Whereas some people might like to make it their version.  So for that reason I'll draw my own.
Cottage and Apple Tree is all hooked and will show you photos later but want to use some walnut solution to tone down and dirty up some areas on it first.  I'll show you a before and after staining.  

My new pattern (antique adaptation) has been drawn but still need to do the pre-binding stitching around the perimeter while there are no loops pulled.  Much easier to navigate around a sewing machine before than after it is hooked.

It poured rain early this morning, the water soaked up like the ground was a sponge, that's how dry it was.  Pleasant Wednesday to you and happy hooking.


Sunday, July 24, 2022


Even tho it is hot and humid outside thought I'd dye up a little wool for my next project.  No you didn't miss seeing what that next project is because I haven't shown you yet.  There are a few more loops to pull on Cottage and Apple Tree and before starting the next one will force myself to pull Mary out of hiding and pull a few loops on that.  Which might be very few loops me thinks.  But have no fear you'll find out soon enough what will be on the frame next.
As luck would have it there was still a little mixture of "Midnight Run" from Tonya Robey's dye book and also some mixture left of "Olde Patina" from the Beautiful Wool dye book.  Used less tablespoons of Olde Patina as I didn't want this as dark as I've done before.

The rug in the foreground is an antique adaptation and one I hooked of an Early Farm Scene back in 2019.

Diane recently sent me a photo of a rug I drew for her named "Rainbow Petals".  So want to share it with you as it looks wonderful.  It is also an antique adaptation.  
Happy hooking.


Friday, July 22, 2022


Yesterday morning I noticed something small moving on my driveway at a good clip and had to go investigate with my camera.  Normally I don't show my feet in a photo (particularly my ugly toes) but wanted to give a sense of size to this little critter.  It was a totally different turtle than the other two posted this summer.  And  it's a GIRL!  Isn't she sweet?  Wonder if she was born here and where she was going?
Me thinks I need a Turtle Crossing sign in my yard.
You've seen the TORTOISE and now the HARE.  This one is an adult and wonder if another litter of babies will be forthcoming.  Gestation is only 4 to 5 weeks.  Was careful to get a photo from inside the house and slowly opened the door to capture this poor photo.
No sooner did I snap the photo and it darted off to find safety of the unruly forsythia bush.  That is the rabbit standing alert.
Later i
n the afternoon as this area was under a thunderstorm warning I  turned off the TV and computer after printing out the pages below.  Someone ordered a pattern and was in the process of taping it together when at 4:50 the power went out.  Thanks to the boy scout motto of 'be prepared' had batteries ready to go for backup lights.  Figured power would be back on in an hour at the latest.
It became obvious after 2 hours I'd better get the candles and my other battery back up light ready too.  So guess who had dinner by candle light ~ and no one to share the ambiance with?  Had no way to heat up this precooked meal so it was still cool.  But hey, I've eaten cold chicken, uncooked cold carrots so it was palatable and the cabernet made up for anything negative.  Thank goodness it was left over and already cooked.
And my dinner plus vino with flash this time.
Power was out over 5 hours; I'd gone to bed earlier and the house was quite warm.  So turned the bedroom ceiling fan on so it would wake me up when power came back.  Yeah, woke me up after 10 pm so got up to reset the clocks and turn off any lights in the house which I'd forgotten were on before power went out.

That was my exciting yesterday.  Despite having no power I continued to hook on the Cottage with limited visibility.  This will be interesting to see my choices of wool under those circumstances ~ and similar to those women of yesteryear.  And don't plan to replace any wool loops from yesterday evening with poor light just because of the sisterhood of past rug hookers.

Happy hooking, stitching, knitting or whatever makes you happy.

Wednesday, July 20, 2022


Can't in good conscience delay showing you the update on Cottage and Apple Tree any longer.  I've often said hooking an antique adaptation is like putting together a puzzle.  Some of those puzzle pieces would be hiding in your noodle/worm bags.  That is just one unspoken secret which helps make a rug look old.   

Antique rugs never had a yard of the same wool to hook a background, unless it was a tattered blue or grey military uniform.   Plus back in the day rugs were made with 'rags' of homespun cottons, cotton stockings, long johns or whatever textile was available.
Didn't get many loops pulled yesterday as I needed a shearing and afterward had my annual eye appointment.  HATE having my eyes dilated because after 5 hours later there was still the peripheral glare in my vision.   Normally I have a rug to bind while sitting in the waiting room but good or bad am all caught up on binding.  

Am hoping the gals who purchased this pattern are having as much fun as I am.  I'd love to see a photo of yours eventually and if you have a question about what I'm doing or want me to take a close up photo of something, please feel free to email me.  

EEK, soon I'll have to decide what my next one will be ....but at least there's the Comstock rug sitting on the sidelines.


Monday, July 18, 2022


Months after hooking and binding these two rugs I've finally hung them on the wall.  Normally I'd be holding these until the rug show at Cape May but since that camp is not part of my September plans decided to put them on the wall.  Top rug is Magdalena's Bird Dog, below that is an antique adaptation I named Lisa's Horse since Lisa was the one who first requested I draw it for her.

My home is beginning to look like a hooked rug museum ~ that's fine with me so my work can be enjoyed every day instead of being rolled up and tucked away.  Uh, but there are still quite a few of those around here too.  
The rugs are to the right of where I sit and hook, notice the OTT light in the foreground.  In case you are wondering, I've posted how I hang rugs previously and you can read about it HERE.

Yeah, I know, I said this post would be an update on Cottage and Apple Tree but I just want to keep hooking on it.  Mary (the Comstock rug) keeps calling my name but am pretending not to hear her.

Happy hot as hades Monday and happy hooking.

Saturday, July 16, 2022


Remember my mentioning seeing a melanistic black squirrel under the bird feeders?  Well now there are two but I've been unsuccessful capturing a photo of both of them together.  Even less successful is getting a photo of two black squirrels and a grey/brown squirrel in the same picture.  But below is a photo of one black and one brown/grey so you can see there is quite a difference.  So eventually there will be more black squirrels in my neighborhood.
In the spring I showed you a male Eastern Box Turtle which was mentioned HERE.  After that day he never reappeared again.  However, yesterday as I was looking out the window my eye came upon a turtle returning to my yard.  Of course I had to go see if it was the male from spring.  BTW, I  hate those gumballs!
So I gently turned the turtle over to discover it is a female.  Don't get your knickers in a twist because I put her back in the same spot and in the direction she was headed.  Me thinks she is going to lay her eggs in my yard as many turtles have done in the past and I've had to be careful when walking or cutting grass.
Was also going to show you progress on Cottage and Apple Tree but will save that for another day.  Haven't put Comstock on the frame since last posted.

Do any of you watch the History channel?  If so do you watch "Skinwalker Ranch"?   During the show I can barely pull a loop because my eyes are staring at the TV screen.  Sometimes I even rewind a segment to make sure what I thought I'd seen really happened.  The last two episodes have been 'out of this world' and there is only one more episode left for this year dang it.

Happy hooking.


Thursday, July 14, 2022


You knew there would be another vintage rug show about now so let's get right to it shall we?  

A nice Bird and Floral rug measuring 28.5 x 40 and said to be hooked late 19th century.  If you look closely there's a slight color change in the background and yes there is also the dark coloration as well.  
Magdalena's rug Dog and Crows rug sold for $20,315 November 2021.  It is circa 1885 and the original measured 36 x 48.5. Wow, wonder what she would have to say about her 'rag rugs' bringing in that much money from collectors.
I also hooked Dog and Crows but took creative license on the dog's ear.  It just looked like the poor pup had a slice out of the head.  Am sure Magdalena was trying to suggest that as an ear so I made it just a light outline.
Nice primitive rug design and colors below.  I've lots of selvages saved to do a geometric and just might do something like this of these days.  No date nor dimensions were provided.  
Dog and flowers measures 32 x 54 and said to be hooked around 1920.  It isn't my favorite but saved for those who may like it.  Maybe if different colors were used for the flowers and background color I'd love it.  
Am wondering if this rug below is a Pennsylvania Dutch design.  Hands plus (+)  heart shaped flowers was hooked late 19 early 20th century and measures 37 x 47.  Are those HEX signs or representing the four seasons?
I love this Lion Welcome rug and have had the photo for a while in hopes of discovering the date and size.  This one has also been on my list to hook one day.   Too many rugs and not enough time.
And now for you feline lovers.  Cat with tongue border is from the Textile Museum of Canada.  Do you think this a domestic or exotic cat?
Hot as hades here folks AND humid.  So I'll be staying in and hooking in the A/C.  Will ride my bike to get the mail instead of walking the round trip mile.

Happy hooking.


Tuesday, July 12, 2022


As much as it pained me to take Cottage and Apple Tree off my frame I forced  myself to pull a few more loops on the Mary Comstock rug.  Therefore I totally empathize with Robin (Cranky Crow) and her Welcome Cats angst.  Said it before and will say again....wish I'd drawn this out myself.  Yet I'm determined to finish the pattern so guess it will remain my plus one even when I'm hooking the next rug after Cottage and maybe even the next rug after that.  
You can see the red lines where I've changed some of the elements to be more like the shape of the original.  Then got frustrated and decided to put the sweet Cottage back on the frame and became a happy hooker again.  

Surely there are tasks outside which could/should be accomplished, but it is hot and humid and I'm not feeling it today.  Didn't sleep well last night as my brain wouldn't shut off.  Now time to pull a few loops.

Happy hooking.


Sunday, July 10, 2022

Be Prepared

The Boy Scout motto is "Be Prepared".  The next time I host or do a textile challenge my motto is "be more prepared".  In 2021, during the pandemic, I hosted a textile challenge on my blog and you can read a little about it HERE.  The objective was using more of an alternate textile than wool in a rug to get back to our roots, so to speak.  

Not such a wise decision was that I chose to use woven cotton and homespun as my alternate textile.  Not next time baby, it is a bear to pull through the linen.  Finished works by the participants of the challenge were featured in the August/September 2021 issue of ATHA magazine.  Thanks to all the rug hookers who joined in, it was fun.
So in order for  me to be more prepared for the next challenge I've started looking for and collecting silks, cotton knits and nylons.  If you peruse the rug hooking sale sites on FB you've seen Sari silk offered I'm sure.  What makes Sari silk (a silk garment worn in India) any more special than a silk item worn in America?  Go to your local thrift shop and look for silk items.  Yeah, you'll have to dismantle and rip it yourself but much more thrifty and you can use the savings toward gas.
Yesterday I did rip a couple items which you see bundled to the left of the photo below.  I'll bet that colorful blouse will be beautiful and will eventually work on that.  The white nylons will be thrown in a dye pot once I know what the project will be.  You can also see a green and yellow piece of nylon stocking.
And here is my collection of cotton knit, and more yellow and green nylon stockings.  These will have to be cut vs. ripped, but at least I've got my bounty ready.
For those who have followed me regularly, you know my passion for hooking antique adaptations.  Here is a photo of antique star and diamond rug which measures 33 x 70.  Love those blotchy off color patches on antique rugs.  Shows me they used what they had.
Now look at the close up detail of the textiles used AND notice the spacing between the loops.
And yet another closeup of another section of the rug with burlap showing thru.  That may also indicate weakening of the foundation.  Point is, that's not wool.
Here is the back of another antique rug and look at the spacing between loops.
On another rug, the photo below shows this person even used a sweater.
And probably my all time favorite antique rug designer/hooker is Magdalena Briner Eby.  Here are two closeup photos of the front and what is now known as Great Granddaughter's Rug.
Notice that even tho these rugs were well used, walked on (pressed), during Magdalena's time you can still see foundation showing.  And of course they got dirty which adds beauty to the antique and tones down the bright white.  Sometimes I have used walnut juice from walnuts collected in the fall or I've a favorite dye recipe called Olde Patina which I use.  So if you want to make a rug look old, follow in the footsteps of our foremothers, just say'n.
Here's Magdalena's fine rug held by relatives.  That is the great granddaughter in the middle.
In 2019 I hooked that design and tried to follow the color scheme Magdalena used but hooked in my normal rhythm and using what I had on hand.
Guess I've rambled long enough on this post and need to save up something for future posts.  Happy Hooking.


Friday, July 8, 2022

Update on Cottage and Apple Tree

Really wanted to hook more on it but last blog post was Wednesday so thought you deserved another since it's Friday 🍷.  
In addition to horses I love rabbits.  There is an adult rabbit or have been adult rabbits who find the space under my back deck their birthing place.  I've even encountered a mother rabbit beating the hell out of a snake who came too close to entering the side of the deck as she wrestled it in the vinca minor (periwinkle).  

Didn't get a video of that because I wanted to stand watch and run to her rescue if she needed it.  But the scene is imbedded in my brain.  I never thought a rabbit would tangle with a snake but guess a mama rabbit is like a mother bear and will defend her young at all costs.

Now there are a couple baby bunnies who I've tried to capture a picture of and was unsuccessful until just a few minutes ago.  And of course the wee ones which would fit comfortably in the palm of one hand have grown in the last couple weeks.
This is the same bunny and for some reason the color of the grass looks different but same day same camera, just a little closer.
Interesting thing is when putting up the bird feeders in the morning or taking them down in the evening I see the rabbit.   And I will whisper "it's okay, it's okay baby bunny" and it stays right there; as if it knows I won't harm it.  But I'm afraid the hawks will learn of it's habits and won't have a bunny any longer.    Yesterday I did see a baby in the front yard not sure if it was the sibling or this one so hopefully the bunny is getting wiser and moving location more.
So maybe, just maybe this is a female she will have her babies under my deck too.  
Happy Hooking and happy Friday.  And now for the forecast...

Wednesday, July 6, 2022

Rug Show

Despite what Lauren says, I do have something to show on the Cottage rug, but thought you deserved a little treat, little variety and not the same ol same ol.

For your entertainment I'll show a few antique hooked rugs.  First up is a rug depicting a Horse, Dog, heart and bird.  It measures  34 x 37 and hooked late 19th or early 20th century.  From the collection of Barbara and Charlie Hunter.
Had to chuckle at the description of this next rug.  It sure appears to me to be two dogs.  If you tap the photo and read the note at the bottom the description is "Folk art hooked rug of facing goats".   Goats?  First of all goats don't have tails like that.  The dimensions are 28 x 35. 
The rug below has a central 6 point Star, flower buds and scrolls.  It has been worn but no frayed edges.  
Here is a view of the back to see original colors.  It measures 23 38.
Two cats with hit and miss background hooked late 19th early 20th century; dimensions are 18 x 35.
Another 6 point star but this one also has tulips in the design.
Primitive black horse with no date or dimensions.  To me it appears to be stars randomly hooked with similar colors of different values in the corners.
Hagerstown Pup, sorry, no other info on that either.
A Sandpiper original antique hooked 1920 so is in public domain.  The original measures 17 x 28.5.  If you click on the photo you can see where some loops are missing.  
It's a sauna outside folks so I'll be spending most of my day inside with the A/C.  Happy hooking