Friday, June 26, 2009


Here is a pile of green wool for sale. I've been sorting odds and ends this week and came up with this nice mix of shades. On the right side of the photo is a set of Dorr swatches. Not all of the pieces are full pieces. Still a good amount for foliage. The greens on the left are a nice mix of brighter shades. I'm selling the whole lot together for $12.50 plus $4.25 s/h. There is just about a 1/2 yard of wool altogether. A great stash builder. I'll leave the wool up for sale on my blog for a few days, and then, if it doesn't sell, I'll list it on Ecrater. Email me at if you are interested.

Thursday, June 25, 2009


I got an interesting picture of a rug recently from Sandra Greenwood. About this rug, she says," My cat just loves to sit and stare at it. We say he's time traveling!"

Thanks, Sandra for sharing this rug. It reminds me of the old TV show "Time Tunnel."

Also, got a link from Lisa Mulligan with photos from the Estes Park Wool Festival. Check it out; there's lots to see!

Here is a sneak preview of a new pattern I'm working on. Haven't placed the border on it yet. It's called Court Jester.

One other pattern in the works is based on this
liberty torch pin featured in Country Living magazine. It's a great piece of jewelry, and I think it would make a lovely rug.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Paper Patterns and Computer Software

As I have a lot of rug hooking patterns, I've been toying with the idea of offering paper patterns and allowing hookers to trace on their own foundations. It is a less expensive way for hookers to purchase patterns, and also gives a wider choice for the foundation material one is most comfortable with.

Over the years, I have used Adobe Illustrator to create the full size patterns I sell. The pattern is drawn by hand on a piece of paper then scanned into my computer. Once in the computer as a line drawing, I am able to open it in Illustrator and enlarge it. From there I tweak the drawing, add borders, and when satisfied with the result take my completed file to Kinko's where they print the pattern on their oversize printer. I then am able to reproduce the pattern using a light box on to whatever foundation material I choose. The pattern can be used over and over again. In addition, Illustrator is useful in letting me place colors on the completed pattern to color plan a rug.

This can also be accomplished in Photoshop. Photoshop offers many other choices when working with a pattern. For instance, a photo can be scanned into Photoshop and enlarged to size. Once in the program, filters can be applied to help with shading, provide special effects, and expand the possibilities of creating a good design from a photo.

Because it is Father's Day weekend, I'll use a photo of my father taken during World War II.

After I open the photo in Photoshop, I can apply different filters for different effect. For example, here is an effect called poster edges that has been applied to the photo:

You can see that tracing this photo would be much easier and shading becomes a little more apparent.

The next photo shows the effects of "cross hatching." Again shading becomes more simplified.

As you can see from the above examples, Photoshop offers a myriad of possibilties to change your photos into images that are more useful for the rug hooker. Because these are black and white photos, the palette would be limited to shades of gray, although it is possible to change the photo to a color representation. At that point, the color possibilties become endless.

Once you have gotten a photograph into a condition that is pleasing to you, Illustrator can then be used to add other graphics, such as borders and type. I realize that these are expensive programs, but if you become serious about designing your own rugs, these tools can certainly expand your horizons!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Dyeing Day

Did some dyeing last week and here is the result. All the colors are available for purchase.
One of the colors I made is Montana Skies. Since it is
made in a two-yard batch, I used the formula over a
yard of natural and a yard of yellow. Here is a picture of the overdyed yellow, now a lovely green with subtle blue overtones. Areas of yellow peek through. I call it Water Reflections. Would make lovely water, leaves, etc. I have four quarter yard pieces of this wool that I'm selling for $8.50 each (plus s/h).

Next, I marbelized some wool. In one pot, I had some very light blue dye leftover, so I put one of my bundled wools in there. Here is one of the lighter shades, called Marble A. Piece measures 34.75" x 13.25." Cost is $8.50 plus s/h.

Next piece (Marble B) measures 25.75" x 16.5" (1/4 yard). It also sells for $8.50 plus s/h.

Marble C was originally a piece of yellow wool that melded with some purple. Would make a wonderful sunset, peach, or flower. It measures 24.5" x 15.5". Cost is $8.50 plus s/h.

Soft pink wool is the next marbleized piece (Marble D). A beautiful shade, this would make lovely fruits and flowers. The other side is more cream. It measures 25"75" x 16.5". Cost is $8.50 plus s/h.

The next marbled selection (Marble E) consists of two pieces of speckled oatmeal marbleized to softpink shades. Duller pink due to the oatmeal background. Nice primitive flower in the making. Larger piece measures 27.5" x 11.5". Smaller piece measures 29.75" x 4.75". $8.50 for both pieces plus s/h.

The following group of dark pieces is the wool I used to marbelize the lighter shades. There is some variation in this wool. They coordinate well with the marbleized lighter pieces. Here are measurements and prices. S/H additional.

1 .... 29.5" x 16" .... $6.50
2 .... 31" x 13" .... $6.50
3 .... 33.5" x 10.5" .... $5.50
4 .... 33.75" x 13.75" .... $6.50
5 .... 25.5" x 28.25" .... $6.50

Friday, June 5, 2009

Garden Rug Update

I'm working away on my vegetable garden rug. Almost finished with the sky and flowers, and then on to the border. I'm thinking of a red, but will probably hook in some strips of a few colors to see what I like the best. Hard to believe that I've been working on this rug since 1995!

First began this at Green Mountain Rug Hooking School in a class with Patsy Becker. She drew the pattern and supplied most of the wool.

Here's a look at the sky with the flowers.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

In the dyepots

Here is a fun piece of wool I worked on recently. I modeled it after a picture of a national park I liked. I think it would be perfect for autumn leaves or autumn-inspired rugs. It measures 32.5" x 26" (1/2 yard) and is 100% Woolrich wool. I'm selling the half yard piece for $17.00 plus $3.50 s/h. If you are interested, let me know. I only have one piece. Please note that this piece is darker than pictured.

Here is a nice grouping of rusts that I think would make a terrific background.
Each set contains one piece of the wools above. Here are average measurements for each piece. I'll begin with the top two pieces and go down. 16.5" x 5"; 16.75" x 3.25"; 23" x 7"; 16.25" x 9.75"; and 17" x 8.25". I have four sets of this grouping. Each set sells for $9.50 plus s/h. A little over 1/4 yard of wool altogether.

I then have four sets of the bottom three pieces of wool in the photo above. These pieces measure in order from the top: 23.25" x 7.5"; 19.25" x 8.25"; and 16.5" x 8.25". These sets sell for $8.50 plus s/h. Around a quarter of a yard of wool.

The next piece of wool has become one of my favorites. The undyed version of this wool came from Dorr Mills and was a pattern of large yellow and orange squares with a black stripe running through it. I overdyed it with my Bay Colt formula, and this is the result. The wool is a bit darker than the photo depicts.

I have four quarter yard pieces for sale at $8.50 for each piece plus s/h.

And, finally, anything purchased on from my store from June 2–7 gets a 10% discount. Only applies to Ecrater sales and not on the wool pictured in this post.