Saturday, August 29, 2009

A few thoughts

In the past few days, I have spent a lot of time watching the coverage of the passing of Senator Kennedy. As people waited in line to enter the JFK Presidential Library for the public wake, the media would often interview people for their personal reflections. One woman spoke of how at age 60 she was so inspired by Kennedy that she joined the Peace Corps for the next eight years and what an incredible experience it was.

It got me thinking about our little world of rug hooking, not a craft as well known as knitting or crocheting. But, it is still something we are able to pass on to new generations, and I encourage us all to do this. Not only to keep this craft alive, but think of the wonderful life lessons that are also taught along the way. A sense of getting the job done, perseverance, of being proud of your accomplishments and the accomplishments of others, the gift of friendship, the joy of simply creating something that will live long after you. We need not do great deeds to make a difference in this world. Simply giving of ourselves by teaching our craft to others can accomplish so much. So find a young person and give them some strips of wool, a hook, and just a little bit of your time!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Paper Patterns

I listed my first paper pattern on Ebay. It is called Pumpkins and Gourds. The design measures 22" x 28" and is great fall pattern. The pattern is printed to size, so it is ready to be transferred to a foundation of one's choice.

Here is the link to the Ebay auction: Pumpkins and Gourds paper pattern

Here is a picture of the pattern:

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Intensifying dye formulas

Had a special order this week for a variation on my Dancing Leaves formula. This is a picture of the spot-dyed wool using the original formula. As you can see it is a nice mix of light greens, tans, and golds. My customer asked for gradations of this wool, so the first thing I did was double the formula. That definitely darkened the wool. But then she asked for an even darker piece. I tried tripling the formula, but it resembled the doubled formula piece. I realized that the wool was only going to take up so much of the dye. In order to get my darker version, I had to turn to darker greens and deeper tans. I also added 1/128 of black to two of the cups of formula. Here is the darkest of the variations.

In this shot, you can see the deeper green areas, and although it is hard to tell, the golds are richer.

I started the dyeing process for this color with a yard of Dorr yellow wool. I soaked it in synthropol for an hour.

After it soaked, I drained the excess liquid and scrunched the wool up with lots of nooks and crannies to give the wool a super mottled look.

After that, using a criss-cross method, I put the dye on the wool.

The next step was to loosely cover with foil, and steam in a 300° oven for an hour. When I took the wool out, here's what it looked like:

After the wool cooled, I machine washed and dried it. The finished wool is shown above.

By the way, it was 90° outside the day I dyed this wool. Thank God for air conditioning!!

Friday, August 14, 2009


I'm sending out a heartfelt thank you to April DeConick for helping me to make changes to my blog. She took the time to sit down and type up many pages of instructions to alter the .html in my blog layout. Because of her kindness, I have been able to expand the possibilities for getting information out to readers.

Although I've been meeting online hookers through the Internet for years, it still amazes me that perfect strangers will take the time to help you out. For all the complaints we hear about the Internet, I try to look at all the positives that can come from it. Meeting such wonderful and helpful people is certainly proved to be a great benefit.

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

"Make Rugs" Challenge Badges

I'm stepping up and taking the ten-minute rug hooking challenge that April DeConick proposed on her blog last week. Ten minutes, it turns out, is very doable, and doesn't require a big effort. I often find myself hooking a bit longer and am making progress on my garden rug. What a great idea!!!