Friday, September 25, 2009

Hooker's Dilemma

O.K. Your basic hooker's dilemma. You've finished a rug. And now, what to do with all those stray strips, small pieces of wool, etc. HELP!

Here is my basket of wool leftover from my garden rug. What to do with all of this is my question. Do I separate the strips into colors for use in later rugs, pitch them (heaven, forbid!), give them away (does anybody really want this stuff?)????

I'm curious to know how others clean up from their latest projects. Pass on some words of wisdom!!!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Wedding Photo and Time Travel Rug

My son's wedding went off without a hitch! Thank God! There wasn't a cloud in the sky, and everyone seemed to have a great time. Here is a photo of the bride and groom.

The reception was held at the National Museum of Racing where we were surrounded by colorful jockey silks and Hall of Fame plaques; a beautiful setting for a party. I had a wonderful dance with my son to "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" by Israel Kamakawiwo'ole. Remembering how I used to sing that to him as a baby, of course, brought tears to my eyes! Kind of a letdown now that everything is over.

The groom, unfortunately suffered a dislocated shoulder while playing softball the next day. Yes, he couldn't miss the game. Looks like surgery is in his future. But, they did vow "in sickness and in health!"

And now on to my Time Travel rug. Thanks to the 10-minute challenge, I'm progressing nicely on this rug. The clock face is finished. I used my Dust Storm color at half strength for the face itself, and I think it gives an aged look to the clock. Here is Dust Storm at full strength:

And here is the rug. Any constructive criticism is always welcome!

Don't forget to send photos of your rugs if you'd like for me to post them to the Web for you. Happy hooking!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

1st Annual Southern Adirondack Fiber Festival

Just a quick post as I am up to my eyeballs in preparations for my son's wedding this Saturday!

Got a card last weekend about the 1st annual Southern Adirondack Fiber Festival to be held on September 26–27, 2009 at the Washington County Fairgrounds in Greenwich, New York (about 30 miles north of Albany).

There will be demonstrations, workshops, live animals, vendors, etc.

For more information check out their Web site:

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Wool Stash

As I begin my Time Travel rug, I'm hunting out wool to make the perfect blend of colors. I realize how lucky I am that I dye my own wool. I have a cabinet full of textures, overdyes, spot dyes, etc. to choose from. And if I find I need a color I don't have, I dye it (or keep dyeing it!) until the perfect shade is realized.

Rug hooking is an expensive craft. For those of you who don't dye wool, you have to guard your stash of wool carefully. You never know when you'll need just a small bit of gold, the right green for a leaf, or that sky blue to make your landscape complete. I have quite a bit of wool left over from my garden rug, and I'm finding use in my new pattern for some of those odd scraps left over.

I thank my stars that my rug hooking teacher, Dick LaBarge, encouraged me to learn to dye. He so loves dipping into dye pots, that he wants to share the experience with his students. Not everyone wants to be bothered, but most are willing to give it a try. For me, it turned into a small business, and a lifetime supply of color.

I'm not sure where I'm going with this, but if you get the opportunity to learn to dye wool, try it. Imagine not having to wait for others to ship wool to you, only to find it's just not the color you hoped for. The real bonus, however, is the satisfaction you'll get from seeing a finished rug knowing that not only did you hook the rug, but you also dyed the wool for it!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

New Rug Project

Here is a photo of my next rug pattern project. It is called "Time Travel" and was drawn by my sister, artist Marian Ross. The pattern measures 30" x 33". I've had this pattern set aside for awhile, and was waiting to finish my garden rug before starting it.

I've been googling clock faces just to get some ideas for color. Can't wait to get started!

Sorry the photo isn't a better one.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

The 10-Minute Challenge Pays Off!

At last! After fourteen years, two and a half months, the hooking on my garden rug is finished!! I still feel as if I need to pick up my hook and keep plugging along, but it really is done. Now, I have the finishing process to complete, but that is something I can do while watching TV. With the weather cooling down, the rug will feel like a blanket. FYI, the finished size is 38.5" x 66". This is the biggest rug I have ever completed.

The background for this wool is a spot dye from Prisms I. I took the formula and doubled each dye to get a darker brown. This was one of the first things I ever dyed, and I was helped in the process by my teacher, Dick LaBarge. The pattern is a Patsy Becker design, and it was Patsy whose class I took at Green Mountain Rug School in 1995. She dyed the wool for the vegetables and got me started on the hooking. I learned a lot in that class. She taught us how to hook points, finishing techniques and did some dyeing with those who were interested. I know Patsy passed away recently, and I'm glad I got to learn from her.

This rug has been sitting around for so long most likely because of its size. I would work a bit on it, and then decide to do a smaller project. This went on for a long time. When April DeConick started the 10-minute challenge, I thought that this would be a great way to finally finish this rug. The best thing that came out of this, besides finishing the rug, was that I wound up hooking way past the ten minutes.

Here are two pictures of the rug. The first is a full size, and the second shows a close-up of the top part of the rug. The rug is dedicated to the memory of my father who was a master gardener.