Sunday, October 24, 2010


This site has been posted by other bloggers, but it is worth reminding everyone of. Here is the link:

This site shows hundreds of color combinations, each showing five different colors. You can search by keywords, colors, etc. For instance, if you were doing a rug with animals in it, type in the key word animal, and you'll get hundreds of matches.

A great source for choosing rug colors! Have fun.

Friday, October 22, 2010


I have finally completed my Silent Night Rug. It has been hooked, bound, had binding tape sewn down, and had label applied!!

This is a gift for my new grandson, due to arrive in about three weeks. I've changed the name to "An Angel to Watch Over You." Got kind of creative with the label for the back of the rug. I traced my hand onto a piece of natural wool and then cut out two different-sized hearts. Using the blanket stitch, I sewed it onto the back of the rug. Used a silver fabric pen to write on the heart. All in all, I'm quite pleased with the results. Now, we just need the new baby to arrive.

Baby shower is a week from Saturday. Looking forward to seeing family and friends. I sewed up some table runners (picture shows them folded in half) for the party, and I'll use balloons in green, orange, and blue for the centerpiece. Can't wait.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Knitting Projects

Off the subject of rug hooking for this post. Some of you may know that I belong to a prayer shawl ministry. We are a group of about 30 knitters and crocheters who get together twice a month. Besides doing prayer shawls for the community, we have taken on several other projects through the last four years. Some of those projects include:
  • Wool caps for the soldiers serving in Afghanistan and Iraq;
  • Confirmation and baptismal stoles for the local Catholic Church;
  • Afghans for the VA Hospital buddy program in Albany, NY;
  • Hats, mittens, scarves, socks, etc. for a the local Giving Tree Store for the needy in Saratoga County. The group that runs this store serves over 325 needy families in the county at Christmas time.
  • Baby blankets for stillborn babies dispersed by the Angel Names Network;
  • Knitted items for Operation Shoebox (Samaritan's Purse) that are distributed worldwide;
  • Sweaters and other warm winter items for an area school district that serves a very impoverished area;
  • and various other small projects that come up throughout the year.
As you can see, we are very busy! As it is with rug hooking groups, our knitters and crocheters have become close friends which makes this ministry such a worthwhile group to belong to. Anyway, here are a few of my latest contributions:

A prayer shawl crocheted in shades of green, cream and turquoise blue.

A confirmation stole knit in the tradition prayer shawl pattern of K3 P3. Sorry the photo is so bad!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Hanging a rug using carpet tack strips

I had a question about how I hung my garden rug. Here's what I did: After the rug was finished and after I found a spot for it, I began to think about how I wanted to hang it. At first, I was going to sew a pocket along the top and use a wooden dowel to display it. But the rug is so heavy, I was afraid it wouldn't hang straight. I sent a message to Gene Shepard through his blog, and he suggested carpet tacking, something he had used to hang rugs. I decided that was the way to go. We went to our local hardware store and got a package of carpet tacking strips. There were three four-foot sections to a package for around $12.00. This would be enough, as I mainly wanted the full length on the top of the rug and the bottom. For the sides, I used a smaller piece and centered in the middle of the side length.

As you can see from the photo, there are small tacks sticking up with a larger screw spaced evenly along the strip. You first have to level the strip and then screw the strip to the wall. Be careful when hanging your rug as the nails are sharp. Luckily, the nails are not very long which means they won't pop through the rug. There are plenty of them to keep the rug adhered. My husband and I hung the rug, first hanging the top of the rug, then pulling the rug straight and fastening to the strip along the bottom. At this point, the rug was hanging securely, but the sides were showing some slight ripples. The side pieces took care of that.

All in all, a very easy process!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

More from Brimfield...

Here are some additional photos I took while attending the Brimfield Antique Show last week.

Imagine this bed in your room! You may not be able to see it, but there is sticker on the bedspread indicating it was sold! Bet the dealer was glad he didn't have to bring it back home.

Anyone need a buoy for the front yard???

More vintage rugs.

Lots of booths were selling strictly toys. This was one of the bigger ones!

Anyone need a basket!?

Here is a booth filled with glass chandeliers. The scary part of this scene was that it was a very, very windy day.

If they didn't have it, you didn't need it!

I took this picture for our mailman who is an avid collector of lanterns.

And finally, a cute collection of frogs!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Trip to Brimfield, MA Antique Show

Last week was my daughter's 27th birthday, so my husband and I decided to drive to Boston to take her to dinner. Our plan was to hit the MA turnpike early and attend the Brimfield Antique Show by 10:00. Brimfield is about a two-hour drive from our home in Saratoga Springs. Halfway there, my husband asked me if I packed the suitcase. We both looked in the back of the car, and that's right, no suitcase. Luckily a friend went to our house, got the suitcase, and met us halfway back on the thruway. So, we didn't get to Brimfield until a little after twelve.

If you've ever been to a huge antique show, you know that this is not a one-day affair. We had decided to spend Thursday at the show and then head an hour further east to Boston to have dinner with Maggie and her fiancé and spend the night. That worked out great! They live in the Coolidge Corners area of Boston, and we had fun walking around that night.

The next morning, we were off early and made it to Brimfield by 11:00. Here are some pics of some of the booths and things for sale.

A nice display. Note the hooked rug resting on the tree branch!

Lots of primitive items...

I loved this dealer's wares! Lots of mod furniture!

And if you like bakelite, there was plenty to choose from at this booth.

Another booth with wonderful primitive items.

Another group of vintage hooked rugs. The colors on this rug are still very bright.

A very pretty piece...

I loved finding this booth. These are new rugs, some of which were used to adorn old antique chairs. I thought I had a shot of an old chair with a hooked mat upholstered to it, but I can't find it.

More photos tomorrow.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010


Where has the time gone? Summer seemed to fly by, and with the weather so hot, didn't take the time to blog. But now the weather is cooler, sleeping is easier at night, and hooking seems the thing to do.

My angel rug is close to completion. I hope to have it finished in the next week or so as it is a gift for my new grandson (due November 28)! I think an angel watching over him will be perfect!!

Here is the rug to date:

After the hooking, the boring part -- the binding! I plan on getting carpet tacking to hang the rug. I used these for hanging my garden rug (which is much larger), and it was very easy.

Tomorrow, I'll post some photos of our trip to the Brimfield Antique show in Massachusetts.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Silent Night Rug Update

Working away on my Silent Night rug in between pulling weeds. I guess these days, it's either weeds or loops!! Can't seem to keep up with weeds, as we are getting rain every other day. But, I have managed to keep up with the Ten-Minute Challenge!!

The fun thing that has happened with the rug, is that I've actually used some yarn in it. I was looking for yarn the other day for a knitting project and found some bulky creamy white Lamb's Pride wool. Perfect for the stars and the streaks of light in the sky. It was a little difficult getting used to at first, but now it's not bad at all.
For the moon, I found a variegated yarn at a new yarn shop in town. It was a little pricey, but has worked out great for the moon. The yellow works well with the Scary Night blue.

I think I'm going to use some of the same yellow yarn for the diamonds in the border of the rug. That's as far as I've gotten with color planning the rug.

Here is my latest knitting project for my Prayer Shawl Ministry group — a cabled hat and scarf set.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Spring has sprung!

Been working away in my garden clearing away the winter debris. It's amazing how in just a few days, there are leaves on the trees, and plants seem to be popping up over night. The cats are already nibbling away at the catnip. What a peaceful thing it is to dig in the garden.

Have also been knitting away for my prayer shawl ministry group. Finished a hat and fingerless gloves set for a teenage boy. This will go in The Ladies of Charity Giving Store at Christmas. What a great job they do for the underprivileged in the area. I've also been crocheting a bit. Our group was given several small lapghans which need to be englarged. They will be going to the Veteran's Hospital in Albany and need to be more of a bed size. I have been surprised at how much yarn this blanket is using. Finally went to A.C. Moore and bought a few of the "pounder" balls of yarn. Hopefully, this will finish it off.

I also joined Heidi Wulfraat's new "felting" group on The address is: I love felted pieces, but really don't have any experience with it. I'm hoping this group will have some tips for beginners.

As some of you may have noticed, my Ecrater and Etsy shops are in vacation mode. I've decided to take some time off for a bit and work on some projects of mine that need finishing. I still have a rug to hang, a rug to bind, and a rug to finish!! Also, I just found out I'm going to be a grandmother in the fall (a very young grandmother!), so I'd like to do some blankets and perhaps hook a rug for the new baby. My daughter is getting married in 2011, so there is a rug needing to be planned for that event also. Busy times, but I love it.

Here is a picture of my "Silent Night" rug to date:

I haven't worked on it for a bit (not meeting the 10-minute challenge these days), but I have been crafting. Does that count? Anyway, mostly sky left to do. That is going to be a darker version of my Scary Night formula. Here is a photo of that:

I'd like to use different textures when I dye to give it more depth.

One other note. I just finished reading "The Postmistress." It is a wonderful book, and I highly recommend it!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010


I think I've found just about every rug hooking blog I'm going to find. I was surprised at the number of blogs out there that I had never heard of. So check out the final list in the previous post along with my sidebar of blogs to see who's out there writing about rug hooking.

Recently had to move my office/studio to a new location in the house. The good thing about it is that the light is much better, and I have a lot more space. The bad thing is that I have not kept up with the 10-minute challenge pledge. I'm telling myself to count in all those times I hooked for more than 10-minutes and use the extra minutes to cover this time of little hooking.

I've been doing a lot of knitting for my Prayer Shawl Ministry group. The name is deceiving as we do so much more than just prayer shawls. Currently, some of us are knitting blankets to be given to a new home for female veterans to come to and recover somewhat from combat. It is called Guardian House, and we are excited to be a part of this special endeavor. Here is a photo of the blanket I've just started. It's being done in strips with each block within the strip done in a different pattern and yarn color.

Obviously, I'm just beginning!! Knitting is so portable. I've been taking it everywhere with me lately. It's amazing how many times you find yourself waiting and wishing that you had something to do.

As soon as I finish the flower section of my angel rug, I'll post a photo.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

List of Rug Hooking blogs

I'm trying to establish a list of English-speaking rug hooking blogs from around the world. If you have anymore that you think should be added to this list let me know. My own side bar lists some of my favorites. Here are a few more I've found:

Among Friends Wool:

Anita White:

Artwork by Karen Kaiser:

Be Fruitful Kreations:

Beth Anderson Pulls the Wool:

Boggy Creek Primitives:

Brighton Wool Gatherings:

Cabin Creek Farm:

Cadi Girl Designs:

Cats in My Wool:

Cindi Gay:

Cotton-Eyed Jo Takes a Look at Life:

Crude Black Ewe:

Deanne Fitzpatrick:

Doris Norman Rug Hooking:

Dulcy's Doorstep:

Ellen DuCharme Designs:

Evening Stitcher:

From Sherry's Heart:

Hedgerow Journal:

Hey Diddle Woolies:

Homespun Prims:

Jill of All Trades:


Make Something Beautiful:

Manistee Rug School:

Millstone Mercantile:

Molly Made Fibre Art Studio:

Moments in Time:

Moosecraft USA:

My Glory Stars:

My Little House Designs:

Not a Lazy Suzen:

Not Forgotten Farm:

October Girls:

Olde Crow Primitives:

Pati Jane's Primitives:

Primitive Betty's:

Primitive Whimsical Works by Shug:

Primitive Woolens:

Primitives by the Light of the Moon:

Raging Wool:

Ravens' Gate Prims:

Rug Hooker:

Rug Hooker's Hollow:

Rugs and Pugs:

Sally Van Nuys:

Sharlene's Rug Hooking Journal:

She Seeketh Wool (Woolly Lott Rugs):

Simple Folk:

Snippets and Scraps of My Mind:

Star Rug Company:

Starlight Primitives:

Texas Rug Bug:

The Big Black Cat

The Middle Sister:

The Paisley Studio:

Wildflower Wool in Texas:

With Hook and Needle:

Women Matter Rug Art:

Woolen Sails:

Wool Snippets:

Tuesday, March 16, 2010


While I was cleaning out my wool closet, I found a bag of fine-cut strips in pinks and mauves in various shades. Looks to me to be mostly 3-cut strips and weighs about 12 ounces. I have to say that the wool is probably six to ten years old. My neighbor's mother was a rug hooker, and this batch of wool came from her last rug project.

Anyway ... if anyone would like to have this wool, please contact me. All that I ask, is that you pay for shipping.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

The Dye is Cast dye formula booklet

I have had some requests lately for my first dye booklet, The Dye is Cast. It has been out of print for a few years, but recently I've begun selling a .pdf file that can be opened up in a variety of programs: Adobe Reader, Preview, Acrobat, etc.

The Dye is Cast is a collection of 60 formulas that use the following methods: overdye, abrash, and spot dye. When you purchase the .pdf file, you will receive a second file that shows photos of the colors you can produce using the formulas. You must print the dye booklet yourself on your own printer.

Purchasing the dye booklet in this manner saves me printing costs and you s/h charges. If you are interested in purchasing this booklet, the cost is $10.00. Please contact me at to arrange payment.

My second dye booklet, The Dye is Cast Again, is also available in .pdf format. Cost for the second booklet is $12.00. 58 formulas using overdye, abrash, spot dye, 2 gradation methods, and transcolor dyeing. If you wish to have a paper copy, the cost is $15.00 plus $2.25 s/h.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

My Framed Rug is Finished!

Picked up my "Saratoga" rug from the frame shop on Saturday, and overall, I'm pleased with the results. Here is a photo:

A good tip if you are thinking of framing a rug: Be as careful as possible when steaming to square off your corners. Diagonal corner to corner measurements should be the same. Although my hooking was straight, the "give" in the burlap caused the measurements to be off. Luckily the framer was able to stretch it. But, as you can see, it is slanted a bit, although not as much as the photo shows. I fooled around with the rotation tool in photoshop, which caused a bit of the distortion.

Keep in mind also, that framing is an expensive finishing option. Given where I want to hang it, framing was the best option.

Saturday, February 27, 2010


Working away on my "Silent Night" rug and thanks to a container of worms, it is coming together nicely. I'm always stashing worms away for future use, but rarely think to use them.

Well, that has changed on this rug. Found a whole bunch of green strips in various shades that have been perfect for the vegetation in this rug. The brown in the cattails is left over from the brown in my garden rug.

Also, I organized all the worms into different boxes according to color. Perfect!!

Here is an up-to-date photo.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Hooking Slowly

Since taking the "10-Minute Challenge", I've found that along with hooking a lot more, I'm also hooking quite fast. Although I'm getting so much more done, I've not been pleased with the look of my loops. So, this week, I'm endeavoring to hook more slowly and more deliberately. The result has been more uniform loops and better spacing of loops.

I'm working on "Silent Night" and wanted to show you some of my progress. Here is a photo of the rug to date along with a closeup of the angel.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

New Rug

Well, my Saratoga rug is finished. I'll be taking it to the framer's this week, and I'll be excited to see the rug all framed and hung.

I've started a new rug. It's called "Silent Night" and is a design of my sister, Marian Ross. Here is a picture of the pattern.

I've completed the angel and will post a picture of that soon. Not quite sure what I'm doing with the rest of this rug yet. I'm taking the approach of hooking each section as it comes. I have a general color scheme in mind, but no wool has been selected yet. I normally like to have everything figured out before I start, but I'm flying by the seat of my pants with this one!! Wish me luck!

Friday, January 29, 2010

Latest Rug Project

Wow, it's been a long time since I blogged. I've been working on a rug that I drew that simply says "Saratoga" in honor of my hometown. I've had this rug on the back burner for awhile, but decided to finally get started.

I had already decided where it was going to hang, so that became a factor in my choice of colors. I had some lovely casserole-dyed wool that I was keeping for myself, and I decided this was the project to use it in. Here is a photo of one of the pieces of wool.
It was great fun snipping and cutting the strips to get just the color combos I wanted. Once the main part of the rug was finished, I knew it needed a border. Since there wasn't a lot of green in the background, I found a textured "as is" green wool that I liked, and I'm in the process of adding three rows around the rug.

Here is a photo of the rug to date:

Color is more vibrant than the photo shows. I'm toying with the idea of having the rug framed, something I've never done. Since it's going to hang high up on a wall, I think a frame will set it off nicely. Once it's framed, I'll post a picture.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

A Customer's Rug Story

A while back, I sold a large quantity of rug binding tape to a customer. Curious as to why she needed so much tape, I asked her what her project was. She happily replied with the story behind the rug and several photos. Thought I'd share Sandy's story with my readers.

"We were at a Bed and Breakfast in Natchez, Mississippi on our anniversary, when I saw this rug on the floor of Monmouth Plantation Home.
I turned to my hubby and kept asking him what he thought of it. He said, 'It’s nice.'

After a few times of me saying this, he looked at me and asked why I kept asking about it. I replied that my walls were full of counted cross stitch pictures, and I’ve always wanted a needle point rug to put on my wood floors, so maybe I should copy this one and make myself one. He didn’t hesitate and said, 'If it were anyone else saying this, I’d think they were joking, but you’re my wife and I know you. You’re going to make this rug, aren’t you?' I told him I thought I could make it in sections, and join it at the borders. He just shook his head and said, 'You’re my wife; I know you’ll figure out how to do this.'

Look closely. In the first photo you'll see me holding my section of the rug ON TOP of the real rug at the plantation home. I’ve not yet stitched the outer sections (four on each side). Because my den is not nearly as large as the room in the plantation home, I’m not adding the outside border. If you look closely, you can see the color differences in my rug and theirs, as yarns now are available in much brighter colors.

So a few weeks later, I began the process of meeting folks and talking to my friend Marion at my local needlepoint shop, The Elegant Needle in Baton Rouge. She and I discussed how cost prohibitive it was to get an artist to paint the canvas for a rug that large.

Almost a year and a half later, we were at Thanksgiving dinner, and I casually mentioned how I wanted to make this rug. My brother (a computer guru), said, 'That’s easy. Just go take photos from the same height, enlarge and enhance the photos till actual size, then print out on that iron-on transfer paper like you do for tee-shirts, but iron it on to the needlepoint canvas instead. You’ll have an exact copy of the rug, and can duplicate each stitch.' He made it sound so easy.

It took a few months to get all the supplies together, so we could test this out. We drove back up there to take photos (with a ruler in each photo so we could enlarge to exact size (100 stitches per sq inch). We tweaked the computer program and made a chart of each of the steps required to get the photos to the exact size.

I tested different types of canvas to see which would work best, and how it would look if I overlapped the sections to stitch the border through multiple canvas layers. It worked fine.

So I decided to tackle making this huge rug. I knew it would take time, but life goes on even if you’re not stitching, so I figured why not?
I spent an entire week at my brothers’ using his sophisticated equipment to enlarge, enhance, and print all the photos on iron-on transfer paper (exhausting!!!), while listening to that stupid dot matrix printer make all that noise as each page printed.

Then came the laborious process of cutting all the canvases, ironing on the transfers (four 8.5 x 11 sheets per “square” in the rug), plus numerous pages on the center section.
And after that, the fun and exciting part of choosing yarns for each of the flowers! Marion and I had so much fun doing this, and it was really easy, because I had “named” each flower and noted how many colors I saw in the original rug for each flower and leaf.

The entire process from conceptual idea to completion was a long time—almost 10 years. But one has to realize I’ve had a life to live, too! Here’s some of what also happened sequentially during that 10 year time period:
  • I was working full time at LSU, received 3 promotions, and finally retired in April 2008
  • Raised 2 kids (now 25 and 28)
  • I had medical treatment for several years when I was hit by another vehicle and suffered severe neck injuries
  • Recovered from that, and was again involved in another car wreck (not my fault either) , so it was back to physical therapy for a few more months
  • I was working on, and completed my Masters’ degree
  • My mom passed away unexpectedly with complications from surgery
  • My dad had heart surgery
  • Our daughter got married
  • Our son graduated from college,
  • I had hip surgery
  • And had my first grandbaby!
But despite all this, I’ve managed to stitch almost 1.2 million stitches on this rug!!! It was actually featured in the LSU Employee Art Show when the first phase (the large center section) was complete. Because that in itself was over 250,000 stitches just in the center section.

Anyway, as you can see I’m REALLY excited about getting it finished. So the rug binding (not available locally) was the final item I needed to finish the rug, and it had to be colorfast, because I certainly didn’t want it to bleed onto the rug when I needed to steam clean it. I think you can understand why.

So for all you hookers out there who think their projects take too long, remember Sandy's journey of 10 years. What a rug!!!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Bought Myself a Christmas Gift!

After Christmas was over, I looked at my Paypal account and decided I could finally get that gift I've been wanting for a long time. I ordered a Townsend cutter!!! I'm so excited. I've been hooking a lot lately, and although my Rigby has worked well for me, it just doesn't give me an even cut all the time. I find some of my strips are too narrow, some too thick.

I bought my Rigby the year I attended the Green Mountain Rug School back in 1994. What an exciting purchase that was. I was a new hooker dabbling in both the primitive and fine cuts, and since the Rigby was being sold right at camp, I took the plunge and bought heads 3-8. (I think I bought it from Bob Armstrong who patiently showed me everything I needed to know!) I will continue to use it for the narrow cuts, but I'm looking forward to the Townsend for the 6- and 8-cut heads I purchased. Just got an email confirming that the Townsend will ship today!!!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Time Travel Rug Update

The hooking is finished!! Yeah! I started this rug in September. It is a pattern called Time Travel, and it measures approximately 30" x 33". My sister drew the pattern some time ago, so I was glad to finally work on it.

Don't you love how things develop on a rug in an unplanned way. I had decided the background was going to be a mix of gray/black textures. The swirls of alternating colors just seemed to happen by itself! Once it appeared (!), I kept adding more and more swirls. Was really fun to do.

The other thing that is hidden in the rug is a wormhole. Because the rug is called Time Travel, I wanted to put the year of my birth somewhere in the rug in a subtle way. I got thinking that that a wormhole will take you to another time or dimension, so just above the clock is a finely hooked oval with the year 1957 hooked into it. Not sure it can be seen on the photo, but it shows up well enough when looking at the rug.

Now I have to finish the edges, give it another steam, and decide where to put it. I usually have a place in mind for a rug when I begin it, but this rug is so different, that I'm not sure where to put it. Hopefully, a spot will reveal itself.

This rug is another testament to the "Ten-Minute Challenge." By following this challenge, I have hooked more each day than ever before. I find that if I put on a "book-on-tape" and hook while I'm listening, I get a great deal done.

I'll post a picture of the next project I'm going to begin as soon as I sort out the colors I'm going to use.

Happy hooking and happy new year!