Thursday, July 28, 2011


Just listed this beautiful transcolor wool for sale on Ebay. It is called Tulips and was dyed using a transcolor method on top of the stove. Here's what I did:

Scrunched a piece of wet wool in very little water in a great big enamel pan that stretches over two burners of the stove. Mixed up three formulas. Starting with the lightest, I poured the formula over the top third of the wool. I repeated with the other formulas being sure not to create a line between formulas. Scrunched the wool well to get the dye into the peaks and valleys all the while trying not to allow the formulas to merge too much. A little blending is good!

Once that was finished, I added some water and simmered for about a half hour.

Et voila!

Here's the link to the Ebay auction if you are interested in this wool: tulips

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Dye Workshop on Wednesday

Tomorrow I'm hosting the Loopy Ladies rug hooking group for a day of dyeing!! Can't wait to get into the dyepots. I figured out the formulas and colors I wanted to use last week, and this afternoon, I divided all the wool up for the various projects.

We're going to do: marbelizing, abrash, watercolor abrash, pancake dye, dip dye, and transcolor dyeing. I'm hoping we get to all the techniques I've mentioned, but a lot will depend on the time and weather. It's supposed to be a in the high 70s which will be so much better than the oppressive heat of last week. Here are some photos of my prep work.

This wool will be abrashed with a formula called Minerals. It uses 5 different textures/shades. One of my favorites.

The following two photos show wool that is going to be pancake dyed using two different formulas.

The rolls of wool in the next photo will be marbelized. I haven't bundled them up and tied them yet as I want the ladies to see how this is done.

The wool for the other methods are not pictured as the formulas use natural wool. I'll be taking photos of the dye day and the finished wool to post Thursday.

Monday, July 25, 2011

My House rug

While I put the finishing loops into the border of my New York Beauty rug, I also began working on my next project. I took several photos of my childhood home and from those photos started a design for my next rug.

Here's the photo I used for the starting point.

I created a document in Adobe Illustrator and placed this photo in the background layer. Cropped it a bit and zoomed in. After that I traced what I wanted using the pen tool. Really roughed it in, so a lot of the lines aren't as smooth as they will wind up being. I also removed the tree and the deck from the photo as they were not there when I lived in the house.

Here is the line drawing I got:

Next step trace with better lines and then scan the image. Once the image is scanned, I'll resize to 24" x 18".

Next posting will show you some of the materials I've gathered for this rug.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Like a dog with a bone!

Even though it's been terribly hot of late, I've been hooking like crazy! Can't seem to stop! I've made such progress on my New York Beauty rug, that I think it will be completed ahead of my projected schedule. I'm already thinking about my next project.

I've been inspired to do a landscape rug after reading Deanne Fitzpatrick's wonderful book, Inspired Rug Hooking. Normally, when I buy a book related to hooking, I browse the pictures and read the sections I'm interested in. But with this book, I read the entire book and enjoyed every minute of it. What great writing. By the time you're finished you have a good idea of what it takes for Fitzpatrick to create one of her "mats" as she calls them.

I decided to do a rug depicting my childhood home that is in more of a rural setting even though it sits in the middle of Saratoga Springs. There are lots of pines and grassy areas. With that in mind, I thought I'd use yarn to hook the rug. Went to the Webs Web site and purchased some yarn with lots of texture in shades I think will work well in this rug. I'll post a picture of the yarn in a later post.

If you are interested in reviewing Inspired Rug Hooking, here is the link:

By the way, I've decided to bind my New York Beauty rug with sleeves on the back for hanging. I sent Gene Shepherd a photo of the rug and mentioned my dilemma. He graciously posted the photo and my question on his blog. Overwhelming consensus was to bind and not frame. Check out Gene's blog at

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Artist's Journal

Here is a great book to check out if you are at all interested in journaling, especially if you like adding artwork to your daily posts. I found this on and love it; very inspiring.

This is such a fun book! I downloaded it to my Ipad and luckily it is in color! I have kept journals through my life, and often used colored pens and pencils and sometimes an illustration would find its way it. This book shows how to take things a bit further, and so far, I'm loving it. Check it out!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Getting Closer

I'm making great progress on my New York Beauty rug! Hope to be completely finished with the hooking by the end of July. Then I need to decide if I'm going to bind it or have it framed. The last rug I had framed was stretched unevenly, and I was very disappointed. Does anyone have any pros or cons on framing rugs??

I've had a lot of fun working on this rug and have been able to use colors I don't normally use. A great way to use up scraps.

My other concern while working on this rug has been the unevenness of my loops. I usually try to keep the loops as uniform as possible, but the many points in this rug have made it necessary to reverse direction a lot causing loops to look uneven. I guess I'm being too picky, but I find myself looking at loops in everyone's rugs. I have to remember that rugs are normally viewed at a distance where loop height doesn't come into play.

Anyway, I'm thinking about a purple textured border for the rug, perhaps with a green stripe one time around. Right at the moment, my cat Frank is sprawled on the rug having a bath. I swear he thinks I put the rug on the floor just for his comfort.

Hope you all have a great day. It's supposed to be in the 90s today, so I opted out from an outdoor hook-in at Jule Marie Smith's. I'm sure it will be wonderful, but I'm thinking hooking inside with the AC is a better idea followed by a dip in the pool!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Happy Fourth!

Happy fourth of July to all! The sun is shining brightly this morning; hope it lasts. In honor of the fourth, my husband and I visited Saratoga National Park and Battlefield yesterday. The battle at Saratoga is called the "turning point in the American Revolutionary War," and one park ranger quoted a "New York Times" article that called the battle the single most important battle in the last 1000 years! Without the decisive win at Saratoga, it is believed the Revolutionary War would have been lost.

Here are some of our pictures taken on our tour of the park.

A very pretty and serene entrance to the park and visitor center.

A monument that commemorates the 225 anniversary of the battle.

The visitor center.

A view of the battlefield from the visitor center. A dreary day, but you can still see the Green Mountains of Vermont in the distance.

The Neilsen Farm where the American generals conducted the war. Descendents of this family still live in the area.

An inside view showing possible layout for the interior. The building itself had to be reconstructed as only a portion of it remained when the park was created.

This is the site of the British camp and hospital area. Notice that they took position near the Hudson River so as to make delivery of supplies easier. Even with this advantage, the British were unable to beat the Americans.

Hope you all have a wonderful holiday!