Friday, February 26, 2016

Finished -- I love that word!

My American Pie Designs rug "We Are Family" is finished! The binding was completed last week, and today I sat down and needle felted in some eyes and beaks. I love using needle felting on rugs. It gives the rug some dimension, and since this rug will be hung, there is no worry about foot traffic.

A few close-up shots:

Please visit my Etsy site. I've listed even more wool this past week. Take a look and see what ideas come to mind.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

What else to do with beautiful hand-dyed wool

As I said in my last post, I am trying to find other ways to use my hand-dyed wool. I hook with it, appliqué with it, and lately embroider on it. Here is a piece that is part embroidery and part appliqué.

This piece measures approximately 11" inch square. The background was a piece of wool that I've had for a while. I cut some of it into strips, but kept the rest. First, I embroidered the bird, and then I started to surround it with leaves. Such fun!

I'd like to mount it on a piece of birch bark or a piece of light colored barn siding. We'll see which I find first.

Friday, February 19, 2016

Embroidered book journal

Here is a project I finished recently. I took a piece of wool that I had dyed and couldn't bare to cut up into wool strips for a rug. I looked at it and began to see leaf and flower shapes that could be embroidered. It was great fun, and I got to learn some new stitches and practice ones I already knew.

Once the embroidery was done, I stapled two lined notebooks together and wrapped the wool around them, thus forming a cover for the notebooks. This is the result.

Front of the journal:

Back of journal:

I am always looking for ways to use the wool I dye. Of course, a lot of it goes to hooking and is sold, but some pieces just want to be used in a new way. I'll be using this little journal as a book log.

Please visit my Etsy site. I've listed a lot of wool this past week. Take a look and see what ideas come to mind.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Dye Day - wool floss

I've been doing a lot of embroidery lately and since I want to focus on wool embroidery, I decided to dye some floss of my own. I ordered some lace weight yarn from Catnip Yarns. I've ordered several kinds of natural yarns from them over the last few years and have never been disappointed.

I wound some small skeins in 15-yard lengths and one in a 30-yard length. In the future, I'll only do 30 yards or more.

Using the instructions from

I prepared the yarn by soaking in a vinegar/water solution for thirty minutes. (Click on the book image for more information.)

Next, I prepared the dyes as I would for dyeing wool fabric.

Then, onto the fun stuff -- applying the dye. Since I hadn't dyed such a small amount of yarn before, it was trial and error. After the dye was added, I microwaved the wool for 2 minutes turned the floss, and microwaved for two more minutes. Be sure you have enough water in the bowl you use and cover.

Here are the final results:

All in all, a fun experience!

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Happy Valentine's Day!

A little embroidered pillow to remind us of the reason for the day - love! Hope you all have a "love-ly" day!

Friday, February 12, 2016

Today's Bird

Today's bird is the Great Egret. I took this picture last winter in the Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary near Naples, Florida. I was thinking about my visit there, missing the shore birds, so I looked up my photos from that trip. It was a lovely day when photo was taken, although quite warm. If you are in that area, I would say it is definitely worth a trip. We saw approximately 20 bird species and lots of other wildlife. Didn't catch the elusive owls who live there, but perhaps next time!

I love the sunlight and shadows in this photo. Such a beautiful bird.

Enjoy your day and the birds wherever you live.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Wool Applique finished

My wool appliqué project is finished and sitting on the table that is its new home. I have so much wool from my Woolly Mammoth Woolens business that I decided it was time to use some of my favorite colors and do some wool appliqué. This is the result. A Kim Diehl inspired pattern that measures 30" across. I had no idea where it was going to go, but it fits this table perfectly.

I'd love to see photos of your wool appliqué projects, too! Send photos!

Thursday, February 4, 2016

On the loom

Here is my most recent weaving project. It is a set of washcloths done in tweed variations. The colors used are turquoise, white and silver. The thick green yarn you see in the middle is used to separate the individual washcloths. This is the second set of washcloths I've made. They are so soft and wash up beautifully. 100% cotton.

This is the underside of the fabric. You can see the pattern best near the top.

Here is the last washcloth (near the back). About 10 inches left to go.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Pretty Hooked Footstools

One of the ladies I hook with brought in two footstools to share with us last week. Carolyn hooked these in a class she took with the late Kim Nixon. They are just beautiful and the finishing work is perfection! Bravo!