Tuesday, August 23, 2016

New Rug -- Shorebirds

During the winter, I went to Heavens to Betsy's hook-in just south of Kinderhook, NY. Ali Striebel was there selling her wool, books, etc. The great thing to see in her booth was all the samples she brought showing the wonderful ideas for using wool. I was fascinated to see that she had made some pillows using wool fabric. Attached on top of the face of the pillow was a piece of dyed linen with a hooked motif on it. The background of the hooking was simply the dyed linen. That got me thinking about some of the small pieces of linen I had left from larger rug projects.

At a dye session in May, some of my fellow hookers went to Julie Smith's studio where we dyed perle cotton thread for use in embroidery. I brought some of my small linen pieces thinking I'd use the leftover dyes to create some colorful linen backgrounds for hooking. Of course, the linen got set aside for a bit!

A couple of weeks ago I came across a pretty aqua blue piece I had dyed, drew some shorebirds on it, and started hooking. Here is the rug I came up with. I haven't finished figuring out how the edging is going to look, but I did finish the hooking and did needle felt in some wispy clouds using natural roving.

I used a variation of the wool to the right called Murano Swirl for the sand. The variation is a fair bit lighter, but you can see how the colors play together. I also used a formula called Pink Sands that is a pale, pale gray pink shade. I like the effect of the colors hooked randomly.

This was one of those projects that I couldn't stop working on. Perhaps knowing I didn't have to hook the entire background helped a lot!

Hope your hooking is going along great this summer.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Finished Rug (well, almost!)

I just finished up a small rug that I began in June. Our rug hooking group hosted Norma Batastini for a workshop to honor one of our member's 90th birthday. Norma presented a wonderful class on hooking this cityscape, giving us loads of ideas for skies and the buildings. She is a fabulous teacher!

I set the rug aside after class, returning to the rug I had been working on. Finally, one day recently, I thought -- finish that city landscape! I had great fun figuring out the sky, the buildings, and the water. Surprisingly, the water -- such a small strip -- gave me the greatest challenge. I'm drawn toward bright colors, but the overall feel of the rug was muted. So after four or five poor selections, I got out my piece of transparent red plastic (not sure what you call it). I covered the rug with the red plastic, and I immediately saw the problems with the colors I had chosen. The shrubs and dark water choices were blending together to create mud. Once I realized I needed to lighten the water, the colors became much easier to choose.

Here is the result. I still need to bind the rug, but I am very pleased with the results!

I'm not always good at promoting my wool, so I'll remind you that I have lots for sale on Ebay and Etsy. Please click on the links to the right of this post. Thanks for looking!

Friday, August 12, 2016

Owls and Wool

We were watching TV the other night at dusk when I saw out of the corner of my eye something swoop into the maple tree in our backyard. I grabbed the camera and was lucky enough to get some wonderful shots of a Barred Owl visiting our neighborhood.

What a beautiful bird. He watched us as we snapped photos, almost posing, and acting as if we presented no danger to him. What a privilege to see such a magnificent bird up close.

I got thinking about hooking this owl. Here are some of the colors I came up with:

Canyon Gold

Deep Gold

Desert Caravan

Dreary Day

Dreary Morning


Ginger Beer

Gray Squirrel



Toasted Grain
I admit, I got a little carried away with colors, but what fun to hook something with all that pattern.