28 January 2009

O Christmas Tree Rug Completed!

It didn't get done by December 31st as I'd hoped, but the hooking is done!

I found a nice brown plaid for the shoes..... I was surprised at the trouble I had deciding what to use for those darn little things. I really liked the black textured wool I had originally used and then had trouble coming up with a different idea when I realized it would certainly not work with my background.
The snowflakes were inspired by a Deanne Fitzpatrick rug, Standing Before the Monument.
I'm finishing this rug in a traditional manner by adding a corded edge whipped with black wool yarn. I'll then hand stitch an antique gold twill rug binding tape over the serged linen on the back. This finish takes a bit of time but I love the feeling of knowing that I've made a piece that will withstand the ravages of time.
Merry Hooking.......

18 January 2009

Beautiful Wool by Laurice Heath

Beautiful Wool... A Hand-Dyer's Guide by Laurice Heath of Fredericksburg Rugs is one of the best dye books ever published and is now out of print. It's full of dye formulas (over 150) using both Cushing's Acid Dyes and ProChem Acid Dyes and page after page of wool and dyeing wisdom. This is one of my two favorite dye books and I would be lost without my well-worn, dye-stained copy.

It's a little short of a miracle, but I managed to get a hold of several brand new copies! I had to pay full price for the books and an arm & a leg for shipping, but I think this book is worth every penny. I can't tell you how many times I've had a customer ask me for a custom color that I don't have listed on my website and I've gone straight to this book.......to say nothing of the times I've used these formulas for my own projects!
Here's where you can buy a copy for yourself:

Have fun playing in the dyepots!

First Day of Rug Hooking Class

My first three rug hooking students! They were good natured and very patient with me. We had a good time learning to cut beautiful wool into little strips and practicing lifting loops. Everyone went home with a small project planned and enough wool cut to get a good start on their first hooked mats.
Lisa and Leslie chose the same little heart pattern but they are using completely different colorways. It will be so much fun to see how they turn out. Penny chose a great geometric pattern that she'll hook with reds, golds and muted browns with a dash of brilliant blue-green to give it life. She'll get good practice hooking sharp corners and big circles.
They were a great group .....they listened, watched and weren't timid about asking good questions. And they jumped right in when I told them it was time to start practicing making those loops!
I'm really looking forward to seeing their progress next week when we'll also explore the world of good wool and where to get it, cutters, frames, Internet resources and .....
I think we may need more than three weeks of class.

15 January 2009

Happy New Year....Time to Learn to Hook!

Wishing all of you a peaceful and prosperous New Year!

Well, I just didn't know that keeping up with a blog would be such a challenge but I'm really not a wordy person (although some members of my family might disagree) & I keep forgetting to take photographs when I'm out and about.

This week's big news is that we're starting off the year with a beginning rug hooking class in the studio. I'm looking forward to sharing my love of this art & craft with others. We'll start with simple, but interesting, patterns hand drawn on good linen and add beautiful wool, a little bit of lecturing and a lot of hands-on time and, hopefully, my students will be hooked!

I will try to get a couple of photos to share.

Stay Warm.....