Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Pitched Roofs under a Starry Sky

I started this rug for my daughter and her husband in June and finished it the last week in July. It is 2 feet x 6 feet and they are going to hang it over the stairs as you come in the side door of their house. It's a Deanne Fitzpatrick design which I enlarged a lot. The hardest part was the rug was so heavy towards the end that it was hard to turn the frame without it falling over or catching on something.  I  used wool, ribbon and yarns on linen and finished with rug binding tape.  I enjoyed hooking it but glad it's done.

They wanted a more Van Gogh type of sky, so I added a moon and made the sky swirls brighter. I also didn't take a photo of the rug when it was finished but will do that when they get it on the wall.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011


This year I drove out to the Western McGown Teacher's Workshop with my son and granddaughter, who were home visiting.  It took 2 1/2 days and Nita did a wonderful job, especially being she is only 2 and in a car seat for hundreds of miles.  Her paci helped.  So did the DVD player with Tangled and Phineas and Ferb playing.

                            The workshop was great. I had a lot of good classes and great teachers.

This is Tanya. She taught a waterfall class. Her rendition was amazing.

I don't have a photo of my teacher, Susan, but her mat, which she sewed onto a beaver pelt, was also amazing. It was a great class. She also took us on a tour of the campus after class.

This was our diagonal geometric. Sheila Mitchell was the teacher. I loved the colors she used and was very lucky to get into her class. She taught The Kestral last year, which I also took from her.  She's an amazing teacher.

I also went to Karen Kahle's house again with a few other ladies, and of course, I bought another pattern.

One of my teachers, Susan Elcox,  led a few of us on a tour of the U of O campus. She graduated from there so she knew what she was talking about.

Construction was going on, so we had classes in the basement and also in a 3rd floor lounge. The food was served in our dorm, so we never had to leave the building if we didn't want to.  I went to the campus bookstore and a used bookstore and bought 2 reference books for classes I'm teaching next year.  I had a great time and will be back next year as I was asked to teach a class.

The only problem were my return travel arrangements. Amtrak cancelled my return trip, then an accident in Nevada caused them to cancel the alternate routed trip they had arranged for me. So I took Greyhound to Seattle, meaning to go on to Minnesota, but after that 8 hour terrible ride, I got off, called my nephew and stayed overnight at their house and flew home the next day. I've discovered Amtrak is not very reliable and Greyhound has gone downhill since I was 5 years old. Never again. And the flying was fine. I was just so happy to be going home it didn't bother me at all. It had been 12 years in May since I had last flown. The funny part was it was almost the same exact flight...from Seattle to Minneapolis. It was good to be home.

Monday, May 2, 2011


I finished my McGown training last week in Newton Iowa at the North Central McGown Teacher's Workshop. It took me 5 years, which I guess is pretty average. It's a relief as I was never sure if they would accept the pieces I turned in. But they did and I'm done! Of course, I will still be going back every year and also teaching another class there next year. I have a wonderful rug to hook and am looking forward to the experience.

I thought since I was done, I would look back at all of the pieces I hooked for accreditation. Most of them were fun to hook and once I started them, it was pretty easy to finish them. I still consider myself to be a wide cut hooker, but I'm grateful that I have learned from all of those talented ladies how to hook fine cut and teach it if needed. All of the patterns are sold by The House of Price, who is also the sponsor of the teacher workshops around the country.

The first project I turned in is called Marie. I was taught to hook this fingered rose pillow by Terri Schaeffer:

The second project I turned in was Rooster and Sunflowers, which I gave to my daughter. Terri Schaeffer was also my teacher for this wide cut rug. This was hooked in an 8 cut with some 6's for outlining  and was the only wide cut rug I could turn in for accreditation.

The third project I turned in was Birches taught by Diana Foltz. I enjoy landscapes and hooked this in a 3 cut.

The fourth project was a crewel design called Hampden taught by Sally Ballinger at workshop. I like crewels and love the colors used in them. I hooked this in a 3 and 4 cut.

The last project I just turned in this past April at workshop. It was a mat designed and taught by Jane McGown Flynn at Western teacher's workshop last June 2010 when I went to Oregon to visit my son and his family and attend workshop.  I also love to hook flowers, so I finished this mat very fast. It is called Erin and I hooked it in a 3 cut with the background in a 4. The only problem I had was trying to decide how to finish it. I had enough pillows. It was originally a circle but I turned it into a square, lined it with some cheap, thin wool I had and glued that wool to the back of a Lands End bag. I'll have to be very careful when I use the bag, but I like the idea of having it on there as a reminder of the work I did to achieve this goal.

I also had to do a "show and tell" and this was the project chosen for me. It's called Friends and hooked in an 8.5 cut:

The rug I was given to teach for the first time at workshop was called Cabin Repeat. I hooked the large version and the small version in 8 to 9 cut, but taught the small version to the class:

My student projects were hooked by Betty, Donna and Jan. I only needed 2 projects hooked by students of mine, but it's a long story, and I ended up with 3. I supplied the pattern and all of the wool to the ladies. I dyed all of the wool for the mola and some of the wool for the other two rugs.  I thought they all did a wonderful job.

                                        This is Betty's rug. I think it was called Bygone Days.

          This was Donna's rug. It's called Crocodile Mola. I also love molas. The colors are so much fun.
                        This is Jan's rug. It's really her first rug and I thought she did a wonderful job.
                                Thanks, ladies! I couldn't have done this without your help.

Sunday, May 1, 2011


I ended up using black binding tape around the rug. It was a little difficult in some spots as the edges are so uneven, but that's one reason I liked hooking this rug and I like the end result.

I'm really having problems with this last batch of binding tape I bought from Cushing. The brown tape bleeds when I wash it and turns into a medium brown instead of a dark brown when it's dry. The black tape bleeds blue dye. I tried to set it with vinegar, but when I steamed the rug, the black tape still bled blue color onto the wet towel. It doesn't seem to affect the rug, but who knows what it looks like under the tape. I need to call Cushing and see if they are hearing of this problem from others.

I'm still trying to decide what to hook next. I should hook the rug for Molly and Seth, but I might take a short break and finish something I already started.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Fitzing around

I love Deanne Fitzpatricks rugs. I think I have every book she's written. I promised my daughter and her husband that I would hook them a huge Fitz rug for over their stairs. You would see it as soon as you came in the door. The rug will be 89" long and 24" or so wide. I enlarged it from her book with the free designs in the back. It's called Pitched Roofs under a Starry Sky. They want it hooked a little like Van Gogh's Starry Night, so I will be using some art yarns. But hooking a rug this large is a little daunting to me, so I hooked this smaller piece to try out a few things. This one is called Across the Fence. I wanted to use wool roving, ribbons (including sari silk ribbons) along with wool strips and yarns. I think it turned out well and it was fun hooking with alternate materials. I still have to finish the edges and I will probably sew binding tape to the edge and then turn it under. I might hang this over my sliding glass door. The size of this rug is 4 feet by 18" at the widest. I hooked it in just under 2 weeks. There's something about her rug designs that make me to hook like a maniac.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Spring Has Sprung

Seeing as it's below zero tonight, I wish spring had sprung.  But back to the rug. I started this at Sauder Village the summer of 2010 in a one day Bea Brock class. She had a unique way of teaching the class, I thought, and it really worked well since we had very little time with her. We were told to choose our favorite color of wool from our stash and hook the center circle. Then the next color out was either supposed to be the opposite on the color wheel or a different value or both. We continued out towards one corner since the pattern was a repeat and once we had it color planned to one corner, the rest was just repeating what we had already done. I finished the rug a month later. It was a lot of fun to hook, using only my own wools, and the colors were wild but fun.

Monday, February 28, 2011

New sky

I changed the sky using a spot dye I dyed and hooking in a random pattern with a little off-white for a few little clouds. I don't know if it's better, but I wanted to try it.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Abandon Part 4

Wanda suggested I lighten my sky, so here it is. I'm having trouble finding the right light color of blue, maybe I need to try a soft white or light pink to lighten it up more. I think I'll just hook the border and think about it for awhile.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Abandoned Part 3

I'm almost finished with Abandon. I finished hooking the grass, leaves and prodded the lupines. Then I prodded the trees, using birch bark wool for the trunk and branches. I hooked the sky in straight lines with a mixture of 3 different blues. I'm thinking the lupines are too bright and may change them to a softer color. I'll have to mull this over. I'll have to dye more of the wool for the border as I'm running out. I'd like it to be wider.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Abandon Part 2

Here are some of the lupines. I should have started at the bottom of the rug, but for some reason I didn't. I'm prodding the smaller, more distant lupines by hooking them and cutting the loops. The grass is a mixture of 5 or 6 greens, from light to dark. I think I need to make the grass lighter at the top.


I stopped working on my antique rug for a bit to join a Welcome Mat class hooking a design by Wanda Kerr called Abandon. It's a study in mini proddy, which I've done very little of before. It's been fun and I'll show my progress here.

I did change a few of the features from the original design. I tried to shade the windows and also shaded the right side of the house. I hooked the front door so it would look like it was standing open and the house was abandoned. It's a fun class and I'm learning a lot with Wanda's help.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Broken Flower

This is the 3rd antique reproduction rug I completed in the last 2 months, although I still have the binding to do. I saw this in a book and knew I had to hook it. I used mostly 8.5 and 9 cut wool on linen. The size is 17" x 24". There's something about the teal and pink colors together that I love. And the dark border, which looks black but is actually a dark blue and black stripe, makes a nice contrast with the other colors. I will probably whip the edges with Norwegian yarn.  On to number 4 repro rug....

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

2 Bunny Geometric

I meant to blog and take photos as I hooked this rug, but of course I forgot. This is another antique rug reproduction.  Something about this rug struck a chord with me and I knew I had to hook it. It went pretty fast and I started and finished it before Christmas 2010. I still have to finish the edges and I will probably use my Norwegian yarn to whip them and then sew on binding tape to the back. The colors are grays, tans, pinks, reds and dark blue/blacks. I tried to make it as close to the original as possible. The size is 19" x 27" and I used mostly 8.5 cut wool on linen.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Newfoundland Lion

I finished my lion rug last December 2010. I had a lot of fun hooking this antique adaptation.  I decided to crochet around the edges since I had never done that before. I used 36" long strips of 8 cut wool. It went pretty fast but the time consuming part was weaving in the ends of the wool after I finished crocheting it. I don't know if I will finish a rug this way again. Oh, I rolled the linen to the front, twice, pinned and basted it down before I crocheted it.  It looks nice and not very noticeable since I used one of the background wools to crochet it. The size is 28" x 44" and I used sizes 6 through 9 cut wool on Monks cloth. Another antique rug adaptation to follow.  I'm on a roll.