Thursday, December 29, 2011

I'm a hooker and a dyer!

I love rug hooking, but the only hooking I've done was with wool yarn and one small square in a Yahoo Groups rug with wool strips, and those both were about 2004! I've had a Bliss Model B since 2004 as well, bought used on ebay by my hubs for me. He bought me a beautiful frame as well that year for my birthday. And it all just sat there. I know I've blogged about this before, about how I wanted to use my goodies.

So I went to the local rug hooking group last week. It was on the day after I worked the weekend and my hours are crazy. I work until 3 a.m. so I didn't get to the group until 2 p.m., lol. The hooking group is from 10:30 to 3p.m.  Ha ha! I'm just not a morning person and I don't get up until at least noon the day after I work until 3 a.m. I'm sure you understand. : ) 

I'm so glad I went! The ladies were so nice and helped me draw a simple star on my monks cloth to get started. There were a few primitive gals and a few who were doing fine cut floral work. I became fast friends with Kimberlee who loves primitive in a 9 or 10 cut. I've never seen anything that wide and it was beautiful! We got to talking and then this week we have had a blast getting together. Monday we drove to Berlin, Ohio, on a last minute trip to Country Craft Cupboard. It's a rug hooker's dream! I bought a yard of primitive linen, a primitive 8mm Hartman hook, a pattern, and two Cushing's dyes (mulberry and spice brown). Tuesday I took my Bliss to Kimberlee's and she helped me clean it and oil it, and it works sooo nice now! I could barely get the handle turned before. It has been sitting for more than six years and still had some wool fuzz from the last owner. Wednesday, yesterday, we got together again (lol) and dyed some wool and she got me started on a pattern I have been looking at in Create and Decorate Magazine for four years! Yes, I am the Queen of Unfinished Projects and the Queen of Procrastination, lol!

Cardinal rug from Create and Decorate Magazine

We had so much fun dyeing. We tried to follow a formula in a book for a light tan color for me to use as the background on my cardinal rug. Well, we got a very dark brown. It's a beautiful color, just not what we were expecting. So then I tried my spice brown on a new piece of white wool. Love it! I think it's a tad darker than I wanted for the background, but it will work just fine.

Spice Brown on new white wool. It's darker in person.

Next we through some mulberry dye and some bright red wool in the pot just to see what we would get. Beautiful! I am a prim girl and this bright red wool was never going to get used by me. Again, beautiful mottled reds!

Mulberry on bright red wool. Again, darker in person.
 Poor Kimberlee was trying so hard to find the perfect color for her snowman rug and wasn't getting it. Too dark, too yellow....I told her I had beginner's luck.

We had a delicious lunch of chicken salad and pita bread, and got to hooking. I just love her house. It's a new house, about five years, but it's so prim. Hooked rugs, penny rugs, wool many things to look at! Here is what I have done so far. I started with the cardinal wing and probably hooked too closely. Then I started outlining the body of the bird. I soon switched to my primitive Hartman hook because I was having trouble pulling the strips with the regular hook I was using. So much better! Even though I'm only using a #8 cut, the Hartman hook was so much easier. I was really struggling with the other hook and my finger was getting sore. I thought rug hooking was supposed to be relaxing, lol! The right side is where I was struggling and the left is when I switched to the Hartman hook. You can definitely see the difference. I might even re-hook the right side.

My progress so far on the cardinal rug
 Okay, off to get some cleaning done before work because I've been ignoring it the last few days. : )

Thursday, December 15, 2011


Just a quick note to say hello to the world. I have the winter/holiday blahs. I can't really say winter now can I?!?! It's about 50 degrees and Ohio....on December 15th.

I got to chat with Alice and she reminded me of a local hook-in, so I'm going. I'm actually looking forward to it! I've heard about it before and just dragged my feet and never made it. I'm determined to use some of my craft supplies (which include a wonderful frame, Bliss cutter, and some wool) and do something useful with them. Four years ago I bought some monks cloth (I think that's what it is) intending to make a rug for my sister's wedding. I will give you one guess where the monks cloth is. Yep, in the bag from the store.

My son had hand surgery on Monday and is still in some pain and bored out of his mind, but is hanging in there. He broke a finger badly during basketball practice a few weeks ago. We didn't realize it was broken and didn't get to the doc as soon as we should have. That's the downfall of working in a hospital. Kind of like that story of the shoemaker's children. So one pin and one screw later, he is all wrapped up and on Vicodin. Unfortunately he is missing an entire week of school (bad planning on my part) and next week starts winter break, so I guess in his mind he is lucky....though he is not happy about having to make up a week's worth of work over break.

I better go check on the patient. Have a good weekend all and hopefully I will have a picture of something hooked next time I stop in. : )