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A FEW MORE RUGS TO SHARE…

Elizabeth sent me a picture of her wonderful Shelly Atkinson Winter Skate adaptation (or as she calls it 4 Skaters representing her soon to be 4 grandchildren!). Notice the little one on the far right in the Toronto Maple Leafs hockey sweater! …

and Pauline sent me this about her stunning rug… “my rug designed by Christine Little. Apparently Percy Inglis drew rug hooking patterns in Mahone Bay a very long time ago and Christine did this pattern adaptation in honour of him(I think).”…

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A FEW PICTURES TO SHARE…

Tara sent me a photo of her latest lovely rug…

and Heather came for a visit and brought along her Vegetable Garden which I love! and her Karla Gerard rug almost finished…

and what have I done – finished off a small punch needle piece and painted and distressed an old frame for it…


DYEING THOSE SWATCHES – WELL OVERDYEING…

I had a few people ask me to clarify my instructions – so I decided it might be a good idea to redo them with maybe a few pix! Because a picture is worth… And aren’t we all very very visual!

So here goes!

I used a very bright green 6 value swatch by Rittermere Hurst Field. As I mentioned, I do not do fine shading so valued swatches are not something I use. They are too solid for the kind of hooking I do and also very short as they ARE meant for shading. However, for a landscape or Van Gogh or Group of Seven style hooked rug they will be perfect as you want to use shorter “strokes”. But first they need hmmmmm, upcycling!

Step 1. Take apart your valued swatch – it should normally range from ultra light to dark – in my case there were no ultra lights or ultra darks but rather a variety of greens.  Soak well in warm water with a touch of soap…
Step 2. Mix up 1/16 of 3 different colours that you want to use to “spot” your swatch – one colour per 2 cup measuring cup.  I chose the following colours Magic Carpet Red Brown in one cup; Moss green in another and Yellow in the third.  Add a table spoon of vineagar and 1 cup boiling water. So you now have 3 measuring cups with 1/16 of a different dye colour in each cup and 1 cup of boiling water and a dash of vinegar.

Step 3.  Take the 6 (or 8 depending on your swatch) pieces of soaked wool and squish together in a 2 cup measuring cup or 4 cup measuring cup if you want your wool less spotty and pour one of the cups of dye over top and microwave for 3.5 minutes (I have a short 3.5 minute reheat button on my microwave but could be 3 or 4 minutes or more depending on how dark the dye is as you want it to totally absorb).  Remove from microwave and flip the wool over (use gloves as it will be hot) and dump out most of the clear hot water and pour on the second dye and microwave for 3.5 minutes.  Remove from microwave and flip again mixing it up a bit and repeat.  Make sure allll the colour is absorbed and throw into a pot (I have an old metal salad bowl) and let it sit till cool.  Your wool should  have a wonderful spotty texture in a variety of colours for fields or trees.

I only used about half the red brown and decided to stop there… Once it was done microwaving I flipped it over…
and poured on about half the moss green…back into the microwave and then same process with the full yellow formula and mixed up the wool well so that the yellow would overdye all the wool equally…resting in my metal bowl…

 et voila – from solid bright greens to spot dyed fall colours…
And now for a few pix of completed projects by others:
 While Diane was here for a visit over New Years she completed her SNOW (not SOW as I kept reading it) punch needle and put it in this vintage pan (for ashes?)…
 Jill was finishing her most recent Karla Gerard pattern (SLED) – love that sky…
Linda brought her beautiful completed rug of her own design to SBS – we are going to add a 2 inch wide border to it in navy wool…
Diane attached her Fall Frolic (one of my punch needle designs) to one of Vince’s Sheep boards (I do have a few of these sheep boards in stock!)… I love the way she finished this with a scalloped wool border…

 

Van Gogh IS DONE!!!!

And it only took 4 months!!!! Yikes! Should not have taken that long but this was the kind of piece where I could not just sit and hook away and have fun. This one required concentration, a LOTTTTTTT of different wools and a lot of ripping out and rehooking. So was it a fun piece – hmmmmm – it was a challenging piece! And challenge is good! And I am happy with the end result. Will I do another VG – yes!!!! I love his sunflowers and of course Starry Night is one of my favourite paintings – will it be soon? Probably not – for now I need to just play for a while – something a little LESS CHALLENGING 🙂 .

To hook this piece I used exclusively 6 – 8 value swatches which I had taken apart and spot dyed in a measuring cup in the microwave! So there were no solid wools or even textures except the very outside row which was a wonderful texture. So lots of short, spot dyed swatches. I love taking swatches (which I do not use as I do not do fine shading) and spot dyeing them in the microwave.  Soak a bunch of related colours in all the values, squish them into a two cup measuring cup and pour on one related colour and microwave for 3.5 minutes; flip the wool and pour on the second related colour and microwave for 3.5 minutes and then do this process one final time with another related colour. By related colours I mean if I started with a blue solid swatch in 8 values I would make up three blue formulas in say sky blue, turquoise and smoky blue. This gave me amazing spot dyed valued pieces of wool to work with. I used about 1/16 of each colour to spot dye about 8 pieces of swatch. It was a wonderful, fun way to repurpose something which I would not have otherwise used.

So here is my Wheatfields – not perfect but perfect for me! And yes I used artistic license to darken things up a bit and make alllllll that blue a blue I could live with (cause you KNOW I am NOT a blue person 🙂 )… (started this in September in a class taught by Carol Shewan – thanks Carol for all your tips and help).

STITCH BY STITCH…

I will be back on Tuesday the 9th from 10 – 12 at the store. Hopefully the weather cooperates and some of you can join me.

This arctic cold snap has been hard on so many – human and animals alike! However, my deer have been getting a wonderfully mixed diet of corn and grain and molasses but also bananas, grapes, cabbage, brussel sprouts, carrots and turnip peels. They love it all!!!! Of course, the corn and molasses mix wins out over the fruit and veg, but everything manages to disappear quickly. Even stale bread! and hmmmm the occasional Christmas cookie… The other night we had a new visitor that we have not had in a long time – a lovely little fox right outside the front door sniffing for scraps – wellllll, of course, there was nothing left on the ground sooooo we decided she needed a few cold cuts! Noone can say my animals are underfed – in fact! they are positively chubby!…

And now a few rugs to share:

Susan finished hooking her Yard of Village…

Roxann is one SPEEDY HOOKER… she just finished this wonderful Karla Gerard pattern and now is on to the next two…

Wendy’s lovely Waterloo County Crow… Lorraine’s finished Cat’s Paws…

and Elaine finished In the Jungle (one of my designs) – as she said – a rare white faced lion…

I have a few new rug patterns available which soon will be added to the online store. These are based on the drawings of Jane MacMillan…

Fox Lookout…Two Sheep…


Sheep in the Snow…

HAPPY NEW YEAR…

May you spend the next 365 days enjoying family, friends, good health and creative moments.

A few creative pieces to share…

Susan sent me a picture of her lovely wide cut and torn pillow… This I believe, is Sherri’s first finished piece. The stocking was for her granddaughter whose name Loann is Vietnamese for Phoenix. She wanted a Phoenix rising from the flames and I think this piece turned out beautifully…At the Cobourg hookin a few months ago I took a photo of this cute Santa Pillow. Betty emailed me and asked if I knew the name of the hooker or designer – nope!!!! Can anyone help?…


and Anne sent me a picture of her wonderful Van Gogh adaptation of her and her husband – ready for their 50th! 

MERRY CHRISTMAS FROM OUR HOUSE TO YOURS…

A few new Christmas decorations made their way up this year…

Alllll that decorating just wiped me out… Gord just cannot get that food out there fast enough… My little sheep door pocket… Lucky and my Charlie Brown tree – I discovered when I set it up this year that hmmmmm there was a LOT OF ROOM left on the back of the tree for more ornies!!!! Yeah!!!!… Years ago my cousin made me this macrame Christmas tree which I love and which holds dozens of tiny ornies…

my lovely scoop holds my Christmas present made by Wendy…
and my little punch needle pocket…
May 2018 be a year filled with good health, good friends and peaceful days (oh and of course a little hooking!)…