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Monthly Archives: August 2011

GIVING THANKS…well almost!

Finallllllly almost done (have I been saying that for the last few weeks?) Give Ye Thanks – and when it is finally finished I will definitely be GIVING THANKS.  I had to redo the bottom because it got stretched a bit and was way toooo wonky for my tastes – still have to clean it up (all those threads and little bits of fluff) and need to do the showbinding but here is a picture of it almost finished. This was a fun pattern to hook and one that I have in stock for $73.00 – 27.5 x 36 inches – on linen.  It is a wonderful pattern for using those great fall colours. I do carry a few other patterns from Spruce Ridge (Notforgotten Farm designs) i.e. Peace and Plenty (picture below of my hooked version), A Merry Little Christmas and Goat Hill Farm.  I love these funky whimsical designs.  If you want sizes and prices please contact me.

I have been posting about dyeing fall colours.  This morning I did two more wonderful colours from the Susan Quicksall dye book I mentioned a few days ago – the green is called Horse Apples and the orangey colour is called Sweet Potato Pie.

Below is a picture of Penny Runner – one of my kits for sale through my online store. It has a great mottled black background and is all done in fall colours. A fun piece to hook  because,  as Anne (from Chicago) who is currently hooking it says, You don’t have to think!  And these days it is too hot to think!  But FALL IS COMING!


Yesterday I got a shock – got an email asking if I was going to be in Kingston this sunday for a show – holy cow – I thought it was the following Sunday!  So THIS SUNDAY, August 21, I will be participating in the Women’s Art Festival in City Park in Kingston – booth 115.  This is a wonderful show with over 200 women artists participating.  Artists donate 20% of their sales and a piece for the silent auction – proceeds are used to fund various women’s organizations.  There will also be live music, food etc.  For more information visit the website . Usually the day of the show there is some kind of car show going on! Can you tell cars don’t interest me all that much!!!! well at all!  However, probably a good venue for the male companions!

I also had company – Meryl and Elizabeth.  Meryl brought her recently completed rug of her son’s dog.  It is a beautiful rug!  Do you see how nice and flat it is – it was steamed at the cleaners!  This is something I have never done but am very interested in trying now – especially for those bigger rugs.  Just make sure that wherever you take it they know what they are doing – Meryl took hers to a cleaners in Brockville who does!   A friend of mine, Andrea, actually rolls her larger rugs in a wet towel overnight – I believe right side out.  This usually flattens out a lot of lumps and bumps but personally I love the idea of someone else doing that pressing work!

I have attached pictures of some of Linda’s antique rugs, own hooked rugs and gardens. Hope you enjoy these as much as I did.  Linda is an amazing hooker – especially when you realise that she has only been hooking for about 2 years!

The famous (or infamous) antique rug I did NOT buy!

One of Linda’s own hooked rugs based on one of her paintings

One shot of the pond stream – however many of those wonderful plants are now awaiting planting in my waterfall!!!



My friend Wendy just finished her G7 rug (G7 is our abbreviation for Group of Seven inspired rugs).  The pattern was actually one that she got from her friend Lily and it is wonderful.  Wendy got permission to enlarge it and did some work on the rug before she went to the annual in London earlier this year and took a class from Heather Ritchie on incorporating “texture” into your rugs.  It has many wonderful yarns and slubs in it as well as proddy.  It is a stunning rug and I have included a picture below:

The other day I mentioned in my post that Wendy’s husband was doing primitive chippy  pieces – well here are 2 of the shelves he just finished – lovvvvee them. They are for sale and I have shown the price – please contact Wendy directly if you are interested in either of these pieces (before I buy them!!!) at

$60.00 – 30″ long x 6″ wide

$100.00 – tin cove molding shelf is 42″ long x 12 1/2″ wide

Yesterday I spent the afternoon in Linda’s gardens.  Linda is the rughooker who bought the 2 antique rugs I was just on the point of buying in Odessa.  Well I saw the home they went to and all their companion pieces and am totally okay with Linda getting them.  She has a wonderful extensive collection of antique rugs mixed in with her own hooked rugs and artwork in a lovely old farmhouse surrounded by some of the most beautiful gardens I have ever seen.  I walked away with garden envy and a truck load of pond plants and fresh veggies – now the problem is I have to plant all those plants.  I was so disappointed she and her husband Brian did not offer to come and do that for me!!!   Hope to post some pix of the antique rugs and Linda’s own rugs and gardens later this week.


Had a great weekend!  Before they left to go back to Montreal, Diane’s husband made the following frames out of a $5.00 piece of grungy flakey trim they got at Rideau Antiques while we were junking.  Diane also does punch needle and will use these wonderful primitive frames for her punch needle pieces.  I love them!!!!   I am almost done the bigggg Give Ye Thanks pattern and then I want to hook a smaller piece to go inside a great primitive frame that friends of mine, Pete and Bonnie Claude, made a number of years ago (Pete and Bonnie were guest artists for our Studio Tours and made wonderful primitive bird houses, shelves, mirrors, frames but sadly they have retired from their business however I hear Wendy’s husband has taken up this task and was collecting some great pieces to work with at the Odessa antique show last weekend!!!).  I love framing small rugs – gives them so much more presence and impact.

I thought I would share 2 more formulas for fall dyeing.  One is my own, Antique Punkin (yes I  know that is not the way you spell it! computer told me many times!). The other is from a dye book for Magic Carpet dyes by Susan Logue called Past & Present Antique Colours & Spots.  It is called Anjou Pear and I love it either worked into the motifs (with an eggplant background!) or as a background itself.  It is a very soft greyed out green although I know when Donna dyes this colour hers turns out much brighter and greener than mine – must be that different water.  I have a water softener and find my colours much more toned down than when I lived outside of Montreal and was on a well with no softener and reallllly hard water.  My colours then were much brighter.  Years ago there was an interesting article in Rughooking Magazine about how  water in different cities could result in very different colours even though the exact same formula etc. was used.  Thank god mine are older and dirtier right out of the pot or I would have to add a LOT more coffee to age them!!!

Antique Punkin:

3/16 + 1/32 Magic Carpet Orange

1/16 Magic Carpet Moss Green

1/64 Magic Carpet Black

1/16 + 1/32 Prochem 199 Golden Yellow

1/16 Magic Carpet Red Brown

1/128 Magic Carpet Red

over 1/4 yard wool (again I usually dye 1 – 1 1/2 yards of mixed wools all at once in a big pot so adjust the formula based on the amount of wool you use)

The punkin! in this kit was hooked with Antique Punkin

The background of Twin Horses (available as a kit or pattern through my online store) is Anjou Pear.

Oh and here is the purse I hooked based on an adaptation of one of Karla Gerard’s patterns.

I also am posting on the Online Store a used Fraser cutter for sale.  In good working condition (all cleaned up and lubricated) with a number 3 cutter head (what is that anyway – floss?) for $90.00.


Well I needed to be reminded that I was going to post Wendy’s pendants on my online store – and totally forgot!  Memories shorten as you get older (and waistbands tighten).  Anyway I just updated so they are now showing – I do apologise for the poor photos.  Photographing shiny objects is a bit tougher – I am sure there are ways but heck I just learned how to upload photos to my computer a year ago so I figure I am doing really well.

Diane from Montreal arrived Friday night – snacks in hand! husband and dog in tow! So yesterday was spent hooking on the dock, yacking, eating and  junking!  Went to Rideau Antiques in Lombardy/Rideau Ferry- if you have not been this is junker HEAVEN!  It can take hours and hours to go through all the “stuff” but it is wonderful.  Came home with a ton of goodies – old dirty vintage bottles that we are going to make into snowmen (in a class taught by Louise Lord), vintage buttons, egg crates, an old back off a wash sink to hang a rug on and hooks, wagon wheel plus saw some wonderful old rusted chippy metal bedframes to use as trellises in the garden. SOOOOO much stuff and sooooo much fun!!!!

I mentioned I would post a picture of Diane’s rug from our Jule Marie class.  I think Diane agonised for quite a while but ended up with a wonderful pattern and the colours are amazing.  More of those brights and on a black background wow they just pop.

I keep talking about different people from our group.  There is a group of us who have been getting together at each others homes for the last  5 years? We also do a retreat at Camp Iawah every February – we call it Hookin not Cookin!  I think we have done this 3 years now and it is an entire weekend.  We sleep on rubber mattresses (do they not trust us with real?), bring our own bedding, share rooms, live without wine (Iawah is a dry camp), share 2 washrooms and have the most amazing, fun weekend.  We start on Friday afternoon and end Sunday afternoon – the leaders at Iawah are wonderful and we DON’T COOK ALL WEEKEND but usually end up gaining weight!  So this year we all decided we need to do this more often and this fall we have another retreat – this time however, we are actually bringing in a teacher for the weekend.  Pam Langdon from Ottawa is teaching Maud Lewis.  It should be a wonderful fun weekend again.  I have posted a picture of some of our attendees from this past February’s retreat – a group photo of everyone with their completed purses.  Every year we have one or 2 group activities that people can participate in (if they wish) and we also have a challenge (again participate if you want).  So here are the participants in the purse class taught by me (well no teaching really necessary with this group as they seem to absorb everything immediately!).

The “bag” ladies!!!
From Left to right top row – Laura (sporting her felted scarf which she taught over the weekend), Lydia, Sandi, Wendy, Linda and Andrea.  Bottom row – Donna(scarf made by her taught by Laura), Elizabeth, Louise, Karen and Diane.  Some of our attendees – Liz and Betty and Louise L. – did not do purses so unfortunately are not in the picture – next year I will get everyone!  And of course I am not in the picture – cause I was taking it!!!!


Oh sitting on the dock this morning with my coffee and hubby and it felt like September – cool, sunny and no humidity!!  That is the best part – no humidity! There has been a LOT of humidity in my dye kitchen over the last few days as I dyed up a bunch of wool.  Usually around this time of year we start seeing colour appearing in the trees on the lake and it gets me so excited.  I guess I am a very visual person and like my friend Sheila, driven by colour!  So when I see the maples going yellow and orange and red and the oaks going bronze and russet I neeeeeed to dye fall colours.  So today I dyed russet (a colour from Karen Kahle’s Vintage Colours dye book).  It is a wonderful brown red –  in my case more brown than red because I did not have enough Bronze so had to substitute.   Did I mention I don’t follow formulas very well?  I used Majic Carpet Moss Green instead and am totally happy with the colour.  Mix this with some burnt orange, olive green, anjou pear and eggplant or maple sugar background and what a great fall rug!  I have posted under classes a Primitive Dye Class for September 22.  The class is intensive but fun and not intimidating.  My first dye teacher was Tony Latham who is an amazing master dyer. Tony is a perfectionist and his results always come out exactly as he intended and are all beautiful (check out his blog Totally hooked… listed under Other Blogs).  I am a much more “fly by the seat of my pants” dyer.   I often replace a dye that I have run out of with something similar so my colours aren’t always spot on.  Plus I use a lot of textures and various base colours so that I can do all my values in one shot in the pot. So if this kind of dyeing appeals to you send me an email to register for the class. However, if you shudder at the thought of not levelling off the dye in your spoon or cleaning out your measuring cup after each colour hmmm….(well actually I am not that! bad!).

Karen Kahle’s Russet

Karen uses Cushings dyes for her formulas in this book.  What I love about the book is that she only uses 18 dyes for all the formulas.  The colours all work so well together and one of the reasons is that she tends to use the same colours but in varying amounts in each colour family.  It is a great book with an actual colour display in the center and does not require buying a ton of dyes.

I am almost done my NFF rug – Give Ye Thanks.  Need to finish the bird and sky and tweak a few things.  But it is a big rug and I am getting tired of hooking background so yesterday I started a new purse flap based on part of one of the patterns I bought from Karla Gerard.  I told her what I wanted to do and got her permission to adapt the pattern to my purse flap.  I love doing purses – they are quick and fun and each one is unique.  I can hook a flap in a few hours and take a break from a bigger rug and play a bit.  Once these 2 pieces are done I will post them.  I also posted about a Finishing Class I will be holding here on October 27 – check my events page for more information on this and the dye class.

This weekend my friend, Diane, is coming from Montreal with her husband for a visit.  I am so excited – have not seen them in months!!!  Diane is also a hooker and she and her husband love going to the junk man with me to look for – junk!  So we will hook on the dock, junk shop (maybe) and just have a lot of fun.  Diane took the JM class in May and will bring her rug to work on so I hope to get a picture of it for next weeks posts.  It is a wonderful pattern she designed with Jule Marie and done in glorious brights!


I am always amazed at how many different ways there are to finish our rugs and how many new ideas we can come up with.  Years ago I would finish all my pieces by whipping the edge with yarn over a cord inserted on the back of the rug – it is a wonderfully strong finish for the edge but I have a very short attention span and this method I found very lonnngggg… So being somewhat lazy! and much preferring the hooking part to the finishing part I thought I had developed a unique way of finishing my rugs – only to find that it had been around a LONG time!  I do a showbinding finish on most of my rugs.  I do it 2 different ways but the easiest is to take a long (long enough to fit all the way around the outside edge of my rug and overlap by about an inch at either end) strip of wool that is about 2 1/2 inches wide (make sure it has been felted – I usually dye mine to match the last row of hooking).  I then press under, along one long edge ONLY, 1/4 inch.  Then I pin this strip to my hooking all the way around my rug and stitch the 2 ends together (rightsides together) and trim and finish pinning.  Next I hand stitch this to my rug making sure that I get as close as possible by stitching down in between the loops and tugging – use doubled GOOD thread so that when you tug it does not break. Once you have stitched all the way around fold this to the back of your rug.  (Oh, of course I do zigzag the backing of the rug about 3/4 inch from the last row of hooking and I stitch diagonally across the corner and then trim off the excess.)  When I fold to the back I leave about 1/4 inch ONLY of showbinding showing on the front – therefore the backing – whether it is burlap or linen etc. – also gets folded which gives me a nice thick rounded edge that almost looks and feels like there is cording inserted inside.  I then hemstitch the strip to the back of my rug.  This is such an easy, fast and strong finish to the edge – protects that last row of loops and backing wonderfully.

I do like to experiment with different finishing techniques and different uses for my hooked pieces  – love to make pillows and finish them either with a sashing, flange or prodded edge(courtesy of Karen Kahle’s flickr site).  Have attached a penny rug edge to table runners, framed smaller rugs with primitive chippy frames.  My husband used to make benches with a recess for hooked rugs.  There are so many different ways of finishing and using our rugs – tote bags, purses, pillows, table runners, wall art, floor mats, chairpads, tea cosies – a few years ago I even saw a woman at the Shelburne rug show in Vermont who had hooked a vest!  It was stunning – but she certainly could not have been in her 50’s!!!!

Example of prodded edge on pillow – a really fun finish!  (this pattern or kit available through my online store)

Example of a penny rug finish on the edge.  This is a pattern by Bea Grant although the bird was changed.  Completed this in a class with Bea that we held at the “cottage” a few years ago with a great group of ladies.  Full weekend of hooking till midnight, eating way too much (as usual) and having fun…  Bea was my first primitive teacher and is a super lady and wonderful teacher!  If you have a chance to take a class with her – do so!  She teaches regularly at the Trent School of Rughooking in Peterborough in June every year.



It is FINALLLLLLY raining here – I refuse to water gardens.  If a plant is going to live with me it needs to make it on its own – thank god I did not have kids!!!!  So my gardens are pretty well drought tolerant but some have been really droopy of late – begging for a good rain so it just started and I hope it keeps raining for the rest of the day and night.  However, we did rent a ladder to stain the shakes in the eaves of the house – not great planning since rain WAS predicted!  Oh well if we have to return it tomorrow it means I will have the day off!

Yesterday I posted a picture of Donna’s pineapple rug.  The background is eggplant and I posted the formula.  I love mixing eggplant with other colours – it works beautifully with some strips of dark burnt orange thrown in and some great eggplant plaids and some browny purple plaids.  My Primitive Fox rug has various values and tones of eggplant as well as some other strips thrown in.

Here is another version of this background colour – it works so well with everything that I consider it a neutral.  My colours are usually  more yellow based but if you look at Donna’s rug you will see her colours for her motifs are much more blue based but they all work with eggplant!

A few days ago I posted about eyeball dyeing and included a picture of the rug I recently finished based on a Karla Gerard pattern and using brights which we dyed by eyeball.  Today Anne(from Chicago) sent me a picture of her finished Karla Gerard rug – it is wonderful!!! and again all the wool was dyed by eyeball!  No formulas!  Here is Anne’s rug:

I just got more of Karla’s patterns and am deciding which one I will hook next.  They are so whimsical and wonderful.


So Sunday was spent at the Odessa Antique show just outside of Kingston.  It was a rainy drizzly humid day but that did not stop Donna and I from spending mannnnnny hours and mannnnnnny dollars!!!!  There were some amazing primitive pieces (can you tell I love primitive ANYTHING!) – most of which of course, were well out of my price range.  Seems everyone else loves primitives too or they are becoming very scarce and the price has gone up tremendously.  All the wonderful chippy painted pieces were about 3 times what I could afford to spend.  But they were definitely beautiful to look at and covet.

Met up with so many like-minded hookers!  Anne(from Chicago), Wendy,Linda and Rhonda.  Linda beat me to it – was just in the process of looking at a wonderful antique hooked rug with 2 rabbits that was in amazing condition and debating making an offer when the vendor took it down!  It was sold along with another one with horse(s?) that I had not even had a chance to look at.  Turned around and was happy to see that at least they were going to a good home where I could visit them!!! Oh well – saved my dollars and spent them elsewhere.  Got a lovely old wall rack with dowelled hooks to hang yarns or my hooked purses on and a great little chippy yellow carrier.  Donna got an amazing armoire! wonderful old charcoal black finish that used to be in a farmhouse in Sorel Quebec.  Donna is also a very talented folk art carver so she picked up a number of antique pieces that she will use as bases for her carvings.  I have attached a picture of Donna and one of her rugs she is currently working on and one of her carvings.

Di and Donna – as you can see Di seems to make it into every picture.

Donna did NOT BRING her Jule Marie workshop rug along.  It is going to be an amazing rug with a great story behind every element in the rug.  Butttt I won’t tell that story until I actually have a picture of the rug.  This is another one she is working on – great pattern by Marion Ham that was a free insert back in the 90’s in Rughooking magazine.  The background is eggplant and dirty maple sugar.  Will post the formula for eggplant below.

One of Donna’s folkart carvings.  Donna has been part of our fall studio tour for many years with her carvings.  I am the proud owner of a number of her pieces.

So, came back and washed off alllll the sticky sweaty dirty feeling in the lake and then hooked for the rest of the evening.  What a great day.  Antiquing and hooking!!!! and meeting up with friends!  What could be better….

Eggplant Formula:

1/4 tsp Magic Carpet black

1/16 tsp Magic Carpet bottle green

1/16 tsp Magic Carpet red

1/8 tsp Magic Carpet chocolate brown

This will dye 1/4 yard of fabric.  I usually multiply by 4 and do at least a yard of mixed fat 8ths in various textures and base colours and values to get a good variety of eggplant colours and values.


Oh yesterday was a fun day.  For the first time in ages hubbie, Gord, and I took a day to just drive around and visit a new area.  Went over the Hill Island Bridge which is one of the prettiest views around to the U.S.  I hope our American friends reading this don’t mind but I LOVE THIS EXCHANGE RATE!!! Started off by going to a wonderful primitive store where I was so overwhelmed I bought only a garland of stars!  Outside on the grassy field an Amish woman had set up baskets made by her family.  They were lovely and I had to have one of course!!!  Then off to a craft fair. There were some very interesting booths at the fair – got some lovely pottery and a real! not print! theorem painting.  The artist is Nancy Mossing and she bought out an estate of a theorem artist and found this wonderful drawing for a theorem.  Many of Nancy’s theorems are the traditional bowls of fruit etc. but this one was so funky and folky it was just up my alley!  And it was in a frame made and hand grained by her husband!  Well needless to say, it ended up in my car!  Then off to Sackets Harbor for lunch at Tin Pan Galley (lovely setting and amazing food! – hmmm why is it hookers love food so much!!!!).  We then wandered the waterfront and shops (unfortunately many are now closed because of the economy).  I got an amazing tea and infuser – imagine Lemon Meringue without all those calories!!!  I thought I was dreaming when I smelled it – hope it tastes as good as it smells.  Then!!! into the art gallery where I found a wonderful primitive painting by a local artist done on an old (possibly reproduction) of a bill of sale.  Hmmm – needed to have that too!  So today I will hang my new purchases and gaze at them while I hook!

Here is a picture of my theorem – does anyone recognize this as Nancy and both felt we had seen it before.

Tonight my friend Donna is coming to stay overnight so that we can leave EARLY tomorrow morning for the antique show in Odessa!   Not sure I have any money left but …