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Monthly Archives: August 2011


My friend Wendy Tremblay of the Paisley rug is also an amazing crafter. Wendy makes wonderfully funky pendants for rughookers. Here is a picture of some of her pendants (sorry for the poor quality!) – they are 2 sided and sell for 10.00 each through my online store. If you email me I can send you pix of some of the other pendants I have in stock. These are wonderful as gifts to hooker friends! orrrr for your own personal enjoyment!

Yesterday my friend Sandi came to visit but it was way tooooo short – by the time we went out in the boat and had lunch she had to leave!  As usual no hooking actually got done!!! But I did get a great shot of her and her Hallee rug.  Sandi has only been hooking about 2 years but wow she has come a long way in those 2 years.  This is Sandi’s design from our class with Jule Marie and I love it.  Hallee almost bounces off the rug!

I have been posting a lot about my “dirty” colours and they definitely are my favourites however in the class we took with Jule Marie one of the things we worked on was “eyeball” dyeing. We mixed up batches of primaries i.e. Prochem 119(sun yellow) 490(brilliant blue) and 338(magenta) and then using one as a base we mixed in some of the other premixed dyes until we arrived at colours we were looking for. For example, if I wanted a bright chartreuse I would start with a base of yellow and add in blue formula until I achieved that particular version of chartreuse I wanted. To test the dye we dipped in paper towel or tissue. I could not believe how FREEING this was compared to working with strict formulae (not that I am that strict when I dye – I do kind of toss in additional things if I feel the need!).   So I have been playing with these brights and have been having fun. Below is a picture of some of the brights I have dyed recently as well as a rug hooked with these brights. The rug is a pattern by Karla Gerard. My friend, Anne (from Chicago), introduced us to Karla’s patterns. Karla is not a rughooker – she is an artist but recently has translated her paintings into paper rughooking patterns. They are incredibly inexpensive and just so much fun to hook. Karla uses bright colours in her paintings and these new “eyeballed” brights are just perfect for her patterns.

Dirty dyeing…

Did I mention I love to dye wool, especially dirty old colours.  Did I mention why? Besides the fact that I love old aged colours?  Well this morning’s accident was proof that my colours need to be “dirty”.  As I was hooking away at a new rug (actually a pattern from Spruce Ridge Studio – Not Forgotten Farm) I accidentally dumped about 1/4 cup of my coffee onto my rug!  What could have been a disaster if  I worked in bright clean colours actually became serendipitous because my background is Dirty Maple Sugar!!!!  So a little extra “mochachino” did not damage my rug and result in reverse hooking!  Quite often I intentionally “dirty up” a colour so that it will work in my rugs.  And I love to use all the dyes – Prochem, Cushings and Magic Carpet.  I have a TON of dye books and a book where I record (if I remember) my own concoctions.  I like to dye values together in the pot by using different base values rather than varying the amount of formula.  I throw them all into the pot and if I specifically want a very light version I will pull that one out when it is the value I want and once the rest of the dye has been absorbed I then throw that piece back in to set the dye.  Recently I bought Susan Quicksall’s dye book Dyeing for Colour (Susan is an amazing designer and rughooker from Texas – Holly Hill Designs). Her colours are wonderfully aged.  Here is a colour called Verdigris Wash which I dyed yesterday – 2 yards of varied textures and solids.  You can see the lights, mediums and darks – this is my “primitive” way of getting these important values and contrasts.  Dead easy and fun!

Susan Quicksall’s Verdigris Wash

Antique Rabbit and Tulips – background is Verdigris Wash and rabbit is Dirty Maple Sugar – one of my kits in my online store.

Today my friend Sandi is visiting and bringing her rug which she started in the Jule Marie workshop.  The rug is based on her dog, Hallee, and although wide cut and primitive really does look like Hallee.   I will take a picture and post it tomorrow.

The picture I posted yesterday of Wendy’s Paisley rug incorporated lettering.  We discussed some of the alternative ways of doing lettering during our class with Jule Marie and also it was discussed during the class Elaine gave on Paisley at Trent.  The method I have always used is to hook in my letters, hook around them and then pull them out and hook them in again as they tend to get a bit scrunched when you hook around them.  In Elaine’s class Wendy learned another method – hook them in a cut 1 size larger and hook them into every hole and a bit higher and then when you hook around them they don’t get scrunched.  I am sure there are other ways but I thought I would share these with you in case you have not heard of these methods.

All went well and I did not poison anyone… (I think!)

Well the evening was a blast.  Went boating, tubing and swimming in the lake.  Then a super meal (mostly NOT cooked by me!).  Wendy brought along the rug that she designed in a class we took in May with Jule Marie Smith on colour and borders.  The rug itself she hooked in a class taught by Elaine Copeman at Trent School of Rughooking – Paisley.  It is a beautiful rug and I am posting it and a picture of Wendy and my sister Di.  The photo of the rug does not do it justice but will give you an idea. Jule Marie taught us about borders and one of the things she taught us was that borders do not have to be square or rectangular – they can be any shape you want; they don’t have to be all the way around a rug either – one or two  or three sides are fine.  They should relate to the centre of your rug in design and colour though so that there is continuity.  It was a great class and we have all been applying what we learned in our rug designs.  Once I get a picture of Donna’s and some of the others from that class I will post them as well.

Di and the smiling redhead on the right is Wendy Tremblay

Wendy’s Paisley rug

I’d rather be Dyeing than Cooking…

Ahhh the second post – hope I do this right.  Today my hooking buddies Donna and Wendy are coming for dinner with their hubbies.This was Wendy’s idea – she does know my cooking skills are very limited! and that I really prefer to use my stove for dyeing wool.  So as a reaction to the cooking activities later today I decided to dye one of my favourite light background colours – Dirty Maple Sugar.This is a wonderful colour for primitive light backgrounds – I dye about 1 1/2 yards of mixed light textures together in the pot so that I have a good variety of lights and medium lights to mix together in a background.  The formula for 1 1/2 yards is 3/4 TSP (12/16) Prochem Maple Sugar and 3/32 Prochem Mochachino in 2 cups boiling water.  The first time I dyed this colour I looked at the wool in the pot and thought it was a tad yellowy as I had only used the Maple Sugar.  Being a lover of coffee – a cup of which I invariably have in my hand – I decided to dirty up that straight Maple Sugar with a bit of my left over (black – no cream or sugar!) coffee.  It worked wonderfully. Later I discovered that Mochachino is a wonderful nonsmelly alternative.  Here is a picture of the various light textures I dyed this morning with Dirty Maple sugar as well as a picture of a rug hooked with this background:

Dirty Maple Sugar

Mr. Wieeeener (available as a kit or pattern on through my online store)

First Blog Post

Ahhh thank God for youth who know how to use all this technology that is beyond me!  Had company for the last 6 days who have a very techno savvy son who set me up with a blog.  I am slowly but surely learning how to use it so bear with me as I post pix etc.  Today I posted info about myself and my studio, Hooked On the Lake, as well as pix of the various kits and patterns I sell.

I am so excited to have my blog – have been reading other peoples blogs for so long and that is a big part of my morning coffee.  I hope to be able to post info about events that I am attending, hookins that I am holding as well as pix of the amazing work done by the “hookers” I have come to know over the years.

Now lets see if I can figure out how to actually post this!….