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So, the Picton show last Thursday was fun but I have to admit I must be getting old! Leaving at 6:15 a.m. and not getting home till 10 p.m. wears me out. When I think back to when we were building our house and would spend 3 days from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. staining cedar planks in the basement – mountains of them!!!! I wonder who that woman was! A day of vegging on Friday was so needed. Then Saturday Donna came for a play date – big girl play date that is! We took a bunch of my repurposed drawers which are going to house hooked rugs and under painted, painted, sanded, waxed and antiqued and oh my god they turned out beautifully. From junk to treasure! We refinished 2 drawers that I had salvaged from the side of the road (someone had thrown out a wooden desk!!!) and another that I bought at Jillians in Marmora and an old tractor box. Two of the drawers already have rugs in them now and I have drawn out designs for the other 2. These will be such fun and funky. We also discovered in the vintage shoe shine bench I bought at Old Jail Antiques a bunch of beautiful!!!! natural bristle old shoe polish and shoe shine brushes. This, and the old shoe wax, made the antiquing sooooo easy. We spread on a layer of clear shoe polish followed up by a layer of brown shoe polish and then buffed like crazy with the vintage brushes. What a find!!!! Not only did I get a wonderful bench that opens up but a bunch of beautiful wooden brushes and old shoe polish!

A few posts back I mentioned I was in the process of hooking a piece with recycled sweaters. Oh my I love hooking with sweaters – they do need to be 100% wool and felted in the washer and dryer and then cut with scissors into strips. The finer cashmere sweaters that are machine knit I cut between the ribs with really good scissors and extra strong reading glasses!!! The thicker sweaters I just cut into strips without worrying about straight edges. I have bags!!! of sweaters that I have bought at guild auctions and now am on the hunt for more!

So here are a few pix:

In this rug the body of the bird is 95% recycled sweaters and most of the background is an old wool blanket I dyed in many different colours. The blanket was tough to pull as it was thick and I cut it in an 8.5. In a smaller cut it might have been easier to pull – but ohhhhhh the sweaters are wonderfully soft and easy to pull…HPIM5615

A few months ago, my sister Betty, made me a fish skeleton out of wire. This was supposed to be incorporated into my Fish Tych pattern but I have decided to hook the body of that fish and so needed to hook a free standing(?) head and tail that I could attach to the fish skeleton. Well, yesterday I hooked the head and tail and today I sewed on the backing, attached both to the skeleton and stuffed and stitched them together. You need to click on the picture as for some reason it came out really dark…


At the same time as I was stitching, I had wool simmering on the stove. My friend Anne loaned me her dye book Prepared to Dye by Gene Shepherd. This book is a treasure trove of wonderful tips and techniques. I have been taking it down to the dock the last few days and in between enjoying the breezes off the lake and sipping my extra strong coffee I have been gobbling up the book. Today I decided to try marbleizing again. I have tried this in the past and have never been terribly enamoured with my results so today I decided to try again but with wools I had previously dyed that would give me a very subtle marbelization – I just wanted the wools to blend together more. It worked – I even threw yarn into the layers and like the way the yarn changed a bit. If you have not got this book GET IT! If you love to dye but want to try some new techniques this is the book to have…

For my subtle marbleizing I started with a plum, old rose, orange, yellow and natural – I like the way these now transition more smoothly. Could this be sunflowers?


Many years ago I took a class on hooking with nylons from Hedore Gionet( if you have the chance to take a class with Hedore grab it – he is a great teacher and the class was so much fun). Although I loved the idea of hooking with nylons I only ever hooked one rug. Yesterday I ordered nylons from Hedore (since I no longer wear skirts or dresses I no longer have a stash of pantyhose!) and am excited about dyeing these and hooking with them again. This will be my Scotland project = no cutter needed, light and will squish flat in the bottom of my suitcase! Once I have dyed the nylons I will post a picture but in Gene’s book there is an entire chapter on dyeing nylons.

And so my fibre adventures continue as I play with alternatives! I still love wool the BEST but it is fun to play with alternatives.



8 responses »

  1. Wished I lived near you, sounds like your full of knowledge and fun to be with. Enjoy reading your blog.

  2. OMG, you are such a busy lady! When do you have time to cook, let alone eat!!!!!!!!! Nancy PS: I have a brown cashmere sweater that was my mothers. Must try using it. How wide do you cut the strips? Same as the wool you are hooking with?

    Sent from Nancy’s iPad


    • COOK?????? whats that – haha You just have not been hanging around with me enough Nancy – the only thing i cook is wool !!!! I cut the strips about 3/8 of an inch wide in the cashmere as it tends to shrink up a bit as you hook it but is a nice size to pull through primitive linen…

  3. Enquiring minds want to see your refinished and repurposed drawers. I`m drooling already. Please post pix ASAP you clever woman!

  4. Saundra Porter

    OMG, I LOVE that fish!!!!!!!! So cool!!!!!


  5. Love…love…love the fish! It turned out as wonderful as I thought it would. You may need Betty to make a few more fish bone skeletons. As for the nylons…perhaps you could finish my nylon rug before you start yours 🙂

  6. elaine allerton

    I love hooking with sweaters,,,,, they are great,,, such a lovely process of cutting and hooking,,, vert portable when travelling,,,, nylons what a goid idea ,,, to squash in suitcase,,,,, thanks

  7. Love that fish Miss Loretta…..I think you should post a lighter photo, as it looks like the wool is fantastic ! Carol in Az


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