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Monthly Archives: February 2015


That lovely cat rug’s owner, designer and hooker has been uncovered!  Peg Irish! Peg was one of the featured artists at the last Green Mountain show that I was able to get to. Thanks to Lois for the information. To see more of Peg’s beautiful rugs check out

A rug made out of OMG Crimpolene!!!! For those of you who remember the 60’s and early 70’s this is probably a familiar word but for those tooooo young!!!! crimpolene was a non iron able man made fabric made I think of nylon or some awful fibre – well I guess it was a NON fibre.  I remember my uniform for my part time job at Towers (yup another name many of you from Ontario will be familiar with) – yellow crimpolene! I looked like a hot banana! and by hot I mean this stuff did not breathe so that in the summer you would suffer heat stroke if you went out into the sun! Non iron MEANT non iron – I remember pressing the grid from the iron into the back side of my uniform and having to wear a long sweater as the grid mark STAYED permanently in the fabric.  All this to say that hmmm, it makes a perfect rughooking alternative fibre if you want to wash your rug on a regular basis. This lovely rug Trish bought in Newfoundland and recently redid the edge with a show binding – it has a permanent place in her bathroom:

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and a few pix of my local wild life lining up for food!!!

There were more (about 7 total) deer but the sound of the iPad taking the photo scared them off… These two (click on the photo to enlarge it) I guess were determined to eat – iPad or not…

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Bluejays – before the peanuts – after the peanuts were thrown out there were about 20 in the tree and peanuts lasted all of about 2 minutes…

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Well we hope it will be here soon!!! Right now it is hard to believe that in a little over a month it is supposed to be spring!!! More snow on its way…

But Spring 1811 (a Joni Black pattern which you can find in my online store) is done – well just being showbound. I loved hooking this piece – did have to make a few adjustments to my hooking because I INSISTED on using my favourite cut 8.5 so my little ducklings are hmmm quite primitive!!! But that was the look I was after – older, toned down and primitive! At first I thought the sky (after hooking maybe 80%) was a little flat although I used a wonderful as is aqua texture which is not visible in the picture. But afterwards I thought hmmm it is one of those hazy spring days when the sky is kind of washed out looking and I actually like the sky as it is. So now hmmm perhaps Summer 1811?… or that darned fish belly!



This past weekend I taught in Godmanchester at L’Ourse qui Danse – a wonderful Alpaca farm.  Not only was the class fun with a great bunch of ladies (and a young girl) who took to hooking very quickly but we were surrounded outside by these lovely boys and girls… Johanne has a wonderful boutique full of Alpaca products and yarns and felted items – a great place to visit…

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and now two requests:

My friend Peri is looking for used dye spoons 1/28; 1/64; 1/32; 1/16; 1/8; 1/4.  If anyone has these sizes and would like to pass or sell them on please contact me and I will give you Peri’s contact info.

At some point in time I took this picture at show (probably Green Mountain) and photographed the Label below thinking! that it contained the name of the person who had hooked the piece.  Unfortunately it did not and I have had an email asking if I can find out the name of the rughooker. If anyone out there recognizes this rug please contact me.

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I became a hooker in Quebec – and yes that DOES need to be read in context 🙂 . But once we retired Gord and I moved to Ontario so that we would be halfway between both sets of parents. This weekend I am going home! Visiting Gord’s parents and teaching at L’Ourse qui Danse in Godmanchester (near Huntingdon). It will be such fun to be teaching again where my hooking life began. I have not been back to Quebec in a while and am looking forward to des hotdogs steames et poutine! Not so great for the waistline but yummy junk food!

On Friday I am teaching at Art & Class in Perth from 10 – 2 and yes there are still spots available – then Saturday in Godmanchester – so this should be a fun weekend of hopefully converting a few more souls to the joys of rughooking.

and now some pix…

Our little finches found the seeds Gord so kindly dumped on the table – the porch is a mess but it is so much fun to watch the cats watching them that I will happily put up with seeds all over the place… I do believe there is a little finch offering to help with the shovelling – and there is a LOTTTTT of that going on…

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Snow, snow and more snow and 29 below temperatures…


also mean that a lot of hooking is getting done…

Chelsea’s finished cat with a stunning background…


and Cathy’s wonderful Sharon Smith pattern… both ready for binding…

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I finalllllly have updated (well almost finished) my online store. Check it out – there are a lot of new patterns and designers and it only took me a week :-). Actually it was fun updating once I remembered HOW TO DO IT as it had been so long since I had made any changes. So now it should include most of the patterns I carry by Karla Gerard, Joni Black, Briarwood Folkart, Alana Kapell, Shelly Atkinson oh and hmmm my own!

and a few pix to share…

Noreen’s upholstered hooked footstool – her second  piece…

and Chickadee kit by Noreen…


Meg’s leaf rug (she actually collected leaves and then traced them onto the backing…


Lois’ rug in progress – a pattern by Joanne Gerwig…


Bev’s amazing rug – that’s a lottttt of background to hook and a lotttt of scrolls… but Bev will have it done in no time flat and it will be truly beautiful…


Karen finished her Karla Gerard rug…

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and shares a picture of her first rug done I believe about 2 years ago…

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Pat’s finished Fishbones!



Heather’s Kandinskyish rug – the colours are amazing!… Image

Delande’s finished paisley rug…her own design…Image 1

Jane’s finished sunflower – this is an adaptation of my sunflower rug and I LOVE the colours… Image 2

a few of the completed challenge pieces done by the Martintown hookers – a free pattern in RHM…Image 3Shirley Lyons, a rughooker with many years of experience behind her, gave me some good tips recently about repairing rugs and keeping those burlap patterns fresh and pliable.  I asked if she would mind if I shared her comments with you as it may help many of us who have vintage rugs and vintage patterns (or even newer patterns on burlap) and she kindly said YES so here goes:

“One of the first things I do before I attempt to pull out loops is spray the
back of the rugs with water. Maybe several times and let it dry naturally.
My reason, the burlap becomes brittle and by putting some moisture on the
area that is falling apart it helps.
Also I had a collection of old patterns that I have since sold, but I would spray
them or let them stay outside in the summer and fall evenings to collect moisture
from the air. Burlap has been given a bad name, but it is because it wasn’t treated
properly. The last rugs I repaired were all vacuum cleaner edge problems.
However, some I have repaired need a new backing of primitive burlap sewn
to the back and then hooked through . I found I would repair one spot with
a patch and another area would break out. By completely putting new burlap
on the back it solved the problem. It has to be basted through in about 6 inch squares.
Did you know the rug you repaired, oval in a rectangle with yellow is a beginner
Rittermere rug called “Rowena” I taught it many times and Mrs. Rittenhouse hooked
it very modern looking back in the early 70’s.”


It had been a few months since I felt the desire to hook but finally I felt the need to feel wool strips sliding through my fingers again. I had started working on fish belly when I was in Harrowsmith recently but as we were going to visit my mom I did not want to drag bags and bags of fibres and wool strips along so instead I pulled out one of my Joni Black seasons patterns (Spring 1811) and took that along. It is SOOOOO much fun – I realize now that I just love hooking primitive pictorials. Each element is just big enough that it is fun to play with but there is nothing soooo big that it becomes tedious. So here is a picture of my work in progress… hmmmmm I see things I will need to fix!

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This Wednesday I will be at Stitch by Stitch in Kingston – hope some of you will brave the snowbanks and drop in for a while…

Now, have I ever mentioned what a techno dummy I am – wellllll this weekend I realllllly messed up. I usually record Gord’s golf for him on the weekends – and it must!!! be recorded in High Definition so he can see each blade of grass on the green! Well I searched, clicked and recorded! Only to hear muttering and moaning from the TV room later in the evening as he started to watch. Not only had I FORGOTTEN to record in HD – oh tragedy!!!!! – but ooooops I recorded in DV – for those of you unfamiliar with TV jargon – that is described video! So as the regular announcer is commenting on how long the drive was or how short the putt at the same time the DV announcer is making comments like “and now Poulter who is wearing a pink golf shirt and black pants is slowly making his way down the fairway…”. Needless to say Gord recorded the next day’s event himself!!!!

A few days ago I received the following information that I would like to share – please contact Donna directly at either her tel. number of email address if you are interested…

For Sale: Donna McInnes, a retired rug hooking teacher is wishing to sell her studio supplies. She would prefer to sell the studio as a whole for $2,000. She is willing to look at other options if you are interested. Tools: hoops, hooks, books, magazines, Fibres: Recycled wool, new wool, backing Dying Materials: Cushing and Pro Chem dyes, dying pans and dye tools Miscellaneous: Patterns, Kits. Please contact Donna at 519-442-4367 or at



Almost 2 years ago I was invited (along with good friend Lesli Ann Zanetti) to exhibit my rugs at the Mississippi Valley Textile Museum in Almonte Ontario. I was not sure WHY I had been asked but of course I replied – SURE!!! Well, the time has come more quickly than I ever thought and here we are in February and I am dropping off my rugs in a few weeks. Still not sure WHY I was chosen but it will be fun and an honour to have my rugs on display at such a wonderful venue. So our joint exhibit will take place from March 3, 2015 to April 11, 2015. The Vernissage takes place Saturday, March 7 from 2 – 4. Both Lesli and I will be there that day for the meet and greet and to talk with people about our passion for rughooking. We will also be demonstrating and teaching a beginner class. So if you are in the area please drop in – gosh how embarrassing it would be if just Lesli and I showed up :-(.

I would also like to mention that our Rideau Valley Boots and Baskets rughooking branch will be celebrating its 35th anniversary this year and will be holding an open hookin so book your spot! We have a lottttt of room! Details are as follows:

Rideau Valley Boots and Baskets 35th Anniversary Hook In
Thurs. June 4, 2015 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.
106 Read St. Merrickville Ontario K0G 1N0 (for your GPS)

$5 per person

Vendors and door prizes
Coffee, tea and snacks available
Bring your hooking, lunch, mug and a friend

Please let us know if you will be coming by MAY 4th Contact – Maureen Robertson 613-658-2776

and now a photo of a rug by Krystyne – mixed into the sheep wool strips is some Wensleydale fleece which gives that sheep such a wonderful chunky textured look…Image 1 



So the other day I mentioned that I was in the process of fixing the edges of a few vintage and antique rugs for Carol. Margie asked if I could explain how I fixed them as there are a lot of antique rugs out there that have damage along the edges because most of them were hooked on burlap and the burlap has become brittle with time. But also the most traditional way of finishing the rug edge was to just turn under or to put on a twill tape and turn under thus exposing the burlap edge to a lot of wear and tear resulting after time in breakage and loss of loops!

The most traditional way of fixing the edge – and I have done this – would be to undo the binding tape, pull out loops around the affected area, graft a new piece of backing to the back and then rehook, resew the binding tape and hope for the best. The problem I have always found is that if there is one spot! there will be more in the future! so you will be fixing again (and again and again). Carol wanted the rugs fixed PERIOD! So what we decided was to put on a show binding – covering the last few rows of loops and the damaged areas and preventing further future damage.

So here is my process:

1.  I try to match the background or border colour however if it is reallllly toooo difficult to match the colour I prefer to pick a darker colour from the interior of the rug and use that as the border. That way it does not look like I TRIED to match and failed! Plus I have always loved the way a darker outer border draws the eye back into the interior of the rug – your eyes don’t slide off the edges.

2.  I tear across the bolt so that I have nice long strips – about 2.5 inches wide – wider if I need to cover a lot of damage along the edge – enough strips to go all the way around the rug allowing for joining. Some people join on the diagonal – I just butt join together so that in the end I have one really long strip.

3.  With the steam iron I press under 1/4 inch all along ONE long side of the strip.

4.  I pin the turned under edge of the strip to the rug covering the damaged areas starting from the middle of one side of the rug and the middle of the long strip all the way around the rug and then butt join the ends together.

5.  I sew this on by hand taking a little bite into the edge of the show binding and then a bite into the rug using doubled, matching GOOD thread.

6. Once I am done I fold the strip to the back and either stitch it as is to the back mitering at the corners or fold the strip back in on itself and stitch the thicker piece to the back.

So now that this is clear as mud I have a couple of pix of the finished rugs with the show binding attached that may make this clearer.

Finished rug with show binding covering the damaged edges…HPIM5923


View of the front with the show binding edge stitched over TOP of the hooking…HPIM5921

Back view with show binding sewn in on itself – this gives a very nice thicker edge which will protect the rug for years to come…HPIM5922

Antique rug that had a lot of damage up to an inch into the rug so I attached a much wider show binding…HPIM5930

Front view of the rug with show binding… HPIM5931

Back view of the rug with show binding just sewn flat and about an inch into the back of the rug…HPIM5932