Sunday, May 29, 2011

Week 23: 47.1 square feet

Despite a busy week, I was happy to accomplish 2.5 square feet = 35 squares and accompanying checkerboard. Much of this was hooked over 2 I was away for 3 nights for work (and obviously didn't bring it along for the ride...LOL!)

I'm already starting to fantasize about the outer-most border -- still to be designed. I might add 3 to 6+" on the outside edge.

I'm hoping I will have some productive evenings of hooking this week. I installed my air conditioner last weekend, so the only thing stopping me will be a lack of time (from working late). Fingers crossed that doesn't happen.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

recent deliveries

Arriving home to a package you forgot was coming is like receiving a gift. Such was the case last night, when the new Heather Ritchie book was waiting on my mail box (yes, 'on' -- it was too big to fit inside!)

I had a speedy flip-though last night, but have it packed in my bag to bring with me when I leave for an extra-long work (ugh!) weekend today. It will no doubt provide a little bit of an escape when I have some down time.....and I'm looking forward to hearing more about the countryside I will soon be visiting.

I also had a shipment of leather handles arrive last week. Now available are Single Urban in black, brown, olive, indigo, red, hot pink, and grape.....and Long Rolled in olive, hot pink, red, amber, nude (all leather), and denim suede, black suede, burgundy suede.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

progress report

The more I think about my chosen border, the more I think that it was the simplest thing to do. Since each square is so small (3"), it doesn't really take a lot of I will be able to use up lots of small pieces -- and I won't have to worry about running out!

The little checkerboard stands out a bit, but I think it needs to....and it really is very skinny in comparison with the overall size of the rug.

I think the biggest challenge will be floating the colours across the whole piece.....and keeping up the momentum to hook all 670 3" square....

P.S. I'll resume posting my weekly updates on Jumbo's progress, starting next Monday. I took this quick snap to share with a couple of friends and figured I might as well post it at the same time....

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

balls of colour

Over a year ago, I ordered a bunch of these felted balls, not knowing exactly what I would use them for....just feeling confident that they could make something neat. Somehow they got lost in the shuffle (that is my closet) and I happened upon them right before I left to teach a creativity workshop last Fall, so I brought them along. I guess other people felt (ha ha!) the same way, since I virtually sold out of them at the class.

Fast forwards a few weeks later, while teaching in Vermont, where I was introduced to creative jewellry fashioned by the youngest rug hookers I've ever had the opportunity to teach: Sammy and Lexi....

My pictures hardly begin to do it justice....but suffice to say, I was very impressed -- and very inspired to create some of my own 'hooker jewellery'.

There was a bit of a time delay before I actually started though -- I had to order more felted balls first.....and then get around to granting myself some "play time", which finally happened a week or so before the Annual.

I found it easier to wind up a bunch of quillys (? --> I've heard that's the name given to the wheels of wool, but I've never seen it written before), pin the end in place and then sew a bunch at once. A sort of mini- assembly line.

To sew, I use matching thread, a long doll's needle, and stitch through the diameter of the quilly in multiple places, that that the stitch pattern is similar to the spokes on a bicycle wheel.

After I have a good collection of quillys, I picked out some coordinating balls and beads and started threading...

I've made two so far. The extra-long necklace on the left is mine, and the shorter, more condensed one was my mum's Mother's Day gift (she picked out the balls, and I did the rest).

There are lots of more ideas swimming around in my I'm sure there will be more necklaces to come.

Monday, May 23, 2011

ready, set, go....

After months of thinking, sketching, and calculating, I spent several hours yesterday, finalizing my plan for the borders on Jumbo. It was a lot more complicated than I had originally thought that it would be....since I had to take into consideration pattern repeats along two different measurements -- and they weren't divisible by the same numbers.

To compensate, I am going to change my grid for a little checkerboard around the centre before I start a wide border of 3" squares....

The new grid is 25% smaller than the main grid (= 3 rows of hooking instead of 4)

So the plan for today will be rolling and prepping Jumbo for hooking, and some actual hooking (hopefully lots). To make it a little easier to manage, I'm planning on hooking the border on the long sides first, and this way the roll won't be so long (since I usually tuck in the unhooked sections on the sides before rolling).

= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =

Camping Update...

P.S. I did get camping on the weekend -- and swimming (in an effort to have a little respite from the bugs). I've got lots of bites (both black fly and mosquito), despite liberal and frequent applications of Deep Woods Off! -- and hate to imagine what it would have been like without it.

We all agree that there is a reason why we usually start camping in June....

Thursday, May 19, 2011

summer is on its way.....

....and things are really picking up at work, so it's a really great thing that my rug hooking commitments are limited to e-mails and the occasional blog post. Sometimes just that seems like too much (my inbox will be empty before bed tonight, I promise).... as I've been coming home from work late. And feeling very tired. But in lieu of napping, I've been drinking tonic (with and without its BFF: gin LOL!) and trancing out on knitting....and as a result, Juliet is well in hand.....

For the fellow yarn geeks, I alternated rows of Malabrigo Rios (top left) and Fleece Artist Marina (bottom left) knit together with rows of Colinette Prism (right) that I bought years ago at Deanne's and recently recycled from another vest I wasn't really wearing. The bottom is being knit in Prism alone. The best part is that everything came right from my stash, and since it was all bought ages ago, it almost seems like it's "free". Almost.

While it will soon be way too summery outside to wear a warm wool vest, at least it keeps my hands busy and relaxes my mind after a crazy work day.

All of this sanity knitting makes me uncertain of whether or I will make my self-imposed goal of starting work on Jumbo this coming Monday (Victoria Day - and one year anniversary of my initial start date - and first weekend of summer). The idea of resuming work on it makes me start to panic a bit about the border design, but I will keep you posted. In the meantime, I welcome your suggestions.... :-D

Monday, May 16, 2011


Seeing the same pattern hooked more than once has never lost its fascination for me. Sometimes when you go to a rug show, you will see two or three of versions of a pattern....and of course there are the rugs I always seem to take pictures of whenever I see them (Antique Pineapple and Tumbling Cats, to name a couple)....and I love to sit and compare and look for differences between them.

Rare is the occasion when you can see NINE versions of the same pattern at the same time. On Saturday at R.U.G., the Georgian Bay group presented a program and shared the rugs they had created based on a Heartland Creations pattern by Sheila Klugescheid.....

It's so fun to see how each person has customized the pattern.....adding and removing elements, changing seasons, mixing in different techniques and materials, etc. Yet another reminder of how easily you can make things your own in rug hooking....and really, that is what makes it such an amazing artisan craft.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

random bits and pieces...

I don't know what happened to Blogger on Friday, but at some point in the day I realized that my previous post was AWOL. With much relief, I discovered it was magically back again on Saturday....although there are a few missing comments that never seemed to make the trip back from cyberspace. Sorry about that.....I have no idea what happened or why.
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R.U.G. on Saturday was a fun day. Lots of great rugs, good conversation and yummy treats. I even took a few photos to share this week! :-D
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I have had few questions about the finished look of my new finishing method, so here is a quick snap....

Hopefully it makes a little more sense now.
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We battled the black flies and started setting up our family campsite today. Luckily they weren't yet biting, but all the same, the pesky beasts were about enough to drive you insane when the wind was absent. After lots of raking, levelling, hauling, debating, and repeat applications of Off!, we settled on a new layout for this summer and set up our kitchen in a new location.

My new tent arrived last week and I set it up this afternoon. It's quite a bit bigger and taller than it appears in this picture.....

We keep our tents pitched all summer long, and camp most we like to have a comfortable set-up. I can stand up with a foot to spare inside, and at 10' square, there is plenty of room inside for my double-high Queen-sized airbed inside. Hopefully I will be able to have my first sleep in it next weekend....but I already know I am going to love it. And as an added bonus....with no holes in the bottom (yet!), I don't need to worry about any baby snakes getting in, like one did (in my old tent) last year!
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I started a new knitting project tonight, and I'm excited about how it's looking so far. I will be sure to post a picture when more is done....since I know many people both hook and knit :-D

Sunday, May 08, 2011

fun few days

I'm freshly home from teaching for the last couple of days in Orillia. It was great to reconnect with lots of familiar faces and to meet a few new ones, too, including Elizabeth (who blogs here).

I drove down on Thursday after work and got settled into the old school house....and Friday morning we started playing with colours and did lots of different exercises with paper swatches. The most surprising part for me was when I asked everyone to pick their least favourite colour from 100 possibilities, and at least half of the class chose the same dark orange. (My least favourite colour is yellow BTW -- what is yours?)

In the afternoon, we started sorting and organizing the wools that people brought for their projects. There was so much was wonderful. I think that one of the (few) negative things about teaching rug hookers is the wool envy that results. As we all know, there are billions of wools and colours.....and whenever we gather with other hookers, there are always pieces that are new to us -- and they usually are little bits that had a previous life as a skirt or a jacket, and will likely never been seen again.

On Saturday morning, I discovered that Lynda had brought some oatcakes that she had made using the recipe on Deanne's blog. I think it was the next best thing to being in Nova Scotia (.....and since they were smaller than the ones Deanne serves in her classes, I could (and did!) eat more than one free of guilt :-D )

Saturday was spent figuring out everyone's design and getting started on the hooking part. As usual, I didn't take nearly as many pictures....and was scrambling to take a few at the last minute. I even had to rescue a few from bags and baskets, since clean-up was well underway.

(from top to bottom.....Cheri's Aztec, Lynda's Simple, Margaret's Zippers, Pat's Aztec, Isabelle's Aztec)

Now that everyone has mastered the basics, I'm sure that they will be making swift progress at home.....and I can't wait to see their finished mats!

Monday, May 02, 2011

with thanks

I am feeling full of gratitude today. Thankful for everyone who came by my booth this weekend...whether they bought a little or a lot, or came by just to say 'hi'. Wow, it was sure a wonderful weekend. Thank you so much for all of your support....and thank you to the organizers for doing such a good job.

I'm also very grateful that all of those boxes are no longer occupying my bathroom, and I don't have to try to find a more permanent place for most of them to be stored. (Have I mentioned how small my place is...?)

I'm thankful that my mum and my sister could come and help, did it with smiles on their faces and were so great at it. I'm so glad that other family took care of my sister's kids, so that she could be with me. Where would any of us be without a supportive family?

I'm excited about the fact that I have only 2 more rug hooking events over the next two weekends, and then I have nothing really booked until September, when I go to England. At least nothing that really requires much from me in the way of preparation. The prospect of just being able to sit and work on Jumbo day after day is very enticing....

Speaking of England, I am feeling very fortunate to have been able to sit and visit with Heather on the weekend and talk about Reeth and the Yorkshire Dales.....and now I am more excited than ever for September. I'm also thankful that someone took the initiative to pass a shopping bag and collect an impromptu donation for Rug Aid at the banquet on Saturday night -- and I know that Heather was very touched by collection of $1700+

I'm appreciative of living in such an amazing country, and exercising my right to vote.....which I did on my way home today. I wonder who will be leading the country come tomorrow?

I'm also pretty happy about my new iPad. Yes, it finally arrived last week, in the middle of the flurry of work-work and rug hooking-work. It will be wonderful to be able to sit down and really start playing....

...and I'm thankful that the engraving will also remind me that I can't rest for too long!