Friday, March 28, 2014

MARCH-ING ONWARD

Well March is marching onward.  I can't say I have a lot of progress on anything to show you but I did make my annual trek to Sebring with my mom for the Scrub Rug Hooking workshop.  This is about the 10th year I have attended and it is always a great retreat and get away.  Everything is so tropical in that area of the state.  I can't believe I didn't take a single photo of the beautiful landscaping and flowers.  If you are interested in seeing what it looks like - just check my blog post from March last year.  One reason I didn't take any photos this year is because there was thousands of these creepy little bugs that covered everything outside, plants, cars, buildings, people.  Someone called them blind mosquitos and someone else called them mayflies.  I wasn't familiar with them nor did I relish running into clouds of them so I spent very little time on the lovely patio and pool side this year.

We started off our trip to Sebring by stopping off in Mt Dora to visit with friends who stitch every Thursday in this charming farmhouse owned by the city of Mt Dora.  How cool is that !  lunch at the fabulous Garden Gate tearoom, it was a delightful way to spend a day.
 
We motored on from there to Sebring and settled in with a nice meal at the hotel restaurant.
 
Mom and I were both in Katie Puckett's class.  Katie is a dear friend and lives in our area , she is also an awesome dyer, designer and certified McGown teacher.  I had chosen a HUGE rug canvas months ago after being enchanted with Basque Fairy Tale by Michele Micarelli in the ATHA rug magazine.  Katie was kind enough (seriously was that kindness??) to bring the canvas back for me after meeting Michele at a camp in Michigan where she was vending this past summer. 

I had wanted to try hooking with dip dyes and this rug seemed like the perfect opportunity.  You can't see much of the intensity of the colors in these less than stellar photos but she used 3 different dip dyes for that corner motif that extends to the bottom of the rug.

I wanted the two birds in the middle to be more of a focal point than they were in Michele's rug.  Again more dips were used. These birds have a rather Aztec type look to me - The reason there is a hole in the wing is because I am waiting for more wool to be dyed to place there.  It will be a brilliant spot dye and will be used in the outer border and a few other places in the rug.

It's hard to tell scope but this is 1/2 of the rug - it is 25" X 86" - hope I live long enough to finish it LOL - It will certainly be an ongoing project for years but I adore what has been done so far and I will enjoy working on this project with my DF Katie.

This is my mom's rug from class.  She had a ball working on those chickens.  Katie showed her a new way to do stars and she did a great job on them.  This is a Polly Minick canvas but Katie drew it off for mom and also did the color plan.  The blocks in the border will be scrappy blocks, good way to use up worms and small pieces of wool.  She did finish up #2 chicken so she doesn't have a hole in her wing like I do.
 
well friends - just wanted to show you what we had been up to lately.  I have more photos to show of my classmates projects as well as some of the rugs from the exhibit.  I will try to make another post of those photos soon. 
 
Until we meet again my friends, thank you for visiting my blog, for commenting and for following along.  I hope spring has sprung in your area and that you have fun with your needles and hooks this weekend.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

FINALLY TA DA !!!!!!!!!!!

I had not wanted to show you my wedding sampler until it was finished and framed. 

Today is the day of the big reveal - well it's a big day to me anyway - It takes me forever to finish anything to the point of framing. 

Here are a few shots

 
Sorry about the glare !  I was trying to get enough light on it.

The sampler is I Thee Wed by Blackbird Designs and it stitched on 36ct R&R kona with the called for overdyed cottons.

I think the frame moulding is beautiful and the choice of mats and the way the framer used a continuous mat to "join together" the wedding photo and the sampler was really pleasing - to me anyway !

 
Here is a shot of my favorite wedding photo from the whole group.

 
A closer look at the moulding - it has an antique finish and really pulled out the colors in the sampler and the photo.
 
Hope you enjoyed seeing my big reveal, it was special to me to see it finally come together.
 
Thanks as always for visiting my blog and leaving your comments - I always enjoy hearing from you.  I see I have a few new followers - thanks for coming by and hearing my wooley-thoughts.

Thursday, March 06, 2014

IT'S MARCH BUT IT'S NOT SPING !

Mr. Snowman is still standing strong .  He is there in honor of all my blog friends who are still in the throes of winter weather.  Even way down here in the deep south - we have liquid snow and chilly conditions.  I did get to dust off my sandals last weekend but it was more of a statement than a necessity - It's March 1st dang it - I'm ready for a change in my wardrobe !!!!!!!!!!

I can't believe that the entire month of February went by and I didn't make a post.  Well dear blog friends - I always feel like I need to show some finishes, some photos or at least some progress.  I did do some knitting in January and February - finished a beautiful 4 color cowl during these months.

For any interested knitters out there - it was printed in the winter Knit Simple mag and I used a new to me yarn Universal Deluxe Worsted.  Gray was my main color with the cream, rosy red and avocado green.  It is quite long and can be doubled to be worn up around the neck and yes I have had a chance to wear it.
 
The Loopy Ewe has issued their Spring challenge and I have accepted the challenge.  It was such an easy one - knit anything you want at least 250 yards and finish by the end of March to get your bonus points. My chosen project is WAY more than 250 yards - it is about 740 yards of beautiful Three Irish Girls Glenhaven Fingering.  The turquoise and the unwound skein is going to be Different Lines .  A lovely pattern by Veera.  Here is a Ravelry link if you want to see it :  http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/different-lines
My DF Henri is also knitting in the Spring challenge and her yarn is the lovely tan with colored specs.  She is making Knit Night and we enjoyed our time together at Starbucks getting the challenge going.
 
I always hook a lot in the winter - or try to hook a lot.  Recently I had 4 days of hooking bliss.  Starting off attending a hook-in at the Ocala Rug Guild in Wildwood FL - it was great !  The ladies in the area provided lunch for everyone - what a great spread of food.  I do have photos of their awesome rug display but I will have to try and post them later.  I am still fumbling thru loading my photos into Picassa - they seem to land in Google + and then I struggle and struggle to get them into Picassa - sheesh  - it shouldn't be this hard.  However I do have photos of my Angel Runner after 4 days of progress on it.  This poor rug has not been touched since last January.  I was running out of backround and I waited for 10 mos to get more backround.  I am glad to be in the home stretch on this rug.  I would say I probably only have 1/4 of the backround left and then it's all but the binding left to do.
I love these 6 crazy angels.  Not much left to go.  For anyone interested - this is a Bea Brock pattern. It is hooked with a 3, 4 and 5 cut, all hand dyed wool.
This is my mom's beautiful art deco flower canvas.  She hooked for two days of that 4 day marathon and she made great progress.  Almost finishing her outer border and filling in lots of backround.  I think this canvas is going to be a big throw pillow.

Nothing to show on the stitching scene.  Sadly - I am just not getting that much stitching done lately.  I am still working on the FB SAL Snooty Parrots but am way behind.  I did take in something for framing that I have never shown on my blog so that will be fun to have a big reveal in the very near future.   I also started a new fun piece of needlepoint and am enjoying working on that.  All the different fibers you can use in np just excite me and I have a great stash of stuff to pull from as well.

Well blog friends - I've rambled on long enough - I promise to be back again soon.  Until then - stay safe and warm and keep those needles and hooks moving.  With warm and wooly-thoughts  . . .

 

Friday, January 31, 2014

WINTERTIME = WOOL

I couldn't decide what to title this last post for January 2014 - Many of you have had horrible winter weather to deal with in January 2014 - it will be remembered for a long time in the deep south where I live.  There was no actual horrific conditions to deal with here in NE FL but just slightly to the north and I mean mere miles away - there was sleet, ice and some snow.  Schools and businesses were closed and I'm sure those of you who live in true winter conditions all the time will be amused to hear snow flurries and a little sleet will close schools and businesses but indeed folks it does.  Take the debacle in Atlanta as an example. 

Oh well - on to the fun stuff - Wintertime for me equals lots of rug hooking.  Off the Ocean 2014 has come and gone.  This workshop was smaller than usual but we had the same amount of fun.  I was honored along with 3 teachers and 4 other students for having attended all 15 years.  We were given a beautiful "Relic" silver pendant with our initial on it by the directors and DF/s mother and daughter team Judy Colley and Katie Puckett.  I'll try to remember to show a photo of the pendant next time.

I have lots of beautiful rugs to show you from the exhibit - so off we go

BTW - I will be forever grateful to my blog friend Ann over at Dolls Musings for cluing me in to Picasa Web Albums - Gees - I am now able to upload my photos with ease - Thanks Ann!

The photos aren't that great because they were all shot with my Iphone and sometimes the angle was not good - the patterned carpet is always a detractor from the beauty of the rugs, best I can do folks.  As always there was a bevy of beautiful rugs in the show.  This is not all of them so if I missed your rug - please don't be offended - sometimes people were standing in the way for a long time and I had to move on.  A couple of the shots were awful and could not be published.
First up is this one called Ocean Beauty - I remember that because this woman was in my class.  It won a prize in the exhibit - 3rd place maybe - I don't remember all the placements.
 

Some of the rugs I don't know anything about and I will not comment unless I do.

This rug won a prize in the wide cut category.  A rug canvas designed by Bev Conway

This rug was hooked by a charter member of our local rug guild and it won a prize - 2nd place I think in the wide cut category.  It's the Button Basket by Holly Hill Designs

The snowman chair seat was designed by DF Katie Puckett and hooked by another DF and guild member Suzy S.

I'm pretty positive this was hooked by my teacher Sibyl Osicka - she does magnificent realistic animals in a 3 cut.


Another beautiful rug by guild member Susan R


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My scarecrow rug got a little lost in the carpet patterning.  This is a design by Bev Conway and is called Pumpkin Patch.  Most of the wool was from Bev but I arranged the color plan myself.



This rug was huge - It was the winner of one of the categories - Wide cut I believe but not sure
Another huge rug - hooked in a 3 cut by a woman in my class, Sibyl was the designer of the rug and also the teacher if I am not mistaken and this rug I think was 3rd place in the fine shading category.  Just goes to show the depth of quality at this exhibit.

Hard to tell but this was a stool - very cute design!

 More rugs hooked by Sibyl Osicka - you can visit her at www.sibylosicka.com
The gorgeous geisha girl was also Sibyls - a woman in our class was hooking one very similar.  What a challenge.

Here is my new rug I started with Sibyl - it is a crewel pattern by the late great Jane Olson called Dowry. 

Doesn't look like much for 4 days of hooking but I didn't hook any late nights this year.  My mommy wasn't able to be at rug camp with me this year and my whole karma was off without my pal.

I think this red flower was my best effort on the rug and that was the first one I did.  Fine shading with a 3 cut requires a lot of thought and a lot of time just looking and staring to make sure you are getting it right - it also requires some pull out in some cases. 

 
As you can see - Sibyl wanted to move me around the entire rug and see if I could get a little bit of each motif in while at class.  The very dark brown looking wool in this shot is my backround.  I would call it Oxblood - it is a very very dark maroon.
 
It was a great experience to be in Sibyls class this year.  I usually put away my camp project and go back to another rug which is closer to completion.  I have a very big rug at home from many camps ago that is sooooo close to being finished so I will continue to work on that one however - I believe I might try and work on Dowry from time to time just so I can see some forward progress on it and keep the shading concept fresh in my mind.
 
Yes there has been some stitching and knitting going on but this post is all about the wool so I'll save that for a February post.  Until then - with warm and wooley-thoughts ~ ~ ~

Sunday, January 05, 2014

CONFESSIONS OF A FIBER HOARDER

Lots of people at our EGA chapter meeting yesterday were talking about cleaning out, organizing and donating stuff, going thru WIP's and UFOs and I guess that is normal for most people to look at how they can meet goals for their needlework in the new year.

Me - nah !  I have a very project oriented job as an IT director and I don't do "goals" in my needlework life.  I just float thru doing exactly what I want to do when I want to do it.  I do like to challenge myself and I had fun doing that last year with an online shop I like called The Loopy Ewe - they have challenges all thru the year to keep knitters motivated and in my last post I showed a lot of knitting projects I finished - I was happy with the results.

Stitching - ahhhhh - not so much accomplished last year - maybe this year will be better.

I am also going to make an effort to post more to my blog and maybe just not wait to have big finishes but just pop in with a few photos more frequently.  Today is one of those days.  I just wanted to pop in with a new years post - say hello and thank all my blog followers - tell each of you how much I appreciate your support and comments thru the year.  I've been blogging for a long time and I still find it rewarding - more intimate than FB which scares me somewhat and I don't know why.

Anyway - I finished a beautiful knitted hat in late December but I just couldn't get a good photo of it at night in my house so today I snapped a decent photo of it.

This is knit with Louisa Harding Grace Hand dyed which is a 50/50 silk merino and now discontinued.  I fought with the yarn in the beginning but liked the finished hat so much I ordered some more off ebay.

More woolly goodies came in the mail - this is chunky yarn Rowan Drift which will become a vest I hope.  I could use it now with this arctic blast coming our way.  Funny but today it's going to be almost 70 here in the deep south - hard to believe it is going to plummet to 18 on Tues morning.  I know some of you are scoffing at this comment but remember our homes here are not built to withstand those temps.  We have rooms with entire walls of glass and in our master bedroom it feels like you are outside when it is that cold.  No way can our house be heated in 18 degrees so all the wool will be coming out to keep us warm.


Plundering the stash last night - when a visit to my beautiful antique needlepoint rug canvas was in order.  I don't work on it very often anymore - actually - I bought this rug from the former owner of our LNS many years ago before I started rug hooking.  She got it from a friend of hers who was a long time needlepointer and shop owner in New England and had a vast stash of personal treasures.  Upon her passing away her daughter was so overwhelmed with her stash she started calling everyone in her mothers phone book to see if they wanted to purchase any of her beloved stash.  That is how my friend got this canvas.  She let me look thru what she had obtained and I was so taken with this canvas.  She figured based on the linen and style that the rug was at least 50 years old at that point and that was at least 15 years ago that I purchased the canvas.

  I collected the Appleton Tapestry wool over a few months time making frequent trips to a shop in St Simons Island Ga that actually carried this beautiful yarn.   Sadly that shop is gone now.   
This is a large rug - it is on linen backing and was line drawn and then painted on the canvas. 

I think I have 100 skeins or more of the tapestry yarn.  You can't see from the photo above but it is being worked in a cross stitch because 1 strand of tapestry didn't cover the canvas and we decided that it was less expensive to do a cross stitch than to have to use a double strand of tapestry wool.
 
It is a project I will probably never finish in my lifetime because when I want to work on big huge rugs - I am usually hooking them not needlepointing them.  However when it is very cold - I always gravitate towards this project.  It is warm on my lap and covers me up while I'm working on it.
 
OK who's ready for the Downton Abbey season premiere tonight ME ME ME !!!!!!!!!  Another shop I like Jimmy Beans Wool is doing  a Downton KAL with a specially dyed colorway called Bated Breath - HA - it is a manly type of color and I didn't order it but I think I will pull out my Christmas at Downton a special colorway dyed last year for this same KAL by Lornas Laces. I'd like to start a new shawl which I will work on each work during the show.  Since I always have startitis big time in January - what the heck !!!  what's another project on the plate.
 
Now I must rush off to peruse my RAV library and find a shawl pattern to use. 
 
Hope you are all happy with the start of the new year.  Friends in the cold country please be safe.  Sending you warm and wooly-thoughts !

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

HAPPY NEW YEARS EVE !

So many people did their "year in review" and they are all so wonderful. 

I felt like a had a very good year for finishing projects, I was positive I was going to finish my oldest hooked rug WIP but alas I just did NOT work on it hardly at all in the 4th quarter so I'm dragging that into 2014 with the million other WIP/s UFO/s that I have.  Another big disappointment was not finishing Autumn House - so close yet so far.  The black sky using black silk just got me down and I was unable to work on it except for short periods of time.

In looking thru my photos - I feel some of them must be on my Ipad devices but oh well.  This will be a much shorter trip thru the finishes than some of my friends have but oh well here goes.












my wedding sampler completion is not here - just some WIP photos which I didn't include.  Hopefully I will get around to getting it framed in the near future and can show that photo.

How many of you have the tradition of starting a new project on NYE or New Years Day?  I used to always start a project on Christmas Eve too but this year I just didn't get to start my Drawn Thread Christmas Thoughts.  However I am participating in the huge worldwide Facebook Sampler World group Snooty Parrots SAL and will be starting that around midnight tonight.  I will be starting a wonderful new crewel rug in mid January when I attend my 15th Off the Ocean rug camp !  I am one of only a very few people who have attended every one of these rug camps.  I'm sure there will be a celebration for their 15th anniversary and I'm happy to be part of it.

I wish for you a wonderful new year full of many happy times to remember with family and friends.
With warm and wooley thoughts - I thank you for supporting my blog all year and hope you will come back often and share your comments with me.  Cheers !