Sunday, May 06, 2012


Last weekend the No Fl Rug Hooking Guild and a few non-member friends made a short trip to Epworth by the Sea for a weekend of rug hooking, knitting, needlework, eating, sharing, laughing, shopping, eating, laughing and relaxing by the low country marshes. 

We were housed in top quality hotel type accomodations and just a short walk away from our hooking room which was full of natural light with a restroom close by. Just across the road was the dining hall - all locations had stunning views of the intercoastal waterway and marsh birds abounded. Sunsets not to be believed and balconies in each room overlooking all of the above. My mom and I shared a room and I think a wonderful time was had by all. I think we are all wanting to go by there again for another retreat or perhaps a workshop with a teacher.
Epworth is a Methodist retreat center and here is an excerpt from their website :
From Epworth, England To Epworth By The Sea... Epworth By The Sea is named in honor of the boyhood home of John and Charles Wesley, founders of Methodism. In 1784, John Wesley tenderly recalled his home by writing in his famous journal, "I rode to Epworth, which I still love beyond most places in the world." Though he is said to have ridden 250,000 miles and preached 45,000 sermons, Epworth still held his heart.

There is a lot of history on St Simons Island and the neighboring island Jekyll Island.  I have traveled there dozens of times in my life.  It is only a short drive from Jacksonville and makes a great day trip.  There are lots of wonderful restaurants and interesting historic sites.  Apparently Epworth is popular for weddings also as there were not one but TWO weddings held on Saturday.  Are any of  you familiar with Eugenia Price - she often wrote about the golden isles of GA and Savannah.  My DF Kerrie is a fan of hers and she said Beloved Invader was set in the area of where we were staying - I must try and read that one.  Eugenia Price also had a novel set in the area where I live near Fleming Island Fl and I found out from reading one of those books that the main family name in the book is a spanish name Fatio - that is the street I live on.  Another interesting fact is that our area is built on old plantation land called Laurel Grove.  I have seen photos of the plantation home that was in the area.  There are several structures pre-dating 1900 in the area.  Now I am rambling and getting off the subject of St Simons Island - I will have to do another post one day about the history of my area - I love historical facts and I just get lost in the subject sometimes.

Moving on to some photos of last weekend - here is the view from our balcony - just after sunset - I don't know why I didn't get any shots of the actual sunset
 I'm going to show all the projects that were being worked on by friends and fellow guild members.  I think I got everyone's projects except for one and I don't know why she didn't throw her's down on the floor.

This is DF Karen's rug - I'm not sure of the designer but I think maybe it was Maggie Bonanami from one of her books.  Karen most often hooks in an 8 cut.
Next is my mom's Polly Minick patriotic Uncle Sam hat.  I love the way it's coming out.  She could have finished that hat with just a few more hours work.  This was my own color plan using wool from my little red cupboard and some of Polly's wool.  You can't really tell yet but it has a confederate gray backround (why of course - we are intensely southern in case you didn't know) My maternal family is from south central GA for many generations and my paternal family is about 5 or 6 generations in NE FL. BTW - she is hooking it in a 6cut.

I decided to devote my time to the Angel Runner by Bea Brock - I got a lot done - I finished up two angels which only leaves 1 angel left to complete.  There are lots of fiddly details left to hook but those will actually be pleasant breaks from the backround. 

I love the backround - the color plan is by Diane Stoffel - I was very uncertain of all those blues and purples - not my fave but she said - just put it in - it will look great and I think it does. 

Next is DF Donna's beautiful BBD rug - I think it was from an earlier book of their's and is called Acorns and Pomegranates if I am not mistaken.  Donna was focusing on her border and got a lot done.  Beautiful colors in this rug.

Next is DF Starr's Church Ladies rug.  I love the neat fibers she used to enhance the hats and the stained glass border is such a neat feature.  I'm not sure who did the actual color plan but I think maybe it was Dianne Kelly.

 This was another focus of Starr's - she was learning fine shading and this is going to be a footstool cover. Pretty good for a first attempt but then with DF Katie mentoring - how can you go wrong !
 here is Katie's Jesus rug - she drew this rug herself and worked on it at a camp with Victoria Ingalls - it is amazing - all in a 3 cut.
Next is Nan's rug - it is pretty big - it has 2 tiny proddy mice - can you see them??  I think at least some of this color plan was by Diane Stoffel.  It photographs beautifully.

Another first attempt at fine shading is Sheila's chair seat - She made great progress on this chair pad.

This amazing rug is another Bea Brock design - Barn Symbols I think is the pattern - JoAnne started this huge rug in January - can you believe it and she works full time also.  Another beautiful color plan by Diane Stoffel.

Here is first rug by Michelle - we were happy to have Michelle visiting with us - she works at a local quilt shop and is a new hooker.  This bunny design I believe is another original design by Katie Puckett along with the color plan by Katie.

 Another beautiful shot of JoAnne's rug showing all the details - she is basically placing all the colors herself and doing an awesome job.
 Next up is DF Kerrie's Cow Lady Sampler rug - it is a design by Susan Quicksall and this rug is huge - Of course Kerrie did not do all this work in a weekend.  Katie is doing the color plan for her and the dyeing of course.  We are so lucky to have her - she is an amazing dyer.
This is DF JoyceAnne's needlepoint - she was a guest and the only non-hooker in the group. JoyceAnne and I are in EGA together.  We were happy to see the amazing counted canvaswork she does.  This is a freebie design by Laura J Perrin a needlepoint designer.  she was using all types of stashed threads for these.

Here is a photo of the oldest church on the island.  I don't remember the original name of the church but it is now called Lovers Lane Chapel.  Some of us attended church services there on Sunday morning and it was packed to the brim.  It was a lovely little chapel inside.  I could see why it is sought after for a wedding location.

 A little closer shot.
The weekend would not be complete without a little stash enhancement - there is a wonderful yarn/needlepoint shop on the island - The Stitchery of St Simons - this shop has moved around a lot in the 10 years or so I have been visiting.  It is located on Frederica road and if you are ever on the island - you simply MUST pay a visit.  Bo's yarn selection is awesome.  It is definitely worth the drive from NE FL - I intend to shop there more often since we've lost 3 yarn shops from the NE FL area in the past year or so.  Her needlepoint and fiber selection is good also.  JoyceAnne Kerrie and I visited there  while my DM went antiquing with another group.

She had an awesome selection of Malabrigo yarns - I've been wanting the Malabrigo Book 3 - She also carries Manos yarns which are hard to find.  This is a skein of Manos Lace I snagged.

 Here is the Lakedale Shawl by Stephen West which is in this book - I have been coveting this since I first saw it.  My colors are not exactly the same as this but are close.

here is my small beginning on lakedale - I got a pair of new to me needle also - can't remember the name right now but they are colored wood circulars.  They are pretty nice for inexpensive needles.  I have been enjoying working on this shawl - It is an 8 row repeat for the body of the shawl then that pointed lacy border - I like to have a mindless knitting project on the go for when I am tired and just want to relax before bed.  I've done several other shawls with malabrigo sock and I think it is a nice yarn for the price.

Well - that concludes my retreat report.  Hope you enjoyed visiting with me today and seeing our projects.  I appreciate all your comments - please do come and visit often.


Ellen said...

Love all the rug photos--what a feast for the eyes! Sounds like it was a fun retreat for all!

Nancy said...

What a beautiful place to have a retreat! Lucky you! All of the projects are just gorgeous!

Rugs and Pugs said...

What a great post Mel!
The rugs are all wonderful, especially yours! So much detail!!!
Hugs :)

Cari said...

Oh Mel...I do love all of those rugs....definitely EYE CANDY ! Thanks for sharing your wonderful weekend. Love the yarn too. I haven't knit in a while but I think I may be ready to start a new project!! Hugs

jan said...

The first rug photo, Karen's rug, is a design by Maggie Bonanomi (Need'l Love), called "French Urn." I have also hooked that rug, having purchased it at

All the rugs are wonderful. Thanks for sharing.

... jan

Margaret said...

It looks like a wonderful weekend! How interesting about the history of the place you had the retreat as well. I love seeing all the beautiful rugs and needlepoint. Your rug has to be my favorite though -- I love angels. The colors are wonderful too! (Blue and purple is good. :D) Nice stash enhancement too. Nice that you got some of that in as well.

Gayle said...

Sounds like you had a wonderful time - thanks so much for sharing all the rug pictures - I know it takes quite a bit of time to load them all and I really appreciate your efforts!

Vonna Pfeiffer said...

When you go to these rug retreats and I see all the gorgeous, stunning rugs...I love it! All gorgeous!

henri said...

Love this post, pictures are great and the projects
wonderful!!! Thanks for sharing the history and
mini-tour. . . going to have to check it out.

Chocolates4Breakfast (TerriBoog) said...

What a wonderful retreat in a splednid local! Gorgeous! The rugs you all create are just amazing; they're all beautiful.

Love, love, love that little church.

BTW, I did not get that sampler. The starting bid was $200 and the hammer came down at $350. Too much for me to justify....

Karoline said...

Sounds like a wonderful weekend, the rugs are gorgeous

geeky Heather said...

Oh, sounds like it was such a great time!! We missed you in Celebration but it looks like you guys had a fantastic time and maybe even more eye candy than we did. =) I probably would have passed out seeing all those bee-yoo-tee-full rugs all at once!!!

Susan said...

Mel, I've had such a busy month that I saved this post to read when I had some time to really look at the pictures. I'm so glad I did as I was drooling over all of them. Your angels are amazing!! Sounds like the retreat was wonderful and I hope you are enjoying your memories of it as you work on your rug.

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