Friday, December 08, 2006


I am sitting here at my desk at work listening to christmas music trying to get "in the mood". I am totally NOT in the mood for the holidays. My job has sucked for so long I can't remember what a normal life is like and now I was informed earlier this week that my boss is resigning. He is my lifeline - my mentor - my ally and mostly my friend - I am just truly devastated over this news. If my work life was not difficult enough - this is going to make things 10 times worse in the coming months. The other distressing thing for this week is that one of my dearest friends had to endure two really horrible surgeries on her back - spinal fusion - thankfully she has made it thru the 2 operations and will now just have to go thru the long healing process.

My mermaid rug is NOT finished - should be but is not - I have so little left to go - I would say about 10 hours of hooking. It simply must rise up and be more important in my life so I can get it done for our local rug exhibit in January.

I have not been stitching at all except a little needlepoint. Every time I try to work on a sampler I just end up making stupid mistakes and screwing up and having to pull out all my progress. I started a lovely new Quaker sampler ( Martha Brady) and had finished the first motif when I realized I had stitched the darn thing in the WRONG color - WOW - can I not do anything right these days???

In my knitting world - all things are right - I am doing a ton of knitting which is not unusual for this time of year. I always go crazy in the fall and winter buying new yarns and knitting like crazy. On my business commute to Alabama - I have 1 1/2 hours in the plane one way and I always knit knit knit - I am very pleased with my knitting projects - guess when things are bad - I always fall back to my first love of knitting - hence my board/blog name Woolwoman - I truly love all things wool.

Here's hoping my next entry will show some completions or at least a better mood for the holidays! Cheers!

Friday, October 06, 2006

Can it be Fall????????

How can it be October already???????? Time certainly flys by. I would say when you are having fun but with my work project consuming most of my time for the past couple of months - I can't say I have been having a lot of stitching fun. I have gotten a lot of knitting done while traveling on the company plane and while I am out of town. It is just easier to focus on knitting than taxing my eyes even further working on tiny linen and a chart. However I do have an update photo to show on my Permin Celle 1826 repro sampler. I discovered a mistake in the motif I am currently working on and had to pull out the whole motif and start over - DRAT - Do I have to be a perfectionist - I figured it was something that might haunt me later so I'd better do the right thing.

I have a neat hooked rug WIP to share. It is a design from my friend Katie Puckett's design catalog. It is called Fruit Vase with Monkey - I started it at a rug camp in March with a national teacher Vivily Power - she did a marvelous job with the wool for the vase and fruit. Katie has dyed the backround wool and a few other colors that I needed to fill in here and there. I plan to tackle the monkey with another national teacher Diane Stoffel at a rug camp in January.
I think he looks like a Marmoset monkey - I'm sure it will be a challenge to get the coloration and markings correct but Diane is super with animals so I think it will be just great. I hope to have a lot more done by January but then there is the MERMAID - OMG - I simply must finish her this year! I won't be able to hold my head up in public if I don't have a rug to display this year at the show in January. I don't have that much more to complete - just about 1/2 of the outer border is it. I must press on. Hope the fall is a great one! My favorite time of the year - Enjoy! Melody

Monday, July 17, 2006

Mermaid sighting!

Wanted to update my blog with a couple of photos taken by my friend Jill at the rug hooking workshop last weekend in Sebring FL. The mermaid is almost finished. WOW - doesn't she look good in these photos!

I am now about 1/2 done with the outer and final border. I won't say how long I have been working on this mermaid but it has been delightful to hook. The colors are so pleasing and the subject matter is interesting. Thanks for looking!

Monday, July 03, 2006


I have some exciting things coming up this week. Off tomorrow for the 4th of July holiday. - YIPPEE !! Always great to have a day off. I am also off Friday this week and heading down to Sebring for the summer Scrub Hooking workshop. I am going to do a giant zinnia pattern and learn to use a dip dye. I chose a pretty rose pink for my main color so the dip will go from practically white to a deep rose pink. Zinnia's were one of my grand mothers favorite flowers and she had them growing in her garden every summer when I was a child. Occasionally she would let me cut some for a little vase on the dining room table. Funny how we recall those fond memories of the little things in our past.

I am starting several stitching SAL's - today a board friend in England is starting a SAL on the Blackbird design Quaker Garden - I have everything kitted up and assembled - ready to go so I will start that tonight. Tomorrow I am doing a tiny little patriotic SAL called "Liberty for You" which is a cute little sheepy holding a flag. Even got my mom involved on that one. Later this week the Mystery Stole SAL starts - clues are to be issued one a week for 6 weeks. I have to get my swatch made up - am hoping to use some stashed 4ply wool instead of going out and buying MORE yarn. Need to check the yardage and see how the swatch looks. The stole was meant to be worked on a lace weight yarn and I do have a lovely skein of Helen's Lace on hand that I was hoarding for just the right project. My friend bought some lovely 50%wool 50% silk lace weight yarn from the LYS on Saturday - she has already completed her swatch and says it is lovely. I did very good to resist buying any more yarn on Saturday.

I am planning a pretty quiet 4th this year. I have the option of going to my folks place at the lake and cooking out and so forth but there are a million visitors on the lake and in the adjoining houses. I am pretty tired and it is a 50mile drive so I think I am just going to chill out at home and get some extra rest in the morning. We might cook a burger or we might go out and get BBQ if there is any BBQ joints open tomorrow. Thankfully we are off from work - the rest of the plan is just whatever comes up.

My mermaid rug is coming along very well - I hope to show a progress photo after this weekend. I only have about 2/3 of the outer (final) border left to go. I will have a BIG finish for this year at least in rug hooking. Actually I have a summer sweater that is nearing completion - I think about 10 more hours will wrap up that project as well. I have beautiful buttons from my trip to NYC last summer - I am anxious to affix them to my hand dyed cotton sweater.

Wishing all my friends and my folks a very happy 4th of July - relax - have fun and take a few stitches!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, June 13, 2006


Thought I'd post a little something about our first named storm of the 2006 season - ALBERTO - I work in a historic home on the St Johns River and the waves are crashing the sea wall and splashing over into the road in front of the house. Sea spray is covering all the front windows and the wind whistling down the fireplace sounds so eerie! We have not had much rain with this storm and we are terribly dry here in NE FL. I wish I was at home just curled up in my chair knitting or stitching with a great cup of coffee!

Friday, May 26, 2006

Happy Memorial Day!

Another month has passed since I wrote in my blog. I can't believe how the time just flies by. I have not really accomplished much in May but I did attend a super needlepoint workshop last weekend sponsored by The Sampler Guild of Ga of which I am a member. They had Carole Lake in for her Mary Queen of Scots lecture and to teach a canvas piece that she designed in honor of Mary's insignia. It is a fabulous piece which includes the four symbols that were most special to Mary aka Marie Stuart - the thistle for Scotland, the Tudor Rose to symbolize her joining (trying to join Elizabeth I), the Lily for her love and remembrance of France and the crown to show her reign as Queen of Scotland. It also includes her unique cypher in the center which spells Marie Stuart. We were in Marietta GA and visited Abcedarius a stitching shop while there. One afternoon after class we visited the old square in Marietta and some unique shops and had dinner at a great restaurant on the square called Sympatico. Got my thistle completed in class but had a real hard time with the buttonhole stitch used on the tudor rose. Didn't even attempt the long and short stitch for the lily but will get help from the local shop owner in the future on that one. I regretted that I was unable to visit the local yarn shop in Marietta and I understand they have a great needlepoint shop too - just not enough time to do everything I wanted to do.

In samplers - I am still working mainly on my Celle 1826 and my Long Dog design called Sarabande. Am dying to start a new design by Mariska, a belgium designer - it is called Nine Alphabets and is sorta a french alphabet type design. Still have not started my online class with Joanne Harvey - Hannah Prescott - need to get that underway - I think the colors are beautiful but would have been much more tempting to me if silk was included in the kit instead of cotton.

In rug hooking - man am I stagnant - In the beginning of May our local rug guild had our annual hook-in and I worked on the mermaid. I hope to spend some time on the mermaid again this weekend. If she never gets out she will never be finished. But she MUST be finished this year - must must must!

In knitting - I have had a lot of fun knitting in May. I picked up some lovely yarn while in Charleston in April along with a great simple jacket. After knitting along for about 4 inches I realized that the pattern stitch did not show up at ALL with this particular yarn. YIKES - So now I have purchased MORE yarn to go with my FREE pattern! I have restarted the jacket and am about at the same point I was at when I ripped out the first attempt. Need to get my Noro Silver Thaw jacket finished up so it will be ready for fall. Just need to do side seams on my ROwan Soft Tweed vest and it will be completed. Have several summer tops in progress or planned - better get busy on them. A leftover project from last year is a great looking summer cardi out of a hand dyed cotton from Peru with great buttons from the button shop in NYC I purchased while on a trip there in June last year. Better pull that to the top of the stack - it is close to completion and could possibly be used this summer or late fall.

Don't forget the moment of silence at 3pm on Monday to honor those who have served our country. Happy Memorial Day to all !!!!

Friday, May 05, 2006


I am participating in a SAL (stitch a long) on a world wide internet board of sampler enthusiasts called Legacy. Actually I am participating in many SAL's - some are getting more attention than others! Currently I am really enjoying working on a large sampler from the Celle Museum collection in Germany. It is a motif sampler - reminscent of a quaker sampler however I do not think they feel the stitcher was Quaker. Here is my current WIP - There are several north florida sampler enthusiasts and friends who are working on this SAL. Mine is stitched with Gloriana Charcoal silk and is worked on 36ct Vintage Lt Examplar linen from Lakeside. I have many sampler charts in my stash and a lot of them started or in various stages of completion. I have done cross stitch since the early 80's expanding my interest in decorative stitches in the 90's and for about the last 7 years I have mainly focused on samplers and the history that goes along with sampler making in the US along with the other countries in the world where sampler making was practiced. The historical aspect is almost more interesting than the actual stitching. Many samplers are reproduced and released as charts or kits to be stitched in the likeness of the original. I find it a fascinating interest and wish I had more time to devote to travel and study. My previous post covers what it is like to go to a sampler symposium. I am very excited to be planning a trip to the Ackworth Quaker School in Leeds England in the winter. This is a long planned event and will attract participants from around the world. Our studies will be focusing on the Quaker schools samplers and their makers. We will actually be staying in the Ackworth School - which has been in continuous operation as a school since the 1700's - Better quit watching Ghost Hunters or I'll be in BIG trouble in that spooky place! First Friday in May - so hard to believe how fast the time just flies by. Tomorrow is our annual Hook-In - our local rug hooking guild sponsors a hook in around the first weekend in May every year. We have 24 participants so far. It is a always a great day of hooking , food and fun. Maybe I'll get another WIP photo of another of my rugs to post on the blog. Until next time . . . . . . . .


I wanted to write a short report on the Charleston Schoolgirl Sampler Symposium while it was still fresh on my mind. Rachel Chesser reported that there was about 70% participation on their target number. It was small enough to be intimate and visit with everyone and large enough to be exciting and see a number of "sampler celebrities". My personal excursion was with two fellow Azalea Sampler Guild members and friends. We left Jacksonville FL in the late afternoon on Wednesday heading to Savannah. Our idea was to stay at an inexpensive hotel up on I-95 and go into the historic district to eat at Paula Deen's "Lady & Sons" restaurant - NOT - There were about 50 people on the sidewalk and the hostess said "No Ma'am we are sold out for this evening" RATS - She said people stop by the restaurant early in the day to book a seat for dinner. I had previously eaten at a wonderful locally owned restaurant on one of the historic squares called "the Pink House" built in the late 1700's - I was just as happy eating a wonderful dinner there with my two friends and we managed to dodge the rain all evening. Thursday morning we were up like a shot and off to Charleston. We had lunch near our hotel at Jestine's Kitchen. Good southern fare and the BEST fried green tomatoes I had all weekend. Carol and I were taking the sampler class in the afternoon and Karen was planning to go antiquing and exploring with Ellen. Taking a class from Kathy Staples is like being in a time capsule. She talks about the old south like it was a familiar scene to her. She just rolls off such interesting information like it was yesterdays news and not centuries old practices. Our class even included a guided tour thru the exhibit by Kathy - it was spectacular and the adaptation of the antique sampler is just so neat and of course the supplies in the kit were all top quality and wonderfully presented by the Sampler Dames. After the class we rushed down to the Meeting St Inn in the heart of the historic district to check into our room. It was lovely and just as nice as I remembered when I stayed there previously for a museum class. We even had a few minutes to check out the simply marvelous new yarn shop in town KNIT. I had to be dragged out of there because as my blog name suggests (woolwoman) I love yarn and knitting. We vowed to return at our first opportunity. The reception was just wonderful. Shrimp and grits along with finger sandwiches, fresh veggies, dips and libations made it just a fabulous experience. We had to drag our exhausted bodies back to the inn but were so excited about the coming events we didn't even quit talking when we hit the beds and I think it was midnight or after before I drifted into sampler dreamland. Friday was another super day - we had 4 lectures - 2 in the morning and 2 in the afternoon - I won't name the speakers because I don't have my notes handy and don't want to slight anyone by misspelling their names or leaving someone out. Suffice to say that they were all wonderful speakers and had the most interesting research to report on. We all walked down to lunch at Rue de Jean - I was very shocked that we had a choice of soup or salad and entrees and even a choice of dessert. It was a great food memory and I was soooo glad I had my knitting with me - no matter how interesting the speaker - it was really hard to stay focused after such a rich and filling meal. Friday night we had dinner reservations at Carolina's - one of my very fav local restaurants - We had a large party - about 20 of us - it was very nice to meet a few women from England and some other sampler nuts from near and far. It is always wonderful to visit with old friends and make some new friends. Saturday morning Kathy Staples wrapped up the lectures and then if you signed up for optional tours they commenced at 11am. I was lucky enough to be in the morning group of the walking tour. The afternoon tour got rained out but got a very cool private tour of the exhibit with Kathy - I don't think anyone was disappointed and everyone was dry and safe. The walking tour was fascinating - we saw so many lovely historic homes and buildings and even saw some of the homes and sites of the girls schools from that era. Saying that I was exhausted after that walk is a total understatement. I was BEAT - I am not used to doing a lot of walking and the stormy weather had brought in the humid heavy feeling in the air. We stopped for lunch again at Rue de Jean and it was very good. I was signed up for the archival tour in the afternoon and saw many more samplers and interesting items from behind the scenes. Upon leaving the museum Carol dropped Karen and I at KNIT - WHOO HOO finally able to peruse that yarn shop. Honestly there was so much stuff in there I was hard pressed to make a decision - I say hard pressed but not impossible. I came home with a bag of wonderful swirled merino wool to make a neat jacket - how appropriate it is called Argyle - better get knitting if it will be ready for Ackworth! Saturday night we met another group at COAST - a restaurant near the museum - not my personal fav but I think everyone enjoyed the evening. Sunday morning we decided to get on the road and catch lunch at the Cracker Barrel on the way. We finished up our last meal together and what a wonderful way to end 4 glorious days of total sampler saturation. I hope others will write about their experiences and views on this sampler event. I was at the one in 2001 and this one was equal if not better than before. If you missed it this year - be ready for the next one and do come and visit America's First Museum!

Friday, April 07, 2006


I am excited to make this post - I finally have a WIP photo of my mermaid rug. It is adapted from a folk art painting by M Shaw. For the rug hookers it is a Spruce Ridge design and has now been retired and is no longer available. WHEW - I feel lucky to have gotten it. Ooddles of people are now trying to get it and can't. I have now almost finished with the middle border which is a dark blue. The seaweed is almost all finished and YAHOO - I see a finish in sight for 2006 on this rather large rug. I will warn you that my rug is anatomically correct. This photo was taken in early December by a friend and fellow guild member. I am making this my focus project in hooking for this year until it is completed. Diane Stoffel was my teacher on this rug and she had complete creative license on the color plan. However I certainly do love the colors even though they are not typically colors that I am drawn to.

Friday, March 31, 2006

March Highlights

Seems like these months are just flying by. March was a fun month for me. I hosted our ANG chapter combined meeting and stitch-in at the historic home where I work on March 11th. I think a wonderful time was had by all. Next wonderful day was March 18th with Ellen Chester designer of the wonderful With My Needle items. She was visiting her in-laws and decided it was a good time to spend the day with our Azalea Sampler Guild. We met at the lovely Azalea House B&B in Palatka FL and we had a huge turnout. Jill also had a house full of bicyclists that were touring this area so needless to say it was CRAZY at the inn. I had a business trip to Albany GA just before Ellen arrived and decided to take a spin thru Thomasville GA on my way home. A lovely little town where I used to go on business. They have a new (1 yr old) yarn shop and I wanted to see how they were progressing and if they had anything new. I was able to pass by everything she had until I got to the Colinette - That hand-dyed yarn from Wales is something that I covet more than gold! I added one of the Limited Edition Ab Fab of the Month afghans to my stash collection. I had seen the Enigma yarn but WOW WOW WOW was it gorgeous in the Easter egg colors and she also had a nice pattern book with that yarn so I was hooked. My drive home from T-ville was a happy one - plotting my next Colinette project!
March 24th I was off to Sebring FL with my mom and 2 good friends for the spring rug hooking retreat. Mom Jill and I were in Vivily Powers class - past president of the National McGown Rug Guild - she is a sweetheart and what wonderful wool. I started ANOTHER new rug - yes my 3rd for 2006! This one is relatively small and is from my friend katie's design catalog - it is a footed compote filled with fruit and sitting next to the compote is a little monkey stealing a piece of fruit! I love the way it is turning out and I made wonderful progress. Hope to show a WIP photo of it soon. Just can't believe it is the last day of March. It has been beautiful weather here in North Florida. Still very pleasant and some cool nights. I love it and hope it continues as long as mother nature will allow it! My stitching highlights were few - altho I did add some great stash to the collection from the Feb needlework market. I am doing an on line class with the Legacy board - Joanne Harvey from the Exemplery is teaching her Hannah Prescott - I have looked at the kit but not started it yet - I am excited about that. Well - that is about it for the last day of March! I am happy to say it was a very good month!

Tuesday, February 28, 2006


It is unbelievable to me how fast the days fly by. To mark time in stitches or loops pulled in a rug is good on one hand and bad on another. Bad for me because another month has passed that I have not pulled a single loop in one of my many hooked rug WIPs. I have been stitching some on various samplers and did attend a wonderful needlepoint workshop with our local ANG chapter this month. One of our LYS has knitting on Friday nights and I do try to go out there several Fridays a month. It is just a nice time to unwind and shake off the stresses of the work week along with enjoying friends and a Starbucks.

I just enrolled in an online sampler class with Joanne Harvey on the Legacy board. I am very excited about this because I have always wanted to take a class from her. Not in the cards for this year - that is for sure so this will have to suffice. Hannah Prescott is the repro - should be a little challenging without quickly moving to the UFO pile.

I suppose this is a bad time of the year to be contemplating how much one is accomplishing. Two big needlework markets have just passed and lots of new things are arriving at the local shops - some have made their way into my stash already.

Am still knitting a lot also which bites into my hooking/stitching time. Knitting is probably the most relaxing of my addictions except for mindless basketweave in needlepoint. I just started a lovely jacket called Winter Star from the Winter Interweave Knits mag - very pretty scottish tweed wool is used - very rustic - LOVE IT!

Just wanted to make one final entry in February - just to bid farewell to February 2006 - it was a good month!

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Hey there - Thanks to Quilting Fitzy for helping me post my first photo to my blog! YEAH - this little rug was my only rug finished in 2005. It is by Sunnybrook Designs and the wool was hand dyed by my friend Katie Puckett. (daughter of Judy Colley - see below) I have a rather large mermaid rug based on the M Shaw folk art design that is near completion. Also had lots of rug hooking fun in January as I attended two different rug camps. Off the Ocean is held annually in Jax FL and I had a great teacher from Ohio. Dianne Kelly color planned a bed rug for me and it is spectacular! Brilliant fushia - greens against a chocolate brown backround - Now that I know how to post photos - YAHOO - I can post some WIP's of my rugs and needlework. The second camp I attended was also in FL - way down in orange grove country - Sebring - home of the 24 hours of Sebring car race - I am fortunate enough to go down there 3 times a year for 3 day workshops. I started a great oriental crewel type design in a fine cut. Telemark is the name of the design and it was beautifully color planned by Judy Colley from Michigan. It is typical colonial colors - yellow greens, teals, mossy greens, brilliant golds on a dark eggplant backround. The last weekend in Janaury was spent with my good friends in the Azalea Sampler Guild doing a workshop/lecture with Lori Mootz from the Celle Museum in Germany. Our project was a little needlebook that Lori repro'd from one in her personal collection. Her lecture was on Pinkeeps and Needlecases and their history. Fascinating material and it is always a great pleasure to see Lori. She has done 2 other events for our sampler guild. Tomorrow I am leaving for a needlepoint workshop in Winter Park FL. I was the chairman of this workshop and our project is the Christmas Door by Tony Minieri - It was organized for our 8 Flags Needlepointers guild in Fernandina Beach Fl - this is an ANG chapter. I have been needlepointing since I was a small child but in recent years - rug hooking and repro samplers have consumed most of my free time. Throw my love of knitting in there and I am one busy girl! I'll try to report in on our excursion to Winter Park very soon - Until then - keep doing what you love to do!

Friday, January 06, 2006

Happy New Year!

Well - here we are - made it thru the first week of January!

It is going to be a real busy month for me. One week from today we start our long awaited rug camp Off the Ocean here in Jacksonville Florida. Lots of my friends including my mom are attending the camp this year. I am soooooo excited because I am starting a bed rug. It is a commercial design but new on the market. It was designed by Joyce Krueger from Texas and is called Essne's bed rug. If I can locate any info for Joyce I plan to contact her and ask what her inspiration was for this beauty. My teacher is Dianne Kelly of the Woolen Cottage in Hiram Ohio. I had Dianne some years ago at Castle in the Clouds in Lookout Mountain Tenn and altho' I have not yet finished the rug she color planned for me it is one of my very favorites. One day I will learn how to upload photos on this blog and then my descriptions will be more meaningful. Anyway - I am so excited - the bed rug is 45 X 56 so that is quite large - my largest rug to date. The backround is a dark chocolate brown so if I decide to put it on the floor in the future I won't have any inhibition about that.

Right on the heels of Ocean I will make my annual pilgrimage to Sebring Fl for another rug camp. This time I will be doing my first oriental style rug with a dear friend and director of Off the Ocean rug camp - Judy Colley from Wyoming Michigan. Her daugher Katie lives in Jacksonville and is a dear friend also. The three of us always go to Sebring after Ocean - it is a nice way for Judy to relax and wind down after the rigors of Ocean. This year will be a little more taxing as she is teaching at Sebring. Telemark is the oriental I will be doing. It is smallish for an oriental - about 24 X 48 and the color plan is gorgeous. I chose a dark eggplant color for the backround and Judy did a wonderful job incorporating my beloved colonial colors in this rug. Two big scrolls are the focal point of this rug. I am happy to be able to learn from Judy - she is a master colorist in my opinion and has over 30 years of rug hooking experience. She has the coveted cover of Celebrations rug hooking magazine this year. I am really looking forward to being in Judy's class.

This sunday my sampler guild is meeting at the Azalea House. Always a great time to get together with my friends who love samplers. A lot of them are dual members of the rug hooking guild also. I am not sure what sampler I will stitch on Sunday - I have started 3 new HUGE samplers over the recent holidays. The French Alphabet Sampler is my New Years weekend start. It was especially personalized for me and includes names and initials of my ancestors. Working this beauty on 36ct cream Edinborough using Gloriana CHerry Tart silk. It is a lovely muted mix of pinks and creams ranging from deep pink to pale pink and cream to deep tan. It really gives an antique - victorian feel to the stitching. Progress is slow working on a 1/2 yrd piece of linen in hand.

My Christmas weekend start was Mouline Rouge by Long Dog. It has been in my *really want to do* pile for about 2 years. I have had Gloriana Elizabethan Green stashed for this for about that long. I finally have selected a complimentary linen that really looks great with the silk. 35ct R&R Sheeps Straw is the color.

Better wrap this up. My goal for this blog is to learn how to upload photos. A fellow sampler guild member has a blog here and I'm sure she can help me get it accomplished. What would we do without friends???? Cherish them - I sure do!