Monday, February 22, 2010


Wasn't that a great song?  I started to title this post Manic Monday but my day has been a good one so far so I don't dare say that !

I am feeling a bit tired today after having a GREAT weekend at the rug hooking retreat at the Olde Green Cupboard.  Got a lot done on the rug I pulled out of hibernation.  I have not worked on this runner since I started it two years ago.  Always seems to be something more important for me to focus on.  I do love this rug and I did meet my goal in my class to finish all 6 of the faces - I thought that was the most challenging part for me and after 2 years - I still like the faces - I was not wild about the colors initially but I do love Diane Stoffel my teacher on this project.  She has done several other rugs for me that I just adore like my mermaid.  I am not a blue/purple person and there seems to be loads of blue type tones in this rug.  So I had all sorts of apprehensions about whether I would like the finished rug well enough to use it and in my old house - I just didn't have any place in mind to use it so I was unmotivated to work on it.  So it was relegated to the bottom of the wool cupboard along with my other hibernating WIP's.  However when I was searching for something to take to this retreat - I ran across it and thought hummmm - that is pretty dang cool and I have the perfect spot for it high up on the wall in my wool room.  So without further ado - here is the "Harkening of Angels" - the canvas is by Bea Brock - a texas designer - she just calls it "Angel Sampler Runner" but I like my name better.  It is done in all new wool - mostly spot dyes mostly in a 4 and 5 cut with some 3 cut for fine detail.  I wanted an angry night sky look for the backround and I think Diane nailed that perfectly - don't know if you can see any of that but I did start putting it in the upper left corner. 
My fear is that the brown twigs and vine stem is not going to show up well against that backround - I might have to pull that out and put in a lighter shade of brown or go with a different type of green.  I feel most of what is already hooked will show up against the backround.  I know we have some budding rug hookers out there in blog land and this is just another good reason to start putting in some backround as soon as it is possible instead of waiting till you have most of your motif (s) finished - at that point a change in your backround plans might be necessary instead of just altering some of your motif colors.

This rug is extremely busy - that is another thing that I wasn't quite sure if I was crazy about.  I love the angels - here is a shot of the center guy.  His one foot is WAY too long so that needs to be fixed and I ripped out part of his one hand because it looked more like a paw LOL - you have to take a lot of creative license when doing commerical hooked rug patterns I feel and most of the designers realize this and are happy for you to make it your own.
Here is the right side of the rug - I started filling in the motifs this past weekend on the left side so it is far more filled in than the right -

Here is another close up of the left side - so half of the angel motifs are finished now and if I make this my "take to guild" carry around project - I can start filling in the backround on that left side - sometimes it's nice to just take only pre-cut backround wool to work on at a guild meeting instead of having a huge color plan to work on.
If the colors look garish to you - I think it's probably because they are !  I think that very dark backround is going to tone down some of those crazy bright colors like on #6 angel.

DF Susan came to this retreat - she is an awesome rug hooker and also a teacher.  She was almost finished with this rug by Karen Kahle - using a special technique called marblized wool.  Some of this wool was Susan's creation - mainly the backround and the greens I think she said.  Now I am dying to take a workshop from Karen Kahle - not that I am interested in dyeing but I do love this backround technique - Susan said it was somewhat a pain to execute but the results are stunning.  Susan loves primitives and she hooks mainly with an 8cut.  Those flowers were all the marblized wool.  TOO COOL!
Another friend Dottie was hooking these awesome cardinals.  They re in a 3cut I believe on a colored wool ground which is intended to be left unhooked.

Last is a photo of new hooker Vicki's "Harvest Good Things" rug by Lori Brechlin - Not Forgotten Farms and the color plan is by Dianne Kelly.  She was in her class this year at Off the Ocean and sat next to my DM.  Vicki is doing great on her rug and I love the warm rich colors on this one.
I should not have said last because there is one more photo to show you - it's bunny time at the Olde Green Cupboard - they are wrapped in spring splendor right now - bunnies, chickies, duckies, lambs galore - This neat gal came into the shop on Saturday to bring Gloria some primitive loverlies that she makes in her little prim store in St Mary's GA - it's called Feathered Nest - WOW - what awesome creations and great prices for the quality.  Here is a photo of my Harriett Bunny on her tuffet and mom's black bunny girl who is unnamed - I should have turned her face towards the camera.  Someone said she reminded them of Uncle Reamis so maybe we'll call her Auntie Reamis.

I don't have any knitting progress to show and stitching progress is even worse.  I will say that hanging around the OGC so much has caused me to fall into quilting purgatory.  I'll save that news flash for a future post but it's SO NOT GOOD!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010


Well - there is nothing much exciting going on with me.  I found myself struggling with something to put into a blog post.  I knew I needed to venture into blog land and say hi to everyone but have very little to report on.

I had this lovely cowl just languishing literally 10 minutes from completion.  It only took about 20 hrs total to knit.  It quite lovely I think - the yarn is stunning and the pattern is an interesting pattern from called "Aibhlinn "  pronounced Aveelen I believe.  The original pattern calls for a much finer yarn however I saw this awesome version last year on the Knitch blog.  I'm getting off track here but Knitch is beautiful cool wonderful lovely awesome interesting well stocked shop in the Virginia Highlands historic area of Atlanta.  I was lucky enough to visit it last year in person.  I love to visit yarn shops - I have been doing this for years when I travel and sometimes I travel just to visit yarn shops - anyway - I keep a mental "top 5" list of my fave shops around the country and Knitch is definitely in the top 5.  Anyway - I keep up with their blog (make mental note to add them to my blog list) and when I saw this awesome cowl made into a bigger bulky cowl by using the bulky weight gorgeous hand dyed Blue Moon Icelandic wool - I remembered seeing it in the shop a few months prior and thinking - "OH WOW" exquisite yarn but what would or could I do with that - and it was far too expensive to just consider stashing it without a purpose (see I am trying to do better with that issue I have LOL) So obviously when I saw the lovely cowl using that yarn and also one strand of Rowan Kid Silk Haze - I was sunk - I was on the phone faster than you can say "would you please send me yadda yadda".  Here is the results - how do you like it?
there is a row of huge bobbles on the bottom - there was supposed to be a row at the top also but I eliminated that row - I thought it was too much and made the cowl look too heavy plus things like jewelry might get caught in the bobble row if around the neck edge.  the designer called the stitch pattern a spiral rib I think - here is a close up
As cold as our weather has been -I think I might still get some wear out of this cowl.

My mom was over for dinner last night and she was working on our guild SAL - the Vierlande 1863 sampler from the most recent issue of SANQ.  Here is a photo of the two of our WIPs side by side. 
We are both using the called for DMC - Mom is stitching hers on 14ct Oatmeal Aida and I am using 36ct vintage buttercream by lakeside.  She was concerned that I was getting ahead of her so she stitched while I knitted last night - finishing up the cowl pictured above.

We have another rug hooking retreat coming up this weekend.  WHEEEEEEE - Mom is actually going to get to attend this one - she has been out of town for the previous two that I have mentioned - it is at the Olde Green Cupboard - our favorite hangout and we'll just hook - eat - laugh - chat - eat - hook - laugh - you get my drift.  I am going to bring an older WIP out of hibernation - I spent quite a bit of time on Sunday going thru my rug hooking projects and deciding what would get my attention this year.  In the early part of the year - I try to assess what rugs I might could actually finish this year - some I might work on thru the year but never intend to be able to finish up.  I'll surprise you with a photo in my blog post next week after the reterat.  I don't want to spoil the surprise but it is something you should all be interested to see as it is very funky, folky and fun.  I worked on it at the Ocean rug camp year before last and have not touched it since so it was crying out from the bottom of the stack of WIP's "pick me Mel - pick me !"  when you see this rug - you will know that you can not deny the harkening of the angels.  Until next time - stay warm and keep those fingers moving.

Monday, February 08, 2010


I've been negligent with doing a blog post.  I have just not gotten a lot accomplished in the past few weeks. So doing a post seemed pointless.

Several weeks ago - DF Jackie saw my A&E rug and thought I had enough to show a WIP photo.  SO - TA DA - I took a bunch of photos at the Olde Green Cupboard yesterday when I went for rug hooking monthly club.  A little backround on this rug before I start to show you the photos.  It is actually not a rug but a cube footstool cover.  It has 4 distinct sides and a flat top.  Eve is on one side, Adam on the other - the other two sides are motifs that were pulled from an old A&E sampler.  It is a commerical design by Kim Nixon - Under the Rug but Katie (KISS Rug Hooking Studio/Sophie-Kate Designs)  my DF, rug hooking teacher and dyer,designer extraordinaire executed the ideas I had for this rug and translated them onto the canvas.  the only thing we kept from the original design was Eve and the tree and the snake. I added the zig zag border on all 4 sides along the bottom.  Many old crewel designs have this type of pattern under the tree of life.  I don't like this plant this next to Eve - I am going to pull out the rust veining and replace with the dark pink to pull in color from the other panels and see if that does the trick - if not then the gold will come out too.

 We added the tree on each side of the stool and she put in the million leaves and the oversized apples and drew a new Adam over the silly Adam which was riding on a dove - AAACCKKK - WHY I say was Adam riding on a dove?????  When she asked me what I wanted my Adam to look like I said why Jon Bon Jovi of course !  I think my Adam is pretty handsome don't you ?

Yesterday I finished the flower next to Adam and the butterfly. 

For you rug hooking enthusiasts out there - this rug is in a 4 and 5 cut of wool with a little 3 in there for the finer details.  I will probably do backround in a 5.  It is printed on linen and all the wool is new hand dyed wool - mostly from my stash or from Katie.

Here is the side that really needs attention - the deer - 
the 4th side is a mutant beaver/hedgehog guy with a tail  - and I love how this flower with the funky bird on top came out.  This is a 2nd attempt on the left flower - I didn't care much for it but I have to remember that everything is oversized and unrealistic and not true to life.
Here is a close up of the snake - I love how his head and eye came out and it was Katie's idea to do him in the brightly colored diamond pattern.
Here is an over view of the whole stool and what the top looks like.  I am very proud of this rug and how it is coming along - I LOVE it - what do you think?  The backround will be an aged sampler looking color - that stained ecru with a moldy green faint overdying - kinda like PTP Dill for you sampler stitchers. Soon I have to start with the backround - sure dont' want to leave that till the end on any rug much less this rug.  I know a lot of you are embarking on rug hooking this year and  I am always happy to pass along tips to any newbie hookers.  DON"T leave all your backround till the end - you will be bored to tears and it might slow down your completion as the pull of a new rug might dazzle you.  I have a big rug on the frame at home right now that is in that state.  Just backround and border left and I YAH YAH - it's a biggy so I can find absolutely anything in the world to do except work on that rug.

The other thing going on in my life that I am excited about is a new venture I have going with the Olde Green Cupboard.  The owner has been wanting to try knitting in her store for a long time.  She approached me several months ago about teaching some classes for her.  Beginning knitting continental style is going to be my first class.  The other exciting news is that I now have a yarn display at OGC.  I have an extensive "inventory" of fine yarns.  I always buy yarn when I travel - I order yarn off the internet and I also buy from LYS so when I moved the summer of 2008 - I realized that I was over loaded with yarn - nice yarn but just WAY too much yarn - more than I would ever use.  So Gloria is giving me space in her store and if yarn goes over well in her store then she is going to consider setting up some accounts and adding yarn.  WHEEEEEE - how fun is that.I did a knitting demo last weekend and this table was 2 people deep.  Lots of quilters apparently love to knit or want to learn to knit.  It was very inspiring and lots of fun for me to be able to share my love of knitting with so many new enthusiastic people.

Stitching always seems to be taking a back seat to other things.  I do always stitch some each week but just not enough to get any noticable progress.  I will show an update photo on something soon - I promise.