Monday, January 24, 2011


Coming up for air - that is exactly how I feel today - last week whirled by me in a vacuum of being sick at rug camp - being in the office only 1 day last week and leaving on Thursday - still not 100% for a long drive to Auburn AL for a meeting I needed to head up. 

I promised a complete run down of the Off the Ocean rug camp however the first day of camp I was already beginning to feel sick.  I went home Friday night instead of staying at the hotel with my mom - Saturday I was worse and by Sunday I was holed up in the hotel room too sick to even get dressed or venture very far from the bed.  How horrible is it to be sick at an event like this????  too sick to even get in my car and drive 10 miles to my house!!!!!!!!!  It's pretty horrible I might say - I missed the exhibit on Sunday - missed seeing many friends who come to see the exhibit.  I missed more than a full day of hooking/class time and my progress on this rug really shows it.  On the positive side - I did get a good start on this very large rug which is an original design by friend Katie Puckett who is a co-director of this rug camp.  I got to name it so it is Medieval Melody and I wanted William Morris type colors.  I must admit that I started this rug about 4 years ago with another teacher - somehow it just did not come together - it did not excite me - the colors were not what I wanted - it was too monotone so I rolled it up and put it away with the thought that one day I would pull it out again and find a teacher who was willing to work with some of the wool I had previously purchased and maybe add some of their own flavor and spark to the rug.  I knew I would get what I was looking for from Vivily Powers - I have had Vivily several times before at the rug camp I attend every year in Sebring Fl.  She did not disappoint - after tossing out a few of her choices that were too bright for what I had in mind - I added a gorgeous dusty plum 5 value color set and a rich rusty red 5 value set all looked awesome upon her great backround color called White Trash (yep she uses cute catchy names for many of her wool color formulas) - So she will have to dye more wool for me but I have made the plunge and am quite happy with how the rug is shaping up so far.  Here is a close up of the center medallion. 
Vivily came up with a beautiful spot dye that was the inspiration for the whole color plan on the rug. It is the leave section of the red flower on the right.  There is also a great 4 value turquoise set that is being dyed but is not currently hooked into the rug - so that will be a lovely addition to this color plan. 

Here is the full view of the rug including the border which is really the focal point of the whole rug.  For any rug hookers out there - I have started in a 5 cut and I might add some 4 for that looping vine in the border or any other fine detail - since there is not a lot of open backround in this rug - I will probably just stick with a 5 cut even in the backround.

Here is my mom's new rug - it's called Bunny Trails and is by Not Forgotten Farms reproduced to canvas by Spruce Ridge Studios.  My mom is a meticulous hooker - it takes her a while to make progress but she does a lovely job with the actual hooking.  She wanted something bright and springy and this certainly fills the bill.  The house is 2 shades of yellow gold - how about that blue door ???  Don't you love the texture of the daddy bunny and his cool ty dyed shirt - Vivily was trying to encourage my mom to make a plaid dress for Mommy Bunny but I'm not sure she is going to bite on that idea.  I love the rounded edge on the top of this rug - should be great fun to watch it take shape.

Here is Vivily on the right with fellow student and friend Susan Rogers on the left.  Susan is doing a lovely crewel pattern called Vasa and her color plan was exquisite.  Susan is a quilter convert to rug hooker - she told me she would sit and hook all day if she could and I think she has some interest in dyeing as well. 

 Dawn friend and a charter member of our local rug guild was hooking a stunning peacock design.  The colors in this rug were so wonderful - I know it will be fun to watch this one come alive.
Ladie (yes that is her real name) was doing a neat rug that was adapted from a old post card or some type of media like that.  She lives on St Simons Island Ga and  I wish the photo was better - the waves at the bottom were so neat - it has a shrimp boat and a rendition of the lighthouse on the island.  Her color plan was gorgeous and she said she dyed all the wool herself. 

there were about 15 or so people in my class - there were lots of  great rugs being hooked that I did not get photos of - sadly people were in and out a lot the last 2 days and I was mostly out of commission so I missed getting photos of many of my class mates rugs.

Off the Ocean 2011 is now a distant memory - it was their 12th camp and my 12th camp with the directors who are a mother daughter team and good friends of mine.  I have been fortunate enough to take classes with many great teachers at this camp - I have started a new rug each year except this year - yes I have many WIP's which are not finished from this and other camps but when I look back over the past 12 years of rug hooking - I have had so much fun and created some awesome rugs and made many friends along that journey.  I would not take anything for the experiences I have had and the time spent hooking with my mom and our friends is priceless.

Friday, January 14, 2011


I bet some of my faithful readers will know what this pile of stuff indicates????????????

YEP - it's time for Off the Ocean rug conference!!!!  YEAH - yes this is my pile of wool and hooking frame as I was dragging it out last night to pack in the car.  I am going to try to breathe life into a big rug that was designed for me but I did not get off to a good start at a previous OTO camp several years ago.  The teacher I am working with this year has done several wonderful rugs for me and I have been very pleased with the results.  She is also willing to work with my existing wool and just dye a few more colors and try to pull together a cohesive color plan for me.  I am excited !!!!!!!!  I picked her up at the airport this morning and had a nice lunch before I dropped her at the host hotel and dashed back to work to wrap up a few loose ends before checking into the hotel for 4 blissful days of hooking and visiting with my mom and other friends.  A lot of these women I only see once or twice a year so it is a lot of fun.  We had another record low here last night but all the snowbirds scoff at me when I talk about 23 being a record low - but hey folks - it's all relative - that is COLD for NE FL.  I will be taking photos of my project towards the end of camp and probably my mom's accomplishments and some of my other friends.  So next post will be a report on the camp experience this year.

This is a WIP photo of one of my 11 in 2011 Challenge pieces - it is a cowl by designer Debblie Bliss.  I am so pleased with how it coming out - I would say I am about 1/3 or 1/2 done with it - it just gets seamed together to make a big circle which you wear loosely around your shoulders or can pull up over your head the way it is pictured in the DB fall/winter magazine.  The yarn is a limited edition color by Dream in Color and is their chunky weight wool called Groovy and while I hate knitting with big needles (10.5 US) I do love this fabric - there is a slight cable pattern which you can barely see because the yarn is so busy.

The next WIP to show you is my Plymouth Sampler by the Sampler Company - if you also read Jeanne's Willow Tree Stitcher blog you have seen her GORGEOUS finished and framed Plymouth.  I have worked on this occasionally over the past year and it was NOT on my 11 111 in 2011 challenge list however my new 2011 starts are all brown right now and I needed a jolt of color - I also needed something relatively easy to stitch - this is a nice sized piece with lots of great silks - Jean at the Attic did a personal conversion for me when I visited her shop several years ago (er - let's don't say how many years ago!) and it is a mix of NPI and Belle Soie - So I am definitely enjoying some mindless stitching on this piece. 

I am making good progress with my Spanish Mystery sampler and expect to be on target with finishing January's suggested stitching.  If you read the Attic newsletter - you will see the January suggested.

I also made a small start on Elizabeth J M Mears - OMG - WHY WHY DID I choose two gigantimous samplers as SAL's this year.  I can't wait to get into that mock flame stitch section on Elizabeth but I am missing almost all of those NPI colors and need to order them before I can proceed.  Right now I am entering rug hooking heaven and my mind is not on stitching, silks or project goals.

I have been very remiss in rug hooking in 2010 - I had hoped to have 2 big rugs to put in the exhibit - I only had about 10 or 12 hours left on Merrie Halloween plus the binding - I am hanging my head in shame that I did not apply myself more 2 or 3 months ago when the goal could have been attained.  I was sitting at my frame on Sunday - frantically hooking and made great progress and then I thought - you silly goose - you can't finish this rug so just give it up.  Oh well - no need to beat myself up - it didn't happen - now all that is left is to go and have a marvelous time and enjoy my new project and all my friends.

I appreciate your comments and hope you are making great progress on your WIP's and new starts.  Please come back again real soon and enjoy your weekend !

Wednesday, January 05, 2011


Good day friends - I have a couple of finishes to show - Lots of my local friends laughed when they heard the story of Jody's one fingerless mitt for Christmas. Well to all those skeptics who might have doubted I would finish the 2nd mitt before NYD - it did happen !

I really love how they turned out and JD has already worn them a couple of times. I was so impressed I think I am going to make myself a pair right away so I can use them this winter.

The next finish is a scarf for my friend and our admin assistant at the office - Betsy - You might recall last December Betsy gave me a wonderful gift at christmas - an antique sampler which had been passed down in her family. For those knitters out there - the scarf is Hand Maiden Sea Silk and I don't remember the colorway but it is much prettier than this photo shows - actually the photo is pretty crummy but I was in a hurry this morning and wanted a snap before I presented the gift.

Here is my progress so far on my NYE/NYD new start. The Spanish Mystery sampler by Shakespeares Peddler and the 2011 SAL with the Attic .
It is worked on the new Lakeside linen color vintage Pecan Butter 36ct using Jean's silk conversion. This is actually one shade of Gloriana Florimell and one shade of Belle Soie - you can't tell much difference as they are two shades of brown - this is the color scheme for the foreseeable future on this BAP so I am already seeing stitchy-itis raising it's ugly head. Plus reading everyone's great challenge lists is not helping matters - I'm getting the OOOOOO - I want to do that one and oh I have that chart in stash - " I should start that one syndrome." Frances Eden is one of those which may see a start real soon. What a schlup I am - 5 days into the new year and I am already back sliding on my challenge commitments - oh well - I have made some progress on the list - I ordered yarn, purchased needle and downloaded the pattern for the beret that was on my challenge list. ( see previous post )

Speaking of challenge lists and finishes for 2011 - DF Teresa (girl with needles blog) has set up a new blog called Working to Finish in 2011 - please become a follower and add to your list of blog reading.  The gals who have become contributors so far are all in our Azalea Sampler Guild group but I think this blog is going to be open to anyone who would like to post their 2011 Challenge goals, photos and finishes in 2011  in one spot. I am excited about this as several who have joined don't have blogs of their own.  There are some very talented stitchers and needlewomen in our Azalea group and this will be a way for them to get their work out there for you all to see. More to come on that as our developer/creator TeresaB puts out more information about who can join or how to receive an invitation to join.

Thanks for all your comments on my Finish 11 in 2011 challenge list. I think mine should have been called "working on 111 in 2011" - that is about how many WIP's and new starts are rolling around in my head this week.  You are all wonderful inspirations to me and I value your comments and readership of my blog - thank you and please come back again real soon.