Monday, May 30, 2011


Good morning and Happy Memorial Day! 

I hope you all have great plans for today - barbeques beaches and blue skies.  Today is not a holiday in our company so I am "working" today however I will be attending a BBQ at one of the local stores.  That will be a nice break in the day and something special that we don't do every day.

I have been working on a little patriotic piece by Handwork - the America pillow. It is on BOAF Sparrow and done in the called for overdyed cottons. It is so fun to work on something like this - I don't typically do these colors. I've made good progress in the past two days. I think I am going to keep it out this summer and make it my "fun" piece to break to when I am tired of working on my samplers.

I promised a photo of the new persian oriental rug I started last weekend in my workshop.  Here it is - I need to do some tweaking here and there.  I'm not happy with how the larger red flower came out - not enough contrast so I need to add some outlining of a lighter shade of red or perhaps that yellow green. Overall I'm very pleased with how it is coming out.

Here is a closer photo - you can see what I mean about the larger flower needing some enhancement.

I did not say before but this is hooked in a 5 cut and some stems in a 4 cut.  I am proud to say that all the wool except a few pieces came out of my stash cupboard.  I had purchased all the yellow greens from the teacher Eric at a previous workshop so I definitely wanted to put some of that in the rug and I also wanted some of Linda (the workshop director) in the rug so the beigy brown center of the pomegranate is from her lovely wall of wool.

This is a KAL I have been doing on the Madeline Tosh board on Ravelry - only knitters will understand all this jargon.  It was called MADMAY and the object you chose to "knit a long" was supposed to be finished in May to be eligible for the prizes - oh well - it won't be finished in May but I have enjoyed working on it - I need to put on a longer circular needle - that one is getting crowded with stitches so it would not lay flat.  The yarn is MT Pashmina in a color called Wash - the yarn is yummy to work with and I would highly recommend it.  There was as great article in the new Vogue Knitting mag that just came out about the Madeline Tosh company.  Take a read if you are a fan of this awesome hand dyed line out of Texas.

I'm going to leave you to celebrate the day in whatever way you enjoy most.  Whether it be quietly stitching or lounging around the pool, lake or ocean.  It's a day that we Americans should all hold dear to our hearts and always remember those who have given their lives for our freedom. 

Thursday, May 26, 2011


Oh my goodness - the rug hooking workshop I attended this past weekend at The Hookery in the Blue Ridge Mountains in North GA was simply heaven.  It was held at the home of certified rug hooking instructor Linda Bell - her home is perched high up on a hill overlooking Lake Chatuge and with a stunning view of the Blue Ridge mountains.  Linda engaged another national level certified instructor Eric Sandberg to teach an intimate workshop of 14 at her home.  Apparently Linda does a spring and fall workshop every year and invites guest teachers.  She also has classes in her studio that she teaches all during the year.  I was excited to be able to attend and met many nice women.  I learned so much from Eric - his style of teaching is a bit different from most instructors I have taken classes from.  The whole first day was spent learning about the color wheel and how placement and usage of color in your rug could make or break the overall quality and appeal of the piece.  This type of lesson would be applicable to any type of design work - quilting - needlepoint - home decor placement - etc etc. - I had Eric in a 2 day workshop some years ago and he was on the same track but has honed things tremendously and I would say this is a teacher not to be missed.

After the lecture on the color wheel was over - we all took our canvas, wool bags and chairs out to the covered patio just off of Linda's studio which is on the ground floor of her home. One by one Eric called out each student to discuss her canvas and see what wool and colors she brought to contribute to the design.

Some people had everything they needed to make a successful color plan and some he said "go shopping for this, this and this" - Linda had two WALLS of wool and Eric had a whole table full he brought from home.

Here is Eric's table overlooking the covered patio.  Who wouldn't love that view !

This was my view from where I was sitting in the workshop - total bliss - huh?????

Here is a beautiful oriental that Eric is hooking.  The rug will be for sale to the highest bidder when he completes it.  It is 5 ft X 7 ft and is hooked in a 3 cut - it is an old Pearl McGown pattern but I don't remember the name.  His current highest bid is $4500 - a pittance of what this rug should be worth - so if you have $5000 to spend and want this rug - it might could be yours. 

 For some reason - I did not take a photo of my persian oriental.  It is a small rug - I think 18" X 30" but a very interesting design and I was pleased with the color plan.  We did not get a lot of hooking done on our actual projects because Eric also gave 2 dye demos and a finishing demo so I guess maybe that is why I did not include any WIP's of the projects in this workshop.

Since I was in a hurry to get a post made before the holiday weekend - I did not take any WIP photos of my needlework or knitting either.  Actually there has not been a lot of progress with my stitching or knitting lately.

So for those of you who are lucky enough to be taking off on a trip for Memorial Day weekend - have a great time.  I have sampler guild on Saturday and we'll probably hang out around the pool and cook out on Sunday - Don't forget to remember all of those who have fought and gave up so much for our freedom in this great country.  America the Beautiful - sing it loud and sing it proud !!!!!!!!


Wednesday, May 18, 2011


WOW - miracles never cease - 2nd post in less than a week.

This one is mostly just photos from the informal exhibit we held at our recent hook in.  The Northeast Florida Rug Hookers hold one hook in every year in May.  We had about 30 hookers there.  Most were guild members but we did have a group from the Ocala guild and the Citrus Belle guild and one friend even came from South Florida. 

I'm going to make this short and sweet - I am on my way to another rug hooking workshop in the Blue Ridge Mountains of NE GA right on the NC border.  Linda Bell is hosting Eric Sandberg at her studio The Hookery for a workshop and he is focusing on wide cut orientals.  YEP - I am starting another oriental - this one will be much smaller than the dreaded albatross I spoke about in a previous post.  I'll have another report from the workshop when I return next week.

So on with the show . . . . . .

This rug is a pictoral hooked by a guild member - Lynn did a great job using a lot of as is wool and it was so much fun to see her work on this rug and be there for the binding and throwing on the floor of a great finished rug.  CONGRATULATIONS Lynn for a beautiful finish.

This is not a very good picture of a beautiful 3 cut rug by Connie Charleson - Connie is a NE FL resident and has been a rug hooker and teacher for well over 50 years.  She is amazing at 88 still teaching - still dyeing - still hooking and still creating patterns.  She said this rug was hooked in 1964 and look at the color retention.

This sunflower is from Connies line of patterns - also hooked with a 3 cut - what a stunning backround.  It was hooked by a student of Connies but I won't say because I am not quite sure who laid it down.

I did not hear whose pictoral this was but it is so pretty.  I think maybe it was by one of the gals from the Ocala guild.

This very beautiful purse/tote was done by one of our guests from the Ocala guild.  What gorgeous colors - I love the crewel type elements in this design.

Sorry but I have no idea who did this lovely street scene.  It is out of focus and I apologize to the hooker.

DF Susan hooked this beautiful Angel Sampler rug - I'm not sure of the cut but I think she used 6,7 and 8 - it was worked at a rug camp in Texas and the design is by Bea Brock as well as the color plan.  I worked on this same design at the hook in but mine is a runner and not as big as this one and my color plan is completely different with a dark stormy night sky.  I will show mine to you soon.

This WIP is done entirely in  a 4 cut by another guest at the hook in.  Michelle does exquisite work and has won many prizes for her rugs at our local rug camp.  I think she said that she did all the dyeing for this rug herself.

Another 3/4 cut beauty - I'm not sure of this guests name but she attends every year and it is always a pleasure to see her beautiful creations.

Another Bea Brock canvas and color plan by a fellow guild member Nancy.  The colors are bold and dramatic and that olive green backround is just perfect.

I think this rug was also done by a guest from the Ocala rug guild.  It is in a 5/6 cut I believe I heard someone say.  Love the scallop border - very pretty in person.

Last but certainly not least - Here's ULYSSES !!!!!!  DF Karen started this darling guy at Ocean rug camp last year.  He makes me smile every time I see him - he is too cute for words.

That's all folks!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, May 12, 2011


Well its been a while since I've made a post.  Thought I would get this done last week but its been crazy busy at work and I am usually able to take a short break to visit blogland.  Nevertheless - here it is almost the end of another busy week.

I am looking forward to our rug hooking guilds annual hook in this Saturday.  We have about 30 members and guests coming.  Our guild members all bring a dish or dessert to share and our guild purchases the main entrees.  Hopefully I'll have some photos of this event to share next post.

In my last post I mentioned going to a needlepoint class down in central florida at Needle Orts.  The class was so much fun and it was good to see Deb the owner again and a few women I knew when I took classes at my beloved Black Sheep in Winter Park.  Those days are gone forever and it has been very hard to get back into needlepoint.  The shop owner was a dear friend and mentor and I enjoyed spending time in her shop - we became close personal friends over the 20 years I patronized her shop.  So now I am tryng to find my way back to needlepoint thanks to the local chapter of EGA which I joined last year.  All those ladies mostly do canvas work and they have inspired me to dust off my NP books and projects and become involved again. 

I don't have much progress to show you on my class piece which is a bunny tree by Ruth Schmuff.  I'm embarrassed to say it took 2 hours to complete that one purple flower I am going to show you.  There is also a bunny next to it that flower that just needs his fluff and bunny #2 will be completed - at this rate - this will be finished in time for Easter 2020 LOL !  Ok - it is fun using all those great fibers - I do miss that about NP.  I also paid a visit to my other new fave NP shop in Savannah last week - the French Knot and stocked up on some silk threads for a canvas I bought from her in the fall.  I'll show you in another post.

The title of this post refers to the fact that every one of these flowers are edged in a buttonhole stitch - that's why it took 2 hours to complete one flower.  It is lovely and I am really enjoying the fibers but getting that butonhole stitch to lay just right is tedious and time consuming.  I'm sure the results are worth the effort.

Is this wool gorgeous or what???  the color is called Poodle Skirt and I found it on my foray to Savannah last week.  This is a gorgeous cowl from the Shibui Luxury book - The Staccato variagated yarn is a wool silk blend and you knit it together with 2  strands of Silk Cloud which is a kid mohair/silk blend - to say it is heavenly is an understatement. I have been in  a huge knitting slump for so many months it's really hard to believe.  However one visit to Wild Fibre and I'm back in the saddle again.  Knitting every night is such a zen thing for me.  Even if I stitch for a couple of hours - stopping and knitting a few rows before bed really seems to relax me and prepare me for a rest ful night.

Is this mermaid pin pillow precious or what !!!  DF Carol  stitched this darling SB piece for me.  She even did the finishing herself and put on that dreamy ruched edging.  The lovely scissors in the photo are KAI scissors from Japan - I had never heard of them before so I was excited to add them to my collection of scissors.  I found some interesting info on the KAI website and would love to order a rotary cutter from them and a pair or fabric scissors even though there is certainly nothing wrong with my little used Gingher fabric scissors.  Carol has made me so many treasured gifts over the years - she knows that I love mermaids.

Look at the perfect fabric she found for the back of the pinpillow.  I think you can see the ruching even better in this shot.

I did not get to make a post for mothers day but we had a great one.  My mom has been wanting an orchid so here is the one I found for her.  What lovely creamy yellow blooms it has - sorry I don't remember the name of the type of orchid.  She also got some pandora earring charms and a new pandora pendant to hang on one of her bracelets.  We love collecting pandora and I still have not shown a photo of the new leather pandora bracelet I got for my birthday.  Next time !

the last photo is the sad progress I have made on my Spanish SAL.  I am not even 1/2 way across this band for April.  I do have a very valid excuse - I am using the Attic's silk conversion for their SAL - on this particular band - the Belle Soie color was so light those golden leaves just faded completely into the backround.  I kept on stitching them until I had about 6 done and was having such a difficult time stitching the leave because I could not see the thread against the linen - URGHHHH - So I found the color that Theresa at SP actually used in her chart (Gloriana Lacquered Gold I think) and did another flower in that silk - OMG - WHAT a huge difference it made - so then there was the dreaded task of pulling out 6 leaves which I could hardly see - I was so scared I was going to pull the linen threads by accident.  That took several sessions because it was just so unpleasant and so unproductive.  AAACCCKKK - Sooooooo - that is my sad story as to why I am behind - very behind on my April assignment.  Plus the lure of the buttonholes and bunnies did not help my plight.  I'm going to keep at it - I really do enjoy stitching on this sampler but I really like forward progress.  Here's hoping all my friends in blog land are making lots of forward progress of their own.