Wednesday, June 26, 2013


A finish YEAH !!!!!!!!!!!!!  I have mentioned previously that I am participating in the annual Camp Loopy event with The Loopy Ewe.  Each month in the summer - Sheri the owner gives us a different challenge and criteria  - For June I chose Blue Whale by Stephen West - I used a "new to me" yarn - Dragonfly Fibers Djinni Sock in a beautiful colorway called Water Sprite.  Last night I finished with 5 days to spare.  YIPPEE!
Not a glamorous photo but shows the interesting shape of Blue Whale.  It was an enjoyable pattern to knit.  Easy but not boring.

You can see the colorway here a bit better - it has a seed stitch border around the whole edge of the shawl and the body is broken up into sections of stockinette, reverse stockinette and seed stitch.  The yarn was nice but in typical fashion - I wanted to move on in the Camp Loopy 2 challenge and try a yarn I have always wanted to try.

I'm  back to a typical "mel" color as my friends would say.  This is Swans Island 100% organic merino fingering.  Swans Island is in Maine - they have a very interesting story and concept - I would encourage you to read about their company.  This is early thyme and is a lovely bright crisp green.  The challenge on this CL project was that you choose a project that is "popular" on Ravelry - had to have at least 1000 projects or 1000 que'd projects and it also had to be a minimum of 500 yards.  I chose a Rose Beck pattern called And So Are You from her Roses are Red Violets are Blue series of shawls.  I can't wait to get started on this beauty.  I think a pattern like this needs a solid or semi solid yarn - not every pattern is suited to the beautiful overdyed yarns.

So last post I told you all about the wonderful workshop with Polly Minick - promised to show you one of the lovely kits I got from Polly.  Here is a minaturized version of her huge mermaid.  I love the canvas.

Here is a close up of the beautiful blues for the mermaid which just captured me from first glance.  I plan to make a few subtle changes but I'll let them be a surprise.  Who knows when I will ever get around to starting this sea creature but I have her stashed and that is most important.  I have another much bigger rug kit stashed from the workshop.  It is a much bigger sea creature therefore a much bigger canvas.  There is not a photo of it in the kit so I decided to make you wait a while longer to see that one.

Two posts in a week - what's the world coming to !  Just had to share my Whale with you and my excitement to have completed the first Camp Loopy with days to spare.  Hope everyone is having a wonderful summer so far.  June is drifting away - I might not be back to wish you all a Happy 4th of July - hope you have your patriotic stitching/hooking/knitting/quilting all lined up for the patriotic season. 

Friday, June 21, 2013


Can't believe that we had Polly Minick of MinickandSimpson fame for a workshop right in my little town of Orange Park last weekend.  WOW is all I can say - Polly was awesome - the workshop, trunk show and lecture was amazing.  I've had Polly before down in Sebring for a rug camp but this time she really went all out for Calico Station our LQS who put on the workshop.  Her sister Laurie shipped down quilt after gorgeous quilt, quilt kits and inspiration to last a lifetime.  Polly even took rugs off her walls and brought them.  They are a dynamic design team for Moda and there was even a co-worker of theirs from Moda in attendance at the lecture on Sunday.  I apologize but I think maybe her name was Cheryl and she was a designer herself when she was recruited to work for Moda.  Her colorful comments really added to the lecture and trunk show.  I think Polly said M&S had done 35 collections for Moda - can you believe ?? I just can't say enough about the wonderful works of fiber art these two sisters create.  I have some of their books but there is nothing like seeing those huge quilts in person - most of which have been hand pieced, hand appliqued and hand quilted by Laurie.

I could gush on and on but I am going to get going with the photos because that's why you are all here right !

Here is a photo of Polly and I standing in front of a lovely shop quilt made from their wildly popular blue and white Indigo Crossing fabric collection.  There was tons of that stuff flying out the door that weekend.  I'm thankful I don't quilt - I was sorely tempted but resisted because the wool fumes were overwhelming and I was already drooling over the available wool kits.

Here is a rug I started with Polly prior to this workshop at another camp.  I was having a hard time jump starting my new project so I just kept hooking on this one.  I do love it so much - for anyone who wants to know - this rug is on the cover of the Americana Collection book.  A little later I will show the cover rug which lives on Polly's wall at home.

This was not a kit from Polly - however the majority of the wool is from Polly.  I added the yellow greens and did the backround in Polly's signature style of combining 3 similar backround wools together.  LOVE IT !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 Here is my new endeavor - the Folk Art Star rug which appears in the Folk Art Friends book.  The stars in this version are all antique black - again in Polly's unsinkable style with 3 different wools in antique black blended to give a lovely patina.  There are 20 fair sized stars in the body - 4 smallers stars in each corner and I will use my favorite "colonial" type colors behind the stars and in the scrappy border.  It is quite a large rug - roughly 2' X 4' I would say and you may see it finished in the next decade but who cares - I love it and it will be a blast to hook.
In the backround is Polly's gameboard rug next to DF Karen who has head down and is working away.  Over to the left is DF Donna who was working on Polly's amazing Lady Liberty rug - can't believe I failed to get a photo of Donna's beautiful Semper Fi flag she finished on Memorial Day weekend.

 Here is Polly's Uncle Sam's hat rug which is mounted for hanging.  Same size as mine - slightly different coloration - so beautiful !!
 OMGosh - can you believe how gorgeous this quilt is.  I'm not sure what book it was from - DF Karen is assisting in the trunk show presentation.
 I "think" Polly said this quilt didn't make the book but a beauty indeed.
 I think this is from the newest book Quilts and Rugs by Quiltmania - I think it was called Snow Days.
 Another of Polly's amazing rugs mounted for hanging in her home.  I'm pretty sure this is from the Americana book.
 Don't remember too much about this quilt - but another signature blue and white beauty.
 Probably my favorite quilt in the show - Spirit of Sacajawea - Stunning is an understatement to be sure.  All that applique - apparently some shops have offered as a block of the month. 
I can't remember if this was from the American Summer book but I think so.  I think Polly said this quilt and a rug was going to a new home in Australia.  So yes - Polly does sell her rugs in galleries and she has collectors of her work all over the world as does Laurie.  So if you see something you can't live without - give them a shout and see what work of art can come to live at your house.

This is the wonderful vintage bicycle rug from the American Summer book.  Don't you love the streamers from the handlebars - that brings back memories doesn't it !

Another exquisitely appliqued quilt - not sure of the book but the colors look like Spirit of Sacajawea - pardon me on any of these if I am wrong.

 The really unique muted flag - again mounted to be hung in Polly's home

 LOVE LOVE this one - if Polly had brought this kit it would have come home with me.  Let's don't talk about the TWO kits that *DID* come home with me - they are even more my style - a hint - nautical/sea creatures - some of my favorite subjects to hook.

Another great Christmas themed rug - Behind the pillow is Pam one of the owners of Calico and seated beside her is Martha - Their shop has been in business for 30 years and is a great shop -  Even though I don't quilt I go to their once a month Friday night "dinner with Vern" event ( Vern is the shop cat) 
All the rug hookers who attended felt very welcome at Calico and we really appreciate their generosity in opening their shop to Polly and her band of groupies.
I had a bunch more photos that just didn't come out because I was jiggling too much or someone stepped in front of the shot.  The workshop was so inspiring - Polly is an amazing folk artist who has coined a look that is sought after and collected by both rug hookers and fans of fiber art.  Her work has graced many magazines, galleries, art shows and we were just overwhelmed by her wit and wisdom in regards to her storied career that spans 30 + years and over 400 rugs.  If you ever get a chance to meet or take a workshop with either or both of the dream team of Polly and Laurie - don't pass it by - it will be an experience you will remember always.  Cheers !

Monday, June 10, 2013


When I get ready to make a blog post and start scrambling for blog fodder it seems like nothing much has been going on in the world of my needlework progress.  Sure seems to be a common question with everyone - "where does the time go" - IT JUST GOES !!!!!!!

Many of my blog friends are participating in or are "following" the Year of Scarlet Letter blogs.  I have been working on (well not really) the Where the Hart Lives sampler.  It was a WIP when I joined the blog and while people are finishing huge SL samplers right and left - I am still stuck on the border - AACCKKK

It's not that I don't like the sampler - I do - actually when I leave it put up for a long time - I really like it when I see it again and I tell myself - Oh gees - surely I am half finished - NOT - I guess just like with any goal - baby steps get you to the completion.  I am going to try and renew my promise to at least work on this sampler once a week.
 Mary Moteshed by Needlework Press has had most of my very little stitching time lately.  Love the PTP Mello linen it is stitched on.
 For some reason I am stuck on stitching samplers containing people lately.  I would love to have the Solvine Palphreyman sampler by Handwork which is similar to this one.  If anyone has a copy they would be interested in parting with - please contact me.
If there are any knitters out there - perhaps you've heard of The Loopy Ewe.  I know I've mentioned Sheri's great shop before.  I am just an online customer but she runs Camp Loopy every summer.  There is a different project/challenge every month of the summer - 3 in all.  I have participated every year and this year I drug a few friends along to camp with me.  Here is a photo of my DF Kris and me at Starbucks this weekend "camping" and doing our WWKIP ( world wide knit in public) day.  My blue whale is in the foreground - beautiful colorway and it's coming along.  Have to be done by the end of June and the next challenge starts on 7/1.

 Here's a better shot along with my camping equipment - my trusty Camp Loopy project back pack.  When I first got this - my husband said - OMG - are you going to wear that thing !!!!!!  It was very comical at the time - I guess he thought I had really flipped my lid.  I'm not critisizing people who would wear it as a backpack but I'm not the backpack/fannypack type and it was just very funny at the time.
Another photo of DF Henri and Kris along with my oddly illuminated CL owl sitting in my chair.  This was at a different Starbucks location the weekend before as it was our "start day" for camp loopy - we all wanted to be sitting around the campfire together.  "camping" at starbucks is about as adventurous as this gal is going to get LOL

 The other thing I've been hard at work on this Black Elinor - that's what I call this scarf.  It's been an ongoing project for over a year.  I find black very hard to work on but a good friend and celebrity in the rug hooking work Polly Minick had seen my green Elinor at a rug workshop and asked me if I could make her one in black.  Well - Polly is coming to my area for a rug hooking workshop this weekend and I "need" to have her scarf ready for her to take home.  Too bad you can't see anything much from the photo but I have to show "almost completed" projects when I can.  It is a cable ridge pattern and has a nice cable panel. The yarn is exquisite Shibui baby alpaca with a strand of their Silk Cloud - to say its yummy is an understatement.  I hope Polly loves it.  With that said - I'm sure my next post will show highlights of the rug hooking workshop we are having with Polly this weekend.  A trunk show of her and her sister Lauries designs - hooking and having fun with local friends and friends from out of the area who are coming for the workshop.  What could be better for June jottings.  Until we meet again dear blog friends - have a jovial June!