Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving!

Grateful for family, friends, good food, and a day to relax!

Well,...after all the baking and cooking is finished!

Wishing you all good things!


Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Salmon & Wild Roses

This rug marks the beginning of my "fish phase" several years ago.

The inspiration is all about a quiet little bay in Washington State, where my family camps each summer with my dad, siblings, in-laws, nieces and nephews.

Salmon & Wild Roses is a compilation of images and memories from my visits there. I admit, it seems like an odd topic, to have salmon and wild roses together in a rug, but for me it works, as I will explain.

The beach is narrow in some places where the meadow with it's wild roses and beach grass come right down to the logs and rock-filled shore. When I stand on that beach looking out at the water I imagine that salmon are swimming out past the inlet, on their way to the mouth of the river that is right around the bend.

The undulating edges of the rug are meant to suggest the waves lapping on the beach.

Having a lot of movement in the background was important to me. I wanted to convey the rhythmic motion of waves coming into shore.

I like how the roses dance around the background with the salmon. As if I had grabbed a handful of blossoms and thrown them out onto the water's surface to watch how the tide dispersed them.

Salmon & Wild Roses measures 31" x 52". It can be found in my ETSY shop with other patterns, hand-dyed wool and rug hooking related items.


Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Crocheted Loop Edging

Making hooked pieces into pillows is a wonderful way to expand your hooking repertoire!

A hooked pillow sitting on your couch or chair is a ready invitation to come and sit a bit.

Often times when I hook a pillow, I finish it by sewing on a wool backing then stuffing the pillow with batting; or I will make an envelope-type closure to fit over a pillow form. I know some rug hookers save their wool snippet, (cut ends from their strips) for stuffing pillows.

This pillow, Abby Cat, was hooked as a gift for a friend who's 16 year old cat passed away earlier this spring. Abby, was a small white cat with two different colored eyes and loads of personality. She would not be denied the chance to sit on your lap when you came to visit. Also, she loved to eat flowers, so my friend had to keep the vases of flowers on high shelves where Abby could not reach them.

In designing this rug, I wanted it to convey a happy light-hearted feeling. A design that would evoke sweet memories of a dearly loved pet. My friend adores the flowers, Lilly of the Valley, so putting those in the design was a nice balance to the white cat motif. I knew Abby needed to be surrounded by flowers, since in life, she seemed to have a "thing" for them! The arching leaves above the cat give motion to the piece, and lead your eye back to the cat, as you take in the other motifs and lettering.

I thought the pillow needed some sort of fringe around the edge. I love the look of a proddy fringe, but was concerned it would be too "heavy" for the feel of this pillow. I have used a wide strip of wool, tacked in random fashion as an edging for a small pumpkin pillow of mine. I like how it added a little bit of fancy feel to the pillow. So that's how the idea to do something similar, a crocheted loop edging, for this pillow was born.

I had some lovely hand-dyed wool yarn that perfectly matched the background of the pillow. The idea was originally to use a single chain stitch, but I found that I wanted more substance to the crocheted loop edging. What finally worked is a chain stitch that is approximately 2 times longer than the perimeter of the pillow (plus about 8" to allow for loops at corners), that is turned and single crocheted back across the chain. (Big thanks to my crafting friend Trish, she rescued me as I tried to figure out this technique. She sweetly ended up making me the edging.)

I tacked the crocheted loop edging to the pillow edge, between the hooking and the wool back fabric, with the same yarn that was used to make the crocheted loop edging. I did this in random fashion because I like how that adds character, and frankly, I'm too impatient to try to measure everything just so.

The Abby Cat pattern can be ordered from my ETSY shop. It can be personalized for your cat, or the name space above "CAT" can be left as a blank background.

Tomorrow this pillow with the crocheted loop edging, goes to live with my friend Kim.

Abby Cat will sit on the couch, chair, or just maybe... snuggle on a lap.


Wednesday, November 4, 2015


We make hooked rugs in all shapes and sizes.

The biggest rug I have hooked is 40" x 52", the smallest have been punch needle, broach size, and I have hooked many rugs in between those sizes.

Sometimes I like to hook small pieces to give as gifts or to use as auction items for fundraisers. Hooking little mats is a great way to play with color, to experiment with an idea you may want to use later in a bigger rug.

The dove and squirrel mats were my most recent take-a-break, have fun with color and design, and see what might happen pieces.

I know there are a lot of creative folks out there. What sort of small project is on your hooking "to do" list?