Saturday, August 29, 2009

Sheep Rug hooked!

Except for the final finishing and some treaking it's hooked. Finished at 11:58PM August 28th, started August 19th with minor delays and interruptions. All in natural and dyed fleece and hooked with fine and primitive hooks on rug warp. 22 1/2 x 28 1/2.

My daughter had gall bladder surgery yesterday and I will be over at her house helping with the three grandchildren 6, 2 1/2 and 10 months until Thursday at least. Taking projects with me as I have to still get ready for Fall Harvest Festival and SC State fair in October.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday's hooking

As promised Monday's hooking

Tuesday's 9/25/09 hooking--This was between 10AM and 3PM

I finished the ruff on the sheep and then started to fluff out his top mane.

Today's Wednesday 9/26/09 hooking from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM This was by 1PM

I trimmed down the some of the fluff with scissors and sculpted it a little so you could see the fiber tools better, then I worked the top fluff a little more before I started doing the lettering and lines.

This was in the shade at 4PM

The lettering, especially the word dyed is clearer in person than in this photo. I may have to add a thin outline to it so it will show up better.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Friday, August 21, 2009

More Sheep rug progress

Close ups of right and left sides

Today was my 59th birthday and I spent the biggest part of it hooking on the sheep rug while sitting outside, even in the heat. I have better light outside and can maneuver my hooking frame easier too. I worked from 8:30 Am to 4:30. I did have to drag the boom box out to drown out next door. I just not handle hellfire and damnation preachers that well while I'm trying to concentrate on my work. I got a lot of the background around the sheep done today. I decided on using greens--to try and make people think of recycling, green crafts, nature, etc.

Before I started hooking I was writing some ideas for a possible article on hooking with fleece for eith Spin-Off magazine or for Rug Hookers magazine. I'm going to contact both and see what I have to do to submit something. I have been taking pictures of some of my processes, sorry that they are with the camera phone but they
hopefully are okay.

These are some of my 'pallets' for the sheep rug

This is what I am hooking. Pulled fluff

Rolled in my hands like a clay or felt snake

Hooked into the rug warp

Close ups of eyes, an ear, and nose

Three Ravens bag semi finished--just have to add strap to it, and finish upper edge then take a much better outside picture. This was in the living room and does not do it justice. It's 18h x 20w. The main panels are 15w and the added side panels are 4 1/2 w.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Sheep rug started

I was ambitious today. Between 9:30 AM and 5 PM I got all of this hooked. I'm hooking with Badgerface and White Welsh Mountain uncarded fleeces to do the sheep while the colors are coming from food dyed and Wilton cake dyed Lincoln, Finn, and other breeds of sheep. This was designed on rug warp and so far I am very happy working the fleece on this. I'm a lot happier with this than when I have done similar hooking on burlap and linen. I'm using fine and primitive hooks.


3 PM

5 PM

I am going to do this all in fleece, adding no strips or yarns just t see how an all fleece piece will come out. I am also experimenting with adding a fleece ruff to it. I'll see how it turns out and debate whether it stays or not. I'm hooking the fleece into the fabric and then pulling the intact fleeces out, not doing true proddy with this.

The crows are enclosed into a felt bag I am still sewing together by hand. I almost got the sewing machine out then decided not to use it and to hand sew instead. I cut out a circle in the felt and then turned down the edges of it and sewed in it and then sewed another ring around it to hold the backing fabric in place. There was enough fabric to do a good size tote bag with side gussets and a strap. I'll post pictures of the finished bag next time.

I'm making a 2 inch border in black around the dino rug. I started that yesterday after seeing that 2 rows was not enough of a border so I'm taking the border out to the original inner border line and it does look better and frames it without being over powering.

The neighbors across the street killed and removed all the big oak and other trees in their yard. These were huge trees probably 40 to 80 years old, 2-4 feet in girth, some older than the ones in my yard. I have a hard time understand tree killers when these were nice healthy trees with great shade for their yard. The squirrels and birds that lived in them are upset too.

At least the neighborhood wildlife has a haven in my yard. I love watching all the squirrels, and birds as well as the butterflies and dragonflies that come visit. I have trees and plan on keeping all of them as long as the neighbors don't kill them off. Today I had a very unusual visitor and huge hawk that was as big as my 3 year or grandson. My dog was inside at the time but it landed by my clothesline and before I could grab my camera phone it took off. I did find a similar photo of what I saw which was a red shouldered hawk not a red tailed one as it was lighter colored more golden and with lots more cream on it's chest and head. I've heard them in the yard and seen them flying up in the sky but it blew me away to see one land not that far from me while I was working. I felt very blessed today.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Three Ravens

I got the three ravens hooked today, but am not totally happy with it yet. I have to figure out how to get the legs to stand out and make the ravens themselves stand out better. This was after three other attempts at a background color combo that would work. I think I should have done it all in fleece instead of doing the background in wool strips, and strips I cut from some of my younger daughter's ex-clubbing clothes and an old paisley skirt. I wanted to experiment with alternative to wool strips and try other recycled clothing in this piece. This is still going on in as as insert in a felted bag I am making from a felted Shetland, Jacob, Alpaca, and Icelandic shawl I made 2 years ago that came out thicker than I wanted, but great thickness for a purse though. I'm cutting a frame hole in the shawl and inserting the hooked piece in then stitching around the hooking. I may end up whipping the edge with some metallic threads and adding some embroidery. This piece will be going in the Fall Festival stuff for sale.

I do my fleece hooking with a 'fine' hook for the most part. I'm using mainly uncarded fleece, but you can use carded. The ravens were done in Black Mountain Welsh, Jacob, and some Black Shetland. The blues, purples and pinks came from some food dyed Tunis, Lincoln, and Finn fleeces, the yellows from food dyed Lincoln. I use a variety of different fleeces for hooking as I am still trying to figure out which are the best suited for doing it. Merino is a no go as it is too soft. You need something with some body and crimp to it as well as a longer staple length something at least 4" long.

Alpaca is a pain to work with because it is so slick and slippery to handle. At least it is for me. I mix it in with the wools I felt with but I hate trying to spin it by itself because it will not hold together unless I have a very fast wheel going.

The nice thing about hooking with fleece you can mix your own colors even as you hook for shading. You pull up your fiber just like you hook normally, you also control the thickness of your stitches, Some times it's helpful to roll the fibers in your hand like you are making a snake and gently pull it taunt like you are making pencil roving. Your back is going to be a bit messy. Needle felting it gently will also help lock the fibers in place. Best backings are linen, burlap or a close weave cross stitch fabric.

I'm going to be doing the Green Cat rug all in fleece, so I'll be able to tell you more how this works on a large project. This technique would also be good for making hot pads. I'm just beginning to touch the surface of what can do with hooking with sheep's fleece.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Dinosaur rug almost finished

I've almost got the dinosaur rug finished. Just the border(s) to go on it now. Finished the main part in a 5 hour hooking session today before I did some much needed yard work.

Though I wish my gay neighbors would leave my bushes alone and quite cutting my shrubby by our mutual fence. I want a privacy screen and they keep cutting my bushes and tree next to the fence. They were cutting the yard but after they cut down my flowering bush surround my oak tree and destroyed my basket woven sculptures of a goddess figure and a tall greenman that were in the bush I haven't let them near the yard. Then there's their all day every dayChristian religious gosphal channel that they listen to from early morning until 11 PM everyday at very loud volume. I don't care what other people believe in but I do dislike having to listen to it and having to play my music loud enough to drown theirs out. I am trying to avoid cops or getting really nasty but I would like to enjoy my backyard and listen to the birds and sound of nature instead of listening to anything. When I can afford it I'm putting up a tall wooden fence to have some much needed privacy. Their yard in picture perfect--that's all they do is play with their yard and have the money to put in nice plants, and landscape. They also work for the city I live in which is another reason I don't want more hassles with them. Maybe I'm being unreasonable but I just wish they'd leave my bushes, and trees alone and tone down their radio. I just feel sorry for the people on the other side of them as their house is closer to the radio than mine.

Going off soap box and back to rugs. I sent in my forms for the Fall Heritage Festival Oct 10th at the SC State Museum. It was only $30 for a 12 x 12 space and hopefully I'll be able to get a tent too. I will be having a couple of rugs for sale.
I'm thinking of selling Walk Me Dragon but only if someone offers me $3,000.00 for it. Dinosaur rug will also be up for sale for $700.00. I really need the money otherwise they'd be going to family as present instead. I'm going to have a combination of hooked and felted items. Some that will be both hooked and felted with 3D effects.

I've been back playing with my fleece and roving this week and about have my 3 Ravens 12" circle finished. It's being done mainly in fleece but with some fancy yarns and fabrics thrown in. It's going as a insert in felted purse. I had done the felted fabric 2 years ago attempting to do a Shetland and Jacob shawl but it felted up too thick so it's perfect for making a felted bag of. I'm going to try and recreate my greenman purse I did 2 years ago and maybe some other ones I did for over in Wales. I'm working 12-14 days on my projects now trying to get things ready for the shows. It's amazing what a little space and seeing hope and light at the end of the tunnel can do to boast one's moral and get things accomplished.

Other designs I came up with this week working in the 12" circle space

I got my 12" circle for the Yahoo Rughooker's group swap done already except for the final finishing as it's on the same piece of linen as the raven piece is and I want to finish it and the other small pieces I have drawn out on it before cutting and finishing them.

After October I will be trying to teach classes in beginning hooking, felting and maybe spinning at Lexington. I'm also thinking of developing a mini workshop on my hooking with fleece techniques and another one on combining hooking and felting and maybe offer them in the future at a rug camp or something so I can go to a camp. Maybe someone will invite me to teach next year.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Been Moving


I've been moving over to the house permanent this last week. Kendra and Corey moved to his grandmother's in Brevard, NC. It's taken over a week to get everything resorted out and finding places for all my junk. A majority of my stuff was already at the house but a lot was over at my husband's shop. I now have a functional studio space in part of the den/living room area. On one side of the back wall is the sheep collection about 8 or so containers full of fleece for my spinning, felting and rug hooking. On the other side is the rug hooking fabrics in bins. In the middle is a 10 ft folding table with magnifying light. Several shelves with with odd ball stuff and tools are next to me behind the table. I have room for my spinning wheel and spinning equipment. Along one wall I have my big looms and on my easel I've got the family rug to be worked on. Behind the couch facing my table is all my yarns in bags until I can get some more bins to put them in. You can't see them from the living room part.

In the laundry room is all my felting equipment to do wet felting with. In my bedroom I've got the cross stitch and needlepoint fabrics and equipment, Most of my fabrics are in there, along with dolls, doll stuff, acrylic yarns, and what finished fiber crafts I haven't hung up and lots of varied fiber crafts UFOs. As you come into the house I have the dining room/entry area hung with all my cross stitch and needlepoint finished pieces. I've got painting in the hallway and in my room and a few in the living room. I haven't hung up any of the rugs yet. The matle over the fire place has my collection of odd varied collector items, character dolls, minatures and family photos. A lot of things haven't been together in one spot in almost 20 years.

I will be doing the Fall Heritage Festival October 10th at the State Museum here in Columbia, SC. They finally sent the entry form and have also asked me to do a demo of my work. The SC State Fair is Oct 14-21 and I am going to try and stick some things in this year but the drop off for it is Oct 7-8 and release dates are Oct 26-27. The Conagree Fibre Arts Guild is going to do a group demo at the fair and I'll be doing that too sometime during the fair but hopefully not on Oct 17th as that's when Autumn, Heather's youngest is having her first birthday party. So I've got to figure what's going in the Fair and what I'm going to have in my booth for the festival.

I've also got an opportunity to teach in Lexington. I volunteered to teach rug hooking, felting and spinning but before I knew for sure about the festival. I have to come up with a teaching plan. They would like some one to do children's classes, especially after school and adults. I have to write them back but I'm thinking I wouldn't be able to do any classes until Nov as I need prep time for the classes and I have to get stuff ready for the festival and the state fair. I also need to do a test run on my teaching using the grandchildren and see how it goes. I've never taught before so I am really, really nervous about my abilities.

Monday Brian, my youngest son, 27, moved in over at the house as his roomates in Atlanta vanished. So instead of having the house to myself I have one kid back home again, By the end of the month my oldest son, 39, will be moving in. But with no internet at the house they'll be spending time at the shop so I'll at least have some quiet time to myself. Hopefully, they will help me with the yard work that despartly needs to be done.

I did manage to get some more hooked on the dino rug, and am going to try and work on Walk Me some more tonight.