I'm sorry I haven't been writing in this since last fall. Lots of things have been happening but I haven't felt like writing. My latest bit was unexpected heart surgery Jan 27th. I had gone into a women's clinic to get a Pap spear and to get checked for breast cancer but my blood pressure was 180/120 and up for a couple of readings so they sent me across the street to the emergency room at Palmetto Hospital. Needless to say I was admitted and kept overnight with surgery scheduled the next morning. They put in 2 stints and told me I had 90% blockage, have lung cancer and some other problems related to that. I still have to go to another clinic to get checked for the breast cancer which I strongly suspect I have. I've been recovering, but I still don't have all the energy I should have and tire easily, I won't even go into all the depression over this and uncertainly about my life, art career, and future. What is bad is that I he no health insurance and very little income currently and am not old enough for Medicare and don't qualify for diability or Medicade. But I'm just going prod on and not let it all get to me.
I am hooking again. I have 2 commission rugs I am working on. One is a family Chinese zodiac type rug similar to my rug for a friend near Charleston that raises Tunis and TunisXShetlands. I am using the fleece from her sheep to hook her rug. I got the fleece in Nov and ahve it washed and dyed for hooking. The second is for a friend in Idaho that raises Icelandic sheep, Angora goats and rabbits. I am using her fleece to do a pictorial rug advertising her animals for use as a banner and display. Both are going to take a while to do as they are both roughly 3 x 4 and 4 x 5.
I have bowed out of my article I was going to do for Rug Hooking Magazine as with my health problems I am afraisd to commit to it and miss the the deadline plus if I have to have cancer treatments I'm not going to be in any shape to work let alone think to write.
I have been having problems hooking the 2 commission ones so I have startd working on a rug for myself using the designs I was going to use for the RHM one plus the other designs that weren't going to used and have put them together into one big 29 x 49 rug on monk's cloth which was originally going to be used to just do standups of the designs. This way I got all 5 designs in one place. The background I used a French Curve to trace around it shape randomly all over the mat and added in a couple of abstract human figures and some hearts. The background will be sort of strain glass like--at least that's what's in my head. I am using Karakul fleece from my friend Barb Barnett in Iowa that I trade my designs for her her fleece with.
I have spent most of the fall and winter washing and dyeing various batches of sheep fleece. The end of October I was washing and making batts of 20lbs Gulf Coast Native fleece for a local breeder, then in Nov I got 30 lbs of Anna's Icelandics, Jacob and Mohair and 25lbs of Janice's Tunis and Shetland fleeces and was washing them, and dyeing them as I went along for their rugs, then December and January I got 2 batches of Barb's Karakul and Tessdale fleeces, and have about 10 lbs more of her 28lbs of fleece to wash.
I have also been experimenting with spinning rug yarns. I have been doing some core spinning using both Llama and Shetland blends, and dyed Icelandic. The Icelandic is really soft and nice and not coarse so I am spinning some of it to make it a bit hardier for a rug. I am also experimenting with 2 and 3 ply yarns and blending the various fiber together to get a nice rug yarn. I am think of eventually trying to do some rug punching and to explore hooking with yarns more. I can't do any wheel spinning until after the 16th because of my surgery because they went in on my right groin which is above the leg I use to spin with since I have a single treadle wheel and I don't want to put any pressure on it by pumping my treadle. I am so hoping I get either an electric spinner or a double treadle wheel this year. My poor old German wheel is okay but very limited as to what it can do.
I also hope I can get a used gripper frame for my hooking--SOON! I'm still using my big oval quilting frame and stretcher strip frams with tacks for my work. I am experimenting with a pcv frame I made as a standing one and I'm using q-snaps to hold the fabric in place but not sure how they are going to hold when I have to move my hooking to another spot to work and try to use them over the hooking.
That's all for now. I hope to write more on this blog soon.
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