Weather Widget

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Binding a locker hooked rug

Sunday, August 28, 2010:

When I started this rug, I didn't know how much fabric I would need. I began hooking in the middle and worked my way out.  After buying more fabric and getting almost finished with one side, I decided to bind it.  I did not clip my backing because I don't like for the threading to break and I believe it is more difficult to stitch and hook a small doubled fold.  So I folded over about 10 rows.

Then I took my cotton cording, sewing needle with quilting thread, and stitched my cording to the top edge of the last row, keeping the holes in line. When I got to a corner, I trimmed what was necessary to not have so many layers to hook through.  After I had my cording stitched all around, I then used cotton yarn, two strings, and whip-stitched the edges over the cording.  I went into each hole twice so it would cover well.  It is important to keep your yarn untangled so it will cover good.  Occasionally you may need to run the yarn through the hole three times.  If you see any bare spots when you're done, you can take a single strand of yarn and work over those spots, burying the tails under the back loops.

I do not cut my yarn on both ends, but thread the cut ends through my needle, pull it through my backing, and run the needle through the loop at the end of the yarn; this way, there is less ends to work in.  When coming to the end of my yarn, I work the ends under the loops on the backside of the rug.  

After I finished wrapping the cotton yarn around all edges, I then hook a row snug against the bound edge. This helps keep my fabric squares in line.  I will hook 4-5 rows before trimming off the extra backing that I had turned up initially.  So far I think this is a good way to do it, at least for me.  

These pictures are not exactly in the right sequence, so I will label each one.

 The cotton cording sewn onto the top edge of the canvas.
When I come to the end of my yarn, I work it through the back looks to hide the ends. Clip off the extra.
I keep my yarn untwisted as I wrap. 


This is where I am hooking two rows of fabric as I continue binding.


This shows the loop at the beginning to run your needle through to prevent so many ends.

Bound edge with two rows of hooking.

I have to say I get so excited when I'm nearing the end of the binding.  This was a good experience, figuring out how I wanted to do the binding.  I wanted to add it to my postings so I can refer to it in the future and also it may be helpful to someone else.  

NOW, I must get dressed and go to the grocery store before Renee' and I starve!   This rug hooking could be a detriment to our health! 

P.S.   If anyone reading this sees something I need to do differently, please leave me a comment.  This is my first time binding a rug. 

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Small mat, rug progress

Saturday, August 28, 2010:  
After shopping with my friend yesterday, I started this small piece last night. I used a 5-size canvas, and cut about 1/2" strips from one yard of cotton. I used almost the whole yard of fabric for this.  I didn't like the 5-size as much as the 3.75 canvas, it may be better for yarn or ribbon.  I put the border on, my first time, and now I know more how to border my big rug, or at least I know what not to do.  Since I know how far a yard will go on 5-size canvas, now I want to see how much a yard of fabric will make. It would be nice to be able to estimate what I need for different projects I do.

This is the progress in my big "bear" rug.  I can see the difference in the green fabric, but the other end will be the same, so I think it will be okay.  Also in the picture are the two fabrics for the outside border row and edging. I'm going to use the cotton cord I bought yesterday when I wrap (or whip?) the edges.  It's going to be so great on the floor beside my bed. 
This weekend I need to do my usual chores, go to the grocery store, wash some clothes, and make more progress on my locker rug.  I may just cook out on the grill tonight.

My computer seems okay, I have no idea why - or what was wrong or if it's fixed.  But it's okay for now.  /Deb

Friday, August 27, 2010

Sharing with a friend

Friday, August 27, 2010:
We must concentrate on the good things, not worry about such things as computer - my new motto for the week! 
This evening I met my friend, Barb for supper and to talk about locker hooking. She treated me to Chinese.  I shared a piece of my canvas with her, and showed her a couple of things I had learned, the way to cut the cloth to keep the strips together, and the way I pull my ends up and/or weave them in the hooking process.  We also went by Hancock's Fabrics and got some fabric. Barb bought some ribbon to go around her edges that match the fabric - neat idea.  I found some cotton cording that I'm going to try on my "bear" rug.  It was nice to share my hobby with my friend. Who knows one day we may start a hooking club around our area. 
When I got home I didn't feel like tackling the "bear" or working on my wool, so I cut canvas about the size of a place mat, (size 5) and stripped cloth that I had bought today.  I just sat and hooked and relaxed my mind after talking to my brother who eased my mind about my computer issue. I have a small netbook and I'm going to use that for a while.  I just mainly need a computer to read/write blogs, check emails.
So things are looking up. 
Til next time/Deb

Temporary computer problems

Friday, August 27, 2010:
I've been having some computer problems, so I may not be able to get online for a few days. I have a new modem being mailed to me, but not sure if it will help. I may need a new computer. 
I don't know if I can stand not being able to read the blogs I follow and the RHD - but maybe I will spend the time rug hooking.  I just hate it when there is an upset in my great life like a computer and what's worse is the impossibility of getting anyone but an automated voice when you call anywhere! 

Okay, ya'll have a good weekend. Just wanted you to know, so you wouldn't think I had disappeared.
Also, if you have some suggestions on your experience with a good or bad computer - feel free to comment or email me.  

Monday, August 23, 2010

More fabric

Monday, August 23, 2010:
I was able to buy more of three of the colors for my rug; the green was not the same but I think I have the pattern worked out to where it will be okay.  I got a nice color for the final border, and a little heavier fabric for the edging.  I can't wait to get it finished.  Also, I need to get back to my contemporary design wool rug, as well as start back work on my picture of the ladies at "The Showing" now that I have enough wool for their hats and dresses. 

I had a busy day at work and I think I'll hit the sack now. 

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Not enough

Sunday night, 8/22/10:
After getting my wool sorted, I began work on my locker hook rug.  It was hot again today, so I decided not to do anymore yard work, maybe next weekend.  This locker hooking is going really fast it seems. I plan a rectangle in the middle section surrounded by several border colors. 

As I said I was anxious to see how far 8 yards of material will go.  Well, I have a feeling that it is not nearly enough. There are 10 tiny squares to a blue-lined section, and the whole rug is 12x20 which is about 240 of those squares.  I have done only 36 sections.  I guess I am half way through my fabric, maybe even more.  So, looks like a trip to the fabric store tomorrow and hopefully they will still have the same bolts of cotton I purchased the other day. 

I had to put a bandaid on my right ring finger because I was beginning to feel a blister from where the hook rubs against it.  Am I addicted?????  The pain - the gain????

We are having a thunder storm right now, the satellite is down and hopefully I can read some of the blogs I follow before the electricity goes out.   Til next time.  /Deb

Cabinet finished

August 22, 2010:  I tackled my last bear this morning. I won't even begin to tell the details, but it's done. I had to do a little altering after I put a middle shelf as the bottom shelf - but it worked out. (Maybe I need to get my carpenter's license!!!!)  I don't know why they don't include back boards (cardboard) for all the cubbies, but I managed  by cutting the carton to fit the four missing pieces.  I sorted my wool slightly.  Now I can at least see what I've got - better than in boxes etc. 
Bear of a shelving unit - I did it!!!!

Progress 30x60 locker hook rug 8/22/10 

I took this picture this morning, I'm making pretty good progress, it's going more quickly than I thought. I am anxious to see how far 8 yards of cotton goes or if I need more. 

I appreciate your comments.  It's nice to have communication with friends about our mutual hobbies as well as life in general.  
One note I need to add - Renee's rug in the previous post is one that she had been working on a few years ago, after doing many many latch hooks. I guess she sort of got burned out for a while.  She has resumed working on this one. I'm going to show her how to finish the edges and we will hang it in her room.  /Deb

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Very Productive Day

Saturday, August 21, 2010: 
First of all, this is a photo of Renee's latch hook rug she is working on. She only has a little white and blue remaining to do.  Renee' is getting really good with the camera!  She received the 3 kits in the mail yesterday, a horse, a puppy, and a dragonfly (for Bunch - my other blog motto).  Also Renee taught me to latch hook. She was very patient because I just couldn't quite get it, but finally after about five tries, I got it. 
I thought about naming this post "wrestling with a bear" - but as it turned out, the day was very productive.  This morning when I was outside having my coffee and cigarette, the temperature was not as hot as usual and the humidity seemed a little lower as well.  I haven't done yard work all summer and, being afraid the neighbors were going to petition to evict me from the neighborhood, I decided I better do my chores. So I put on my jeans and went to Lowe's to get weed killer. While there I also picked up a 3-bin cabinet for my wool stash.  When I got home I tackled the yard.  I don't have grass to mow, as my yard is totally natural, but I have bushes to trim, weeds to get rid of, and pine straw to rake. So I sprayed the weeds, used the weed eater in the back yard, trimmed most of the bushes and it became too hot to continue. I truly felt like I had wrestled a bear.  So about 11:00 I came inside, took a shower.

The next bear was the cabinet.  I looked everywhere, finally found the screwdriver. After putting one board on backwards, the another one the wrong direction, then thinking I was missing a shelf peg - etc - you get the picture - I got the cabinet together, put it on top of my homemade bookcase (cinderblocks and boards), and began putting my wool in it.  My goodness, I had no idea I had accumulated to much wool. So, I went back to Lowe's to get more cabinets, this time one with 9 sections (3 x 3 slots).  I'll tackle that tomorow.  

The mailman came earlier than usual and to my surprise, my locker hooking canvas arrived!  I thought this is my present for doing my chores like a good girl!  I got my fabric that I had purchased yesterday, opened the 30x60 canvas (3.5), and started tearing cloth.  I remembered the secret to making cloth strips from long ago when I made crochet rag rugs. You cut a slit in the selvage edge, tear down to about 1/4" to the next edge (but do not tear all the way through). Then you turn the fabric, make a slit from that end the distance needed and tear the fabric in the other direction. Instead of knots, you have continuous fabric strips. This works nicely if you are using a large amount of one fabric as I am doing in this rug. I've tried to show this in the picture.
Tear to edge, the clip the needed distance and tear in the other direction.
The is the color scheme for my rug with the orange started in the center.   
Also you can work across the rug, changing colors by keeping them waiting until you come to that section and pick them back up.  Also less ends. 
Another bear wrestling was how this canvas felt, turning 60" around every time I started a new row, keeping my strips and strings from getting caught and twisted. Then I thought about rolling up the ends and temporarily tying it with a cotton thread - much better. I guess you could say I conquered another bear! I even enjoy the seemingly frustrating things, like strings getting caught and tangled, it's all part of the process to get the finished piece. 

Later in the afternoon, my daughter Sharon and my grandaughter Jessica came over. Sharon is in school to become a certified medical assistant, so she brought her books to study.  Jessica always likes learning new crafts, so I fixed her a sit-on quilting hoop, some burlap, a hook and a basket full of yarn. She immediately took to it. She is very fast at learning everything I have ever shown her, quite a creative genius.

We went out to have NY Pizza for supper.  
Another super day with so much to be thankful for.


Friday, August 20, 2010

Bought fabric

Friday, August 20, 2010:
Went to Hancock Fabrics and picked out some cotton fabric for my locker hook rug. I have no idea how much it takes, so I'll have to see if this is enough or whether I need more.  I am going to try making a rug about 30x60 (give or take) to go beside my bed. I ordered the canvas and hopefully it will arrive soon, but this weekend I can prepare my cloth strips.   I bought four different colors, 2 yards of each. The colors are in the range of greens/purple/yellow/orange.  After I turn under the edges, I plan to start in the middle. I may make rectangles, not sure yet.  Stay tuned. /Deb

Thursday, August 19, 2010

First locker hook mat

First finished locker hook project.  The top turned out okay, the back is a mess.  I stitched a piece of cotton fabric to the back.  I used cotton fabric strips throughout.  First of all, I think I should connect all my strips together before starting, so I won't have so many tails to try to tuck, or use a very long piece of fabric so that the back won't be so lumpy.  I have seen photos of others' locker hooked work and their rows are very straight. I guess I have a ways to go until I get it like I want it to look.  /Deb  

Renee' latch hooking

Wednesday, April 18, 2010: 
Renee' is working on a latch hook project that she had started a few years ago. She likes to finish one project before going on to another one.  I ordered three kits for her that will be coming in the mail soon.  I had asked her what kind of pictures she wanted and she said, a horse, a dog, a puppy, and a rose. 

This is when I walked in to take her picture while she works on her mat. Later I'll hold it up so she can take a picture of her progress and will post it on my blog.

Here, Renee' is pulling her loops up, very evenly. She likes a very structured day, an allotted time for everything.  She works very methodically and for exactly the same amount of time each day,  a true member of the 10-minute hooker group.
/Deb "Mom"

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

New idea - locker hooking

August 17, 2010:
I just discovered locker hooking by looking around the web.  I'm going to give it a try for several reasons, it doesn't seem as expensive as rug hooking with wool, and I have a lot of cotton fabric from quilting stash.  I believe I can use the rugs on my floor since the loops are anchored or locked down.  Can't wait to give it a try.  Renee' might like it too, we'll see. /Deb

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Progress report

Sunday, 8/15/10: 
I've been working steadily on my abstract design.  Thought I would post a picture.  It is too heavy for the magnets on the freezer to hold it up, so Renee' is holding it for me.   Oh yes, and the photos are upside down because the heaviest part is at the top.  (I didn't want Renee' standing on her head if I flopped the pic 90 degrees!) /Deb

Comng Soon

August 15, 2010:
My daughter, Renee' is going to start doing latch hook again. She has done many in the past. So I'm going to add her progress and photos to my blog as well. 
We have been doing a lot of things together as of late.  She likes to see the pictures and hear the stories on my kayaking blog, in fact, she takes some of the photos.
So, stay tuned for Renee's great entries. 

Friday, August 13, 2010

Artwork - new pages added

August 13, 2010
I was having a bit of trouble uploading and arranging the photos of my artwork to separate pages on my blog, because I didn't want them included in the daily blog which would in time eventually be way down the list.  I also didn't want to take up all the room in the main blog for photos.  So, I have created pages and I truly hope it works.

To the right of the main blog page, you will see page headings. If you click on the link inside the post, it should take you to the facebook page that has the photos of my art in facebook.  I believe you will have to click on any picture to see it in its entirety, because when I was looking at them, they were only half visible. 

Enjoy, and I hope these inspire the creativity in you.   /Deb

And, if you want to read about my camping trips and kayaking,
visit this link to "Bunch's Place - the Dragonfly"

Thursday, August 12, 2010

10-minute scenario

Thursday, 8/12/10: 
I'm a member of the 10-minute a day group on the Rug Hooking Daily website.  One of the "rules" of the group is that you hook at least 10 minutes a day.  You know some days you may not be in the mood, or you may be busy, but the promise to keep makes you sit at your hooking frame, grab your hook and a strip of wool, and say to yourself, just 10 minutes.  About an hour later, more or less, you realize what a good time you're having.  It works every time. 

Well today, I had a similar experience. Some of you may already know the concept, but I wanted to share it you just in case.  I was at work and my friend asked me what I had planned for the weekend. I told her that I really wanted to find the motivation to clean out an area in my kitchen.  She was in a hurry to get back to her work and turned to me and said, just do one pile at the time. 
When I got home, I decided to do just that - one pile - the quilts and blankets and sleeping bag and pillow in the chair.  About 2-3 hours later, the area in my kitchen looked so much better and I felt 100 percent better. 

So: 10 minutes a day of hooking, or just one pile to conquer in cleaning.  IT WORKS!  /deb 

P.S.  I also did my 10 minutes (hour) of hooking!  Great day.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

In progress - back and front

Sunday, August 8, 2010:
Just got back from a overnight camping trip. Thought about my rug hooking and how to organize my wool - I'm still thinking, but it will come to me what to do. Before I left for my trip, I felt frustrated with my design because the wool is not very good, at least some of it. I don't want to stop working on the piece, but I also refuse to mix in my good quality wool.
When I got back home today, I sat down and hooked a little, didn't feel frustrated and actually believe I will finish it - still not going to mix the bad with the good though. Here's a picture of the the back and front - for the record. /Deb

My work in progress on the frame.

The first one is the beginning in progress of my #3 piece. In the next one, I have made a little more progress. Actually looks better than I thought - at least in pictures. Well - sometimes you have to brag on yourself - right?

A couple of pics of the back of my piece.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Quality of wool

Friday, 8/6/10 a.m.:

I hooked for a couple of hours again last night. A thunderstorm interrupted the satellite, but thankfully the electricity did not go out. I thought about how nostalgic it would be to hook by oil lamp - may have to try that just for the experience. This morning I took a couple of pictures of the back of my mat, I think it looked okay. I will show it in a later posting.

Learning process:

When I first began rug hooking and thought I could wait on purchasing a wool cutter, I bought some precut strips on ebay. Live and learn - that's what they say. But, that's also how I learn. I began working on my first large piece "The Exhibit", about 28x30 or so, and soon found that 25 or 50 strips did not begin to be enough. As I shopped the internet for wool, I realized there were many things to consider regarding the size, quality and condition, etc. So I finally bought a wool cutter, along with two blades #4 and #7. The ebay #8 strips were a little large for the fabric backing I was working on, so I used my #4 blade to cut them in half. Much better hooking, but I soon saw that most of the strips were of very bad quality. Maybe it was because I cut them, I thought. Since I have ordered fabric (not strips), felted it and cut it, the quality is much better. I couldn't waste all those piles of wool strips #4 on my table, so I decided to do a contemporary design to use them all up so I could start on my good wool. Besides, I needed the practice and I have to say the hooking has become much easier, more flow to it, my hand almost always automatically turns the hook in the correct direction/position to pull the loops through the fabric better. I've also included some silk ribbon in my contemporary design. So far my favorite hook is the Moshimer primitive. Besides the regular burlap I started on and later found that it doesn't last, I have tried the MCG burlap-linen which I like, but the monk's cloth is softer and I think I tend to favor it, at least right now. Linen is too expensive right now, maybe if I ever become a real rug hooking artist, until then it is my hobby. Just felt like rambling this morning, notating the process so far. The summary is, use good quality wool.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Just a note

8/3/10 a.m. It is so difficult to be at work when I want to be home with my rug work. I hooked for about two hours last night, making pretty good progress. As a member of the 10-minute hookers (on RHD), today I also joined the abstract art challenge. Since I enjoy drawing my own designs, this will be fun. /deb

Monday, August 2, 2010

The rug so far

"The process" blog entry was about a design I was starting. I only worked on it a little while tonight. But here is a picture of it so far, along with the area I work in. You can see my piles of thread on my piano that I have used so far and want to keep separate so I can use in other areas. You know I need to think about what to call my work. They are not going to be rugs - oh my no, not in my house, but they are going to be wallhangings of art, but that is too much to say - so, I guess I'll call them mats - that just doesn't sound right. Also I'm considering the name for this piece 'Ebay Hooker', 'Ebay Strips', or something similar since I'm trying to use up the small amounts of various strips I purchased on ebay. /Deb

Sunday, August 1, 2010

The Process

8/1/10 - I am beginning a contemporary design on monk's cloth. I have hemmed the edges with quilting thread. I created my design on the cloth. Now, I will start hooking. One problem may be that I cannot see the whole piece as I am hooking, like I do when painting. I do not have room nor can I afford a larger hooking frame, so this ought to be interesting. I may have to take the piece off the frame often and study it to design the colors as I go. So, off I go a hooking, a hooking, a hooking, off I go a hooking, to see what I can do. 11:00 a.m. I love monk's cloth! It is so kind to my wool and to my hands! I am including silk ribbon in my piece. I have a lot of it from my crazy quilting days. Can't wait to see how it turns out. 9:00 p.m. I've made some progress on my design. It's really fun. I have the center portion on my frame and pick colors that I think will go good next to one another. I lay that color aside so I can remember to use it elsewhere in the piece. I need to figure out what the correct posture position is for rug hooking so my shoulders don't hurt. I left comments on the Rug Hooking Daily for some of the pieces in the Forrest Secret Challenge. Julie B. and I made some funny comments about colors and decor. Nice day with my rug. More next time. /Deb

Work area

August 1, 2010:
I tried to find a place to photograph my hooking project, on the couch, the bed, a chair - and then it hit me - the freezer! The dots at the top are the magnets holding it up. When I was hanging it up, I noticed some puckering - I thought I had been liberal in the amount of holes I skipped. Hopefully it is not bad and will improve when I steam it. It also may be because there is a large amount of space that has not been hooked yet causing the hooked area to appear puckered. Another lesson I will learn, I guess.
Also below are pictures of my work area, where I do my hooking, some of my stash.
Work in Progress
Some of my yarn (purse, cowboy hat, etc)
My hooking frame (beside piano)
Stash, wool cutter, stool to sit and hook

So Far

August 1, 2010: The first thing that inspired me was a you-tube video by Deanne Fitzpatrick. She was more than informative, she had the "spirit" of creativity. I went to the fabric store when I got off work and bought some burlap, just regular burlap. I didn't have any wool fabric, just yarn (and lots of it), so I got my quilting hoop and a crochet hook (no rug hook either), and this is my first piece. The edges aren't perfect, but all in all, I think okay for a first piece.
First piece - Vases
Second piece - My Design
While I was waiting for my supplies to come, I did this contemporary design, similar to ones I had done when painting, and again used yarn, the quilting hoop and a crochet hook (size F). I kept thinking of all the things I could hook, all the designs and colors. It was almost overwhelming.
I didn't want to spend the money for a wool cutter or an expensive frame - I was trying to control myself. I ordered precut strips on ebay, #8's. Forget scissors - that would take a lifetime, so I found a Bliss cutter on ebay - great price too and I bought it ($64). I didn't think it had a blade, so after searching more wool sites, I found Jeanne Sullivan Designs' site. She had blades and and a tool for the machine, along with beautiful wool. Short story - now I have a cutter, blades 3,4,5,6,7. A quilting hoop doesn't fit over the finished part of my work so I had to get a hooking frame. Again, I searched, nothing seemed right .Then I found Thomas Anderson Handmade Products and I knew that was for me, a frame handmade by an American with care. So I ordered the lap frame. Later that day or the next, I decided to get the stand for it. I really love it, I feel like it is a true heirloom that I am working on. Now if I could just turn out some heirloom pieces of work!!
For my third piece, I drew another design similar to my past paintings: the back of two women with hats looking at a vase painting, I think I called it The Showing, or The Exhibit, not sure. I received by hooks, and my favorite is the Moshimer Primitive hook. I also received my start-up pack from Deanne Fitzpatrick (shipping from Canada is so slow). With everything in hand that I needed, I was on my way!
Then a frustrating curve came. I had picked out the colors of wool that I wanted with much thought. I was hooking away, and when I got to the first hat I found that I did not have enough wool, so I took out what I had done. I had used yarn from some of the vases and for the background wall, but wanted to use wool for the two women. Silly me, I had bought so many colors of wool, only 1/8 or 1/4 yard, that I didn't realize until now that it would take more for a large area. I became a little down about this. So, I went to the Jeanne Sullivan Designs site and put in an order for 1/2 yard off the bolt. Jeanne has been so very helpful. She emails me so much information on different things that I comment on. You know this frustration may have turned out to be a good thing because she said that to use a solid color in a large area may overtake the rest of the rug. I never thought about that. So that's a good thing. After I finished the background (yarn) of this piece, I am going to set it aside and wait for the right colors and quantity of wool.
While I'm waiting, I'm going to do a geometric design, maybe a quilt-like one, on the monk's cloth I got from Jeanne to try. I need to finish hemming the edges and decide how to proceed.
I think that just about covers it so far. /Deb

Why the Blog

August 1, 2010 Why the Blog? First of all this will be just me talking. I figured that since I don't exactly have anyone with whom I can discuss my art thoughts, I would write them here. I have tried paper journals for many things but never continue. Since I type a lot faster than I write, maybe I can keep up with this blog journal. About a month ago or so, I was listening to an audiobook. In my life at that time, I was not working on any particular hobby. I had just finished a year and a half of classical guitar lessons. Anyway, back to the story. In the book, the woman walked into the room and "Many Doves was sitting by the hearth hooking a rug" - my brain registered - hook a rug. I turned off the ipod, and googled rug hooking - and I was hooked - I could tell. Since then, as I have done in everything I am interested in, I began gathering needed equipment and supplies, and learning all I could. Many steps along the way have been forgotten but now that I can write in my blog every day or when needed, I will be able to look back and see the progress that I have made, steps I have taken, mistakes I have made, as well as feelings I've had about the process of rug hooking and maybe even about life. I know the universe can read this, so I will not be too personal I'm sure but it will be real, not for entertainment, just for my expression.
* * * * * * * * * * * * *

Below are previous postings from the Rug Hooking Daily (July 2010) that I copied and pasted just to keep all my postings in one place. No need to read, most of it is included in the future postings. Also, no pictures are included unless I try to put them in later. /Deb, 8/2/10 ***** 7/28/10: My books came in the mail and I took them camping this past weekend. The temperature was about 100 degrees, so I did not take my wool! I received my Bliss cutter, and two hooks, Moshimer medium and primitive, and a #4 and #7 cutter blade I ordered from Jeanne Sullivan. Wow - that's all I can say - a hook really makes a difference compared to a crochet hook! The #8 strips were a little big for my fabric, so I started using wool yarn also. Then I cut my #8 strips in half with my #4 cutter - and it worked just fine. I made quite a bit of progress on the upper left corner of my design. For now I will be using wool yarn, strips #4-5-6-7 in my pieces. I am looking forward to collecting wool. I have bought quite a bit on ebay, and also from Sherri Demate at ShabbySheepWool. Now my delimna is where do I keep all my wool??? I will post pictures of my progress soon. ***** 7/22/10: Okay, I have my linen-burlap, and many wool strips along with my yarn, but still using a crochet hook (hopefully my hook will come soon). First I hemmed the edges of my backing fabric. Then I laid it out on my puzzle board, drew a design (one of mine that I had previously carved in wood), and this afternoon I began picking colors and making decisions on how to begin. When I first tried the wool strips, they seemed a little difficult, compared to the yarn, but after a bit I was hooking right along. You know the direction you go in gets a little confusing sometimes, but it felt better the more I hooked. I finally have a hint of how addicting and relaxing this can be. I really hope my piece turns out to look nice and I think it will. I will post a picture here of my real beginning rug hooking piece. It is about 30x36 or a little less. I'm only showing the part I'm working on. This is where I sit, on my couch, my thread on one side, yarn on the other. Oh yeah, the piece I was doing "randomly" I just took out. I read that regular burlap won't last. I'm really glad I didn't do a huge "masterpiece" on that backing! Can't wait to get my real hooks! **** 7/20/10: I received my burlap linen today, 30x36". I posted a discussion about where to start, but then deleted it because I just had to get started. So, I stretched the fabric onto my quilting loom and began at sort of the middle. I surely hope a real hook will be easier than a crochet hook. The #8 wool was a little strenuous on my right hand. I also found that going sort of side-ways is easier than in a straight line. I didn't draw a picture or anything, I just need to practice. I still like it though. This Friday through Sunday I'm going camping with two of my daughters and one of my granddaughters, so I will be away from the RHD. Hopefully I will get my learning packet from Deanne Fitzpatrick before I leave so I can study it while I'm in the cabin by the lake. /Bunch ******* 7-20-10: I was looking at more photos of members and when I saw one of Jan's of a log-cabin quilt pattern, the idea came. I have made lots of quilts, but all of them are old fashioned country style, no design except for the log cabin. I have never had the patience to cut little triangles and stick to patterns very well. But, now with rug hooking, I might just try some of the quilt designs. I don't guess that would be cheating ?? The colors would be simpler it seems as well. Another thought is that I can't draw very well, not even an interpretation is too good. Anyway, just wanted to record this idea in my journal blog for reference. /Bunch ******* 7/15/10: I found some precut wool strips for rughooking on ebay. It sounds like a lot but I'm sure I will need more. I figure for the cost of the strips, I may need to go ahead and invest in a cutter but I'll give myself a little more time with the learning process. I have looked at many sites with hoops, lap and floor stands, and read other people's opinions. Well, today I came upon a website, Anderson Handcrafted Products. Something just struck me when I read what the man had to say about his product, it seemed they were personal and not just turned out by a big company. So, yep, I did it, I ordered the lap hoop he makes. Now with my beginner lessons, my hoop, my wool strips - all arriving by mail soon, I will be ready to get going. Between now and then I will work on figuring out a design I want to do - and keep up with RHD postings. One thing left - I only have to decide what type backing I like the best. PS: I emailed Mr. Anderson when I got back home about mailing my check for my hoop: Thanks Mr. Anderson I look forward to receiving my hoop. Not to take your time, but I thought it might be interesting to tell you the process I went through to get your check mailed. First of all I NEVER go to the post office except maybe at Christmas. But, I couldn't find where I had hidden my stamps from myself, so off I go after work. Well, the PO was closed, no electricity - just on my one day! So, I thought, the grocery store sells stamps and we need milk and bread. Bought the stamps, headed home knowing that the mailman had already come to my house. Sure enough I saw him driving towards me heading out of the neighborhood. I turned my car around and when he pulled over, I pulled my car over, got out and asked him to take the letter. He was very pleasant, but called back and said "Mam, the stamp". Oh my - so got the stamp out of my purse, applied it to the envelope. My address was coming off because I didn't secure it with tape, so you will be receiving an envelope from Duke - so don't think it is junk mail. /deborah ******* 7/14/10: First there was facebook, a personal page. Then I started a page The Painted Turtle which was photos of a lot of my past art work in various medias. A few months ago I started my first blog at It was initially about my new adventure of kayaking. Then came father's day, so I posted a tribute to my dad. Then I started camping and included that. Of course, then came rug hooking and as I was searching the web I found the Rug Hooking Daily. My first two blogs on RHD were copies from my kayaking blog because they pertained to my artwork. I have finished hooking my first mat, vases, with yarn on burlap. Now I have to look on you tube to find out how to finish the edges and all. I don't want to make actual rugs because my house is not really suitable for rugs. I would like to make art mats, but I need to learn how to hang/frame them when they are finished. Since I haven't decided on what design to do next, I decided I would cut a piece of cloth and try real hooking. I only have cotton because my huge stash is for my quilts. So, I grabbed a piece of cotton fabric, cut about 1/4" or so strip, put my burlap in my hoop, and hooped my first piece of material. You know, it was purely excited to make it curl just right. I see why you work in a straight line because when I tried to turn at an angle, it was a little difficult. I can say I have a new respect for the beautiful works I have seen by the members of RHD. WOW - all your loops are so perfect. It will take me a lot of practice but I think I can at least incorporate fabric with my yarn. When I think of wool, I think of moths. I would hate for moths to eat my work! In the past I made a couple of really nice pictures with beans/seeds/beads. They looked so great. I sealed them really well, I thought. Anyway, I had them stored with my oil paintings. When I looked at them much later, bugs had eaten some of my picture. Needless to say, I do not do anymore art like that. I'm looking forward to see what I do next. I should be getting my order from Deanne Fitzpatrick any day. I ordered her beginner package with instructions, etc. I may have to break down and get some wool fabric and just cut my strips with scissors; in fact, that feels like part of the process anyway and I sort of enjoy the lack of speed. You know, slow down, relax, and smell the roses. I really appreciate the comments from members here. They are helpful and motivating. later/deb ******* July 9, 2010 How I came to start hooking. I really like it when life flows. One thing leads to another and everything just feels in place and purposeful. It seems my life is an ebb and flow of happenings, creativity, new ideas, boredom, feeling displaced, liking to be alone to feeling lonely. After a time, when I relax my thinking and quit trying so hard or worrying about what to do, the flow takes over. I have listened to many audio books. I like to read that way because as a typist in my job, when I "read", I am actually editing for errors and not retaining what I'm reading. As I listen to books, I can visualize the scenes and the people, even the expressions on their faces. Today while on a smoking break at work, I was listening to one of my books and a phrase caught my attention. You see lately I've been in the waiting phase to see what to do next. In the book, the author wrote "Many Doves (an Indian) sat by the hearth hooking a rug." My mind registered that as if it was being told to me - hook rugs! So I went back to my office and googled rug hooking. I found a site on You-Tube about hooking rugs by Deanne Fitzpatrick. It was so motivating to me, so inspirational to my creativity, I looked at her website. The flow was in progress. Then I found that she had an audio book (yeah!!) about creativity, life, inspiration, etc. I ordered it and sure enough it was just what I needed. I may or may not hook many wall hangings, but it is encouraging to know that if you relax, the flow will lead you to the next step along your life's path. I'll post of picture of my first hooking piece of art. /Bunch ******* July 10, 2010 (this is from my blogspot - Bunch's Place) . Saturday. Some photos of my living room - "studio". I live in a small house, about 950 sq. ft. I have about 2 million square feet of art/hobby supplies. I have my "little house" and "barn" out back and they are both full of things. So, my living room had to be transformed into the place where keep my stuff. This is the beginning of my first rug hooking. If you have seen my art on facebook, you know I like to paint vases. So, vases it will be. You see I think vases are like people - they come in all sizes, shapes, colors, old, new, beautiful, worn - but you can't know what's inside by looking at the surface. Some of the yarn I prepared for my rug hooking. A frame knitting project I'm working on. When not in use as a knitting table, it is where I put puzzles together. My living room studio. It contains my supplies for quilting, sewing, puzzles, egg dying, gourd designs, beadwork, knit/crochet, rug hooking, guitar/piano, and a TV on one end. Oh yes, and there is actually a small place on the couch where I sit. More yarn - at the bottom of the picture is a long box full of yarn. Shelving I made to hold some things. Dyed eggs, beads, yarn, sewing supplies, quilting and anything else I can put on it. Where I practice and play my guitar. I took classical guitar lessons for 1-1/2 years. Though I have played the piano my whole life, guitar is a difficult instrument for me but I truly enjoy the songs I play. The guitar is a very personal instrument, you hold it close and it seems the music is coming out from yourself. Well, I guess I better get to the store and load the car for our camping trip. There's a chance of thunderstorms, and the temps are in the 90's - so instead of camping cabin - it might be cabin fever. /Bunch