Monday, January 31, 2011

I have students!!!!

I am so excited! I have four students and a regular lesson time - weather permitting. You never know where you are going to find students, but two of them came from curling and those two told two friends and so it grows. My husband laughs at how positively giddy it makes me, but those of you reading this blog totally get it.

Here is the first rug by my first student Susan. Not only did she whistle through this little mat (do you recognize it from my rear view Santa post?), she has gone ahead and designed her second - a pillow-sized log cabin mat. Talk about a keener!!!


I think it's a reality of northern living - and escaping from February and March - that we will be a little flexible in attendance over the next few weeks. Nearly everyone can't come every Wednesday for the next six weeks - including myself. But we will meet with those who can come and fill the studio with chatter and laughter and learning.

Let's face it, rug hooking is always better in a group. And I'm ecstatic to have found mine.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Earth Magnets Here I Come.

More trial and error with Max and the gang this week. I scoured the buzzing metropolis of Parry Sound looking for magnet strips and settled on some that I found at the fabric store.

I figured is I basted on horizontal strips of them - lots of them - that might do the trick. NOT. I haven't weighed Max and the gang, but those little strips couldn't even hold up the chipmunk.
So, online to Lee Valley this week to order the earth magnets.

In the meantime, spurred on by another art bra image received from one of the gals (can't show it yet, because it's not quite done), I designed a little mat to go on display with the bras at the Annual.

Here's the pattern


And here's the little bit that I got started on this weekend. A problem with the lettering resulted in a colour change and I'm still not sure that I'm happy. But, I'll keep going for a bit and see how I feel once I get more background done.


Since my second "penny" bra didn't work out, this is my make up project, which I probably would have realized I needed to do anyway.

Off to a good start, I think. But miles to go still and many projects on the horizon. However, this one is for the greatest cause.

Update on the fundraising - they have raised $525,000 to date, with just $100,000 to go - isn't that incredible. I think this little mat will stay in the unit with the machine when all is said and done.

Monday, January 17, 2011

A Test Hanging.

Well, Max and the gang are hemmed, pressed and – because I was so curious to see them “in situ” - hanging.


Rick thinks it closes in the room, but I for one would rather look at this crew than the stark shiny white side of a washer dryer.

This is not the right solution, but I thought I’d try what I had, which was a magnetic curtain rod. But to hold, I had to put it on top of the machines, which makes it too short. So a Plan B is definitely required.

I think Plan B involves 4 magnetic strips – one at the top and bottom of each machine. And channels on the back to thread them through. I had heard that magnets on appliances were a “no no” but after investigation, the only negatives I found were re computers and cell phones – nothing on appliances, and many have magnetic hinges, etc. I’m assuming this will be fine.

Stay tuned for progress on that front.

In the meantime, I spent the rest of yesterday afternoon (after some very fast x-country skiing in the –18) cleaning out the studio. Organizing small bits of wool and worms and stacks of bigger wool.


Since my plastic boxes of “worms” are already full, I organized the small bits by colour as well and will cut them as my stocks deplete. This system seems to work and is certainly better than things hiding in my grocery bin from No Frills.  (Look at that nice sunshine on the wool wall.)

And guess what showed up as well – the log wool that I was pretty sure I hadn’t used up last time. Oh well, now I have lots. Now if only my memory had shown up in one of those hiding places……

Monday, January 10, 2011

Max and the Gang are all hooked!!!

After a couple of dedicated sessions on the weekend, I got the logs all done.  I was so excited, I folded all the edges of the backing under to take this picture. And I had to stand on a chair - and the perspective is still wonky, but here it is.



I had to do a little "fancy footwork" with Max's hoof, since I had broken a cardinal rule and not run a pencil down my backing to ensure my pattern was straight. I was off a row or two, but that didn't take long - and was another valuable lesson.

As I folded in the edges, I noticed many places where my hooking could be tighter - plus some bona fide "holidays", so I have some filling in to do before the finishing begins.

Debbie from Quilters' Woodwork sent me an email suggesting "earth magnets" for hanging, so I visited the Lee Valley website and saw that they have many different sizes and shapes.

I will try to fill in the missing strips today and move on to the finishing ASAP, before I lose my momentum.  A busy week this week may mean that I have to give myself till the 21st to finish.
And try to figure out the hanging logistics....

Friday, January 7, 2011

The Log Dye Recipe.

After yesterday's post, Gayle left a comment asking if I would consider sharing the "log" dye recipe. 

I'm delighted by the request (since I am not a veteran dyer) and will gladly do so. Here are pictures of the wool, some hooked log area on the mat and a picture of the actual logs that inspired the whole thing.








The formula is based on Wanda Kerr's "wandering" method - where each of the dye colours is added in sequence to the pot, as each is absorbed. One stir after the addition of each colour and the wool is left to float with the dye wandering about. That is why you get a kind of softly mottled look - not as strong as a spot dye, but some interesting stronger areas of colour.

I called my formula Golden Log Brown and it is based on Wanda's Caramel Latte using Majic Carpet dyes. I added 2/32 of chocolate brown to her formula, which was much lighter.

2/32 tsp orange
1/32 tsp yellow
1/32 tsp blue
2/32 tsp orange

plus 2/32 tsp chocolate brown


I tried to locate which issue of Rug Hooking Magazine had the article on her wandering method, but couldn't find it in the article index on the website or in the 15 hard copies I flipped through.


I mixed each of the dye quantities in 1 CBW before adding them. I added the vinegar with the last colour and let the wool cool on the stove.


Hopefully, that's enough information if you want to give it a try.



Thursday, January 6, 2011

Hoofing it.

Yesterday I finished Max's lower leg and hoof and although his fetlock joint is a little strange (I may add another strip to the inside), I was pleased to be done.


I was also keen to get logging in some "log time", when I realized that my suspicions were correct. I couldn't find even a single worm of my log wool. Does that mean I used it all and that is why I stopped when I did? Who knows - my memory is one of the things that got left behind in 2010 - but it did mean a trip to the dye pot last nite.

It was fun getting back in there, especially since I had found the "recipe" for log walls. Now I'm sure I have enough to hook the entire cottage.


BTW, those original paws and feet you see drawn on the pattern are yet another illustration of my problems with math. If I stayed with the original length, their feet would have tucked under the machines. (But maybe that would have helped with the hanging solution LOL)

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Where is Max Going to Live.

I had a comment from someone on yesterday's post enquiring about where Max and his friends were going to be located when (notice I did not say "if") they are finished.

Although I had said at the beginning that they were going on the side of the stacked washer/dryer, I realized I never showed a picture of the room where they would go. So, Julie, thanks for asking and prompting this post.


This is the big white sight that greets you when you enter the powder room on the main floor (that's the door open on the right). And that's where they will be hanging out. That was also the determination of rather strange configuration, since the stack is 6 feet tall by 2 feet wide.

I think it will be fun to have them greet you when you open the door.

And, you will just be able to catch a glimpse of them in the mirror on the wall to the left.

Hopefully, I'll be able to show them in position in the next couple of weeks, if I stay on track.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Bear Feet.

I am making good on my promise to finish Max before starting something new. And, as I often said to my kids when they were embarking on something or other "the best way to proceed is to just put one foot in front of the other".

Following my own advice, I decided to do the animal feet first and save the logs for last. And "ta da" the bear paw and a half are done!!!



But getting back into this giant work has refreshed my memory about what I won't do again in the future. Kind of reverse New Year's Resolutions:

  • I won't work on anything this large. I spent nearly a whole day moving back and forth between my sit'em and the Cheticamp trying to figure out what was easier. I think the sit'em is winning.
  • I won't hook on the diagonal - when I started the bear, I thought that hooking his fur on the diagonal gave an interesting texture. It's just very tough to do.
  • I won't put a project away without putting away the wool strips that go with it - I have a feeling I've been pinching from this stash and may just find myself short on the log wool - but the good news is that I found where I put the formula if I need to dye more
And I guess the biggest won't - -  I won't sail merrily into a project without quite figuring out the mechanics at the end. I sure hope I can come up with some kind of easy, magnetic solution to affix this to the side of the washer/dryer. If not, I am already scouring for alternate locations for this 12 square foot monster.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year

Well, it sure is a rainy start to this shiny new year.

Here's what the lake looks like this morning.


Kind of a lake on top of the lake. Hard to believe that less than a week ago it looked like this.


And Morris, our guard moose, who had more than 15" of snow on his head and back now looks like this.


Speaking of moose, I decided this morning that the very first project that will get my 2011 attention is poor old Maximillian moose. He is soooo close to finished - I really must not let anything else get in the way.

Here's now little I have left to do. 



By posting this picture, I am really challenging myself to put him back on the frame and get it done.

I will figure out "how the heck to finish him" when I get there.

And then I will tackle the other 2011 projects already on the list.