Friday, February 27, 2009

First Project

I thought I would share a picture of my first rug hooking project. This is a 10 x 10 hot pad done in wool yarn. I used a whipped cord finish and the back is green felt. I used glue to secure the backing, but I don't think I will use this method again. I will spend the time sewing on the backing as I think that might be the best approach.

While Corner Brook is all a-buzz with the EMCAs this weekend. Anyone that knows me, also knows that East Coast music is not my cup of tea. The lack of good radio and music has led me to a variety of alternatives such as XM satelitte and internet radio. I am not a snob when it comes to music but I like a lot more variety in my choices than the locale has to offer right now.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Dreaming of the Weekend

I was sure when I woke up this morning, that it was Friday. It was a dream as it is only Thursday. I am not wishing my time away but having said that I am looking forward to the weekend.

It is such a beautiful bright day right now. This morning, I opened the patio doors and I looked at across the bay as the dawn broke. The early birds at the feeder were chipper and frisky; so spring can't be far behind. Life in Canadian's most easternly province is quiet, laid back and for the most part, is trudging along as it has for more than five hundred years. No wonder there are so many seniors in this province over 90 and 100 years old.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

I wish!

I wish I could take bragging rights and tell you that these sweet crocuses are from my garden. They are not! My lovely garden is buried under 10 feet of snow. But I am sure that underneath the insulation of the snow, my crocuses are too, coming to life.

I ordered gripper strips from Shuttleworks in Calgary last evening. Pauline is going to make me a lapframe as I am finding it hard to hook with only a frame or an embroidery hoop. What a nice chat I had with Cal from Shuttleworks. He had been to Corner Brook many years ago and still remembered his time here.

I ask him how he got into the fibre arts and his story was twists and turns from working in the oil patch, to heavy equipment operator, to finally, a fibre shop. I must say the prices are excellent and being in Canada is a bonus too, with no duty to pay. I have looked all over for the gripper strips and the majority are in the $65 range. But Shuttleworks is $35 for the exact same strips. So if you get a chance, look up

I did a bit of rug hooking on the mug rugs last night, but after joining The Welcome Mat, my mind was heading in directions of future possibilities of projects. My, how talented some of the rug hookers are! Their projects are unbelievable designs and look like pictures, they are so detailed. Will I ever be able to do something like that?

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

I'd Rather Be....

Here is the Henry Larsen cutting through the channel in the Bay of Islands. This picture is taken from the dining room window, so you can see what a gorgeous unobstructed view we have.

Yesterday's storm blew in at 12:30 and blew out at 3:30, so it was nothing at all. I was amazed at finding so many hookers all over the world and their techniques are amazing.

This blog is a great place for me to store all these contacts and share them with others. I didn't do any hooking last night as I was not in the mood. But,right now, here at the desk of my day job, I'd rather be hooking, of course.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Happy Monday

Well, it's Monday again and so quickly, the weekend flies by. Sunday, we went snowshoeing in the nearby Prince Edward Park. It was a glorious day of brilliant sunshine and blue skies and not too cold. This is the best time of the winter in the Bay of Islands where you get to enjoy some outdoor activities besides shovelling, shovelling and more shovelling.
I finished off my first attempt at rug hooking and it looks pretty darn good, if I must say so. I am now going ahead with the mug rug kit which uses wool strips. I got used to the rug hooking style with wool yarn, so it is a bit different with the wool strips. I've looked at some of the professionals like Gene Sheppard and really, there stitches are so perfect. All the wool strips leaning in the same direction. So much like little soldiers. Deanne Fitzpatrick's style is more relaxed and as she says in her video, let the stitches go where they want.
We are supposed to get a storm today but that's alright as we are on the downside of winter. Only 26 days to spring!!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Wonderful World of Hooking

Isn't this a beautiful hooked rug! We had dinner last evening with a classmate of Pauline's and we were having great conversation, when out of Bobbie's mouth, came the words I didn't expect to hear.
"I'm a Hooker" she said impishly. I blinked twice and asked "You mean rug hooking?" And that was it, the rest of the dinner conversation was about rug hooking and the story behind Bobbie's first pattern. It was exactly as Deanne Fitzpatrick idea of Hook Me A Story. This rug pattern represents a wonderful story of memories of laughter in the kitchen late at night between her mother and grandmother.
I was telling Bobbie of my plans to get a wool cutter and projects I was planning, when she piped up "It isn't a bit early for that; you're still working on kits and yarn." Well, we had such a good laugh over my exuburance; one of those laughs that make you feel so good. Exactly, like the laughs shared between the two women in a kitchen many years ago in the Bay of Islands.
Here is Bobbie's description:
Laughter between Two:
My mother once gave me a book mark worked in needlepoint. It read "Laughter between two is a greater sign of love than any other." The story depicted in this, my first hooked mat, is about just that - shared time, love, a sense of communion and the healing, regeneration of laughter.
This is my memory of these two women I love dearly - that they could laugh at nothing, especially during hard times when it is difficult to find anything to laugh about. My Mom, lived most of her married life with her mother-in law. Nan had her kitchen and Mom had her kitchen at the other end of the house, but the rest of the house was communal space. There were 8 children and for a while other uncles and aunts living there. Life was very, very difficult with worries and troubles galore and few pleasures.
The kitchen scene with Mom at the stove really speaks to the fact that even when she was having fun, Mom was getting things done because "the things needing to be done" were endless. Nan in her rocking chair evokes for me a sense of warmth, comfort and soothing. She would give us all a turn getting rocked as she sang old songs like "Show me the way to go home" and "Far Away Places".
After the homework was done, the children were put to bed, the oats put to soak for morning porridge, and Nan having finished her Rosary, Mom and Nan would spend time together in Nan's kitchen. When they were lonesome, they shared stories about their families and home communities.(Nan was from Port Aux Port and Mom from Bonavista Bay.) They also shared their worries, their dreams and were simply there for each other. It was common for them to do some little thing for each other - that cup of tea served, maybe with a piece of toast with cheese or jam was true communion. They were each other's best friends, loyal supporters and they shared the most ridiculous sense of humour that had them laughing at very little and it gave them the courage to face another day.
Just as the stove warmed the house, these two women brought warmth and kindness to each other, to our family and all sorts of other folks.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Deanne Says it Best!

Believe in all kinds of beautiful.
Know there is no such thing as perfect.
Be fearless with colour.
Only make rules you are willing to break.
Find the wonderful in other people’s work.
Tell them about it.
Don’t stick to what you know.
Draw every day.
Wear hats and flowers in your hair.
Remember yourself as a child.
Get a big box of crayons.
Teach others to hook.
Share your wool.
Hook with people you love.
Love the people you hook with.
Leave your hooking out to work on.
It’s not a mess; it’s an ancient art form.
Stamp your feet if you need to.
Hook patterns or design your own rugs.
You can be creative with either.
Go easy on yourself.
And last, but oh so important,
Dance in the kitchen whenever you can.
— Deanne Fitzpatrick

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Progress on Mat

Here is the progress on my first rug hooking project. I ran into a small problem of a yarn shortage but happily, Molly is going to drop off some yarn so I can complete it. I am anxious to figure out the finishing of this mat.

There are many ways to finish off a hooked rug and I want to try all of them. Molly's instructions use the cord and whipped finish. I am going to try this one first. It seems there are many ways to complete a rug hooking projects as there are hookers!

My second project arrived in the mail yesterday. It is a set of six mug rugs(coasters) and this kit uses wool strips instead of yarns. I am anxious to get started on it but won't until this one is done. On CBC noon radio yesterday, was all about rug hooking in Newfoundland and the revival of the interest in this art form.

Looking forward to the weekend to hook, hook and snowshoe as we are going to look into buying snowshoes to promote fitness around our house!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Internet dreaming

I have always thought that the internet is a marvellous resource tool. I was first introduced to it in 1995 and was using it mainly for work. At that time, there were only a handful of people that I know even had the internet available, at home or at work.

Now, look at how the world has changed. I don't think a single day goes by, that I don't access it. From internet radio, to contact with friends and family in the mainland, to finding like minded people in the remote province of Newfoundland.

Although I was born in Quebec and then, spent many years in Ontario, I have had a connection with Newfoundland for over 25 years. Nine years ago, my partner (who is from Corner Brook) and I decided that our cottage, would be our residence and we left the rat race. Sometimes, living in the province has been a love/hate relationship. Sometimes, the lack of resources, limited cultural activities and poor grammar has grated on my nerves but overall, I think that we are here to stay.

Back to the internet. That has been a redeeming factor. The internet allows me to access so much information and recently, discovering a new fiber craft and other crafty people with similar interests. Unbelievable when you think about it.

I am almost finished my first rug hooking pattern. I bought it from Molly in Rocky Harbour and it was worth every penny. Even down to a frame, hook, pattern and wool. I have encountered a small problem. I have run out of the last colour for the outside frame. I just sent Molly an email to let her know. In the kit, there was lots and lots of every colour but the dark burgundy. I am not sure what happened but I think it must be hard to calculate how much yarn is needed.

Anyway, I bought another kit on eBay and this one is with wool strips and has yet to arrive. I want to find out if I like yarn or wool strips better!

Friday, February 13, 2009


It must be a mid winter rambling that brought me to blogging last February. And here I am one year later, finding new directions.

My mind has always been abit of a mine field. Going from one thing to another and in the middle, discovering something new that again, tweaks my interest. This year and I can't even tell you how it happened, I googled rug hooking and that simple action, set up a whole new world of crafting.

I have always loved fiber arts such as petit pointe, cross stitching, knitting, quilting. I discovered a fresh new way of self expression. Then, I ordered a starter kit from Molly Made in Rocky Harbour. When it arrived, I looked it over but didn't start it until I had watched Gene Sheppard's video on Youtube. I must have watched that a dozen times before I opened my kit.

I had the kit sitting on the dining room table and once I had the nerve to open it up and give it a try a couple of times, it was as if I was born to this craft. Rug hooking is so much faster than the other fiber crafts I have done. And another added bonus is that you can be as creative as you want or as simple.
I don't know but it may be because of my surroundings in the beautiful Bay of Islands, Newfoundland, that has a profound effect on my creativity. Or it just may be my everchanging diversity as a Gemini.
Life, one thread and one stitch at a time!