Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Happy Hallowe'en!

I love these colours 
These pastels are inspiring a new series on landscape colours, this week we will focus on earth.

Instead of looking through the window on this stormy day, join us on The Welcome Mat. The colours and the daily bread is fresh in all the best ways.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Saturday's Creations

Working on my Web, the October pattern on the Welcome Mat.

Made some fusion tea towels for my friend Pam, Irish linen, Japanese trim.

 Close ups

 They sure looked pretty in her house and she loved them!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Do you think this hairdo makes my nostrils look big?

If you follow this blog you know I'm mildly severely obsessed with mine hairs.

I look a little like Brian Mulroney with my giant chin- oh the attractive foreshortening computer cameras provide!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

If you were a rug

Today I asked on the Mat if you were a hooked rug what would you look like.
I think I would look like this.
This is an Kerman rug from here inside Rugs on Time where they are having a wonderful extra 50% off sale.
I know this is not hooked, but I wanted to tell you about this sale and it looks like me. Curves, sharp points, lots of darkness, passion, going off in all directions, a little bit of light. wonky edges with a fringe. 
Lots of colour inspiration for rug plans At Rugs On Time too.
No shipping, no tax, it is the best deal for Canadians to warm up their homes.

Hmmm if I were a hooked rug I think it would look like this!

Okay I admit that is probably the worst joke I've ever made. I apologize!

If I was a hooked rug here I'd be:

What about you?

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

David Wheatcroft Antiques

It is safe - I only look at things that are already sold.
Look a these wonderful rugs:

 This one is not hooked but sewn. I love the fun placement of colour and the richness of them. I wonder are the triangles flag codes? Is some message being sent?

Interesting events on display here.... going down a waterfall in a canoe, up sh-- creek?
I would love to know the story.

I just love the  trees on this one, very simple and artful.

And now for something completely different- game boards. The colours are inspiring me for a Dyeing Matter Column on The Welcome Mat in Dreary November. Some years I just feel the need to kick November's Donkey. I wonder will this be one?


Oh this lady? She just showed up with her ravelly seams that are on the outside of her coat. This happens sometimes, no worries! She does not know David or me.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Thirds Rocks

Do you design your own rugs? If so you might know about the rule of thirds. If you are thinking about trying your hand you might want to read this great tutorial on how it works and why it is good to think about. It works for all design, from interior to clothing to photos and rugs.

I found a great heart rock yesterday.

And one shaped like a bird.

 One that was a child of Brancusi and Picasso

And one for Hallowe'en.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

What's On My Frame?

The Welcome Mat October Pattern with the MAM 2013 RHM Faded Glory colours, what fun!

This article will herald the advent of using the three main dye companies in my articles from now on. There will be a list of 15 Cushing dyes and 15 Pro Chem dyes I'll be using be sure not to miss that issue! I'll feature wonderful colours that build on the strengths of each company. I hope you find some time to hook today!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

The Pleasure is Easily Tripled

One beautiful dirty formula- three colours of wool, natural, tan, grey, so easy so much fun.
So good for your rug's vivacity too, start doubling and tripling up colours you dye formulas over.
This lovely formula, Older Rose, will be featured in the MAM issue of Rug Hooking.

Speaking of tripling... I will be dyeing in that issue with the three main dyes of rug hooking, ProChem, Majic Carpet and Cushings and this will continue in future articles..
Each article will be divided into three sections with special colours invented from each company.
What fun!
 I will have 15 dyes from Cushings and 15 from ProChem that will be used over and over.
Have a great day!

WTF !?! 1/1024 tsp!!!!

In the course of dyeing yesterday I found it necessary to use 1/1024th tsp. (Yes you read that correctly)

Of course I relied on the infinite wisdom of my trusty round damp toothpick measures as demonstrated below.

Click on this photo to have it expand

If 1/4 inch of slightly damp round toothpick equals 1/512 as evidenced above would 1/8th inch slightly damp toothpick not equal 1/1024th?

I have scaled new heights today my friends, or sunk to new lows, hard to tell which is which.
Is 1/2048 somewhere in my future? Only my tape measure knows for sure.

Ever wanted to try using your microwave for dyeing?  I just released  a video on how to microwave dye baths for great results. Join The Welcome Mat for this and many other terrific dyeing and hooking information, encouragement and teaching. It can't be beat.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Sewing Sleeves on Binding

I got smart and started sewing sleeves on my piped rug edge.
I don't try to position it just so, instead I place it anywhere on my wool piping and start sewing the piping on at the top, positioning my sleeve perfectly.
I got super smart and sewed the label on the sleeve first. My head hurts now!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Saturday Show Case

 Here are my colours from my current This Old Rug Series including some Cushing Formulas
These are terrific flesh colours
Get the recipes here

 Here 's the stuff of my winter wardrobe.
I plan on some innovations of the splice skirt in wool and denim and some delicious applique doings.
Saturday is also laundry day and you can see my present wardrobe fits well with the future one.


Just arrived some wonderful bulk weight yarn ready to dye with and some delicious greens.

I got quite a bit of spinning done during the Studio Tour 

 And replenished ( LOL no real need for that, I'm fleeced and fibered to the max!) with this lovely merino and bamboo mix.

Here is the wool of the week for sale on The Mat , just incase my gray scale life style of low saturation lapse you into a coma!
It is made with the Point Method, a wonderful way to dye these sparkling transitional wools with opposite colours, method by video inside the Mat! 

Oh and I read this book from the Library, the title is a misnomer if I ever read one, about the wonderful passages women go through after they are 50. Inspiring for all! I bought my own copy to read and reread. Go here to get yours.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Dear Wanda - Advice to the Nail

Make a hook from a nail, more instructions here
Read my advice to a nail

I think what happens is most cannot separate a thought or opinion from a feeling.
When you speak out or I do for that matter we are examining ideas and doing so baldly.

Most people want their ideas all done up with fancy ribbons and bows and couched in terms that will not ruffle a hair.

They feel attacked by baldness and so will attack you.
Very childish.

I wish I was there.
I would have said:
To have a dissenting opinion is not a threat but a blessing, to see how something might be viewed another way is a gift.
Treat this gift giver with respect.

Yes, time wasting - think of what could be done with your heart and soul if your brain and brawn, hands and tools can be set to explore instead of defending.

You are good, positive and have a healthy attitude towards life.
That alone will create waves.
The standing nail gets hit.

Do great work today my love as it is the best revenge.
All my best, 

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Glue and Why You Shouldn't

Dear Readers,
This is a cautionary tale.

In a great hurry to meet a deadline many years ago I glued this rug to a piece of wood.
Yes, how terribly short sighted.
I don't always want that rug mounted on wood for ever. Wood has acid in it, it is harsh and will eat away wool if left for a good long time. Bare wood and wool should not commune long.
Wood should be sealed very well with several impenetrable coats of something or other, I think you can get a can of that at Home Depot.

So I ripped the rug off the wood after the deadline was met.
Just like waxing legs, quick and against the direction it grew.

Here is the back of the rug

Once I ripped the rug off I was left with a thin 2 inch margin to do any other type of finishing work.
And it was pock marked irregularly with hard glue areas no needle could penetrate.

I was able to fold (under with the help of pliers) in the glued areas and stitch the rug backing down.

A long time rug tape loather I created a 1 inch wool strip that I applied over the scutty glue areas so when it sold they wouldn't rub the finish off floors and walls.

Not perfect but serviceable. Like most good things in life.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Battle In The Heavens- Let's look at this very briefly

Value Creates Form and Depth in this riotous sky painting
Battle In The Heavens
                                                                    Nicholas Roerich 1912

Friday, October 5, 2012

Every Hooker

Thought for the Week-end

Every hooker dips the hook in their own soul and pulls their colourful nature into their rug.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Fall Skies - Dyeing

This recipe is called Cold Sea but it's variations are great for that stormy fall sky look.
One nice thing about this recipe is the colours are fairly simple and can be converted to other dyes with not too much difficulty for close results. 
If you are using Pro Chem Wash Fast Acid Dyes use only 1/256th  Turquoise, National Blue and Black as they are.
If you are using Cushing's Acid  Dyes be aware the black leans towards violet, you might want to add a touch more Turquoise, use Blue as directed. 

Over 1/4 yd of wet natural wool with Majic Carpet dyes using the dye bath method.
1/16 tsp. Blue
1/64th tsp. Turquoise
1/64 tsp. Black
Dissolve these together in 1/4 cup of boiling water and top off to 1 cup with cooler water.

I did something special today to help you get good light blues which can be difficult.
I measured out 1 tbsp. of the Cold Sea formula and placed it in the dye bath with 1/4 yd of wet natural wool. I processed this colour without adding acid.
After the dye bath cleared I placed the wool into an acid and water bath, 8 cups of water 1 tsp. acid.
Here was the result of that tablespoon of dye recipe over 1/4 cup.
Cold Sea Light.
Next I poured the rest of the dye into the dye bath and added another 1/4 yard of wet wool.
I present the results: Cold Sea
I processed it the same way as Cold Sea Light.
The tbsp. of missing dye will not make a visible difference if it is added to the whole, so if you don't want a light from this dye session just use the whole cup of formula.
Making light blue is difficult so I urge you to take this opportunity.
Happy dyeing! 
 Please spread the word to your hooking friends that I'm now offering a mostly weekly dyeing column on the Mat. It's content will not be the same as my Colours to Dye For column!!! And I'm there to answer your questions!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Learning New Things

I know I'll look back at what I made someday in the future and either want to die of embarrassment or wonder at the very least "what was I thinking"??????
This my friends is learning.
In a nutshell.

You gotta start somewhere, you gotta travel along a knowledge trajectory and it doesn't end.

Long story even longer?
Here we go.
I needed a poster.
Anything I've used in the past to create such a beast is no longer working on my computer system which is two steps behind as it is.

I thought longingly of the past when I could just whip up a cut and paste craziness and photocopy it and call it a day.

No this time, this poster needed to be available to all sorts of people to download and use.

WAHHHH. I said that because I love glue. But not with fabric, only with paper and the like and by the way have you travelled down the glue section in Staples lately? Glue has come into it's right adhesive place due to scrap booking. I was in heaven.

I realize just made the story longer didn't I ?
I better send you a pretty picture because of your sufferings.
This is a dyers triangle from my time travels to the 1800s, more about that in days to come.

And now back to what I learned.
I spent a very long time trying to figure out how to make this poster but I think it turned out OK. Let me know if you find it the least bit pleasing.
This, of course, is not the real card but a jpg of it, if you need the real one just let me know and I'll send it to you. I know you are keeping a scrap book on me titled I Knew Her When.... or is it called Case Study 409? You might need the poster for that.

It will get bigger if you click it, my butt has that option too.

I made a card too for distribution.
And today I made this movie preview of the Mat because there is no more trial thus sayeth my advisory counsel. Now you can see what up in there in case you feel like this:

"Curiosity", Eugene de Blaas

Take a look at the video or share it.

That's enough of non textile work, I'm off to dig my finger into some wool!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Looking for Patterns?

Have you heard there is a new place to get patterns?
Michele Velez has just opened up an online shop where we can find some new inspiration.

Here is one hooked up by Karen Whidden, I just love the way she dealt with the pegs, so simple yet effective and the call back to red (but they are all different) in the arrangement is lovely!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Shibori Dyeing From The Mat

Aren't these enough to brighten and cheer any day?
These are the dyeing of Debbie Schrang (top) and Lucy Richards (bottom) just a couple of the participants in my internal dyeing studio on the Mat. They just sent in their homework for checking and answers of they had questions.
Everyone is doing a fantastic job. I'm so proud. Lucy has this studio, go have a look.

From time to time I offer classes in The Welcome Mat at reduced prices for members on dyeing and hooking. I'll be starting a class in mid- October in my Wanda Works online dyeing studio ( open to everyone)  Look here for announcements.

Are you interested in the formulas I created from The Old Rug  series 1 and series 2? I'm using Majic Carpet dyes for these and you can purchase them here. They make fantastic flesh tones.