Interpreting.

My project, Pele Speaks, is coming along.   I finished the lighter grey striated area.  There must be eight or nine different wools in it.  The amazing thing is that I had a two-gallon zip bag stuffed full of grey cut noodles/worms and although I used those with only a few newly cut strips, the bag is still half full.  As all rug hookers know, those worms reproduce overnight.  No matter how optimistic one is about using them up, they never go away.  I guess that’s not all that bad.  A worm in just the right color is handy to have when hooking.

As you can see from the photo below, I’ve begun the orange lava area.  I do have a nice array of orange wool.  Orange is one of my favorite colors.  It’s a power color that indicates Creative Energy.  This area will need to be hooked, looked at, and then tweaked.  Although the lava is flowing in a linear way, if you look at the photo [used with permission from Leigh Hilbert] you can see that there are ridges formed perpendicular to the flow.  My hooking is in the direction of these ridges.

My series, Mother Earth Speaks, has been occupying my thoughts recently.  There are a couple of ideas swimming around in my head.  I’m interested in mixed media pieces using wool, found objects, etc.  Thinking of how to interpret ideas is fun.  Making those ideas happen will be the challenge.

There’s a lot of beauty out there and in the images formed by one’s mind.

The hot orange of lava.

The hot orange of lava.

Image of Hawaiian lava © Leigh Hilbert

Image of Hawaiian lava © Leigh Hilbert

On the road to Sauder Village Rug Hooking Week.

I'm on the road today as I travel to Archbold, Ohio for one of my favorite events of the year. I look forward to this week all year long.  If you’ve never gone to Sauder Village Rug Hooking Week,  put it on your bucket list or better yet, find your way there this week [August 15 - 19].

This is the biggest and best rug hooking show.  Last year there were more than 700 rugs on display.  With many retreats and workshops for rug hookers of all levels of experience., the sense of excitement and camaraderie is palpable.

As we have done for several years now, Nancy Parcels and I will be volunteering our spare time with Deb Smith at the Rug Hooking Magazine booth. It’s such a fun way to see old rug hooking friends and make new ones.

I will be taking Nancy Parcels’ dye demonstration on Thursday and a workshop with Capri Jones on Saturday.  The rest of my time will be at the booth, or looking, mingling, and shopping.  Oh yes, there’s always time for shopping!

Please stop by and say hello.  I’ll be wearing one of my Rug Hooker name tags made by the talented husband of Janine Broscious.  If you don’t have one of these colorful name tags yet, you can order one here or I’m pretty sure Janine and her hubby will be at Sauder Village with their 3-D printer.

There’s a lot of beauty out there and in the company of enthusiastic rug hookers.

You might see me in my Wanda Kerr apron with my green name tag......

You might see me in my Wanda Kerr apron with my green name tag......

....or wearing my Magdalena Rug Hookers shirt with my purple name tag.  I'd love to see you there!

....or wearing my Magdalena Rug Hookers shirt with my purple name tag.  I'd love to see you there!

Letting off steam.

Recently on Facebook, I posted a photo of one of my rugs and a rug hooker commented that she wished her loops could be as even as mine.  I felt that I had to confess and tell her that my loops are definitely not even, but that a really good steam pressing can help a lot.

I finished hooking my Snow Angel mat this week and I thought I could use it as an example of what my lumpy bumpy loops look like before and after a steam pressing.   I’m sure many rug hookers have their own favorite way to do this important step before binding, but this is how I do it.

I use the countertop on my kitchen island.  It is granite, but I’m sure another counter surface could work just as well or maybe even a bathroom tile floor.  An old beach towel is laid on the countertop and then I lay the rug with the back side up.  I take a white bath towel, wet it with cold water and wring it out.  The bath towel is laid over the rug and then I begin steaming with my iron.  The iron is placed on the bath towel, pressed down hard for about ten seconds, lifted and moved to the next area until the whole rug has been steamed.  I’m standing on a step stool at this point, so I can get good downward pressure.

The bath towel is removed and the beach towel, too.  I let the rug stay on the countertop for several hours until it feels pretty dry and then I flip the rug over and repeat this process on the top side of the rug.  In the photos below you can see the before and after difference.  It’s not perfect, but definitely better in the “after” photo.  The photos are not the best, but I tried to take them at the same distance and angle.  You can decide if my steam method makes a difference.

I have some ideas for the binding of this rug and maybe another fiber addition, so stay tuned.

There’s a lot of beauty out there and in taking the time to finish one’s rug properly.

BEFORE

BEFORE

AFTER

AFTER

BEFORE

BEFORE

AFTER

AFTER

BEFORE

BEFORE

AFTER

AFTER