Looking back and looking ahead.

Ever since I was old enough to understand what New Year’s Eve is all about, it has always brought about a feeling of sadness. Maybe I don’t feel ready to start a new year, maybe the ending year hasn’t been great, or maybe it’s a reminder that I’m a year older.  I’m not sure exactly why this feeling descends upon me.  The euphoric celebrations always feel forced.

This year, I’m determined to look forward to 2019 with positivity. With that in mind, I sat with my sketchbook this past week and worked on a design for a project in which I am honored to be invited to participate. I had a general idea of what I want to depict, but how to do it is another thing altogether.  I sat and contemplated, and jotted down the feelings that I want the design to impart.  I think I am well on my way to a design that will be meaningful.  This hooked piece will not be worked on for months yet, which gives me lots of time to tweak my design.  This gives me hope for the year ahead.

I also have a couple of designs already on linen to hook.  One will be very monochromatic and the other one will be filled with rich, jewel tones.  I have a substantial stash of incredible wool, hooking tools, a comfortable chair, and music in my hooking studio. These also give me hope for a good year ahead.

I hope you all have a positive year ahead. Thank you all for your friendship, your comments, and your pattern purchases.  Let’s all make 2019 the best it can be!

There’s a lot of beauty out there and in counting one’s blessings of all kinds.

Snow Angel. Wool cloth strips on unbleached primitive linen foundation.

Snow Angel. Wool cloth strips on unbleached primitive linen foundation.

A fork in the road.

As Yogi Berra once said, “When you come to a fork in the road, take it.”  We all experience times when our plans are moving along nicely in a forward direction and then something or some things happen and we have to make a detour. 

I had planned on getting lots of hooking done on my Snow Angel mat, but that didn’t happen.  I did tweak it a bit with a thin line of dusky lavender hooking between the sky and the snow, which I think helps it a lot.  And I hooked more snow, using a wider cut and lighter tint as I move down to the foreground.   I think it adds interest to use different widths of strips in a piece.  The deadline for this mat is far in the future, so I’m not worried about finishing it.

Instead of hooking, I found myself sitting with a pair of knitting needles and two shades of pink yarn as I knitted furiously to complete five pink hats for friends attending the Women’s Marches in DC and Philadelphia.  It was a way for me to do my small part in this important event.  Not everyone was in favor of these hats, but they worked to create unity among those marching.

Another fork in the road was hearing that a good friend had to have emergency surgery.  I got out my big stockpot and proceeded to make her some chicken soup just like my mother used to make.  I haven’t made it in a number of years, but it’s like riding a bike.   I hope it will bring her warmth and comfort.

I’m hoping for some actual wintery weather with snow.  We have had unusually warm weather recently.  But there’s still February, which can bring the white stuff around here.

There’s a lot of beauty out there on life’s pathways, wherever they lead us.

A bit of progress on Snow Angel.

A bit of progress on Snow Angel.

A few of my favorite things.

Winter scenes. Hooking a sunset or sunrise sky.  Hooking snow. 

I have begun hooking my Snow Angel piece for the Magdalena Rug Hookers group project.  I might not be the only one doing a snow angel design and, if so, it will be fun to see how we each interpret it.

I think the best pieces of wool in my stash are the spot-dyed ones that I have dyed or bought.  The random splashes of color make any hooked rug interesting to look at.  I’ve used many spot-dyed noodles in this sky.  As we all know, it doesn’t matter how many noodles/worms we use, it doesn’t make a dent in the supply on hand.  It’s one of the great mysteries of rug hooking.

This Snow Angel piece isn’t very big, just 16” x 22”, so I should be finished in a week or so.  At that point I will explain how I block and finish my rugs and what a big difference a good blocking can make.  This was a suggested topic by Lucy Richard of Wooly Mason Jar fame and I’m happy to do it. 

I’ve written about how I bind the edges of most of my rugs.  If you’re interested, you can read that blog here.

I’ll be starting on my next super secret rug any day now.  I feel the deadline looming.

There’s a lot of beauty out there and in hooking a few of my favorite things.

A sunset sky and snow wool for the Snow Angel mat.

A sunset sky and snow wool for the Snow Angel mat.