Going Around in Circles

Much to my surprise, after claiming I would never hook with nylons again, I’m quite enjoying working on my cats paws.


This time I’m using a different backing (rug warp) and a different hook ( a 6mm that makes good sized holes to pull up the material easily). I guess I’m easily amused, because I’m having fun coming up with various combinations of the colours to create different effects. 

While leafing through an old copy of RHM recently, the sky of this piece caught my eye as a potential colour combination for the background….not a done deal….but contemplating….I think it will need some purple….hmmm….


Below was my first attempt to take the picture….because of the glossy paper, I realized I needed to take the picture without the flash.


I hope none of the neighbours saw me standing on the veranda in my housecoat and slippers in a snowstorm juggling the magazine and my camera to get a photo without the flash glare.  

Hope to get lots of hooking done tonight while I watch Toronto win the Grey Cup (fingers crossed I don’t have to eat those words)

From Wool to Nylons

As usual for me, when I’m stumped (usually with a colour choice) I hang up the work where it can be easily seen, and I look at it often, and long. I eventually come up with a solution. My chair pad was no exception.


I had 2 problems….the colours for the 2 similar motifs on the right, and the colour for the 2 large leaves also on the right. The motif problem I solved by changing it altogether. Instead of 2 similar designs one above the other, I repeated the blue flower cluster from the upper left. ….a much better balance. (I just drew it over the top with a red marker)

I’d been trying a bronze green for the large leaves like the one in my fabric inspiration….and it just didn’t work 


After digging through my stash of greens, I discovered that I liked a light mottled blue green. I did the 2 large leaves in that, and added a third similar leaf in place of the original motif between the large red ones (under the blue one). Now the hooking is complete….just remains to get on with stripping the rocker so it has a home……Oh…and do the finishing of course….

My next project is a mat for my upstairs bathroom. While I was at Trent a year ago, I remember hearing (from Hedore Gionet, a wonderful man who uses nylons pretty much exclusively) that a nylon mat can be used in the bathroom because it is washable. 

I purchased rug warp from Jennifer Manuell for the backing (made of cotton), and by coincidence and  to my delight, Mary Lou Justason decided to clean out her stash, and brought a large bag of nylons for anyone at Sunshine Rug Hookers who might make use of them. I waited patiently until everyone chose what they wanted, then claimed everything that was left. 


This is what is still left after dyeing what I think I may need for the foreground….. still plenty left to do the background. I decided to do cat’s paws, and the colour inspiration came from an artist introduced to me by Wanda Kerr on the Welcome Mat.


What fun I had dyeing these. I chose red, poppy red, fuscia, purple, red violet, and raspberry, plus I did a couple of pots of spot dyes with some other colours as well. The nylons were easy to dye, but I was surprised at how much dye I needed to get the vibrant colours I was after,


I’ve just started the hooking. …and if nothing else I’m learning a lot about the effects of the colour combinations as I go. Each one I do I like a little better than the one I did previously. (I have to resist the temptation to remove the earliest ones) I’ve found that ending with a light colour seems to pop the paw more effectively (I think I heard that from Gene Shepherd too….that man knows everything!) I haven’t decided yet on the background. Originally I thought off white because it’s going in a bathroom….but now I’m leaning to dark…to make it more dramatic….Instead of seeing stars, I’m seeing circles.

A Tribute to Cheri Hempseed

Tuesday was Tribute day At Sunshine rughookers, and the featured hooker this month was Cheri Hempseed.

This is one of my favourite rugs. She adapted it from one of Deanne Fitzpatrick’s…adding an extra lady on the right, and then extending the work to include  the whole bodies. It is actually 3 panels, is likely 5 high feet at least,  and takes up a large portion of a wall in her home.


I love the shoes on each woman…they co-ordinate so well with each outfit!

Cheri actually chose not to bring her rugs, (which she felt we’d all seen) and concentrated instead  on showing examples of her other areas of artistic endevour.

I knew you’d want to see some of them, so I found these pictures of some of her work stored on my computer.

This picture of abstract trees was begun in a workshop with Deanne on abstract images.


It is pictured on the back inside cover of the current issue of OHCG newsletter, but is wrongly captioned as a pond with bull rushes by someone else. I hope they print a correction in the next issue.

Cheri designed this pattern herself. She uses all sorts of interesting textiles, and cuts the strips by hand.


I took these pictures quite some time ago, and I think the rug is now completed.


She used a Klimt inspired background …..


and Deanne style closed eyes….of course one looks down when playing hopscotch.


It is a massive piece…..I didn’t measure it but I imagine it is more than 6 feet long. Cheri’s hooking is totally distinctive with it’s wonderful texture, vibrant colours and free flowing form.

(now to show you what she did bring to share with us)

From the giant to the tiny…Cheri is well known for her “lady necklaces” which are only about 2″ x 3″  and they are always treasured by whoever is lucky enough to have them.


She has now extended her necklaces to other symbols.


Cheri grew up in Toronto, and after completing University, went on to graduate from the Ontario College of Art. For many years she was a potter.


She brought a few examples of her work…this large vase…


and other smaller pieces…all very distinctive.


These are flat backed to hang on a wall.


She also made wonderful jewelry…..


for me the piece”s” de resistance were these two Santas


Each one stood about 12″ and the detail was astounding!!!….look at that paint can..


and the names on the stockings……everything is hand made. She has apparently made quite a few for her family.


Of course she is also a quilter


…and a Christmas tree maker….

and does cross stitch…


This panel d
emonstrates various Christmas family activities such as getting the tree shopping, decorating the tree…etc.


Another beautiful cross stitch hanging….


Cheri is a multi talented lady, whose friendliness, kindness, enthusiasm and skill have contributed a large part to my wonderful experiences in the world of hooking. Thanks for sharing with us Cheri.

R.U.G. Nov. 2012

Saturday was the semi annual gathering of R.U.G. It’s always a fun day….a chance to see lots of rug hooking friends, buy supplies, view lots of wonderful rugs and enjoy an interesting program, and this time, I remembered to take my camera! I don’t know who hooked most of these rugs, and they are only a small sampling of those that were shown.


This was hooked by a lady from North Bay and is entitled “sweet landing”. The 3 dimentional bee alighting on the flower doesn’t show up well in the photo…but in person the work is stunning.


I have tried braiding, (and failed)….I love it combined with hooking, but I sure don’t have the patience to do it. These mice seem to be teasing that cat.


This is a first rug….can you imagine! It was created using only scraps of cut wool given the hooker by her teacher…..apparently she is an artist (not hard to tell is it, that sky is spectacular), and this is full of symbols from her life story. 


A beautiful pillow hooked by Gail LeBarge


There were 2 versions of this beautiful pattern, but I only managed to get a photo of one. The other was more monochromatic…done entirely in the monarch butterfiy colours.


This is a very fine cut…an old pattern and soooo beautifully detailed. It’s not finished yet.


How true a saying.


A whimsical chairpad.


I love the colour palette used for this wonderful pattern.


This piece was framed in antique wood, and there was a great story to go with it….now if I could just remember what it was…(sigh).


This is a story rug too…I just forget the story…..again.


This is a picture of the hooker’s German Short Hair Pointer….a rescue dog named Smoke,,,hooked from a photo.


Beautiful proddy pillow.


The hooker designed this rooster…I love the colours!

Dscf4645…..and my stool was there too. I had to lug it in and out of the building and boy it’s heavy….that’s the last trip it goes on!! 

That’s just a taste of the rugs that were there. I got some wool, and a great buy on a pattern to make a pillow that will go well in my living room. Jennifer Manuell showed her photos from her trip to teach at Reeth in Yorkshire England. We were drooling over the beautiful countryside. A great way to finish a very enjoyable day.