A New Twist on an Old Pattern

This old pattern is called “Twin Roses”. It is printed on burlap, and colour suggestions are printed right on the pattern. The roses themselves are painted to indicate the shading needed.  (not something one would usually hook on ). It may be an Eaton’s pattern, although it doesn’t say so.DSCF5447

In any case…being that I’m breaking all advice by even hooking on it…I may as well go whole hog and mess with the pattern itself! (In my defense…the burlap is strong and even and has no aroma, and shows no signs of deterioration at all)

It is obviously intended to be hooked with a fine cut, and done with detailed shading…but that’s not what I wanted to do. I wanted to use my dump dye wool on the scroll, with a much less formal shading, using a simple fade in and out of the colours, and this would look silly paired with fine shading. …So the question was…..how will I hook the flowers?

I collected up a variety of purples, and started with a 6 cut doing a bit of shading and paying some attention to the values of the paint.


Frankly it looked like a lilac blob! I knew it had to come out, but I was uncertain how to do them….how would I hook attractive flowers in at least a 6 cut that went with the less detailed interpretation of the rug I envisioned.

I puddled with the background while I pondered how to do the roses.

While I was shopping at Deanne Fitzpatrick’s store in Nova Scotia, my main idea in making purchases was to explore her colour combinations. With my “Twin Roses” rug in mind, I purchased this bundle of mauves and maroons.


….When I returned home, I used these colours (and some of my own as well) and did each petal in a separate colour…roughly keeping the forward ones lighter, and the distance ones darker.  For the leaves, I used the scroll wool cut sideways so I just had a dark green for the veins, and used bits of lighter green for the leaves themselves.DSCF5713

This rougher, less detailed interpretation seemed much more in keeping with the style I wanted…..and I loved the colours.

DSCF5715In my first version of the centre of the flower, I used various colours of roving and yarn, but I wasn’t happy with it.


I redid it in a simpler version which I felt popped out a bit more.


….so here is my wider cut non-shaded version of an old pattern as it stands to date. I’m hooking it for the bedroom of a very special person who loves purple.

The Background Story

When choosing how to do the background of my “old rug” pattern, I knew I wanted something light, but interesting and relating to the colours of the scroll. I decided to do a spot dye with just a very small amount of the dyes I had used for the scroll. (the scroll used 1/4 tsp dye, the background used 1/128th tsp of the same dyes…..blue violet, grasshopper, turquoise….and I also added 1/128th tsp lilac, each in 1.5 CBW with citric acid added to the cups. I did just 1/2 yard the first time, and knew I’d need more.DSCF5452

I felt I had agitated it too much during the process, leaving a muddy background colour, so the next time, I was careful to leave it alone while it was in the pot taking up the dye. The first batch also didn’t really have any of the grasshopper green visible, so I strengthened that dye bath a bit. (a heaping 1/128th tsp. of dye)DSCF5711

Although it looks more green in the photo, in real life, the green is not green at all but yellow. I tried hooking a bit of background with it, and didn’t like the results at all. The yellow jumped out and wasn’t pleasing to my eye. Back to the dye pots.

For my third attempt, I left out the grasshopper dye altogether, and used blue violet and turquoise  (both majic carpet) lilac, and 440 blue (both pro chem)….still being careful not to stir the dye bath so there were bright spots of  white left.

The differences between batch 1 and batch 3 are subtle, but important in achieving the results I’m after..


Strips of the first batch are at the bottom, and you can see that the third batch at the top is both brighter and a little more intense in colour.

In choosing how to hook the background, I was guided  by the pervading circular motion of the scroll.  I am using the brighter version of the background to make little cats paws of colour, and using the white background parts of this version around the leaves and flowers to help make them pop. The duller version I am using to fill in.DSCF5724

Again the differences are very small, but I think they add to the effect, and I may as well put my mistakes to good use.

October Sunshine Show and Tell

While I was off in the maritimes, Sunshine Hookers were hard at work. Since we had a show and tell at my first meeting back, I’ll share their progress here.


This is a wonderful rug by Ann Hallett celebrating the Coldwater river (which runs through the village of Coldwater).


Kathy is re-creating her mom’s garden.


Lynda is working on “chippy” begun at the workshop with Wendie Scott Davis.


An almost completed barn…


…designed by Mary Ann’s dh in the style of Deanne Fitzpatrick. (I hope I have that information correct Mary Ann)


I love that water…


This is ready to be bound without whipping …I really must try that sometime.

DSCF5698Gayle has just started this Sheila Klugescheid pattern. I think it’s called “Summer Flowers”.


Jeanne is making a set of chair pads…each with different flowers….not sure which number this is.


You can always count on Gail for amazing colour and design.


Judy’s starting to finish these wonderful animals. LOVE the colours!


Edie’s chicks are hatching…in preparation for the International Plowing Match next fall where the Quilt and Rug Fair will be exhibited


I should know who is hooking these morning glories, but I don’t  remember…..sigh.


Margaret is creating a wonderful rug for her son and daughter-in-law.


Judith is designing this colourful undersea adventure as she goes.


Jeanne found this whimsical old pattern and brought it in to show us. It is being copied to hook on new backing. What a great old pattern.

In the meantime, I’m working away on my old pattern, and I’ll show my progress and dyeing failures and successes with it in the next post.

Barn Project Part 2

  • Here’s part two of the barn project pictures.DSCF5659DSCF5657
  • DSCF5660DSCF5661DSCF5662DSCF5663DSCF5664DSCF5666DSCF5667DSCF5668DSCF5669
  • The sheds used for drying tobacco are another  style of  farm building disappearing from the landscape.DSCF5672DSCF5673DSCF5677DSCF5676
  • The final barn is by co -convenor Linda Wilson. She reminded us that the beautiful barn swallows that used to be so plentiful are also disappearing now that the barns and the accompanying manure piles that they fed on, no longer fill the rural landscape.
  • Many thanks to the three co-convenors Linda Wilson, Sheila Klugescheid, and Marie Turner, as well as The Simcoe County Museum for giving the rug hookers the opportunity to participate in what I know will be a great exhibition. If it comes to a museum near you, I hope you will go to see it in person.

The Barn Project Unveiled

Saturday was once again the meeting of R.U.G. and the day when the rugs entered in “the barn project” were handed in, and shown to all those present……just to fill in the background for those of you who are new to my blog….R.U.G. stands for “ruggers united gathering”, and is held twice a year at the Simcoe County Museum near Barrie Ontario Canada. It is an open gathering attended by rug hooking guilds and individuals from a large area of central Ontario. Different guilds and groups are hosts for the meetings which involve show and tell, vendors, a program, and over the years it has evolved into a large and active gathering.

Two years ago the Huronia Branch of OHCG (Ontario Hooking Craft Guild) in cooperation with the Simcoe County Museum, announced an exhibition of rug hooking celebrating the barns of rural Canada, a fast disappearing feature of our landscape. By the May R.U.G. 2014  gathering, these rugs will be on display at the museum, then will go on a tour of other museums for a couple of years. At Saturday’s R.U.G., they were handed in, and shown for the first time to everyone there. There were 58 rugs entered from all over Canada. There wasn’t room for them to be displayed in any way yet, so the pictures I took were just of them being “walked” around.  Unfortunately some are missing. In spite of help from Wendy Bowes in taking the photos while I was busy, my batteries faded and finally died altogether. Jean Chabot came to the rescue with an extra set of batteries, but in the process, I missed some of the rugs, and the pictures taken of a few while the batteries were on their “last legs” are far  from good, but I’ll include some of them anyway, just so you can see the wide range of barns and styles in this upcoming show.


While I remember comments about some of the barns, I’ll post them largely without comment as there are so many. This is the first half, the second  half I’ll show in the next blog post.DSCF5633

Many of the pieces were story rugs full of personal significance.DSCF5634

A few dealt with architechtural aspects and their inspiration.DSCF5635

This was the only 3-D entry…mounted round silos.DSCF5406

The picture of my barn didn’t turn out, but I’ve included a (before binding) photo of it in the slot where I presented it.DSCF5636DSCF5637DSCF5639DSCF5640DSCF5645DSCF5646DSCF5647DSCF5650

This is a terrible photo, but I’ve included it because my favourite part is the ladies in the bottom..DSCF5649

This is the top half of the same barn.DSCF5652DSCF5653DSCF5654DSCF5655DSCF5656

On Saturday, each hooker told a bit about their rug, and for the show itself, there will be a printed synopsis with each rug. My apologies to the people whose rugs I missed.

Stay tuned for the rest of the barns in the next post.

Back From the Maritimes

I’m still catching my breath from our wonderful trip to the maritimes. One of the highlights (apart from our daylong visit to the Rug Museum of course) was a visit to Deanne Fitzpatrick’s store in Amherst Nova Scotia.

Now there’s a store that makes patrons feel at home! We were given tea and oat cakes, and invited to take pictures and browse at will. The walls are full of Deanne’s wonderful rugs. An art gallery and a shop all rolled into one.


I was in heaven.


…amazing abstract….all in reds


…..inspired by Klimt….


…Deanne’s signature ‘faceless’ ladies….


….now I’m kicking myself that I didn’t carefully read the cards posted with each rug (I plead wool and beauty shock)….because as I look at the picture of this rug, it seems unlike  Deanne’s style, and I’m wondering if it is one of her very early rugs, or perhaps is done by someone else.


When I took this photo, I thought I was finished shopping….but no….it seems there was lots more I couldn’t live without.


This was the yummiest table of goodies. I couldn’t resist buying the little pattern on the top of the two sheep (my maiden name was Lamb, and my sister and I always exchanged “lamb themed items”) ….and I bought  a packet of “white” yarns, laces, fleece etc as well as small bits of wool to hook it.

….then in the back knitting room…I found this pile of Pendleton wool garments….I can never resist Pendleton pieces, and I chose the muted blue plaid….5th down from the top in the middle. Now when I look at this picture, I’m kicking myself for not also getting that black watch shirt just underneath it. Black watch plaid is so useful for everything and my stash of it is running low.
Back to the story of my new purse….DSCF5499
There was a table of similar purses with an interesting background…..they are made by a group of women in Kenya, who grow the fibre, dye and weave it and create these beautiful bags (I chose these colours to go with my winter boots, but there were many colours available). Of the cost ($50) …..$40 went to directly these women, and $10 to the local foodbank in Amhurst Nova Scotia.
These Kenyan women (mostly grandmothers) support their entire village with the sale of these purses, which are brought in and distributed by a Canadian gentleman. When I read about them, I had to have one, and I just love it!
There were many highlights on my wonderful trip to the maritimes, and visiting Deanne’s shop is right up there near the top.