Background and Confessions


With a couple of false starts, I’ve settled on a background style for Sir John.DSCF6290

….very simple and basic….random wiggles in off white….


….surrounded with the white. I like it. It doesn’t take away from the “black and white” aspect, but gives some life to the background. I’m using a #4 cut, I haven’t done a background in that small a cut for years! (and it will likely be years more before I do it again too!)…it’s a slow process.


I plan to hook two or three rows of black around the outside in a 6 cut to form a more definitive border. Notice the drawing to the left of his body….that was a shadow…which I partially hooked, then took out since I thought it didn’t add anything to the piece. He’s now  “shadow-less”.

OK…now for the ‘confession’ part. I’ve had a pretty productive winter as far as hooking….but the number of pieces totally completed???? ZERO!  That evasive finishing.(sigh). Here’s what I’ve hooked since last fall….DSCF6296


So right now, I committing myself to start NOTHING new until I have all of these pieces (including Sir John) completely done.  (sigh)….but….but…but…



Re-Icing the Cake and Dyeing Off White

YIKES! When a few Sunshine Hookers didn’t recognize  that what I had hooked was a piece of cake…it was time to do some fixing up!

OK, I’ll back up some. Here is the cake before I did the icing.


Instead of the text I drew a maple leaf.


…and hooked it…DSCF6275

I thought it looked a bit like two eyes and a mouth, and when neither Gail or Cynthia at first even recognized it as a piece of cake, I knew change was really needed.


So here’s my new and (hopefully) improved birthday cake and candle.

Aha! only the background to do now….but alas, my natural white wool has not arrived. I intend to mix both white and natural in the background for a bit of variety.

Then it hit me…’ve got lots of white….just dye some with a mild tint and carry on! (Sometimes I’m a little slow with the obvious!).


Just this much maple sugar dye on a tooth pick.


Add some vinegar….the wool (1/16th yard)….pop in the microwave until it clears (I did 2.22), and……DSCF6287

I have some off white wool to mix in my background. (it will be a little lighter when dried).

Now to decide the style of hooking I’ll use there. I’ve been paying attention to the backgrounds of rugs for ideas and examples of what I might like.

Since my last post, we’ve actually had two  snow storms, but hopefully that’s it! I’m ready for spring.



Tweaking and Making Cake

I’ve heard many people say that hooking hands is difficult. Now I agree. My first effort sure didn’t please me, so I resorted to my usual route when I’m not happy with my work….I hang it up and look at it for a few days. DSCF6257 The easy part is figuring out what’s wrong….the hard part is figuring out how to fix it! The choppy angles looked silly. My first inclination was to take out parts of the hand to smooth it out, but eventually, instead, I added more black.( I wanted to keep the hand knobby and chubby overall) DSCF6265 I’m still not completely happy with it, but I’ve moved on for now. Somehow when I transferred the writing from the cake to the top, the” ? “at the end became an” ! ” I didn’t even notice it at first, and when I eventually did, my first reaction was  just to leave it. DSCF6217 But it really does change the impact. Canadians are well known (and made fun of) for their  frequent use of “eh ?” at the end of a phrase, and the “interrogative uplift of the voice” is very distinctive. I tried to fix it by just removing the top part of the “!” and inserting a hook, but eventually took it all out and replaced it.

DSCF6269 Now it is truly a Canadian phrase.

I made two adjustments to my pattern by shortening his right thumb, and bending the tines of the fork over to make it more realistic…..then I started on the cake itself. (not sure what kind this is) DSCF6266 …and the candle. DSCF6267 Hooking with a #2 cut has its own challenges. First, many wools don’t have a tight enough weave to hold together when cut this small, (so my choices are limited), and the loops are so narrow that they “flop” somewhat and must be snuggled up closely to another row of hooking. There are fixes to come with the candle flame. My dilemma?…my black cashmere is by far the best to hook with in a #2 cut, but it is too strong for many places……decisions, decisions…..

I’m waiting for my order of Dorr natural to arrive….I’m going to try mixing the natural and the white in the background and see how it looks.  DSCF6271

A lazy Sunday afternoon stretches ahead. It’s cloudy and raining, so I plan to hook and watch the Blue Jay Game, then Ray and I are going out for dinner. Spring has finally arrived (well our version of it)….the snow is melting (and the basement has water in it of course)…. there are actually some Snow Bells sticking up their heads, and the garden centres are opening and have boxed pansies already available. We’ll be sure to have one last “kick at the cat” snowfall….  but I’ve actually been out twice without my snow boots on. Yeah!!!!

This and That

First I’ll finish up showing the items being worked on at our day long hook in last week.


Gail is making good progress with her railway rug ( the story of this rug is in the post entitled “The Spring That Isn’t”)

Here are some more pieces being hooked for the ploughing match.


Ann has completed her pig. I love the border. Those look like maple leaves in the corners


This is going to be a mobile, with the hearts glued back to back. What a super idea. Can’t wait to see it finished.

I have finished my six trivets, which were inspired by motifs found in various Klimt paintings.


I didn’t like the 6th pattern I drew, so I did another version of the turquoise and red one, this time in yellows and black.


There were other personal rugs in progress.


Marion is hooking a copy of a stained glass she has in her home. (I think it will be a pillow, but I’m not positive.


I love the dress in this Deanne Fitzpatrick pattern which is underway. There are the distinctive dots around the edge (a unique DF trick).

I love the story behind this piece which Charlene has under way.  Her friend was an accomplished artist, but was severely injured in an accident and can no longer paint.

Here is a picture of one of her paintings.DSCF6254

(please excuse the poor quality photo) The socks represent various members of her family.

Charlene is hooking a copy of this painting as a gift for her friend.


Now for an update on my Sir John cartoon.


Originally I had the text on the cake (as it was in the original cartoon), but I soon realized two things. 1)……there was an awful lot of background dead space. and 2)….even using a #2 cut doing script that small would be REALLY difficult. So I decided to move the text off the cake and into the background, where it could be considerable larger.

It took several tries to decide on  a cut and style that I liked.


Using a #2 cut with a #2 cut outline wouldn’t lie straight…it needed the #3 cut as the inside colourDSCF6210DSCF6211

I liked the black lettering, until I put the white around it, and then it was too puny.DSCF6217I finally settled on a #3 cut white inside, outlined with a #2 cut black.DSCF6218I think I’ll just put a maple leaf on the cake.

An Unusual Guest

Tuesday we had our second work day to prepare items for sale and/or display at  the ploughing match this fall. Along with all the Sunshine Hookers, we had an extra guest present.


Yes, it’s Sir John A. MacDonald himself! Isn’t he wonderful!. I’m not sure who had the idea to create him….I strongly suspect it was Linda Wilson. Luise Bishop hooked his head, and Linda and some others (sorry I should have found out exactly who) searched out the clothing and created the body. He is so life like it is eerie!. I kept looking over to the table to see who was sitting there. He will be appearing at a variety of events in the near future, including R.U.G., The Ploughing Match, the annual, and of course will play a large role in his own  200th birthday celebration next January. (Just a reminder for non- Canadians…Sir John A. MacDonald was the first Prime Minister of Canada)

He was created using this picture:



My version of him is when he was older, and being a cartoon isn’t very flattering

His presence no doubt stirred us all on and here are pictures of the work being done for the ploughing match. Most are trivets, or mug rugs….although there are also many other items as well, which I’ll show in the next post.



Linda’s cow makes me smile! DSCF6230


She is just now adding the warts to these beautiful pumpkins.DSCF6231

Liz has made trivets on a variety of subjects.


I’d like a blue teapot like that!


Jeanne is creating beautiful day lilies. She decided to “square out” the round corners.


Edie is making this colourful maple leaf with some of her left over worms. She too has squared the corners.DSCF6237

Fiona’s cat is in the style of a particular person? artist? toy? (which she told me) and I have now totally forgotten. Sorry Fiona!DSCF6238

Diane is making a variety of geometric trivets and mug rugs.DSCF6239

This little cat is going to be so cute.




I love the colours of the background for this sheep.DSCF6242

A colourful fall pumpkin in the works here.DSCF6243

Red abstract….love it….by Helen.DSCF6244

Helen’s spiral is now finished….great fall colours.


Teresa has made 6 colourful  mug mats and has them ready to go in groups of 2.DSCF6248

This tractor hooked by Karen is the perfect trivet for a plowing match!


I think this rooster is trying to wake someone up!


I love the outline style of all three of Karen’s pieces…so simple and effective.


Gail is doing a series of sunflower mug rugs. They will make a wonderful set.

I’ll save the rest for my next post, plus tell you about my struggles doing the script on My Sir John piece.

Yeah!!! It’s finally above freezing during the day. Still below freezing at night, so the maple syrup is running, and apparently will be a great harvest this year. Yum yum…pancakes coming up.