Theme Rugs from the Annual and a Tribute to Judith Auger

I’m sorry to take so long to complete showing all the photos I took last week at the annual…..the weather has been so perfect here, and the wee veggie garden needed to be planted,  the car needed to go to the garage…….etc….but finally here is the next installment of fantastic rugs from Oshawa.

The theme for this year’s annual was “texture” and the display of rugs in the theme category showed a wonderful variety of ways in which using texture can either enhance or define a piece. (texture meaning use of textured hooking materials plaids, sparkly yarns, laces …or anything else you can hook through or attach to  the backing) I don’t have photos of all the entries, but here are the ones I have.DSCF6442

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These pieces were fascinating. I’m only guessing, but it seems like a “triptych” hooked perhaps by three different people, each with a different interpretation, and style. (the three different numbers showing that it is to be judged as three entries, not one) . I’d love to hear the actual story , if anyone knows.  PS…. Thanks to Susan Sutherland….here’s more info on these rugs…..they were hooked by three women from the Ottawa area, ( one being Barbara Lukas) and they were featured in an article in Rug Hooking Magazine.

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…..and the winner was….DSCF6441

….hooked by Barbara Lukas…. depicting her porch in winter. I’m really bad at remembering numbers….but I think she said she used 70 different colours to capture the snow and ice.DSCF6547It was so great to meet her and have time chatting over both dinner and at breakfast. I’ve still got pictures I took of the various guild group displays for another post.

Meanwhile…..back on the homefront…..Sunshine Rug Hookers were treated on Tuesday to the work of Judith Auger. Judith is a relatively new rug hooker, whose artistic talents are evident as she explores her new passion.

We share her with a group in Florida where she started hooking in 2012.

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Her first rug was for her husband, a scene from the maritimes recalling his youth.

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….such beautiful work for a new hooker!….her second piece…

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her first geometric….Judith isn’t a seamstress, and doesn’t own a sewing machine and she isn’t happy with the finishing on this rug. She plans to redo the binding over the summer. She is assiduous in searching for finishing techniques which will work well for her.

….to that end she has started this rug using Doris Eaton’s finishing method….(well she admits it is not exactly Doris’ technique, but her own interpretation of it)DSCF6557

Judith is so creative that she sometimes likes to just start hooking with an idea, and nothing drawn, and see where it takes her….

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….how beautiful is that!!!

….or this….done the same way….DSCF6553

…she calls this one “Lagoon”.

She is still making decisions about her poppies….DSCF6550DSCF6549

….We’re lucky to have her as a member at Sunshine Rug Hookers….even if it is only for half of the year.

….and finishing….

The finishing continues while I get ready for the annual this weekend. I’m so proud of myself that I haven’t started anything new! (Although I have lots of ideas swirling in my head, and I’ve even started a little notebook of ideas. ) I’m just itching to get into the dye pots and create some beautiful wool.

But instead, I put the last touches on the six Klimt inspired trivets. I decided to trim the edges all in black, and had just enough of the background wool to cut #8 strips for the edges.

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I ran a small bead of tacky glue around the edge….DSCF6390

…and carefully laid the strip along the edge. (by using a #8 cut, it is wide enough to cover the felt the backing and the hooking (which is a #6) making a smooth finish.

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…one doneDSCF6396

….six done…on to the next….Lunenburg Harbour…DSCF6397

Although I’ve hooked a border, and this will hang on the wall, …….since it is hooked on burlap, I decided not to just turn it under, but to whip a tiny edge as I did on Sir John.

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…I’ve just got it under way.

On my to do list for the annual, I’ve got “extra camera batteries” so hopefully the next post will have lots of photos of rugs from the display at Durham College.

Thanks for stopping by.

 

Two Down…????? To Go …plus Pan Am

That’s right. I’ve completely finished two rugs, and I haven’t counted how many yet to go.

Sir John was the first , since I needed to show him as a part of the Sunshine Sir John A. group at R.U.G.. What an adventure that was. I found out the Tuesday before R.U.G. that he was needed, and although I could have shown him unfinished, I was determined to have it completely done. It seemed reasonable….just the few gaps in the background and completing the rows of black around the edge. DSCF6300

 

By Thursday evening, I had completed the hooking, zigzagged the edge, cut and used my clips to secure the edge, and then steamed it down. Friday I would just have to sew down the back edge, creating the packets from the backing. Easy and quick!. (here’s the back…)

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I snapped this photo just after steaming the edge down, and went off to bed.

Friday morning I flipped it over, and discovered that the white backing showed up along the edges of the black border, and I knew I’d never be happy with it if I finished it the way I’d intended. After contemplating a variety of possible solutions, I finally settled on whipping the edge in black yarn…..just a teeny tiny whipped edge to cover up the white. Great idea…but it took me HOURS! I worked literally all day Friday, and then stitched the whole thing down after supper Friday night.

I was so tired that I didn’t even take a picture of the finished piece, and now it’s gone off with the pieces to be displayed at the annual. I’ll eventually get a photo of it finished to post here.

Yesterday I completed “Scott’s Dogs”. No drama with the finishing of this one. Whew! I tried a different way to finish a rug for hanging (well a bit different for me). I whipped the edge through the binding tape, and tacked it down (Gene Shepherd’s technique) , then created loops along the top using strips of the binding tape.

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The black loops don’t really show up against the black tape. I made 5 loops across the back so hopefully that’s enough to have it hang nicely.

That’s number two finished.

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And now for a flashback to R.U.G. Along with the barn display, there was a display of rugs celebrating the Pan Am Games. Here’s the background.

The Pan AM (Pan American …all the countries of North and South America) games are to be held next year in Toronto. OHCG is hoping to have a Canadian hooked rug to present to each country, and both groups and individuals have been working on the project for some time. Designs were submitted, and hookers could choose one of the selected designs or one of their own. Some of these rugs were on display at R.U.G.

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There was certainly lots of eye candy at R.U.G. what with the Barn Project and the Pan Am Rugs, and the usual wonderful “show and tell” which I didn’t get even one photo of!

I’m looking forward to the Annual at Durham College in two weeks where I know there will be another wonderful rug display. For now it’s back to the finishing for me!  Next……

 

How Do I Hang Thee?

….let me count the ways.

There are countless ways to hang our hooked pieces, and I am always looking for that one way that suits me best. For those who like sewing, lovely tabs which show above the hooking make a nice finish….but I hate sewing! Others frame their work, but that is expensive, and not a look that I generally want. …so I keep trying different ways.

Emma Sue is quite small and is simply hung with a strip of tack board (or whatever you call the edge pieces used to install wall to wall carpeting)DSCF5935

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My “no penny penny rug” is larger, so Ray used the tack board all the way around to keep it straight and secure on the wall.

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This method works well, but leaves a lot of holes in the wall, and if for any reason you want to take the rug down for awhile, you have an ugly frame on the wall.

When I was hanging Hygieia (or more accurately, when Ray was hanging Hygieia) I wanted a more decorative way of doing it, and being that the rug was large and heavy, it needed to be able to support her weight. We bought a heavy curtain rod with  fancy finials, andsecured it at both ends and in the middle. Ray had rebuilt the wall with support behind the dry wall so it would hold it easily.

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I inserted a metal rod in the bottom pocket to hold it down and help it to hang straight. (it doesn’t ordinarily stick out)

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This topic is on my mind, because this week we have been putting our living room back together after another renovation task is completed, and finally hanging art work and putting up Adele and Althea where we can enjoy them every day. Again I wanted a decorative way to hang them, but nothing as extensive (or as expensive) as what we used for Hygieia. I just love the simple solution we came up with.

I found solid brass pull knobs at Home depot, and Ray installed then on the end of a piece of 5/8″ dowel. He then put two large heavy brass hooks into the wall and hung the pieces. I put a smaller piece of dowling in the bottom sleeve to hod them down.

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Here is Althea in her place of honour.

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….and Adele in hers….

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We’re on a roll…as I write this, Ray is preparing another dowel to hang my Dahlov Ipcar piece in the TV room.

A yucky January thaw is suddenly upon us, and we’ve gone from ridiculous cold and snow  to mild and melting . I have my fingers crossed that the basement doesn’t flood, or the world become a skating rink when it once again drops below freezing. Never a dull moment this winter!

A New Dyeing Adventure

Yes, a new adventure, at least for me. Although I have been dyeing my own wool for several years now, I have never yet dyed yarn to whip a rug.  With the spotted/mottled background of the Twin Roses rug, I knew I’d never find yarn to go with it, and a solid colour I felt would distract from the mat.

So….I’m dyeing yarn for the first time. My first step was to watch Gene Shepherd’s video on the subject, and I picked up quite a few pointers which I’m sure will help in this process. The second was to consult with Ann Hallett, who also gave me help and suggestions for a successful result.  Then to buy the white wool yarn to be hooked. There is only one place in my town that carries an all wool yarn, and wouldn’t you know it, they had no white. A quick call to “The Purple Sock” a wonderful yarn shop in the village of Coldwater (about 15 miles from here) and I had found my wool.

The first tip I learned from Gene Shepherd, was to prepare the skein so that it will stay without becoming a bird’s nest in the dyeing process. (Tie it in at least 4 places.)

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…..just divide the skein in three, and loop a piece of yarn around each so it is secure, but can spread out.

Now a time out……and an aside….I got to this point in the process, had my camera at my side to record the dyeing, and guess what….I forgot to take any pictures at all…..never thought of it again until the wool was dyed and lying on a towel!!  I was so annoyed at myself.

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Here’s a quick recap of what I did (without visuals).

The dyeing itself was just the same as the spot dyeing of the background. Spread the skein in a flat pan of simmering water so that it is spread out as much as possible, DSCF5727

(spread out the wool to cover the bottom of the pan and as much as possible so the yarn is exposed to absorb the dye….in the pan….not on the table like this photo)

…..and spot with dye baths plus citric acid. (again I used turquoise, blue 440, lilac, and blue violet).

I wanted the same intensity as the background …so here’s how I figured out how much dye to use (another great tip from Gene Shepherd’s video).  1/4 yard wool is about 3 oz. 1 skein of yarn is about 4 oz. I had dyed 1/2 yard at a time, and used 1/128th tsp of each dye, so I figured I needed a little more than half the dye of the original background. I roughly measured 1/2 of 1/128th tsp of each colour, and ta dah….ended up with the same intensity.

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…some arm stretching help from DH and I’m ready to get on with the finishing.

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In the meantime, I had finished hooking the background, so here it is ready to steam and bind.

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Having forgotten to take photos of the dyeing process, I then went ahead and forgot to take my camera to a wonderful hook in I attended on Wednesday with the hookers in Gravenhurst. So I can’t show you all the rugs on display there, or the wonderful food and hospitality they showed the 13 of us who were there from Sunshine Rug Hooking group. ARGHHHHH!

Port Severn Hook In

Anyone living in central Ontario knows that we have been having extreme weather for the past few days…..  high heat, high humidity, lots of rain and terrible flooding in Toronto. As a result the turn out for our get together was small, but our immediate area has escaped the bad rains, and the day was sunny at Port Severn.

Michelle and her family have come from DC for the second year in a row to vacation in our area (they know a great place when they find it!)….and we met up with her and had a lovely day of hooking visiting, and eating.

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Here is Michelle with her hooking.

We soon moved to the gazebo at the park…where there was shelter if it rained, and a picnic table where Michelle could sit…..I remembered to bring her a lunch…but forgot to bring her a lawn chair (I plead old age).

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Mary Lou brought us copies of the beautiful “magazine?” put out by the museum, and told Michelle all about the opening. (she also brought me maps and info to help when we go there in September).

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I think there was more visiting than hooking, although we did get some work done.

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Michelle worked on her Heron, which she started in a workshop a while ago. I just love what she’s done so far. Those leaves are so vibrant……

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..and just look at the water and the reflection of the bird. The water was dyed by her teacher in one very long strip, then cut and hooked in order.

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Jeanne is hooking this stained glass piece from the picture she found. Edie was hooking as well, but for some reason I have no photo. I wasn’t hooking…

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….I was whipping my memory rug…..and that’s the topic for the second part of this post…

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….when I prepared to steam it I found to my disgust that I had “packed” several areas…

Packing means hooking the rows of loops too close together so that the work doesn’t lie flat…but bubbles up. You can see the bulge I’m pinching in this photo. When the work is under tension in the frame, it often looks like the spaces between the rows may show, but when the work relaxes there is no space. This happened in several spots where I was hooking animals and filling in small spots with an 8 cut. Best case scenario…the steaming will flatten it out….if not, minor tweaking and removal of some loops may be necessary. Worst case would be needing to rehook the section with more space between the rows.

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Fortunately, mine was fine once it was steamed….but I’ve made a note to myself to be more generous with the spaces.

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For this rug I’m whipping the edge and using binding tape and the method I learned from Gene Shepherd. I like it because it doesn’t use a cord, whips through the binding tape, and requires only sewing by hand around it once to tack down the binding tape to finish.

It’s very neat on the front, but I’m not always satisfied with the back. The trick is to have the whipping come through the tape in a straight line….and that an be tricky. Sometimes I manage pretty well…

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(sorry for the poor quality photo…but you can see the stitches into the back of the tape). ….but sometimes…

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….it gets uneven. I’m getting better at it, and I’m considering perhaps using a pencil line on the tape next time to help guide the needle tip. It’s on the back of the rug, and won’t be seen, but I still want that straight line!

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I think these two must know they are a part of the rug….they certainly seem to like it.

….and I just have to show off my birthday present….well the fancy case at least…

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….my Beehive Townsend cutter…from hubby and my sons. How lucky can a hooker get!

Starting Magdelena Briner and Finishing Althea

While I’ve always admired rugs hooked in the primitive style, I was never inspired to hook one myself. But then I kept seeing the rugs of Magdelena Briner Eby on various sites. and was fascinated by her distinctive style and colours. I decided my next venture would be a primitive rug in her style.   I ordered the book “Rug Hooking Traditions with Magdelena Briner Eby” from Woolley Fox  and quickly read it from cover to cover..DSCF5102_2

..and now  I’m beginning my Magdelena style rug. I wanted to use animals that were significant to me, and thought of the wildlife of this area…..deer, beaver, moose etc….but others have done that. I wanted something more personal.

I made a list of the pets my youngest son has had, and it turned out to be 4 dogs, 6 cats, and one white rat, plus numerous fish…..aha…that sounds like a “rug full”….so my next venture is entitled “Mathieu’s Pets”.

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I sketched outlines, and made templates on bristol board.

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….then simply traced them on the backing.  Right away it becomes apparent why I have never been a “primitives ” hooker….my animals even just as outlines…are way too accurate….but I can only go against my own nature just so far….and this may become more a memory rug than anything else.

I love the colours and backgrounds of the Magdelena rugs, and when I was at  R.U.G. I picked up some wool that I thought of as” Magdelena colours.”

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.I have lots of “blacks” to “spark” these up.

..and pulled out a stack of browns I bought last year from Jennifer Manuell..

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….sorry…I forgot to crop that plastic bag they are sitting on…..So those are the basic colours I’m thinking of using (but always subject to change).

I’m itching to get hooking now….BUT….first ….the dreaded finishing requirement is once more upon me.

May 25th weekend is the yearly Annual of OHCG (Ontario Hooking Craft Guild) in Kingston. And while I’m not going to it this year, the Sunshine Rug Hookers will have a display and Althea is to make the trip on my behalf.

When I finished hooking her, my back and legs were acting up. so I rolled her up without even steaming her. Now she must be finished and ready to go in less than a week.

My first little problem came with the zigzagging when I had to deal with the fact that I had drawn the pattern way too close to one side (who knows why!) I solved that little dilemma by leaving half the tape on the edge and sewing through it so it wouldn’t ravel.

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I pulled off the excess when I was done, and didn’t worry about what was left.

My preference for my rugs which will hang on the wall is to just turn the backing under……but I still like it to be a nicely finished rug, with straight edges, and  stitching hidden as much as I can. I fold and steam along the ditches, and have fought with myriad pins during this process in the past . I now have these wonderful little clips  ( intended for quilters) which make the process soooo much easier…not one pin required!

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…everything is held securely in place, and I just remove the clips before steaming that section.

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I like that straight edge with no pin marks or puckers. I use the backing to create a pocket for the rod, so it is all in one process,. That’s why there are no mitered corners.

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So here is Althea, laying up-side-down to dry, and all I have to do now is blind stitch the edges down before next Tuesday….easy..peasy!

Sites where I got my Magdelena inspiration….three of my favourites..check them out!

http://woodlandjunction.blogspot.ca

http://theruggedmoose.blogspot.ca

http://www.woolleyfox.com

Thanks for stopping by.

Crocheting with Nylons

At one time in my life, I crocheted afgans, vests, scarfs, hats….you name it, but it has been a very long time since I picked up a crochet hook, and a first time using a nylon stocking cut up on the diagonal into one long strip. To be honest, although at one time I had a case with every size of hook….I couldn’t lay my hands on even ONE proper crochet hook…so I’ve been using my poor discarded pencil hook, and although it is a little “fine” for the job, it is certainly adequate.

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I took a scrap piece of rugwarp to practise on, and it was sure a good thing I did.

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My first attempt was UGLY bad,

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but with trying again, I got the knack of it.

Never having tried an edge rolled forward before, I waited until the ‘try out’ session to decide how wide the edge should be. I decided on an inch, which gave me enough fabric to fold twice, hiding the zigzagged edge.

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and I’m rather pleased with how it is turning out.

In the mean time…..

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I’ve started drawing the pattern for “Lady with Fan”….I must admit I enjoy the process of drawing it……….not so enthused about the transfer part…it’s slow and time consuming to make sure the ink is getting through to the backing. Maybe one day I’ll get hubby to make me a light table….that would be lots easier.  🙂

Thanks for stopping by.

Mostly Off topic

I usually keep pretty strictly to rughooking on this blog….but this time is an exception. My son’s girlfriend has just completed her MA in Biomedical Toxicology, and as you can imagine, has been ensconced in a lab, and papers for several months. To celebrate her school completion, they have embarked on a cross Canada camping trip for a month….and had a wee time with us before taking off.

Elyse had expressed a desire to learn to knit….so Friday afternoon, while our son finished the last few preparations, we sat down to the task. I covered the basics, knit, purl, cast on , cast off, and away she went.

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Talk about enthusiastic! This was taken Saturday morning about 6:30 am, standing in the kitchen waiting to leave! (notice how well she’s already controlling the tension with her right hand) I’m so proud of her.

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Checking to make sure all is well….she is a natural…the tension is even, and there are no dropped or added stitches. Lucky lady…she can knit in the car. ( I would be car sick in an instant) so she’ll have plenty of time to knit as they wend their way to the west coast.

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Two of my favourite people heading out the door for a wonderful adventure……I, on the other hand, have not accomplished nearly as much whipping as I had hoped. I think someone added an extra mile around the edge of my hall runner….

I did however find a wonderful alternative to a million pins holding the backing and binding ribbon in place.

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My sister purchased these little clamps for quilting, and offered them to me when I complained about the pins being a nuisance ….pricking , and falling out of such a large piece when it is moved or rolled up .

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They work perfectly….I love them, and plan to get some for myself.

Now it’s packing and preparing for a wonderful September camping trip. This is my kind of weather!

Yahoo…finished the finishing!!!

I think writing this blog is good motivation for me…at least…it has spurred me on to do all the finishing on  my tea cozy. …and you know..I actually enjoyed doing it!

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The steaming was a bit tricky, because I didn’t want to flatten any of the applied flowers, but the hooking really needed it . With all the extra wool pulled up through it, it was no longer entirely flat. I steamed the flat parts regularly, and for the rest, I held my iron slightly above the work and used my steam button, then used my fingers to fluff up anything that looked a little droopy (a proper steamer would have come in really handy…sigh!)

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After it was dry, I started by  cutting off the excess linen close to the zigzag stitching then stitched the sides and roof. Using very strong thread, I began at the bottom edges and secured the thread. Then worked my way up, keeping the cross beams aligned. Working on the good side, I took a small stitch on one side right at the base of the loop, then a small stitch on the other side , gradually moving up a bit. After several stitches, I pulled it tight, and a neat invisible seam was formed. (honestly….it is neater than it looks in the picture since it’s bunched up trying to lie flat)

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I used Gene Shepherd’s whipping technique to finish the bottom. This is the first time I’ve used it with white tape. It was much easier to see than when I used black tape,  and easier to make the back stitches even. ( could also be that I’m just getting better with practise) The trick to this is to work with the tape facing you so you can bring the needle up in exactly the same place each time. (that’s the theory…I’ve never managed to do it even CLOSE to every time )

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Well now that it’s finished, I realize I don’t have a teapot anywhere near big enough for it….it’s huge! One of the women at Sunshine rughookers said she made one a long time ago…hers was huge too, so she weighted the bottom and turned it into a doorstop. Ummmm….There are some bricks in the yard…but I’ll never find them under all this snow!