Thursday, February 26, 2009

Email Problems

Just to let you know -- my Paisley Studio email -- -- is out of order and has been for a couple of days. It should be fixed soon -- but in the meantime you can reach me at Thanks -- and sorry for the inconvenience

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The Reason I am Absent

I'll try to be better about posting next week . . .

Thursday, February 19, 2009

The Finished Socks

One of my resolutions last year was to learn how to knit socks on multiple needles. I showed pics of my progress, but never posted the finished product -- so here he they are! I completed the socks quite some time ago and have already worn and washed them many times.

While the Socks That Rock yarn was lovely to work with, I really do not like these colors. This year, instead of waiting until the end of the Sheep and Wool Festival to buy some new STR yarn from Toni of the Fold, I picked out a couple of skeins before the show started. So I have much better colors for this year's socks, which I will learn to knit on a circular needle. I hear it is much easier. We shall see.

A note of thanks to everyone who called, emailed, and posted suggestions on how to manage my life better. I plan to try all the ideas. Things are looking up -- the dryer is repaired! Hurray!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

I Can't Walk

and chew gum at the same time . . . I figured this out yesterday and decided to forgive myself for it. I'll preface what I am about to say with this: I know I am an incredibly lucky person to have the life I do. That said: I am finding it difficult to attend to everything on my plate.

We are in the middle of construction on an addition to our house. Working with an architect is not easy . . . so many mistakes have been made and they are like dominoes -- one leads to the next . . . Thank goodness for our practical, experienced and fair contractor. And all the details that have to be attended to: cabinets and door hardware and all that stuff. It is enough to make my head spin. We have thought about this addition for 18 years -- you'd think we would know what we want already. . . .

I have two shows coming up -- the Peconic Ruggers hook in on February 28 and The Fairfield Grace Show in March. I need to work on new patterns and dye wool and order needle punch supplies, as well as finish a rug for an elderly friend and complete 2 small mats for a special order . . . Then there's my blog, and my ebay and etsy shops which are virtually empty and taxes are due soon. . .

I've got a million phone calls and emails to return to people I know and people I don't, and my Valentine's cards didn't get made. The dryer broke on Friday. The toaster broke on Saturday. A friend has been diagnosed with Stage 2 cancer and is having surgery in 3 weeks. Another friend's new puppy died and she is heartbroken. Clara has room mate issues and our phone bill from Florence could feed a third world country.

I am not complaining. I'm grateful I have a plate that is full. It's just when it gets this full, I freeze. Then nothing gets accomplished. I just need to know how other people manage. I am already a list maker. And I do let some things go -- like the Valentine's -- and I make Pete eat pizza if I don't make it to the market. And obviously, my blog suffers . . . Any other suggestions? I'm all ears . . .

Monday, February 9, 2009

Tide Pool Trivet

Number 3 in the series. I am having fun with these little pieces, can you tell? The light blue circles on this are sculpted.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

How to Clean a Hooked Rug

Long ago, before Woolite and dry cleaners, people used snow to clean their hooked rugs. Yes, snow. Not just any snow, but dry, powdery snow like what fell all day yesterday here on eastern Long Island. It is an easy and surprisingly effective way to perk up a hand-hooked rug.

Here's what you do:
1. Spread your rug out on a nice clean patch of shoveled sidewalk
2. Cover the entire rug with snow
3. Sweep the snow off with broom

That's it! I'm thinking there must be some sort of electro-static reaction or something when you sweep the snow away, but who knows? And who cares as long as it works?

Monday, February 2, 2009

Another Small Piece . . .

I am doing this series of small pieces to get me back in the grove of hooking every day and to use up left over linen. I drew 8 inch squares on a long narrow piece of backing and figured I would just hook them freestyle -- or scrumble them, in case you are a Prudence Mapstone fan. I decided to call them trivets so they would have a use as more than visual art. I find this kind of hooking really liberating. Because the pieces are small, I am willing to take more chances and more detours from my usual path. It's hard to do that on a large rug -- that's a huge investment of time and wool.

The trivet shown in the post from 1/31/09 grew out of a pile of my sister Barb's beautiful hand-dyed wool. Today's trivet grew out of a piece of old paisley I purchased on eBay from a woman in Belgium.

When the paisley arrived, I was disappointed. It was brighter than usual and the design was much smaller than usual. And it reeked of cigarette smoke. I figured I would never use it. So I decided to throw it in the washer to get rid of the odor as fast as possible. I figured if it fell apart, I would just throw it away.

Parts of it did disintegrate, but most of it could be used for hooking. I threw it in the basket with leftover strips and forgot about it. I found it yesterday when I was rummaging for inspiration. I pressed a piece and ran it through my Townsend cutter. Them I grabbed some off-the-bolt black and an orange hand-dyed tweed an voila! I love this little mat. It's certainly much more Halloween than Valentine's Day, but it'll keep.

Stay tuned. . . I may have another one in a day or so.