Sunday, February 28, 2010

What I Loved About the Olympics

Those green bouquets given to all the winning athletes
                                          (you can read about them here)

The fabulous nubby hand-knit Aritzia sweaters worn by the flower bearers

The Moscow State Chamber Choir singing the Russian national anthem at the closing ceremony

 Canada . . . such an amazing country . . .

However, I'm not so sure about those dancing maple leaves in the red plaid kilts . . .

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Tax Time

I am getting all my income tax stuff together today.  Not my favorite thing to do -- especially when I've had a sleepless night.  My Million Dollar Mutt is sick again.  Poor Cairo not only has to deal with allergies, but he also is sick to his stomach, has a fever of 104, and may have fluid in his left lung.  He is at the doggy hospital having an x-ray and getting intravenous fluids.  I have to call to check on him late this afternoon, but he will probably spend the night there.  He was so miserable on the examining table he didn't even growl at the vet when he took his temperature. 

I am lost without him.  He always barks at the postman so I know when the mail has arrived and our morning walk is my primary exercise for the day.  Not to mention he keeps my feet warm at night. . .  I miss the little guy.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

My Winter Treat

I love Grenfell rugs.  I love the clean, modern look of them and the immaculate, evenly hooked rows of old stockings.  They are my all-time favorites.  I am lucky enough to own two of these prized specimens of Canadian handwork.  One, a map of Newfoundland,  I won on eBay nearly a decade ago.  The other, two sailors in a boat, is a new auction prize.  I wasn't in the market for another old mat, but when I saw it I couldn't control my bidding finger.
 For more information of the mats of the Grenfell Missions, read Paula Laverty's wonderful book, Silk Stocking Mats: Hooked Mats of the Grenfell Mission.  You can visit her website here: Grenfell Hooked Mats

Monday, February 15, 2010

Thursday, February 11, 2010

The Blizzard

The blizzard was actually a bit of a bust for us.  Only about 9 inches of snow fell and the winds weren't too bad.  I'm marveling over the amount of snow the mid-Atlantic states received. 

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Standing Wool Rugs

Historic Rugs, taught by Nola Heidbreder and her sister Linda at the Green Mountain Rug Show in 2005, was the best rug class I have ever taken.  Our fingers were never idle.  The class covered a wide variety of rugs including toothbrush, knit, crochet, broomstick, locker hook, shirred, proddy, kitchen table, and my favorite, standing wool.

Like hooked rugs, standing wool rugs are easy to make.  The art of it comes in the application of the technique and the color of the wool used.  I've used the standing wool technique for jewelry, small mats and to add interest and humor to my hooked rugs.  Here's my Juggling Jack mat, designed in 2006, and his companion, Juggling Cat (who needs a serious cleaning).  The circles are all strips of wool, rolled and stitched onto the linen before any hooking was done.

Lots of versions of this technique have been popping up all over the rug hooking world lately.  People call it "rolled wool" or "quilling" (referring to the Victorian paper craft of the same name).

I find it interesting to watch the wave of a new technique roll through the rug hooking community.  Several years ago it was the age of embellishment, then the era of self portraits done mostly in shades of blue (or so it seemed).  Impressionism or pointillism -- depending on whose blog you read -- is also surfacing in rug making.  Not long ago, rug hookers were limited to purchasing patterns and using wool dyed by a teacher to create an almost paint-by-number rug.  It's good to see our horizons expanding.