Friday, March 25, 2011

Mary's Runner Yet Again

I have to say: It is just too cool to pose a question to the ether and get so many responses back!  People are actually listening!

I appreciate each and every comment I received and I am so curious about who some of you are and where you live and how long you've been hooking . . .  but I guess that is another post altogether.  So here's what I've been doing and thinking in regard to Mary's Runner.  I ripped the plain border out and replace it with the colored strips, my original idea, to get a better idea of how it would look.  I read everyone's comments and decided to sleep on it, get up and hook some plain border at the other end of the rug and then make my decision.  

To save time and effort, I laid strips of background fabric along the border.  It's not a bad choice: the plain border would make a perfectly nice rug.  But -- the plain border is too predictable for me.  Then my friend Carol -- an artist, formerly my across-the-street neighbor -- suggested a red border! A completely different color!   Threw me for a loop (excuse the pun)!  So I laid some strips of red fabric along the border.
My photograph doesn't do the red justice; it looks much darker and richer in real life.  It, too, would make a perfectly nice rug, but it doesn't feel right to me. But Carol's idea then led me to try orange, to match the single row I hooked around the circles, which I really like against the dark green of the background.
The orange isn't bad, either, but it doesn't call to me.  But I really like that Carol's idea opened my mind to other possibilities.  I have decided that the border that is best is the one that makes me smile: the stripes, my original idea.
The corner isn't right -- I'll rip it out and rehook.  I'm also going to take out those few pieces of bright blue in the circles -- they are really bothering me when I look at the photo.  Perhaps Mary will choose to do a plain border when she hooks her pattern.  I'll keep you posted on her choice, and also on my progress.  Thanks again for all the help!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

More on Mary's Runner

I received a phone call from Julie in Maine last week, asking if I would have a pattern available of Mary's Runner.  (Julie reads my blog (Hi, Julie!) -- how cool is it that she took the time to call and talk?)  I will have one shortly that measures 18 by 36 inches, the size Mary requested, but after talking to Julie, I am going to make a larger version for the floor as well. 

Julie also asked me what I was going to do with the border.  My original idea was the multicolored border you see above.  Julie hoped that I would not take away from the circles in the center of the piece.  That got me thinking . . .  maybe it should just be a plain and simple border, to anchor the whole design.  Now I can't decide what to do.  I thought if I hooked a bit of both and took a photograph, I'd be able to see which would work better, but I still can't decide.  I am thinking I shouldn't have hooked the two choices so close together . . .   So I am going to rip out the plain border and re-hook it on the other end and take a couple more pictures.

I could use some help making this decision -- does anyone have any suggestions?  Julie, are you there?

Friday, March 11, 2011

Rug Hooker in New York Magazine

I'm an avid reader of New York Magazine, having been a New Yorker once upon a time.  Last week the Lookbook section caught my eye.  Each week they feature a New Yorker who's fashion style appeals to them.  I noticed the name -- Janet West -- and thought, "There's a rug hooker named Janet West . . ." I've seen her rugs in several books.  Sure enough, this is the Janet West who is a rug hooker -- read the last line of her interview.  I can't figure out why she hasn't over-dyed and hooked up those Pendelton trousers yet.   Click here: New York Magazine

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

This Is Where I Am Right Now!

 . . . and why I have been awol again . . .   We are on the beautiful island of St. John getting some much needed R & R.  Clara was able to join us for a long weekend, which we spent camping on Cinnamon Bay.  We've been snorkeling a lot -- saw my first ever Moray eel! -- hiking (even me!), and eating lots of good food.  We are off on a jaunt to Tortola today.  We'll hit the beach again tomorrow and Friday and head home on Saturday, just in time to spring forward.  I am hoping the wild, wet weather there will be a thing of the past by then, and that my daffodils will be well on their way to blooming.

Thanks for all the comments on my runner.  Courtney:  I'll explain how I do the background when I get back.  I am not very scientific about dyeing, so I will have to dye up a batch and write down what I do, then report back.

Wish you all could be here with me.  It's the next best thing to heaven.

the ruins at Peace Hill

Pete playing dead at the Danish Graveyard, Cinnamon Bay Trail

sunset from the balcony of Asolare, our favorite restaurant

Browns pelican, Maho Bay

Cruz Bay Harbor at sunset

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Mary's Runner

I know, I know -- I have been gone forever.  It's the winter doldrums, plus all sorts of chores like show applications and taxes and planning a vacation, which I cannot wait to go on.  But more about that later.

I have actually been hooking -- hooking slowly, but hooking.  My friend and good customer Mary wants a  hit or miss runner pattern for her table.  Maybe circles, maybe a log cabin pattern -- she just wants to use up her scraps.  I wanted to do something with a little more umph than a cats paw, so I came up with the design below:  circles that are sort of log cabins that turn so that the rug has some movement and excitement.
This is not an original idea -- I do believe I have seen an antique mat that uses the same idea -- but it is a good way to use up leftovers and it is far less monotinous than hooking concentric circles -- at least I think so.  I am using my favorite dark background which is really a dark green with hints of red and blue in it.  The circles take longer to hook than I imagined.  I am a pretty fast hooker in general and this is not progressing as quickly as I would like.  My husband thinks it is because I am changing colors all the time and I think he is right.  I will use multiple colors in the border as well, so I guess I'd better get used to moving slowly for the foreseeable future.

Happy March to you all.  Won't be long before we turn the clocks ahead again.  Hooray!