Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Ta Da!

Two weeks to the day and I've finished hooking the pink and green log cabin.  I'm quite pleased with it and quite pleased to have hooked it in so timely a manner.  I kept track of the hours by watching episodes of Miss Marple on Netflix: 20 hours total.   It measures 21 by 42 inches.  Now its on to steaming and finishing . . . .

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Ruggers' Raffle Rug

This year's Peconic Ruggers raffle rug is coming along nicely! Here it is spread out at the meeting last night. Each vignette features a roadside attraction out here on the East End.  The design is by Gail Horton and is a copy of an earlier Ruggers' raffle rug.  Don't you love the black watch border?  That was my idea (she says modestly). We'll draw the winning ticket in the fall. If you are interested in purchasing tickets -- $1 each or 6 for $5 -- email me at paisleyrugs@gmail.com.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Making a Mess, But Having Fun

I started a log cabin hit-or-miss in pinks and greens the other day.  I love how fast log cabins go.  I just pile up the lights and darks in separate baskets and go to it.  Someone asked me how I keep my lines straight -- it is so easy.  Like quilters do, I simply stitch in the ditch.  I hook between the same two threads on my linen backing -- I don't need to draw a line or stop to check where I am placing my hook.  The loops spread the threads apart a bit, so I can even hook a straight line just by feel.  The hook wants to go into that larger space.  It's amazingly easy. Here's what I hooked in about four hours the day I started:
And here we are this morning, about eight and a half hours in:
I had to rip a triangle out -- I put lights in where the darks should go -- duh -- and I'll be taking that pink center square out.  I prefer the forest green, which will also be what I bind the rug with when I finish it.  Not a bad few days worth of work.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Hop to It!

Are you looking for some wonderful whimsically-crafted-from-wool Spring and Easter decorations?  My sister Barb has just filled her shop with a whole bunch of creative critters for your delight.  Click here to follow the bunny trail: thimblefolk.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

At Sixes and Sevens

I accomplished so much yesterday.  Four loads of laundry, banking and bill paying, grocery shopping, picked up the house, washed the kitchen windows -- the spring-like day gave me loads of energy.  This morning I woke up with a horrible headache that drove me to take two Advil on an empty stomach.  I was  in my pajamas until 9 am, drank copious amounts of coffee, and spent an hour contemplating rewashing the windows, cleaning up the mud Pete tracked in from the garden and scrubbing the mess I made of the stove last night.  There's not a ray of sunshine in sight and all I want to do is hook.

But what should I hook?  I have several unfinished projects that I could pick up, but since Barb and I started our business, I always think I should be designing a new pattern and hooking it up for prospective customers to use as a visual aid.  Or hooking up smaller pieces to sell at the shows that cater to people looking for finished product.  I have two rather large and complex pictorials rolling around in my head, but I'm not ready to tackle them -- too much drawing and color planning and dyeing.  I just want to sit down and hook without thinking too much.

I am inspired by Tammy Burks' Redbud Runner.  While purple is one of my least favorite colors, I love it in this rug.  The bold shapes and colors and the size of this rug really speak to me.  Looking at it makes me want to hook something big and bright.  But what?  I don't want to use any brain cells today.

So I think I am just going to start another hit and miss mat -- maybe a log cabin, because it is such a versatile pattern.  It's always good to have a mindless rug to work on when you can't be bothered to use your brain.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Angry Birds

Had a touch of spring fever this afternoon, so I washed the very dirty kitchen windows. Went back to work for an hour then came down to make dinner. A seagull bombed two of my newly cleaned windows. Probably mad at me because I don't feed them, like the fellow behind us. He's the one I'm mad at. After they eat his garbage they fly right over our house. Phooey.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Midwest Fiber and Folk Art Fair

Big News!
Barb and I will be heading out to Grayslake, Illinois this summer to vend at the Midwest Fiber and Folk Art Fair.  I've wanted to do this fair for awhile and finally talked Barb into it, applied, and got in!  We are doubly pleased because it is sponsored in part by our friend Toni at The Fold.  (Toni raises sheep in Illinois and comes to the New York State Sheep and Wool Festival every year to sell Socks that Rock yarn.)  So we'll be hitting the road in June, and hope that you will join us there!  click here for more information: Midwest Fiber and Folk Art Fair

Tuesday, March 6, 2012


I bought these for my rug hooking lunch on Sunday.  OMG!  Rosemary and potato -- of course!  Perfect combination, and the feta gives them just the right amount of tanginess.  They are seriously delicious -- and seriously dangerous.  We ate the whole bag.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

A Wonderful Sunday Afternoon

My house was full of friends and flowers today. I had a few Ruggers over for lunch and hooking. They came bearing gifts -- tulips, hyacinths, shamrocks, a tea towel, banana bread. Such thoughtful, sweet friends. Can't wait until we get together again!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Rags to Riches Opening

Posted from my phone - because I forgot my camera, of course. Really nice time, really bad photos.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Why Can't People Be Nice?

My daughter has been calling me daily -- distraught and discouraged about her job. She works in a small office of a small company that is struggling, and the atmosphere is unhealthy.  The editors look down on the employees that run the office and the advertising department. The owner, trying to keep the publication afloat, is sometimes tyrannical in her tactics, and everyone -- instead of working together as a team -- is too busy trying to protect themselves from an attack.  

I give her what advice I can -- don't take things personally, strive to be pleasant and professional.  Treat others the way you want to be treated -- and tell them that's what you expect of them in return.  Be firm and honest, but keep emotion out of it.  Easier said than done, I'm afraid.  I hate that she is so unhappy and that I can't do anything about it.  So I ordered a book for her today -- The Dance of Anger -- that helped me at one point in my life and hope that it will help her.  In the meantime, I let her vent.


I heard about a hook-in recently during which members of a visiting guild made disparaging comments about immigrants and the elderly and used profanity despite the presence of a 12 year child.  They pushed aside other's equipment so they could sit together in their own little clique. They also complained bitterly about having to move their cars off the church lawn, and the fact that the host guild would not move their rug show date to accommodate the change they made in their own rug show.  Petty complaints and bad behavior ruined the day for everyone.


I've belonged to an online rug hooking group for several years, always reading the messages but never posting.  One of my New Year's resolutions was to start participating there.  I've met some lovely people this way, from as far away as New Zealand and Nova Scotia, Southern California and Seattle.  There's a wealth of new ideas and information in this group, but yesterday the moderator posted and then emailed all 3,000 plus members a not very nice message about deleting previous posts when you send a reply to the message board.  (If previous messages aren't deleted the replies can get ridiculously long.)  The threat of being removed from the membership sparked a flurry of messages both supporting and rebuking the moderator.  The sad thing is several people removed themselves from the membership.  They felt as though they had been rapped on the knuckles by the teacher. 

Why not approach the situation differently?  Why not start every month with a brief, pleasant post reminding us to delete old messages?  Everyone forgets stuff now and then.  Some people are new, or forgetful, excited to post, or technologically challenged. Nobody is perfect.  And really, how hard is it to use that nifty little wheel on the mouse that lets you scroll down the page very quickly, avoiding unwanted passages?  What's happened to the camaraderie and companionship rug hookers are known for?

When my daughter is upset, I remind her of how I deal with similar situations:  I try to put things in perspective.  Will a problem at work really matter ten, twenty, thirty years from now?  Would it be better to be unemployed?  Homeless?  Stricken with a deadly disease?  Would it be better to be living in Syria, or Somalia?  And really, just how hard is it to be nice?  I firmly believe positive energy begets positive energy.  A smile can change the world -- and so can good editing.