Wednesday, January 28, 2009

M.P. by O.P. (and more!)

Greetings from very snowy Blue Mountain, Ontario. I am here for two days for my work and wanted to try to do a quick post in between relaxing in the hot tub and going to socialize with some of our clients. (yes, it's a rough life some days ;-) )

Margaret Butler sent me this picture of her completed stocking a couple of weeks ago....but it just took a while for it to make it to the scanner. This, by no means, has anything to do with how I much I liked it. I think that Margaret did a great job, and as a Northern girl, I am always partial to moose ;-) I cannot say enough about how nice it is to see other people's completed projects. Thanks for sending this in Margaret ;-)

I've been hoarding these next two pictures for a week or so, but I guess this is as good a time as any for sharing. AJ discovered these oldies when she was cleaning house a couple of weeks ago. This first picture shows the very first stockings she ever made. They were made as a gift for Anne Ashworth and her family in 1976.

A year later, she made some more stockings for her own family. While they are all a little different from the ones I make today, it's easy to see the evolution.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Making Snowmen - the construction part

Just to recap quickly how the snowfolk came to be….

Last Fall when I was at Shelburne, I saw some cute snowmen in Jule Marie Smith’s booth. Shortly thereafter I noticed that she was selling a pattern to make them. I bought a starter kit and was hooking on my first snowman within 48 hours. A few weeks later I was posting my first completed snowmen here on the blog, and the questions started coming….everyone wanted to know how they were made and where they might be able to get the pattern.

So I contacted Jule Marie Smith…and since she no longer had the pattern available, she gave me permission to share it with you. The following instructions are a combination of Julie’s basic instructions and my own (I’ve looked high and low for my original instructions…to no avail). I’ve made quite a few changes from the original directions, based on my own preferences and ideas….and I encourage you to modify them however you see fit and make your own original snow folks. Of course, it goes without saying that I am providing these instructions for your personal use only.

For Part One – Hooking the Snowmen, click here.

Once you’ve hooked the snowmen fronts, press them using your regular method. (I use a warm, wet tea towel and a hot Elna press or iron). Let dry. Then it’s time to begin with the construction…

1. Zig-zag around each snow body. Sew as close as you can to your outer row of hooked loops. I recommend using the stretch zig-zag stitch (marked by a dotted line)…since it’s made up of more stitches, it will better hold your backing together when the excess is cut off.

2. Trim away excess backing

3. Fold back remaining backing and baste into place. You will need to cut the backing at each of the indents – but wait and cut each only as you come up to it when sewing (otherwise your backing can start to unravel).

4. Needle-felt carrots for the noses. Take a 4’ square of wool roving and start rolling in at one corner, needle felting it together with every turn. Once the pointy sausage is completely felted (it may need some extra poking), cut it in half to make two noses. [Optional: if you’re unfamiliar with needle felting or do not have the tools, you could probably sew little noses out of scraps of wool fabric.]

5. Make the face. Attach the nose, just below the middle of the face, using needle felting. Sew on beads or buttons for the mouth, taking care to not sew it too low on the face (or it will be covered up by the scarf) – I try to leave 2 rows of loops below the mouth. Sew beads or buttons for the eyes. If you’re using round beads, you might want to consider cutting the corner(s) off of the adjoining loop(s), so that they nestle into place. You need not worry too much about perfect spacing and keeping everything even – this will give more personality to your snowman.

6. Cut out the back, using felted wool in a coordinating natural colour. If wool has a “right side”, place it face down. Then lay hooked piece on top, face up. Cut around shapes – even with the folded edge of the linen. To help cut you way out of the indents, gently fold back the previously cut section.

Tip: If you top and tail your pieces (i.e. alternate between heads up and heads down), you will greatly reduce fabric waste.

7. Attach the back. Pin pieces together. Using thread doubled, sew sides together using blanket stitch. **DO NOT SEW THE BOTTOM SHUT** To help keep stitches even, sew in between each loop, and pull tightly after each stitch.

Tip: I always find that this type of sewing takes its toll on my hands. One thing that helps a lot is wearing a band-aid on the middle section of my ring finger….since this is where the thread pulls tightly (and eventually feels like it’s cutting me – if I’m not wearing a band-aid).

8. Stuff with filling. You might need to use a piece of dowel or thin ruler to help push the filling through the neck, into the head.

9. Prepare the base. Cut an oval out of thin cardboard, and trim until it fits into the opening at the base of the snowman. Cut a larger oval (1/4 to 1/2" on all sides) out of felted wool. Set aside cardboard.

10. Sew the base. Begin by attaching the wool to the front half (hooked portion) of the snowman, using double thread and sewing with blanket stitch. When you are half-way around, place a weight on top of the filling (I used 20 pennies in each of my folk, to help keep them upright) and then insert the piece of cardboard. Double-check to make sure that the wool oval is the right size. Trim away any excess wool, so that it fits. Sew the two pieces of wool together, using blanket stitch and aligning the cut edges (you might need to push down the cardboard a little to make it easier).

Tip: After all of this handling, you should check that the carrot nose is still secure. Needle felt as necessary, to reattach it.

11. Attach arms. Poke holes in the sides of the hooking, using a proddy tool or hook with a wide shank. Insert twig arms into holes. [I do not secure these arms in any way – they stay in place, with the help of the stuffing and the backing…yet they are easily removed for storage and/ or easily replaced when they dry out and break.]

12. Play dress-up! Add scarves, hats, shawls, purses, brooms, flowers, baskets….and play around until you’re happy with the result.

13. Take lots of photos and admire you handwork…but whatever you do, don’t show them to very many people – unless you want to be making a lot more! ;-)

Snow Folks - 2nd Generation Gallery

What's one of the best things about making these snowfolk? They're not just for Christmas....and you can proudly display them all winter long! ;-)

Monday, January 26, 2009


whew! That was one crafty weekend! I actually spent the whole weekend squirreled away at my place, finishing up a couple of projects and starting some new ones.

Here's a quick recap...

The landscape is finished - border is re-hooked, all 106" are whipped and the final pressing is complete. I'll be posting more about it later this week, including sharing my whipping method.

The snow folk are done. I had the best intentions to share the rest of the directions with you...even going so far as typing up the instructions. But before I could organize the accompanying photos, I got distracted. Majorly. (I will work on editing the photos tonight and barring some natural disaster or internet catastrophe, the post you've been patiently waiting for will be live tomorrow).

I've been wanting to knit this Elizabeth Zimmerman knock-off since last fall. I even brought the pattern with me to Nova Scotia, in search of the right wool. And though I didn't find any, I didn't forget about the pattern.

After I'd dyed my latest batch of whipping wool, I was really happy with the new yarn (Cascade 220). I knit up a small swatch...and immediately thought of the February Lady Sweater (free pattern available here). Last week when I was out at Sheep Strings, I picked up 6 skeins (at only $6.99 seemed like a bargain) in a nice purple colour.

On Saturday afternoon, I decided to paint the yarn. Since I'm a relative newbie when it comes to dyeing yarn, I didn't want my plans to exceed my rather than starting too pale, I started with a darker colour, and then added just a tinge of a few other colours . I carefully measured the 4 dyes, the citric acid and the hot water (each time!)...and put the dye on two skeins at a time. I tried hard to apply the colours in the same places for all three batches....and them steamed the whole lot together in one pan in the oven.

(For the curious, I used 1/16 of each of Salmon, Raspberry,and 503 Brown and 1/8 of Colonial Blue (1/16 used twice) for each pair of skeins, with 1/4 tsp Citric Acid and in 1/4 cup of water (twice as much of both for the blue) for each colour in each batch.)

Waiting for yarn to dry is like waiting for paint to dry -- and it takes way longer than you'd like it to. By Sunday morning, I was ready to start winding it into balls. I have a really hard time visualizing how yarn still in the skein will look when knitted, and find that seeing wound up in a ball gives me a much better idea. I was happy with the results and I couldn't wait to start knitting it. Knowing that I shouldn't start on my sweater until I had all of my whipping done (I wasn't even half-way around at this point), I permitted myself to knit a small swatch instead.

Once the whipping was complete, I could no longer resist and the knitting began. I made an error early on - in my 6th row, when I mis-read the instructions for the increases...and I'm so happy that I ripped back and started all over again. It's looking great, but with an extra 8 stitches being added, every other's taking longer and longer to knit across. I can only begin to imagine what it will be like when I have the whole body on. Yikes!

In the meantime, I'm having lots of fun...and can't wait to start the gull lace pattern and see what it will look like....

Saturday, January 24, 2009

They're done!

....all that's left to do now is making up the directions! Back soon
with those...
In the meantime, stay warm!

Friday, January 23, 2009

all in the family...

I might have mentioned somewhere along the line that I am the daughter, niece, cousin, granddaughter and great-granddaughter of rug hookers. My Grandma, Muriel Reany Smith, was the first hooker I really knew...and I thought I'd share newly discovered pictures with you today.

When I was over visiting at AJ's last weekend, we started looking at some old pictures she'd found of rugs. Amongst the photos was this picture of (half of) my Grandma hooking. (I have no idea who the man hooking beside her might be - do you?)

I was delighted with the picture and immediately told AJ that if she had any other pictures of Grandma hooking, that I'd like one. She scrounged around a little more and eventually found this one....

Although this is not the Grandma I remember (she looks more like the first photo)...I cannot tell you how much I wish that one of the girls leaning on the frame was me. Instead, they're my two sisters....and judging by the sizes of them, I'd guess that I've yet to make my entry into the world (or else I'm a pretty small baby). Fun, none-the-less.

I haven't given up hope yet that more photos of my grandma hooking will be found, and I'm keeping my fingers crossed that it will be a beauty.

In the meantime, here is a great photo of AJ hooking outside, while camping. I'm not sure when the picture was taken -- I guess I'll have to check for the date on the rug, the next time I'm over...but I'm guessing that it was sometime in the 70s.


Work on the snowmen continues...but I cut the pad of my sewing thumb yesterday afternoon (not seriously), and the band-aid was interfering with the needle and thread last night. I hope to get back at them tonight and have them finished up in short order....because like every other rug hooker, I'm eager to get started on the next project! ;-)

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Just for fun...

If you're like most hookers: faithful to the Sharpie marker...then you should check this out. Enjoy!

P.S. I don't think I'd have the guts (or the skill) to pull this one off ;-)

pencil trick

AJ taught me this trick. I'm not sure who taught her...or if it's her own invention, but I do know that it comes in handy when it comes time to pick your wool for whipping.

When I first started hooking, I often blended several fine yarns together to get just the right whipping colour. How do you know if it's the right combination without actually whipping a section? Just wind your yarns around a pencil. Now that I've started dyeing yarn to whip with (I dyed this one on Sunday, using the large plastic bag and microwave method described here, photo here)...I still use the pencil to see how the colours will all blend together.

Not only does this trick let you check out the colour, it also approximates the width of your whipping. You can also get a really good idea of how it will look when it's completed and the impact the chosen colour(s) will have on your border. In my piece, I think that the overall border will be too wide (and therefore too strong) if I keep both of the hooked rows of reds (above) instead I'm going to use just one (as in the photo below).

But before that happens, I also need to replace the medium-dark green row *as per AJ's instructions* to a thinner row of very, very dark. I will try to remember to take some before and after pictures...because when we laid a darker piece of wool on top, the impact was very obvious.

In the next couple of nights, I'll be continuing to work on the snow folks...and then finishing up the landscape rug is the next one in the queue.

Monday, January 19, 2009

facebook for hookers

Several other people have been blogging about the new on-line rug hooking communities...and so I just wanted to weigh in with my two cents. I've been having a lot of fun exploring both sites over the last couple of days and weeks, and checking out some of the features. So far I feel like I've only just skimmed the surface, but I'm feeling very excited about the possibilities. I just wish there were more hours in the day...

If you haven't already joined up...I encourage you to do so. You can participate as much or as little as you like...but I'm pretty confident that you'll have a hard time closing the lid on your laptop or pulling yourself away from your monitor, once you join in the fun. The format is very user friendly and it's a great way to connect with other rug hookers and reconnect with those you've met before, but rarely see. Photos of rugs...discussions about rug hooking....what more can you ask for?

The Welcome Mat
Rug Hooking Daily

Making Snowmen - the hooking part

I've been hooking away on more snowmen bodies. It's not the most exciting hooking....which is why it's taken me so long to get this post ready for you ;-) I have just one and a bit left to hook on my piece of backing and then the fun of assembly will begin. I'm hoping to be well underway with that part this week...and be posting the instructions by the weekend. In the meantime, keeners can get started hooking....

: :

First of all, I must confess that I don't really use a "pattern" in the conventional sense, when hooking my snowmen. I did use one for the very first snowman I hooked, but I soon discovered there was an easier way for me to do it. Here's my method...

I start by tracing around the bottom of a pop can or drawing a similar sized circle for the head, and then I hook it.

To make the middle, I draw another circle, about 1/2" below my hooking...and try to keep it in line with the first one. I hook and fill this circle and then hook an additional 2-3 rows around it, attaching it to the head.

To make the bottom, I draw another circle (similar to the last one) and then I measure 10.5-11" down from the top of the head and draw a line across the grain of my backing. I hook and fill the circle, and I also hook across the bottom line. Then I hook around the circle several more times (likely 5-6), attaching it to the middle and also the bottom line.

I like to make the bottom a little larger, just to give the little guy more to stand on, and so I extend the bottom line beyond my circles just a little bit and bring it up on a steep angle to attach to the bottom snowball (as illustrated)

A couple of other miscellaneous tips...
• If you top and tail them (alternate between heads and feet at one end), you can fit more men on your backing.
• You don't need to worry about keeping the circles perfect...I often just freehand them and if they end up being ovals, that's okay, too!
• Use lots of different lights to make them more interesting and fun to hook
• Once you start decorating them with buttons, hats, scarves, etc., the hooking shifts to the you don't need to fuss too much with making it perfect.
• Doing the hooking is the "grunt work" part of making the I like to hook a bunch at once, and then reward myself with the decorating. (Plus it's a more economical use of your backing this way!)

Sunday, January 18, 2009

stay tuned...

Part one of how to make the snowmen will (finally!) be forthcoming
tomorrow. Right now I'm just snapping some pictures as I hook away on
more white bodies...while I watch and listen to the "We Are One" Obama
inauguration concert on HBO. It's being rebroadcast at several times
today - if you're a subscriber, I think it's worth checking out.

Friday, January 16, 2009

M.P. by O.P. (Della Ann's Peonies)

Here's another finished project! Della Ann Hill called me with a quick question last week, when she was in the finishing stages of completing her purse...and I was happy to receive these photos from her yesterday and know that it all worked out. I love the antique black background...mmmmm!

Della Ann has used one of the straps from Grayson e. to finish her bag. She's chosen a really pretty shade of purple - I actually picked up a pair of handles in that colour (to hopefully inspire a new design) just this week!

Great Job Della Ann! Now the challenge will be deciding which purse you're going to make next... ;-)

more knitting...

It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out just how enamored I am with Noro yarn. Both of the projects I have to share today are knit with it...

First up is a simple scarf of my own creation, knit with a new type of yarn called Yuzen (56% wool, 34% silk and 10% kid mohair). Similar to this one, except I knit two rows with each of the yarns before switching. Every row is knit - I think the end result is called double-garter stitch?

Materials: Noro Yuzen - 1 skein of Colour 2 and 1 skein of Colour 4
Needles: 5.5mm DP (you could also use a circular or swing needle)
Directions: Cast on 18 stitches with Yarn A. Knit one row with Yarn A. Slide stitches to the other end of the needle and knit 2 rows with Yarn B (wrapping Yarn A around Yarn B at the end of the first row, to carry it up). Slide stitches to the other end of the needle and knit 2 rows with Yarn A. ...and so on

It's very simple, and quick to knit...since you're curious to see how the colours will blend with each and every row.

Admittedly this is a bad photo - I guess that's what you get when you're rushing to get out the door in the morning! ;-)

I actually knit this triangular shawl last summer and just love it! Since you are knitting double (with both ends of the ball at once), the colour changes are never severe and are different with each ball.

It seems like every time I wear it, people want to know how to knit it. So if you're one of them, here's what you need to know...

Materials: Noro Silk Garden - I used 6 balls to make mine
Needles: 10mm circular
Directions: Cast on 3 stitches with yarn held double.
Increase Row 1 (RS): K1, yo, knit to end of row
Increase Row 2 (WS): Purl (don't forget to purl the yarn-over from the previous row)
*repeat rows 1 and 2 until you have 55 stitches, ending with a WS row
Decrease Row 1 (RS): K1, yo, K2tog, knit to end of row
Decrease Row 2 (WS): Purl to last 4 stitches, p2tog, Purl 2 (don't forget to count the yarn-over from the previous row)
*repeat rows 1 and 2 until you have only 3 stitches left, then pull yarn end through remaining stitches to fasten off.

Fringe: I prefer a long fringe, so I cut my yarn about 7-8" long and used two strands (=4 when folded in half) to loop through every other hole along the edge.

Note: If you'd like a larger shawl....just use more wool and knit more rows before you start decreasing. I'm pretty sure that AJ used 8 balls to knit hers.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

recent knitting projects

It seems like I've been doing more knitting than hooking lately, so I thought I'd share some of these projects over the next few days.

Several people have inquired about my latest knitting project... It's a cropped sweater from the Designer Mini Knits book by Jenny Watson. I picked up both the book and the yarn at Sheep Strings, just after Christmas. I'm still infatuated with those stripey Noro scarves and so I modified the pattern to be able to knit stripes, just for fun. It worked up really quickly, mostly because I was curious to see how the colours would come together and how the stripes would be arranged - especially since every ball is different. Since I used 1/2 size larger needles, it did take more wool (2 balls more than the pattern called for - but I'd already been warned that the suggested quantity (4 balls) was skimpy). The other lesson that I learned - after knitting the first sleeve 3 times - was to check for errata prior to knitting (yes, there's a mistake in the book!)

I'm hoping to finish up the ribbing tonight....and then it will be time to choose buttons!


When I was down East in October, I bought some yarn. Well, quite a lot, actually. Some of it's already been made up into something fun...but there is still quite a bit waiting its turn. One of favourite finds was a skein of Uni Kat yarn at Heidi's London Wul. It was a very special skein, and I tried a couple of ideas, but none of them were worthy...until I tried this free Knitty pattern...

The best news? I think I have enough yarn left to knit another one! ;-)

You know it's cold when...

Your car can't even keep up!

Yes, it was very chilly this morning (and yesterday morning, too!)
I think that my car loses it's brain at -30....since it seemed to flicker between --- and -30 on my way to work this morning. (and for the observant - yes, that's my tire pressure warning light all lit up. I think those GM engineers should create some kind of a link or override for such things that cross-references with the outside temperature. It's just another in a long list of suggestions I have related to my car...)

I hope that you're able to stay warm and toasty, wherever you are....since I know that lots of folks are also enduring the current cold snap.

I am feeling better (thank you for the well wishes), and happily dodged the sinus infection that was threateningly close yesterday afternoon. Apparently liberal doses of Salinex and Nasonex can work miracles ;-) Unfortunately I don't think they will be of much help for the sprained ankle I received this morning. Woe is me...

Monday, January 12, 2009

Houston, we have a winner!

So...sadly I'm still feeling sickly. Dragged myself up and out of bed this morning and off to work....but I doubt I will last the whole day. It's too bad, too, because it's my niece's 5th birthday today - and I hate to miss out on cake!

I visited this site this morning and asked it for a random number and it spit out the number in consulting with the list of comments, I'm happy to announce that the new owner of my unfinished pillow is JOAN. Thank you all for taking the time to share your stories in an attempt to help me downsize ;-) (Joan - I will either pop it in the mail to you or perhaps send it down via Shellie's courier service...)

I'll be back soon with more details and pictures of my knitting...

Saturday, January 10, 2009

sick as a dog

The cold that's been hinting at coming for the last month or so has
finally caught hold. So I'm just huddled on the couch today, waiting
for my sister to drop off a few groceries (yes, I feel so bad I don't
want to leave the house--let alone have to drive the 10 minutes into
town!), doing a little bit of knitting, and keeping my fingers crossed
that my suspicions are wrong and it does not develop into a full blown
sinus infection. Yuck.

Hope you're well...and have a great weekend!

Thursday, January 08, 2009


I went on YouTube the other day to check out Deanne's new video (and if you haven't already done so, I encourage you to check it out - and her first one, too!)

While there, I was glancing through the list of related videos and I saw a picture of someone who looked like Linda Wilson from I clicked on that video and, low and behold, it was her! I guess you just never know what - or who - you might find online.

I haven't quite made it through all of the rug hooking videos yet, but I'm having fun watching them on my iPhone while I lie in bed at night. The quality is not perfect this way....but it definitely helps to get my mind off of troubles.

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I've been having so much fun reading the comments about your long lost works in progress and unfinished objects. Thank you for sharing those ;-) ....and please keep them coming...

By the way, if you ever want to be able to read any of the comments, there are two ways to do this... You can either click on the "Comments" link at the bottom of each post OR you can click on the title of the post and a new page will load with both the post and any comments listed below (from here you can also navigate through the posts with the links at the bottom of the page for "newer post" and "older post")

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

feeling foolish

Okay, so I was just checking out my post to make sure that it looked alright, when I gazed upon the archived posts on the left side. It doesn't take a mathematician to figure out that they don't add up to 250. Yet, that's what my dashboard was saying. How could this be? I quickly tried to figure out the answer and it has to to with draft posts. Sometimes my posting doesn't quite happen as planned (the connection is lost, Firefox quits, etc.)...and so I just begin again with a new post. Apparently these first attempts are all saved as "drafts". There were a total of 7 of these with this post I'm writing now, my total is only a mere 244. Maybe I can just plan it so that the announcement is my 250th post? Yeah. Err, I mean, that was my plan all along, right?! ;-)

deux cent cinquante

I’m sure that I’ve already mentioned my fascination with Kaffe Fassett on this blog... It all started almost 20 years ago, when I was still in high school and my Mum brought home his first book, Glorious Knitting. I started off knitting his sweaters when I was still in high school. Around the same time, the Textile Museum featured and exhibit of his work….and we traveled down to Toronto see it.

Over the years I’m sure that we’ve bought all of his knitting books, the needlepoint books, the book on mosaics, and a few of the quilting books. One thing is for certain: I never tire of looking at any of them! Often I find that some of the most interesting things to look at in the books aren’t the patterns and projects themselves, but the locations of the shoots and other little pictures…and of course, the colours. Oh, the colours….

Okay, back to the giveaway….. Several sweaters later, I decided to foray into needlepoint. My Nana had done needlepoint – and petit point, too – and I had plans of chairs I’d like to reupholster with needlepoint….but I first needed to learn the basic technique. Armed with blank canvas and dozens of mini skeins dyed in one of Mum and AJ’s Around the Colour Wheel demonstrations….I started experimenting.

This pillow front is the only needlepoint project I ever completed. I’m not sure exactly when I did it, but it was at least 10 years ago (and more likely closer to 15!) The design is a one-of-a-kind conglomeration of several of Kaffe's different knitting patterns. The dimensions are a not quite square 15.5” by 16”

Although the piece has moved homes along with me – several times – I never seem to get around to making it into a pillow. During my big tidy before Christmas, I happened upon it in the closet and pulled it out, determined to finally finish it and/or find a home for it. It’s been sitting in a pile on the counter ever since.

So, I’m not going to finish it for you, but it’s up for grabs to anyone who thinks they’d like to do it. You need only leave a comment telling about the oldest WIP you have tucked away in your closet before Sunday January 11th at midnight to be considered. On Monday I will use a random number generator to determine the lucky recipient and then I’ll announce it here on the blog.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

some random things....

I snapped this pictures quickly this morning, while on my way to work. Today is one of those rare, perfect winter mornings....where there is a dusting of snow, but it's so light and fluffy that you feel as though a few strokes with a paper fan would be enough to blow it off the trees (and your car!). And, it's not all that cold ;-)

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A couple of people have approached me recently, asking me to mention their business and/or products on my blog. While it's flattering to think that I might possibly be able to influence the purchases of others, it also got me thinking about how this behaviour is probably a regular practice on some blogs. I want to reassure you that any time I have posted about specific products or companies have been because of my own personal experiences - and not because anyone asked, hinted or even said "thank you" for the mention(s). I have not yet entertained solicitation or been compensated in any way for anything or anyone that I've mentioned in my blog postings, and I have no plans to do so in the future.

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A surprise arrived in the mail when I was away - a letter announcing that some of my work will be appearing in a new book! Amy Oxford is writing a new book, featuring the rugs from last Fall's Hooked in the Mountains Rug Show. It is hoped that the new book will be available in late summer this year.

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Quite a few people have been leaving comments and sending me nice e-mails in the last while....and I just wanted to let you all know that even though I might not reply right way, I do enjoy reading them all (and please keep them coming! ;-) ). But I've come to the realization that you cannot - no matter how hard you may try - do everything you'd like to, or that you feel you're supposed to. I just try to do the best I can....and lately I've been trying to do more posting and creating and less of the behind-the-scenes paperwork stuff. If you ever really want to hear back from me quickly - just tell me so in your note and I'll do my best to comply ;-)

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I can hardly believe that my next post will be my 250th one! To commemorate this momentous occasion, I am going to have a give-away - for the very first time. I've been wracking my brain for the last few days, trying to come up with something good...when all of a sudden it hit me this morning! Curious? Come back tomorrow, when all will be revealed.... ;-)

Monday, January 05, 2009

M.P. by O.P.

(my patterns by other people)

I've been busy cleaning up my e-mail inbox over the last couple of days, following my hiatus over the holidays (and I am very close to being back down to zero...hip hip horray!)

I always love it when people send me photos of their completed projects. It's always interesting to see how people interpret the instructions, choose colours, make modifications, etc. (yes, this is your engraved invitation to keep them headed my way - and don't worry, I always ask permission before I post them ;-) )

First up is the very first stocking I've seen that wasn't hooked by either AJ or I - and, as far as I know, it's the first one finished following the workshop at the beginning of December. Gwen had it all hooked and sewn in less than 10 days, and she is committed to adding some more detail in her next one. I think she did a great job for her first attempt.

When I was in Nova Scotia this Fall, I had the pleasure of a face-to-face encounter with someone that I had already met in cyberspace. Val lives in sunny California and sent me a picture just before Christmas of her completed Two Owls purse. I think it looks great - and not just because there is no snow in the background - I love the colours she's chosen. She mentioned in her e-mail that the picture isn't quite true to life...but I'm looking forward to seeing it with my own eyes in October, when we meet again in Nova Scotia ;-)


I also wanted to say a heartfelt thank you for all of the kind words and comments about Uncle Bob, both left on the blog and sent privately. I will be printing them all off in the coming days and taking them over to share with AJ. If you're interested, you can read his obituary here.