Monday, August 30, 2010

week 14: 22.25 square feet

Sooooo close to finishing off this end of the centre – and I would be even closer if I hadn't decided to add another couple of rows onto it! Basically what you see before the bottom roll is all that is left to be hooked.

I still haven't given up hope that I will meet my self-imposed deadline of finishing up this end by Labour Day, but I have recognized that it's unlikely unless the weather is really crappy on the weekend. It's been so lovely here the last few days, I've been up at the lake camping and taking full advantage of the last bit of summer. I don't think that I saw a single cloud yesterday....and I've got a red nose to prove it! ;-)

Monday, August 23, 2010

week 13: 21 square feet

Progress last week was hampered by the fact that a yarn order arrived and most of my free time was dedicated to knitting.....but I can't complain, since I was at least productive and working with colourful wool all the same ;-)

Seeing this picture, I wish I could play hooky from work this afternoon and just stay home and hook -- I would love to finish off this row....but alas I must go and finish up the payroll, instead.

Friday, August 20, 2010

yum yum silk

When I first discovered sari silk ribbons several years ago, it was love at first sight. Not only was it something new and different, but it was also such an interesting texture and sheen, which added great contrast against more matte wool. I especially loved the shiny factor and that almost every strip in the skein was unique and different. The rare striped and brocade pieces were always a special treat.

In the last while, this attraction has been waning and I've become a little disenchanted by the ribbons that were available. It seemed to change from something unique to something mass-produced, less silky, a little dull....and oh, so fuzzy and hairy. (I had a really hard time with the hairiness.....and spent way too much time cutting it off!)

So I was thrilled to find a new source for the ribbon recently that is more like the ribbon I first fell in love with.....and I'm giving it a second chance. Of course, the new skeins are bigger (100g) and they only come in assorted skeins, but that's no biggie, there's just more selection. And, each skein practically comes with the promise of being perfect for several projects!

I cannot wait to start playing around with it in my next batch of clutches and coin purses – it's almost like getting a new box of crayons or coloured pencils for back to school! ;-)

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Yarn Cakes

In early July, I headed down to the "Circle of Friends" hook-in, for the first time. It was a lovely day spent with friends....and a great weekend of shopping. I only bought a few things at the hook-in, remaining true to my personal pledge of being on a wool diet (I am not to buy any wool yardage this calendar year). This resolution luckily does not apply to yarn.....and I was happy to score some "Yarn Cakes" of handspun from Sandra Marshall.

The small balls and mini-skeins are just the perfect size for adding a flash of colour or texture to a mat. I picked out most of these with little landscapes in mind. But for now, they are just serving as eye candy and inspiration. So pretty.

I also purchased a wonderful felted bowl from Sandra, and I've been using it for the past week to collect my snippets. So far, so good. I especially like that the bits of wool tend to stick to the inside, so when it falls (as it inevitably does at least once a day), very little falls out onto the floor. But, it's still very easy to empty out when the times comes, and it's soft and squishy, so I don't need to worry about it getting damaged if I'm travelling. I cannot recommend it enough.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

playing catch-up.....Christmas in July

Even though I took a bit of a break from rug hooking, I didn't really stop thinking about it -- or collecting stuff for it! ;-) Since I have a bit of a backlog, I am going to start sharing some of these items, beginning today.

A mysterious package arrived a couple of weeks ago from my friend Dorinda. It was unexpected – and even more curious, wrapped in Christmas paper! The notecard read "Christmas in July" and the carton was filled with lots of individually wrapped packages....

One, by one, each of the bundles was unwrapped to reveal these beautiful antique hooks....

Needless to say, I was speechless. For the longest time, my antique hook collection consisted of only 1 hook -- the hook that my great grandmother used, crafted from the tine of a barn fork. Then, a few months ago, I purchased several hooks at RUG. With the arrival of my "Christmas" present, my collection more than quadrupled! It was a very generous - and thoughtful - gift that I didn't know that I wanted, but that I am oh, so happy to receive. Thanks Dorinda -- I love them!

Monday, August 16, 2010

weeks 9 to 12: 20 square feet

Whoosh! I can't believe that it's been 3 weeks since my last update – the summer really is speeding by – I'm a little disappointed that I took such a long break. But the good news is that I've finally gotten back to my hooking frame. I hooked more yesterday than I did in the last month and a half combined. Suffice is to say that my shoulder is back to normal, and I'm looking forward to more regular hooking time in the coming weeks.

My plan is to finish this end of the centre (about 7 square feet - I added on about 6 additional inches) by Labour Day. It's an ambitious goal, but I still feel it's do-able. Then I think I am going to have to take a break while I prepare for the classes I am teaching this Fall. There's dyeing to do, coin purses and clutches to hook, patterns to create, pictures to scan and lesson plans to create. Once all of that work is done, I'll get back to work on the other half of this centre section....with the hope that I will be into the borders by the New Year.

I'm hopeful that these goals will help to keep me on track to finish. Goals are a necessary aspect of my regular process.....and even more essential with a project this overwhelmingly large. I'd better get to work....

P.S. Sorry for the crappy iPhone picture – I forgot my camera at work today....