Monday, August 25, 2008

Sauder Village

The rug retreat at Sauder Village in Archbold, OH was another great week. This is a picture of my classroom. I am supposed to be sitting in the corner of the room between Pam and Jan who are hard at work. I just had to get closer to the wool table to be sure I did not miss something so I took a picture while I was over there. My teacher was Anita White and I used the week to work with paisleys for the first time.

This is a small piece of the "show and tell" held one afternoon later in the week. Notice the oak tree on the left. This is not a real tree but a sculpture by an artist. It is the backdrop for our breakfast every morning.

If you are interested in Sauder for next year, get on the mailing list. In November you will receive a postcard that announces when the site will be up for registration. On that day there is a mad dash to print and fax it in. You can now register right on line also.

What did I hook? A new pattern that I designed called "Antique Rose Basket." This pattern is currently available from Spruce Ridge Studios in two sizes. I am hooking the larger one.

The colors are a bit softer than I normally use. The hit and miss is in all medium tones. I will hook more of this before I make a decision about how to hook the rest. I may revert to my "old ways." The border is a hodgepodge of ideas. On the left I hooked the spiral in just anything to hold it and hooked the border background at one of my hooking gatherings, just to have something to hook.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Back on the border of the room-sized rug

I am still in the middle of rug camp season. A trip to Sauder Village next week, a family reunion and Cape May in September will wind up the season. In the meantime, I had a tiny bit of downtime this week so I worked some more on the circle border. I reread my January 7 post where I first introduced the circle border. Why did I say that I ruled out an all black background? Hmmmm.....

Several students have expressed interest in hooking this type of design and have asked me to explain how I am hooking this border. So here goes....

Hooking the circles:
1. Set up the space to be filled by hooking a line of background down both sides. My lines are purposely NOT straight. I leave that explanation for another post.

2. Hook the first circle. I am not making them perfect circles on purpose, so no pattern, no template. I force the circle to touch one of background lines. I had already decided that there will be roughly two columns of circles.

3. Once the circle outline is hooked, I hook a partial second row with the same color. I want the circles to look lopsided.

4. Next I fill in with another color, with either a single row or another lopsided double row, depending on the size of the circle. Be sure to move the doubled up areas around.

5. Fill the remaining area with a third and final color. The size of my circles and the cut size determines how many colors I can use. I like the busyness of smaller circles and it keeps my color decisions easy.

6. Hook one row of the background color around the part of the circle that does not touch the row of background.

7. Hook the next circle so that it touches the row of background and one or more of the existing circles. Be sure to make it a different size. Fill it in as I did the first one.

8. Hook a row of background.

.... and repeat.

I find this method easier than drawing the circles in advance. When you draw them it is almost impossible to get them so that they are exactly one strip of background away from the next. I think this is what holds the design together - the consistent size of the surrounding background.

Pat's Project:
One of my studio students, Pat, brought her granddaughter and a friend to me for hooking instruction. They picked it up in no time flat. Both are Juniors in high school but looked like they had been hooking forever. They started out with a small square piece that I have most beginners start on. They had it done before their visit ended. They went home with a completely finished and bound piece -- and a new project to work on.

Pat's motivation for their lesson was insurance. She is beginning a large rug filled with these circles. With a large piece of backing and beginning in the center, she is hooking the circles. She even had the girls hook a few before they left. She figures that if she is not around to finish this rug, the girls are prepared to finish what they started.

Controlling the edge of a large rug:
When hooking a large rug, roll up the edges of the backing and baste them in place to keep them out of the way. On my large rug, I rolled the edge and basted it up, then rolled it some more and basted again. I figured this way, as the rug gets heavier and I need more space, I can let out the basting and the edge is still out of my way.

I loved "Mamma Mia!"

Ignore the critics and take your girlfriends to see Mamma Mia. I saw it first with a girlfriend and called my daughter on the way home and asked her to go with me. The second time around was just as good as the first time.

Many of the critics are critical because it is not as professionally sung as the Broadway version. Well, I think that is exactly what makes it so fun. Pierce Brosnan is so baaaaad, but luckily he is very good to look at and you forgive him easily. What is important is that you will leave the theater with a high that lasts. It reminds me of the fun found at a showing of the "Rocky Horror Picture Show." In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if you soon see scarves and dance moves in the theater.

It is a beautiful movie and I am anxiously awaiting its release on DVD so I can see it whenever I want. Sue Ellen, who saw it with me the first time, has also seen it again.

Note: The soundtrack keeps the fun going. Some tracks are even better than the ABBA original (which I also have). I love the soundtrack version of "Take a Chance on Me."

Leaving Monday for Sauder Village Rug Retreat. I'll post some pictures from there.