Thursday, April 27, 2006

I have finally whipped the finish on a rug. I wanted to have it done for the annual southeastern Michigan hook-in and it's finished. I found I don't like whipping. It took as long to finish the rug as it took to hook it and I don't think the whipping added anything...

I have not had much time to hook, although I have been gathering a lot of recyclable wool. Getting the wool washed and taken apart has used up all of my meager spare time. Early this week, I bled some blues and aquas for sky and water. I had a lot of fun making blue and aqua primitive swatches. This is the season of rummage sales, so my truck is squashed full of wool and books - I almost didn't have room to squeeze in the great blue blanket I found on Tuesday - it's almost exactly the same blue as my hard-earned primitive blue swatch! I've been so involved with getting my mother settled into an assisted living situation that I haven't had time to unload my truck and gloat over all my findings.

Today, I went on a field trip with four classes of Third Graders to the same place where the big hook-in will be held on Saturday. The trip is annual and is called RED Day - Rural Education Day. We went to the county farm fairgrounds where we walked from station to station to see and hear about Michigan farm products. We met rabbits, turkeys, steers, goats, chickens, one very small horse, and even some wee little newborn quail. We observed an arena size model of the state of Michigan with the hundreds of products created by Michigan agriculture. We learned that Michigan is second only to California in farm produce. The really wonderful part of the trip was that one of the farm producer/demonstrators was my first rug hooking teacher! She was spinning llama wool, but I recognized her anyway - her name is Marge and she used to have the rug hooking shop called Ewe and Me. After concentrating for months and months on how to teach hooking and how to teach teachers to teach hooking, it was refreshing to remember that my first hooking lesson lasted all of about two minutes. I bought a kit from Marge and she told me to pull up a loop and then skip a space or so and pull up another one. That was it, the whole lesson - and it was certainly good enough to hook me permanently. Maybe the whole thing about teaching such a simple skill is overdone...

Well, the trillium are bursting out all over the hillside behind my family home and I'm sure the trout lillies are making a beautiful spotted carpet in my back woods. Blue Cohosh, from a few roots I ordered from Vermont forty years ago are beautiful behind the barn at the lake and next to my house at the farm. My mother is happy in her new apartment and I'm ready to enjoy the springtime!

Sunday, April 09, 2006

I don't have a photo with me for this blog, but I did want to share my pleasure with Gene Shepherd's DVDs - they're both great! I am currently trying to make myself go slowly through the second DVD - trying to watch it a little at a time so it will last longer. The second DVD is about hooking the same pattern four different ways. I have only watched the "outline and fill" parts so far. I really enjoy seeing Gene's hook pulling up loops, his hook just slides through the backing and comes up with a perfect loop that sits in exactly the right direction. He talks about filling the spaces that are too narrow with loops that are turned sideways, then shows exactly how to do that - and that's how I will be filling narrow spaces from now on!
If you are interested in these DVD's I'm pretty sure you can find a link to his website by going to Yahoo Rughookers Links file (assuming you are a member of Rughookers - if you aren't, you are cordially invited to join)
We watched the first DVD at a meeting of Thrums and Chums, Kris Miller's group that meets in Howell, MI, and we are scheduled to watch the second one at our next meeting, but I am really glad to have my own copies so I can go back and back again over Gene's teaching.

I hope you're all looking forward to the Michigan Hook-in in April, the McGown National in the fall, and the ATHA Biennial in New Orleans next year - I'm planning to be at all three. I will be selling McGown National T-shirts at the Michigan Hook-in - they're not only neat t-shirts, they also provide the funds to finance the national and they're only $20. If you want one ahead of time, contact me at

Also, I am working on a teacher training program and I am looking for guinea pigs - if you are interested in being a teacher and you have a friend who is already teaching, I would love to help you work with each other so you can become a trained teacher. You can reach me at the above email address.