Saturday, November 21, 2020

Rug Of The Day - First Heavy Snow

Rug of the Day is back!  Here's what is on my frame right now:

First Heavy Snow
Designed by Faye Schilling/Cabin Creek Designs
Available exclusively through Spruce Ridge Studios
Hooking in progress by Kris Miller

Every time I drew up this pattern for an order, I thought "Wow, this is SO cute...I need to hook this myself."  Then, last week, someone posted a picture of their completed rug on Facebook and that was the tipping point for me.

I love how I can "dress up" each snowman (or lady!) in their own winter's so fun to decide on which textures would make the best knit hats and scarves!  The best part is that each little hat or scarf doesn't take much wool so I can sort through my scraps and use up some of them without cutting into a big piece.

I don't often do this when hooking a rug, but I started working on the border first and then decided to work from one end of the rug to the other.  You see, I wanted to fool around with the border and try out a Christmas plaid that I had in stock.  I have to admit, I wasn't convinced that I was going to like the way the plaid hooked, so I added one row of red and green beading to the first inside row, then I "auditioned" the Christmas plaid by hooking several rows next to the beading.  When the plaid was cut into strips, it sort of gave me a selection of red strips and green strips so I made a plan in my head to stagger the red and green strips when they were hooked in rows next to each other.  It dispersed the colors a bit better and made it more of a hit-or-miss kind of feel (whew, are you following me on this?). 
So the verdict is in!  I LOVE, LOVE the Christmas plaid and I'm going to keep the beading too.  Sometimes there are places where the beading fades into the Christmas plaid but I love it that way and I'm not going to change a thing! So now it's on to the rest of the rug!  

A few observations:  
Since there are many small details in this runner, I have had to use a wide variety of cuts. The border is #8.5 cuts, the background is #8.5 and #8 cuts, the snowmen are also a combination of #8.5 and #8 cuts.  However, the carrot noses are a #6, as well as the stick arms, and the eyes are a #4 cut (I found a little bundle of #4 cut black strips that I had set aside - I have no idea why I cut them that small in the first place but they have come in handy now!)

I also have scraped together various shades of primitive "white" for the snowmen, since there are a bunch of them.  I may do some outlining for the ones that overlap and I can repeat some of the lights.  Three or four shades of "snow" is a good variety, I think.

I have taken a little break from hooking since October...I picked up my knitting needles and I'm working on a blanket for my granddaughter and need to start knitting a Christmas stocking for my grandson. Sometimes my hooking urge becomes so great that I have to put down the knitting needles for a day or two, but with this wonderful variety of fiber arts, I will never be bored or regret having to stay at home. Bring on the first heavy snow!

You can find the First Heavy Snow here:

If you feel the runner is a bit too big, there is also a smaller pattern that features just three snowmen and a tree:

And you can find the marvelous Christmas plaid here:


Sunday, October 4, 2020

Coming Soon! Shop Grand Opening and Tent Sale

 Just 6 days away!  You are warmly invited to the Grand Opening of the Spruce Ridge Studios rug hooking shop and our Annual Tent Sale.  If you haven't peeked at our 2020 Show & Travel Schedule (tab located at the top of the page), you might want to read about all the details for next Saturday, October 10th.

Ken and I are in the final stages of putting the little shop together. The last minute paint touch ups and final construction details are being done today.  This coming week will be the stocking of wool on shelves and patterns in bins and rearranging display pieces. If you are coming and would like to purchase a specific pattern, please send me a message or email before Friday so I can have your pattern waiting for you.

Hope has approved the new flooring.  She says it's really nice but it will be a lot more comfortable with a few hooked rugs put down there.

Here's a few teasers of our decorating...we just couldn't resist putting a few fun treasures in place, especially the "up high" ones.  Still lots of tweaking to be done but I like it so far!

The tent sale will be set up in our front yard.  It's probably going to be a much smaller version of what we normally do but we are going to try to spread the tables out a bit more.  We would like everyone to distance and wear masks...we can do this and be safe at the same time!  Also just two shoppers allowed in the shop at one time but everyone will get their opportunity!

After October 10th, I will be scheduling regular shopping hours or you can also contact me and set up an appointment for the day or time that is convenient for you.  

I am happy for this wonderful new adventure...the pandemic has changed so much of our rug hooking life.  I miss the hook-ins and rug schools but at least you can still come and put your hands on all our lovely rug hooking goods!

Hope to see you Saturday at 10 am sharp!

P.S.  Forgot to mention that the weather will be gorgeous on Saturday!


Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Rug Of The Day - Wool Witch


Wool Witch
Designed and hooked by Lori Brechlin/Notforgotten Farm
Pattern available through Spruce Ridge Studios

I can't think of a more darling pattern for a rug hooker to hook.  Perhaps to adorn your studio or hooking room, or perhaps to gift to a special rug hooker in your life.  We all love sheep and we all cherish our hooks...and don't we all create a little "witchy magic" while we are picking out colors and working our wool strips into the design?  Our rugs come to life right before our eyes!

Lori was extra-playful when creating her rug by adding a little braid for the witch's hair and a ribbon with a jingle bell for the sheep's neck.  The beauty and magic of rug hooking is making your rug personal to YOU and knowing that no two rugs will ever look the same.  

What I love about this design is the border!  Oh my goodness!  It adds energy to the rug and draws you in.  I think it's clever that only the corners were done this way, with some dark in between.  Of course, it's a great way to pull the colors from the center out to the edge.  You could add a few other noodles that have been hanging around in your stash too.  A great hit or miss incorporates the colors you used in your rug PLUS a few random strips of color that you didn't.  The only other suggestion I have is that you would not want to put your lightest nor your darkest color in the hit or miss.  Just a little "rule" that buzzes around in my head...

I know I didn't post for a while and I was surprised at how much time had gone by since my last Rug Of The Day.  We had family visiting from out of town and it was my granddaughter's first birthday.  We had a lovely picnic/party and we did wear masks and distanced as much as we could.  She loves Peppa Pig so her mama's friend made a bright pink smash cake for her to have fun with.

I think my fingernails are still tinted pink from trying to help clean up afterward.

You can find the Wool Witch pattern here:

Thursday, September 24, 2020

Rug Of The Day - Olde Hallow's Eve

Olde Hallow's Eve
Adapted from the artwork of Lori Brechlin/Notforgotten Farm
Hooked by Kris Miller

Here is a really fun and simple rug to hook for Halloween!  I only used three different wool orange plaid, the ever-popular reversible black stripe, and a speckle tweed that was ivory and black.  You could use a light value of gray to get the same look for the wings.
I decided to jazz up my mat by making some quillie circles and using them for spooky eyes on the pumpkin.  I also wound some quillies in black and orange...I placed one in the big O at the top and then used two for the smaller dots between the letters at the bottom.  You know how I love to hook letters!  The lettering is a little bigger so they would be easy for a novice to tackle.  And they are kind of wonky so you don't have to worry about precision for this mat.

My husband is a professional picture framer and he's always thinking outside the box and beyond the limits.  He built a gravestone display out of wood, texturized and painted it, then mounted my mat on it.  We had it in our booth in Lancaster in 2011 for the ATHA biennial.  I picked up a few leaves from outside to add to the spookiness.

I have to admit that I'm not sure quite where this is right now...not the easiest thing to store and my husband wrapped it up and squirreled it away somewhere (he is notorious for doing that).  I think I'm going to have him dig it out for my new studio shop!

But you don't have to build a tombstone for your's only 16" x 16" so it is the perfect size to place on a table or display on a cupboard.  And it's simple enough to have it hooked in time for your spooky decorating and gatherings!

You can find the pattern here:


Monday, September 21, 2020

Rug Of The Day - Merrie October 31st


Merry October 31st
Adapted from a design by Lori Brechlin/Notforgotten Farm
Hooked by Sandi Lucero

This is one of the newest patterns that I recently adapted from a Notforgotten Farm design.  Isn't it terrific?   It comes in two sizes and either one would hook up quickly.  Just think, you'd have it ready for Halloween this year!

I love the color palette that Sandi used for her mat.  The background is light and faded, which she achieved by using wools that are similar in value.  I also like the way she hooked the house with a brighter value on one side so no dividing line is needed at the corner.  Her witch is "prim perfect" too!  You really don't need a lot of different colors to make this one fabulous.

Bravo, Sandi, thank  you for sharing your wonderful work!

You can find the small pattern here:

And a little bit larger pattern here (a good size if you a fan of wide cuts):

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Rug Of The Day - Ghost Genie

Ghost Genie
Adapted from the artwork of Johanna Parker
Hooked by Marion Wilson

I posted about Marion's rug back in February so if you are a regular reader of my blog, this will be a repeat story for you.
Marion was in my class at the Historic Franklin Rug Hooking Retreat last October.  She wanted to hook this pattern but she did not want to use any orange in it...perhaps a little challenge for me as a teacher because I had already seen the original artwork and it was pretty much all orange and black.  So the next thing I thought of was purple.  I set about dyeing up several pleasing values of purple that I thought would work.  I had to keep reminding myself of the old phrase "keep it simple, sister"  (KISS).  I think as rug hookers, we sometimes overthink our color plan and make it more complicated than it really needs to least, I can relate to that!
The best solution for the pumpkin was to make it a dusty green.  Then, of course, the use of off-white for the ghost and stars and black for the outlining and spider.  
I had to keep my fingers crossed that Marion would like the colors I brought her (because THEN what would I do???) but lucky for me, she loved them and away she went!  She hooked quite a bit on her rug during our retreat and I think her rug is pretty amazing, don't you?  Of course, most of the awesomeness is the skill of the maker!  So "bravo" and applause to Marion for her beautiful Halloween rug!

You can find the pattern here:


Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Rug Of The Day - Merrie Halloween

Merrie Halloween
Adapted from the artwork of Lori Brechlin
Hooked by Kimberly Maggion

Did you know that Mr. Pumpkin Thyme has a companion and her name is Merrie Halloween?  She is quite the party girl and loves to dress up for the Halloween Ball.  She's put on her finest gown and a proper top hat (her favorite one) with a magnificent plume at the top.  It makes her feel so festive and giddy!  She brought her mask along to disguise herself but she's pretty sure that everyone will guess who she is anyway.  She can't wait to see Mr. Pumpkin Thyme again so they can dance the night away under the moonlight.

I have always thought of Merrie as a white pumpkin person so I am happy that Kimberly hooked her "Merrie" in this way.  She used a light background so there had to be a pop-out line around Merrie's face and upper body.   Kimberly kept it thin so it doesn't overwhelm Merrie's delicate features.  Merry is wearing a beautiful ball gown and that is one of the things I love about rug hooking....we can "dress" our hooked figures in some wonderful clothes.  Sort of reminds me of playing with paper dolls, don't you think?  We are the ones who are creating the finery!
There are some fine details in this pattern so I think it is important to mix your cuts to achieve the delicate nature of the design. 

Hooked by Melody Bryan

Here is another terrific version of Merrie Halloween.  Melody hooked an orange character, who is very lovely with the dark background.  I love the purple hat that coordinates with her dress and a few of the flowers in the vine!  Super fun!

Congratulations to both ladies for a job well done and your rugs are beautiful inspirations!

You can find the pattern here:

The Merry Halloween pattern was sized to coordinate nicely with Pumpkin Thyme.