Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Rug Of The Day - Emma's Garden

Emma's Garden - Designed and hooked by Kris Miller (c)2008
monks:  $40.00
linen:  $50.00
dimensions:  22" x 25.25"

I designed this pattern for a technique class.  The students learned proddy, beading, hooking with paisley, and hooking with roving and sheep curls.  I named this pattern after my Wensleydale sheep, Emma.  I added a whimsical bird because Emma likes to chase birds when they land in her pen.  Emma is not afraid of many things; I have even seen her approach the fence line as Jamie Fox was trotting along in the grass on the other side.

I used some of Emma's curls from her first shearing for the accent area along the face.  I hooked her ear three-dimensionally, using a proddy strip and sewing the two pieces together.  

Here is the real Emma.
And here is Emma's Garden, hooked by Linda Brown.

If you are interested in hooking with roving and sheep curls, click on the tab at the top of the page and you will find a tutorial on how to do this.

Monday, February 22, 2016

Rug Of The Day - Trout

Trout - hooked by Kris Miller
Pattern designed by (c) Keith Kemmer
monks:  $70.00
linen:  $86.00
dimensions:  54" x 20"

I hooked this rug for my husband back in 2001.  He told me that this was a brown trout and gave me some visuals to help with the colors.  This was one of my first attempts at trying to dye wool to match a picture.  I was still very much a newbie and it took many pots of yellow dye to finally get the yellow values that satisfied me.  I used #4-#6 cuts for the entire rug.  If I were to hook this now, I would definitely use much wider cuts for the water since there is a lot of area to cover!  There are a lot of little circles on this fish...I was certainly glad to get all of them hooked so I could move on to filling in the rest of the body.

I was in Baton Rouge last week, teaching at the Red Stick Rug Camp.  The weather was a balmy 72 degrees for most of the week and I enjoyed the sun and seeing the flowers blooming.  My class was so much fun!  Everyone worked very hard and got a lot of hooking done.  Kelly was one of my students and she decided to hook the Trout pattern.  She chose some very non-traditional colors for her fish, which I told her were completely "out of my box" but we were going to make it work.  Kelly is an artist and a lovely hooker so her fish was looking outstanding on the last day of class.  She sent me an email last night with her progress.  I think it is wonderful and I might add that she works quite fast!

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Rug Of The Day - Lady Liberty

Lady Liberty - hooked by Kris Miller
Adapted from the folk art of Lori Brechlin by Spruce Ridge Studios (c) 2006
Monks:  $50.00
Linen:  $ 64.00
Dimensions:  26" x 30.5"

I have always loved Lady Liberty.  I think she is the ultimate symbol in really great patriotic folk art.  I love her blowing, billowy skirt and her tiny little feet.  Her eye is just a tad too big for her head, but I wouldn't change a thing about it.  I tell people that Miss Liberty is "all-knowing" and that is why she needs a big eye. (LOL)
I love the flag blowing on that skinny flag pole with that funny little spear shape at the top.  And the spindly flower stems with the patriotic blossoms just sort of waving in the breeze.  

I hooked the letters and numbers in a medium brown textured wool.  Using a darker color would have made them too noticeable and would have detracted from the overall flow of the design.   

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Rug Of The Day - Lucky Stars Chair Pad

Lucky Stars Chair Pad
14" diameter
Designed and hooked by Kris Miller

Lucky Stars Chair Pad is a project/free pattern found in my book Introduction To Rug Hooking.  Each project teaches a different lesson or technique that is useful to both beginners and experienced rug hookers. This particular lesson teaches about hooking nice crisp star points.  You can also use this technique in other objects that have a sharp angle (bird beaks, leaf tips, pointed animal ears, etc).  Besides the tutorial for the chair pad, there are step-by-step instructions for binding/whipping the edges with yarn.  

I have some peeled pine rustic chairs in my studio class room area and I put this charming chair pad on one of the seats.  It's a great primitive look and really dresses up the chair.  You could choose a different color plan for your chair pad.  I think a patriotic theme of red, white, and blue would be fabulous!

Friday, February 12, 2016

Rug Of The Day - Sail, Sail Away

Sail, Sail Away - Hooked by Kris Miller
Designed by Nancee Ariagno/The Cooperage
Available through Spruce Ridge Studios
Monks:  $30.00
Linen:  $  36.00
Dimensions:  16" x 16"

I hooked this sweet little mat as a gift for a friend of mine who has done so much for me over the past few years.  I thought it would be right at home in her summer home on a lake.  The red and inky blue show up a little dark in the photo, but they are great patriotic colors that I use a lot in my rugs.  

 Wide cuts are suitable for this pattern and it's not a complicated color plan.  It hooks up quickly and it's the perfect size for a pillow too.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Rug Of The Day-Oak and Acorns

Oak & Acorns - Hooked by Karen Buchheit
Design (c) Cindi Gay, available through Spruce Ridge Studios
Monks:  $68.00
Linen:  $85.00
Dimensions:  44.5" x 25"

I have always been crazy about anything that has an oak leaf and acorn on it so I am particularly drawn to this pattern of Cindi Gay's.  I took this picture last September at the Rugs By The Sea camp in Cape May.  On Wednesday of rug camp week, the hotel pushes the furniture aside and allows the rug hookers to take over the whole front lobby with their rug show.  There are always many beautiful rugs all laid out on the old wooden floors, but it seems like this past year, there were an abundance  to "ooh and aah" over.  

I have a lengthy bucket list of rugs I want to hook, but this is close to the top of my list.  I love the simplicity of the design.  It can be hooked in many color combinations...the choices are endless!  And this pattern is large enough to be done in a wide cut, #8.5 or #9 for most of the rug, and perfect for those yummy textures you have been saving for something special.  I think I might add some antique paisley to my rug for the oak leaf veins.

I loved my Cape May class last year.  They all worked very hard and I think all their rugs were delightful!

Monday, February 8, 2016

Rug Of The Day - Antique Hearts

Antique Hearts - hooked by Kris Miller
Adapted from an antique rug design by Spruce Ridge Studios (c) 2011
monks:  $40.00
linen:  $50.00
dimensions:  24" x 24"

My rug was hooked with all #8.5 cut wool.  I tried to stay as true to the colors of the original rug as possible, but I also added a few strips of old paisley here and there.  I like the way the paisley blends right in and becomes a subtle part of the color plan.

I finished my edge with a single crochet stitch.  I used the same wool that was hooked around the outside border, cut into #8 strips.  I used Reversible Black Stripe (a favorite wool texture amongst many of us rug hookers!) and I didn't care which side of  the wool strip came up as I did my crochet.  Therefore, sometimes the edge looked black and sometimes it looked gray, giving it an old and faded feel. 

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Rug Of The Day - Mr. MacGregor

Mr. MacGregor - hooked by Kris Miller
Pattern adapted from Lori Brechlin Folk Art by Spruce Ridge Studios (c) 2006
monks:  $36.00
linen:  $46.00
dimensions:  20" x 22"

Mr. MacGregor is such a dapper gent and a good companion rug to Ah Tis Spring.  I hooked him from the same Harris Tweet as Miss Bunny.  I wish I still had more of that lovely tweed!  I used a soft turquoise and purple plaid for the background. Hooking purple flowers was the perfect choice to make everything work together.  

I learned a lot about hit and miss when I hooked the tabs on the sides.  I learned about values and which colors stand out and which ones tend to fade into the background.  I discovered that many times, putting complementary colors together was the answer.  For instance, hooking a strip of blue next to a row of orange helped each color keep their identity. Using lots of textured wool adds interest to the tabs as well.

Here is another version of Mr. MacGregor, hooked by Deb Wilson.

Friday, February 5, 2016

Rug Of The Day - Ah Tis Spring

Ah Tis Spring - Hooked by Kris Miller
Pattern adapted from Lori Brechlin Folk Art by Spruce Ridge Studios (c) 2010
Monks:  $40.00
Linen:  $51.00
Dimensions:  19" x 26"

This sweet little Miss Rabbit was such a joy to hook!  I had a small piece of Harris tweed that I used to hook her face and hands.  It was the perfect "rabbit" color.  Since her dress is such a large part of the design, I decided to break up some of that space with some quillie buttons.  A great waffle-like textured wool was perfect for her basket.  I drew some swirls and squiggles into the background to give a little more energy to the background....I figured that rabbits are probably pretty giddy when spring finally arrives!

Here are a few more hooked samples of this happy pattern:

Hooked by Pam Cannon

Hooked by Sue Dollhopt

I think it's interesting to see both hooked differently...a light and a dark background....and they are both equally delightful!

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Rug Of The Day - Vagabond Rabbit

Vagabond Rabbit - Hooked by Kris Miller
Pattern (c) 2006 Kris Miller/Spruce Ridge Studios
Monks:  $30.00
Linen:  $40.00
Dimensions:  13" x 20"

This rug appeared in the Spring 2006 issue of Rug Hooking Magazine as a free pattern insert.  I have seen many hooked versions of this design and they are all delightful!  It amazes me to see the different techniques and variety in everyone's interpretation.

I hooked my mat with all "as-is" textured wool.  Some people ask me what "as-is" means...it is simply wool that has come off the bolt and has not had its color altered in any way.  There was no dyed woolens used in this mat.  Since Rebecca Erb and I collaborated on the article for RHM, she supplied the wool for this mat.

After I hooked my Vagabond Rabbit, I found an adorable rabbit Christmas ornament and also a redware plate with a rabbit on it so I felt like 2006 was the year of the rabbit!

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Rug Of The Day - Federal Pineapple

Federal Pineapple - Hooked by Carol Trumbull
Pattern (c) Keith Kemmer for Spruce Ridge Studios
Small:  27.5" x 37.75"
monks:  $56.00   linen:  $72.00
Large:  34.5" x 47.75"
monks:  $82.00    linen:  $102.00

This stunning rug was hooked by Carol Trumbull who was a student in my class at the Holland Rug Camp in 2014.  It was a gift to her son and daughter-in-law for their new home.  Her colors are soft and inviting.  She used just enough red to give everything a "pop" and the antique black background is perfect to show off the golds and greens.  Beautiful!

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Rug Of The Day - Have Ye Any Wool

Have Ye Any Wool-hooked by Kris Miller
(c) 2009 Kris Miller/Spruce Ridge Studios
monks:  $42.00    linen:  $53.00
dimensions:  25.25" x 27"

I hooked this rug and taught this pattern at a workshop where the participants learned several fun techniques.  We made quillie circles, hooked with roving, created a fun bird's eye, talked about hooking letters, and did a little hit and miss in the top corners.

This rug is really near and dear to my heart because my real wooly animals served as models.  My Wensleydale sheep, Emma, was the inspiration for the sheep...she really does pose like a "show sheep" sometimes.  The roving used to hook the sheep was from a dearly beloved pet sheep who died about 7 or 8 years ago.  I couldn't think of a better way to memorialize him than to put his fleece into a rug. I don't have any orange goats but my angora goat, Zack, was the inspiration for the middle critter.  And I don't have any chickens (remember-Jamie Fox lives here!) but I thought that rooster looked very regal perched up on the top. 

Monday, February 1, 2016

Rug Of The Day - Majestic

Majestic - hooked by Gail Soltar
Pattern design adapted from the artwork of PJ Rankin-Hults by Spruce Ridge Studios (c) 2005
Monks:  $45.00
Linen:  $58.00
dimensions:  30.5" x 24.5"

This bird really is majestic, isn't it?  I love the soft colors that Gail hooked into her rug as well as the gentle variation of shading in the breast feathers.  All the colors were pulled into the side tabs which helps move your eye around the rug. Notice that the outside of the tabs are all hooked in the gray/blue values but the colors vary inside the tabs.  They still look similar without being exactly the same.  The red tulips mimic the colors in an old fraktur.  
Here is another version of Majestic, hooked by Rhonda Thistlethwaite.  I worked with her on this pattern several years ago at the Holland Rug Camp.  We changed the shape of the bird's head just a little bit and eliminated the breast feathers.  It looks more gentle and more like a dove to me.  We added smaller tabs that went all the way around the rug. Rhonda brought the red color of the tulips out to the border.  The gold background is fabulous with the blue gray color of the bird.