Sunday, November 29, 2020

Rug Of The Day - Joy


Designed and hooked by Kris Miller (c) 2005

"Tis the Season!"  Now that Thanksgiving is behind us, it's time for all things Christmas.  Christmas is really my favorite holiday.  I love to decorate, I love to bake all kinds of goodies, I love Santa and evergreen trees and snow and shiny old ornaments.
I have been decorating all weekend long!  The little studio shop looks darling.  I've set up my snowman collection in my dining area, decorated my own little Christmas tree with all my childhood ornaments, and set up my vintage Nativity scene (it's been in our family for 3 generations and I am happy and honored to be its current caretaker).
I thought I'd highlight my Joy design since Jo Wick recently posted her rug in a lovely setting.  You can see it in her post here:

I designed Joy as a project for the now defunct Country Marketplace magazine in 2005.  I was doodling one day back then and came up with the design.  I wanted a project that could be left out all winter long.  Childhood memories were an inspiration.  Oh, the joy I felt when I saw snowflakes falling!  It meant sledding until your toes and fingers were numb, and then hot cocoa with marshmallows afterward!
I used a light gray herringbone for the snowflake.  If you used white, it would end up being too bright for the rest of the rug.  I liked the idea of using Christmas reds and greens but mixed a little gold in the side tabs for some variation.  The background was a fabulous plaid of evergreen and red.  It was not impressive to look at but when it was hooked, it was perfect!  I call plaids like that "chameleons" because they might look a bit boring until they are hooked...they are the ugly ducklings that turn into beautiful swans!
This is a quick little project to hook because it is only 13" x 17" - just perfect for a table mat with all your other holiday decorations.
You can find the pattern here:

I also have a limited amount of kits available here:

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Rug of the Day - Old Tom

Old Tom
Adapted from the design of Lori Brechlin/Notforgotten Farm
Hooked by Kris Miller

Old Tom is a fun little rug for any time of year but it's perfect for this week.  It measures 15" x 19.25" so it can be a fast project to hook.  I hooked my mat in almost all #8.5 cuts.  

I thought my Tom should have a little more of the "traditional" turkey colors so I found a scrap of blue/gray plaid that I used for his head.  Then I used a plaid that I call "Spice Cake" for his wing and body. 
As you can see, there are bands of red running through the plaid, so I cut it in such a way so that there would be strips of red and strips of brown.  I separated the two colors and used the red strips for Tom's wing and the body was hooked with the brown strips. I was a little sneaky and used a bit of the gold that was contained within the red for most of the outline around the wing.  It gives the wing a bit more subtle definition.

Last year when I taught in Ocean City, MD, I was talking to my class about separating colors in plaids and mentioned how one could hook Old Tom with the Spice Cake plaid.  I was holding up a quarter yard and Saundra Porter stood up and snatched it right out of my hand....we all had quite a laugh and it remains a wonderful warm memory of my class.  And then I believe there was a mad rush to my wool table to find the Spice Cake plaid.
PS:  I have used it in rug borders and it has an equally wonderful look, even without the colors being separated.

You can find the Old Tom pattern here:

You can find the Spice Cake plaid here:

Have a wonderful and safe Thanksgiving holiday!  Gobble Gobble!

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: