Thursday, January 28, 2021

Rug of the Day - Have Ye Any Wool

Have Ye Any Wool
Designed and hooked by Kris Miller/Spruce Ridge Studios (c) 2009

I just finished watching all 7 episodes of All Creatures Great and Small on PBS.  I don't know why the PBS app let me watch all seven shows before they have aired entirely on TV, but I couldn't help myself but binge watch all of them.  
I have never read the books but I have been to "James Herriot" country, the Yorkshire Dales, 3 times so I was anxious to see the beautiful scenery portrayed on screen.  When you are there, it is so beautiful that you feel like you could be looking at a seems almost unreal and you just can't fathom that you are actually there and seeing it for yourself.  A "pinch-me" moment at every turn of the head.  

The TV series is charming and gave me the warm fuzzies.  It has animals, of course, but deals so much more with human emotion and the feeling of belonging and togetherness.  I can't wait for Season 2!

All of this reminds me of my Have Ye Any Wool pattern.  I designed the rug for a workshop where we learned various techniques but the rug has a much more personal meaning behind it.  The sheep is inspired by my pet Wensleydale sheep, Emma.  Wensleydale sheep originate in the Yorkshire Dales and they are beautiful creatures. I was fortunate enough to visit a farm that raised Wensleydale sheep.   You might have heard me talk about Emma...she was seriously a sheep with a queen-like attitude and so full of antics!  However, it is not Emma's fleece that I have hooked into my rug but Mikko, my pet Finn sheep that crossed over the rainbow bridge at an early age and I used his roving to commemorate his short life in this rug.
The goat is inspired by my beloved goat, Zack.  I don't have any chickens but I thought a rooster should be up at the gave me the excuse to use some fabulous black and white, honey-comb textured wool.  
This design is the classic folk art of stacked animals but made extra personal because I portrayed some of my very special creatures in the pattern.
You can find the pattern here:


Monday, January 25, 2021

Pattern of the Day - Basket of Hearts

Basket of Hearts
Artwork by Lori Brechlin/Notforgotten Farm
Pattern adapted for rug hooking by Spruce Ridge Studios

There are times when I am hooking on a project and I find myself overthinking the color plan for the design.  I end up making things much more complicated than they need to be.  Often this leads to frustration because I can't quite figure out what I'm going to do next.  I have learned to stop and tell myself "you need to simplify!"  By scaling back all the "busyness" and making things less fussy....keeping it simple...I find more creative satisfaction and joy in my project.  

So!  When I look at the Basket of Hearts pattern, I see lovely, sweet simplicity.  You don't need to overthink the color plan.  Just yummy shades of reds (hearts), greens (leaves) and browns (basket).  I envision the background as being light because it gives a fresh, clean look.  

If you want to switch up the hearts a bit, you could use some lovely plaids with pops of red, along with some textures in warm barn red.  Use several values of greens for the leaves. You could use the darker green values for the leaves closer to the basket and then choose the lighter values for the leaves toward the top.  

You could also use the basket-weave technique for the basket or eliminate the wicker lines all together and hook the name of your favorite Valentine in the middle of the basket.  You are still keeping it simple but making it more personal.

The original size of the pattern is 20" x 26" but I had a friend who requested a larger size of 27" x 35" to fit a space in her house.   I have to say that if I hooked this pattern, I definitely would do the larger one...terrific for those wide cuts!  The smaller version is perfect for those of you who like a quicker project or smaller cuts of #6 and #8.  However, I am a #8.5 girl and I'd find a way to work those cuts into the background somehow ! Haha!

You can find the smaller pattern here:

And the larger one here:

Thursday, January 21, 2021

Pattern of the Day - Be Still My Heart

Be Still My Heart
Artwork by Lori Brechlin/Notforgotten Farm
Rug hooking pattern adapted by Spruce Ridge Studios

This is a really darling design and a sweet, sentimental Valentine!  I have seen it hooked up several times but I must not have saved the pictures because a search of my computer files does not come up with anything.  I knew it had appeared in the ATHA magazine several times, too, but I could not put my hands on which issue (or issues) have featured it.
  However, a Google search came up with the following link:

Lori wrote a really nice blog post in 2014 about the ATHA article and Marguerite Evans' rug.  I love the plaid for the rabbit which easily creates "instant" fur, and also the soft plaid for the background which adds a lot of interest and movement. The rabbit's red dress is perfect and using red again in the lettering and the tulip moves the color around the rug.  Wouldn't we all agree that red is THE perfect color for a Valentine!?!?

You can find the pattern here:

Just a note:  Marguerite was an exceptional and kind woman who loved the fellowship of rug camps and rug hooking.  She passed away in 2015.  It was an honor and a privilege to know her and see her wonderful rugs.

Sunday, January 17, 2021

Pattern of the Day - A Bushel & Peck


A Bushel & A Peck (Lori's)
Cross stitch by Lori Brechlin/pattern adapted for rug hooking by Spruce Ridge Studios

I drew up this pattern for an order last week and I'll admit, I had forgotten how truly cute this design is.  As is often the case when I am drawing out a pattern, I start color planning in my head and get pretty excited about the results.

This sweet little mat is 28" x 20" so the bird is drawn pretty big on the rug pattern...however if you are a wide-cut hooker, this is the perfect size to use your 8.5 and 9 cuts (bird and background).

I can envision a light background, maybe more parchment or creamy colors.  My first reaction would be to hook the bird as a robin (our state bird) but after I thought about it for a few minutes, I think the colors of a bluebird would be really lovely!  I would consider using a medium brown plaid or texture for the basket, and if you are feeling really creative, you could try the basket-weaving technique.  I'd have lots of fun with the hearts...either several values of primitive reds...throw a couple of purple textures in there!  Or maybe various shades of dirty primitive pink would look lovely if you hooked a robin.

The words are important but you don't want to upstage the bird and the basket so I would choose a soft brown or even a soft charcoal.  

If you have hooked this design, please do let me know!  I would love to see your version.

You can find the pattern here:

Lauren asked yesterday about my favorite plaid that was used in the Three Hearts kit, so here it is:

I don't remember what the original name of the plaid was, but I call it Flower's Friend and you can buy some here on my website:

Friday, January 15, 2021

Happy New Year and a new Rug Of The Day

 Happy New Year!

The holidays were busy here at our home.  My grandson was weaned off his oxygen at the beginning of December which means more babysitting time for me.  When you add in all the duties of Christmas, such as decorating, wrapping, cooking, baking, it meant that my blogging had to be set aside for a while.  I also did quite a bit of knitting over the holidays.  Knitting was my first fiber hobby that I took up, maybe at the age of 10 or so.  It really feels good to get out the knitting needles and yarn every once in a while.  It is soothing and meditative...and hey!  I'm still using wool and textures and color!

But now it's back to rug hooking!  Hooray!

I still have to take down some Christmas decorations but lately I've been really inspired by Valentine's Day.  Somehow those little red hearts are speaking to my heart...and in contrast to that, I have been really inspired by all things white too.  I know this is the way a lot of people feel at this time of year, but I have not always been so inspired by Valentine's Day.  

So the next few blog posts are going to be either "Rug Of The Day" or "Pattern of the Day" with the theme of valentines, hearts, and spring.

Three Hearts Kit

I created this kit a couple of years ago for a customer who was asking for a simple kit with hearts.  Those of you who know me will smile when you see that I used my favorite plaid with colors of red, turquoise, and just a touch of gold.  A lovely charcoal background makes the hearts sing!  The wool is just a bit lighter on one side and darker on the other, so I mixed them all together and I didn't care which side was showing when I hooked it.  This gave a subtle variation and movement to the background.

I really loved hooking of those projects that practically hooks itself!

This would be a wonderful project for a beginner or a quick and fun project for the more experienced rug hooker.  The mat is 10" x 10"... just the right size to use as a mat/hot pad for your favorite tea pot!

You can find the kit here, with the wool cut into #8 strips and a basic hook:

If you would like a Three Hearts kit with uncut wool and linen pattern (no hook), please contact me through my website and I can put one together for you.