an intermission…

i finished miss b’s turkey ~ hooray!  however, i’m taking this opportunity to share with you another rug i finished recently.

wytch one?

“wytch one?” is a pattern i created many years ago, and it’s always a fun one to punch or hook.  i’ve just listed this finished rug on my etsy site which you can find by clicking here.

if you’re interested in the simple pattern for “wytch one?”, you can find it on my etsy design site by clicking here.

 

i’ll be back soon to show you the turkey finish!

 

~rebecca

miss b’s turkey, day one…

today, i started on miss b’s turkey.  i got to use my new, fabulous bee line townsend hooking frame.  I’ve been reluctant to get back to hooking (you can click here to see why).  and, while it wasn’t entirely paw-free, i enjoyed it thoroughly!

“this looks like the purrfect place to perch.” ~the elly-belly

i finally got a photo of my progress…

miss b’s turkey

as you can see, if you look past the actual hooking, my drawing skills leave lots to be desired.  i must have drawn the turkey’s head four times, with a sharpie no less, however, since i draw my patterns on my backing freehand, there are always lots of extra lines and blobs and various marks.  that’s simply the way i do things.  i know there are far more efficient methods, but i like to be comfortable.

what do you think, lilly?

“it’s a snake!” ~the lilly-lou-hoo

lilly likes to steal the wool strip that i am about to use and pretend that it’s an enemy.  once she reduces it to a pulp, she carries it around and mourns over it.

we have many turkeys in our neighborhood and woods.  some people think turkeys are ugly and awkward, but i think they’re extraordinary.  the females are amazing mothers, and the males are so graceful when they’re courting.  i’m proud of my niece for seeing the artistic side of our natural world!

 

until i can get to my hooking under all these cats…

be happy!

 

~rebecca

new pattern: s is for sheep….

s is for sheep

s is for sheep

Hello!  Here is the second in my ABC pull toy series ~ S is for Sheep.  Though the original has sold, the pattern is available in my etsy shop ~ if you’d like to take a look, click here.

When I first drew S is for Sheep it looked like this:OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I envisioned a fluffy white sheep body with a shorn white face, so I punched the “wooly” part of the sheep at a #6 loop height on my Cameo needle.  But, when I got to the face and punched it at my usual #1 setting, my sheep suddenly looked like a potato with a growth… hmmm… what to do, what to do.  I tried adding a bell around her neck, but that just looked like a potato with a growth with a sprout.  So, I “reverse” punched (tore out) the face and a bit of the body to accommodate a larger head and ear, and re-punched it in a dark color at a #6 setting.

Here is my color palette and how I used it:

valdani 4, 5 p3, p4, p5, jp6, h212

valdani 4, 5 p3, p4, p5, jp6, h212

These are all Valdani size 12 perle cotton.  I used two strands of each and, except for the sheep, punched at the lowest (#1) setting.

4 ~ background

5 ~ background and “lambs tongue” edging

p3 ~ lambs tongue edging and a tiny patch of background

p4 ~ sheep’s body and eye

p5 ~ lambs tongue edging, letters,  and pull toy

jp6 ~ lambs tongue edging

h212 ~ sheep’s face

It’s downright COLD today.  A below-zero morning, and snow… lots and lots of snow.  I’m thinking of all you on the east coast who have it so much harder, just now.  It’s a good day to….

one cat in a bag is a warm cat...

one cat in a bag is a warm cat…

… get under cover and ….

"can i come in?" ~ otis

“can i come in?” ~ otis

… possibly invite someone to join you!

 

stay warm and safe, my friends.

 

rebecca

 

ah ha!…..

This may be one of those posts you read and go, “duh!  I’m so sure!  I can’t believe Rebecca just posted that….”, but, for me, the following was a total “ah HA!” moment….

So, I’m sitting here, punching away, and I’m freezing… I mean, goose bumps and everything, and I’m thinking, “what the?  here am i, under an electric blanket with a heating pad behind me and a cat on my lap ~ how can i possibly be cold?”  The answer is simple.  It’s winter and I’m wearing a 3/4 sleeve sweater.

see? it's winter

see? it’s winter

I can think of two solutions  for my 3/4 sleeve problem.  I could simply get up and put on another sweater, (in fact there is a warm wooly sweater right over there, just out of my reach), or I could get up, go downstairs where my hooking is and get my arm warmers….

see that grey thing on my wrist?  that's one of a pair of arm warmers/protectors i wear while hooking, which i spent way too much $ on, but which i love and adore....

see that grey thing on my wrist? that’s one of a pair of arm warmers/protectors i wear while hooking, which i spent way too much $ on, but which i love and adore….

You, of course, have spotted the difficulty inherent in both these solutions.  Both require the removal of said electric blanket and the abandoning, though temporarily, of the heating pad.  One runs a risk, too, whenever getting up from any chair in this house, namely….

"what? you thought your seat was saved?  you were right, it was saved for ME!" ~oatbran

“what? you thought your seat was saved? you were right, it was saved for ME!” ~oatbran

So, as I sit here, freezing, as I mentioned before, I look around my immediate vicinity for a safer, warmer, more palatable solution than getting up, and I spy….

old pair o' socks

old pair o’ socks

Eureka! or, if you prefer, Ah hA!  I’ve had this pair of socks for 11 years.  I remember where I got them (a shop in Lowell, MI), I remember when (July ~ a broiling hot day, unsuitable for purchasing long wool socks), and I remember how much they were ($7 ~ originally $35, because, as I said, it was July and nobody, almost, buys long wooly socks on a July day in Michigan).  I’ve worn these socks many a time and oft, not because they were comfortable (they weren’t.  to begin with, they’re knee socks and, let’s just be generous here, i have “curvy” calves.  if you have “curvy” calves than you know all about knee socks and comfort, if you don’t have “curvy” calves than hooray for you, you are the perfect knee-sock-wearing-kinda-gal).  I’ve worn them, because I paid $7 for a $35 pair of socks and that’s something of which I’m pretty proud.

plus, i like argyle

plus, i like argyle

These socks had been slated for catnip cat toy usage, but not anymore!

First…

a thoughtful incision

a thoughtful incision

…I cut a little bit off the heels where my thumbs would be….OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThen…

snip, snip

snip, snip

I cut the end of the toes so my fingers could manipulate my punch needle (and turn up the temperature on my heating pad).

And…

warm and toasty

warm and toasty

Voila!

Now, I know many of you have done the same with your husbands’ (or your own) gym socks, but have any of you ever gone to such lengths to avoid getting up to get something that would take all of 3 seconds to get?  I hope so, for in laziness and personal comfort lies the inspiration for creativity!

 

wishing you warmth and simplicity today and every day!

 

rebecca

 

 

 

 

weekend hooking….

I’ve been remiss….OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI started this rug two whole years ago, when the cats were kittens and hooking was a solitary activity.

the oatsy-toatsy

the oatsy-toatsy

My, how things change.

the elly~belly

the elly~belly

Hooking has become a group activity.

lilly-lou-who

lilly-lou-who

Before the advent of the kittens, I was a hooker through and through.  I did some punch needle, but my true love was wool.

wool, oh so soft... almost as soft as ellis's coat

wool, oh so soft… almost as soft as ellis’ coat

This rug hasn’t seen the light of day in those two years.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Hooking a rug is like planting a garden ~ one seed, one stitch, and time… lots and lots of time.  Just as a garden grows, so do my rugs….OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

…one quiet row after another….OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

…the whisper of wool against linen, it seems that those single stitches, those tiny seeds, will never amount to anything.

three best friends forever

three best friends forever

But, like gardens and hooked rugs, like friendships, the more time one gives to a thing, the more that thing will grow.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

So, this is where you’ll find me, nearly every weekend.  Cultivating my long neglected rugs…

ellis and lilly

ellis and lilly

…and keeping good friends near and dear.

 

May you always find the time to give the time to the things you love!

rebecca

 

coffee, cats and updates…

Some time ago, in fact I think it was back in May, I started an experiment with coffee. Would coffee-stain age hooked wool as well as it ages perle cotton and other flosses.  The short answer is, no.  However, I was surprisingly pleased with the results ~ what do you think?

hooking the mat with invaluable assistance from otis

First, I hooked a small mat using un-dyed and dyed neutral wools.  Otis was a really big help here, I’m not sure I would have made it through without him (that’s it for the “cats” part of this post).

Then,…

soaking the wool

I submerged the hooked mat in coffee and left it alone for several hours.  When I remembered that the mat was still soaking, I removed it from the coffee, wrung it out, laid it on a waxed-paper-covered cookie sheet and baked it for a while.  (I put the mat on the cookie sheet in a cold oven, turned it on to 250*, and shut the oven off as soon as it reached temperature.)  Because the wool didn’t dry completely in the oven, I hung the mat up over night.  Now dry, the mat went into the washing machine and the dryer with some other laundry.  It emerged wrinkled with the linen backing frayed, but in good, aged condition.

aged mat

I steamed it flat, and was excited to see that, not only had the colors softened a bit, but the wool itself appeared softer and older, and the loops themselves appeared to be happier with their neighboring loops.  I’m hoping to try this method on a larger rug, some day, though baking one in the oven would be out of the question!

As for updates, it’s the third Friday of the month (tomorrow) which is when Primitive Handmades Mercantile artisans add new items to their shops.  I have updated mine, already, so if you’d like to see what I’m offering or if you’d like to visit any of the fabulous stores on PHM, click here and then click on “Our Artists”.  My shop is The Simple Quiet.  I was hoping to have Magdalena’s Horses on the site this month, but no, so perhaps September. 🙂

until next time, enjoy some simple quiet today…

rebecca