Thursday, July 30, 2009

Hanging With My Peeps

I was hooking the other day when I heard this very faint "peep-peep." Looking out the window I saw this:

A little baby robin hanging on for dear life to the back of our glider! The picture isn't the greatest as I had to take it through the window, but he still had little pieces of down sticking up through his little baby feathers. And look at that those little baby tail feathers.......Don't you just want to grab him and kiss his little feathery cheeks? (How many times can I use the word little in one paragraph?!)

So he sat there chirping and pretty soon the mama flew down with a berry in her beak. I thought she was going to feed him, but she was using the berry to entice him to fly. She sat on the arm of the glider with the berry in her beak and she kept flapping her wings as if she was trying to show the little guy, "Look, it's easy. Just do this." Junior, however, was having none of it. He was hanging onto that glider like it was the last life raft on the Titanic.

After a while I moved away from the window, thinking that I might be a distraction to the whole process--what with my nose pressed to the window, taking four thousand pictures and yelling to my husband that he had to come see this right now. When I checked back later, the little guy had made it to the planter under our front window.

An hour later, they were both gone. In my head, he made it back to the nest and away from all the nasty little baby bird preditors we have around here. Right now, in my head, he is a teenage robin, asking to borrow the family car and staying out past his curfew.

In other baby animal news (we're better than the Disney Channel!) a few days later my brother-in-law stepped out onto the deck and came face to face with a little baby rabbit! The baby was so surprised that he jumped right into the lake and began swimming like he was being chased by a pack of wolves. I didn't even know that rabbits could swim. My brother-in-law saved the day by wading into the lake, grabbing the baby and bringing up to shore. We let him loose in some bushes next to the house where he would have some cover and could dry off. I didn't get a picture as it happened so fast and the little one was scared out of his wits.

So after all this, do you think you can stand to see the hooking I have been doing? Not too much, actually. I had to go home for a doctor's appointment and didn't feel like gathering up all my hooking stuff for the week I would be gone. But I did manage to begin this paisley-like leaf before I left.

As I don't seem to have the best camera in the world, the leaf is outlined in a dark olive green, the veins are in a very dark almost teal color and the little dots are a greenish gold. It will be filled in with a dark olive green on one side and a little olive green on the other. Did I mention how much I love this rug???

Sunday, July 26, 2009


So, as I mentioned before the knitted shawl project is not going so well for me. I frogged it once again last night. Grrrrrrrr! I just cannot get the hang of this. I know how to knit; my mother taught me when I was about in 3rd grade. I don't like to knit sweaters because a) yarn is crazy expensive and 2) you never know if it will look good on you or if it will even fit. Too many variables in there for me to spend that kind of money. Oh yeah--one other thing is that I hate, hate, hate to sew seams in a knitted sweater. However, I do find knitting relaxing and like to make things like socks, scarves, hats or anything that meets my criteria of no seams and no fitting. So you would think a shawl would be right up my alley.

However, I will not give up just yet. Maybe a different pattern......................
Since I don't have a picture of my progress on the shawl from hell, I thought you might like to see a pic of my sister and I knitting:

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Giving My Cast the Boot

I went to the doctors yesterday and had my cast removed and am now in a boot. I also get to begin to put weight on it using my crutches which seems like heaven after six weeks of non-weight bearing. To celebrate my whole family left to go up north, seeing as they are all really tired of waiting on me and figured I could now survive on my own for a while. Actually, I would have gone with them, but I have a meeting at work next Tuesday which makes my teeth hurt just to think about. So I won't. Instead I'll show you this:

What is it you ask? I have started to knit a shawl for my son's wedding in September. What about the rug hooking you ask?

Oh you have sadly underestimated my ADD and my ability to begin new projects without any pesky thoughts about finishing what I started or pursuing something until the end. For me, it all about the excitement about starting something new.

As for the shawl. Let's just say I am not feeling the love. First of all it is lace, which means reading a chart. Which also means actually thinking about what you are doing while you are doing it. You can imagine how I feel about that. I have so far gone through three different patterns, each one easier than the last. This is the easiest one yet and I have started it over three-count 'em-three times. What you see above is the last attempt.

Well, not the last attempt. I actually have one other pattern left to try which is even easier. In fact, to get any easier I would probably have to just unravel the whole skein of yarn and drape it artfully over my shoulders. And speaking of the yarn--did I mention that it is lace weight. Which is like knitting with very thin thread. I am not even kidding. It is the worst.

Sigh........but I have to finish this. You know how expensive yarn is (well, maybe you don't know, but you could probably feed a third world country for a year for the cost of a hand-knit sweater) and the very nice lady at the yarn shop ordered another skein for me back when I actually thought I could knit lace and finish this baby.

So, I'll keep trying. It is very pretty handpainted yarn in beautiful fall colors. I'll let you know how it goes.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Here Comes the Sun!

Well, as you can see from our very classy Raccoon Eating Corn thermometer, we are finally have some nice weather and are able to get outside for a little while. Rog is taking down the shutters, painting them and then putting them back up. I am sitting in the sun writing this post. (Being in a cast does have some advantages!)

Honestly, don't you love our little back door thermometer? It's is, of course, complimented by the equally classy Buzzy Bee that is hanging nearby:

I bet you didn't know this was a decorating blog! The only thing that I can say in our defense is that they were here when we moved in. The fact that we moved in eight years ago and haven't yet taken them down, say loads for our character.

Anyway, back to rug hooking. I promised you a picture yesterday of my little speckled hen:

Isn't she just so cute? I put the wool next to her so you could see the texture of the wool I used. Susan Quicksall, in her tips for hooking this rug, suggests that first do all the items in the foreground and to hook a row of a neutral color around them. I chose a very light gray for that. Because the rug is so busy, this really helps to keep them from being lost.

Now what shall I hook next? ...............a leaf? ............a horse? ...........or perhaps a flower?

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Rain, rain..............

Go away!!!

This has been the coolest, rainiest summer I can remember in a long time--even for Michigan.

Yesterday we planned to go the Dulcimer Festival in Evart--rain.

Today we wanted to go to the Art Fair dowtown--more rain.

It's not that I will melt or anything, but I had surgery on my Achilles Tendon at the beginning of the summer, and I'm still in a cast and am either using crutches or my little Roll-About scooter. Neither option works well on a rainy day--especially in the middle of a muddy fairground or city park.

The upside to all this is that I have plenty (and I mean plenty) of time to rug hook. I started my Crazy Horse Quilt rug. I began with the hen, mostly because I couldn't wait to use the wool I choose. It is a texture that, when hooked, looks just like a little speckled hen.
Which I would show you, but for some reason the internet is not cooperating and letting me download pictures. Stay tuned for pictures!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Hello--Anyone Out There?!?

Well, here I go. My first blog post.
First a little about myself. I am a special education teacher by day who loves to work on fiber-related projects in my spare time. During the school year, the spare time is in short supply, however in the summer I indulge myself by working on all the projects I dream about during the fall and winter. I love rug hooking, quilting and an occasional knitting project. I have been sewing since I was a little girl and took up rug hooking a few years ago. Right now, I am smitten with rug hooking although I do like to keep a quilt "in progress."

I just finished a rug: "Give Ye Thanks." This is a pattern from Spruce Ridge Studio. If you have never seen Kris Miller's patterns, you must go over there right now. She is an extremely talented woman who has a wonderful eye for design and color. She is a fabulous teacher also. I took rug hooking classes from two other teachers and it just didn't "click" until I went to Kris' class.

Kris helped me choose some of the wool for this rug. Although the picture does not do it justice, the background wool is a beautiful light blue and lavender plaid that give just a beautiful sense of movement and depth the rug.

As you can see the rug is not what I call "finished/finished". The hooking is done. It has been steamed. The edges have not been turned under and whipped.

Sigh......this is one of my biggest personality flaws. I can never quite finish a project. I get almost there.......and then it's................"Oh look! Something shiny!" And off I go in another direction.

This time things are no different. Here is my latest project:

This design in called "Crazy Horse Quilt" and is by Susan Quicksal of Holly Hill Designs. I LOVE this rug. It is crazy busy and should be really fun to hook. I can't wait to start.