The Project

Well, I promised you the garden pictures, but a couple of you asked about the project I worked on at camp, so I thought I’d stick this post in.  (I promise I’ll have some beautiful garden photos tomorrow, Lori!)

So, rug hooking camp, or workshops, are run differently than any other workshops I have been to.  It seems that they encourage individuality and creativity from newcomers just learning the craft.  Maybe its because the technique is basically simple (really, there’s just one stitch to master) so there is more time to concentrate on color and composition.  Anyway, each teacher has a specialty, but most of them are quite versatile and are fairly comfortable teaching the different styles of rugs  So before you come to camp, you are supposed to pick out a project and start planning it.  The teacher consults with you, and will provide patterns and/or dyed wool for your project if needed.

This year, for me, this was a very difficult proposition.  I really like designing my own rug.  And you all know that I love playing with colors.  But because of everything that was going on (my dad’s illness and death) my creativity was really blocked.  I finally gave up and told my teacher that I was just going to do a rug pattern that I had bought a few years ago.  This is the pattern.

It seemed really boring to me–white sheep, red apples, green leaves, and brown tree trunk.  Not exciting at all.  I have a lot of wool that I have bought over the past few years, but I had a hard time even looking in the box to see what colors I had that might work.  Just a few days before I left for camp, I finally looked in the box and picked out some really pretty pieces of wool that were not traditional colors, and thought, maybe i could use some of this pretty stuff.  So when I got to camp and my teacher said that I could use those colors, and add some more not-so-traditional colors, I was really happy.

First we worked on the leaves and the fruit.  My teacher said the fruit did not have to match.  Yahoo!

Then we worked on the crow.  Only I didn’t have to make it traditional crow colors!  Whee!!

Next I worked on the sheep’s wool.  This turned out to be really fun, because I had a nice collection of textured wools, including some felted angora and wool sweaters that I had bought at the thrift store just the week before!!

Next I worked on the ram’s face, and later on that night, I worked on his horn.  Then I realized that one horn was drawn backwards.  No problem, rug hookers just use a sharpie pen to re-draw their designs right on the canvas.

Then it was time for show and tell.  Believe it or not, this is all I had done by Thursday afternoon.

Later on that night and the next morning I worked on the tree trunk.  My teacher* told me AGAIN that it did not have to be traditional tree trunk colors!  Did you notice I extended the tree trunk with some ‘roots?’

So I’ve worked on it a bit since I got home (in fact, that close-up of the wool was part of what I did today–filling in around the swirls.)  But just like all handwork, it is not a speedy process.  I’ll show you the finished product in a couple of years…

Here’s a few of the finished rugs that were shown at the rug show mid-week.

(detail of the bird bath from the quilt above)

And hey!  Here’s a little rug that I actually finished.

Changing the subject rapidly, I had another good day of good food choices.  I am choosing to eat more veggies than usual.  Just because that’s what I want.  Even though they had good salads and nice veggies most nights, I guess it wasn’t as many vegetables as I have gotten used to having.

I made a new batch of yogurt, and it wasn’t as thick as I like it so I strained it.  I save the liquid whey for smoothies–it really makes a nice addition to a smoothie.  And I have to say again, that as much as I dislike Safeway, their Lucerne brand plain yogurt is the best yogurt starter I have found.  (That’s not what I used today.)

Today is the first day it was warm enough for me to wear shorts.  And I went for three walks, just because I wanted to.  It seemed like I was actually still on vacation, even though I made some business calls and did all my laundry.  It was a very good day.

*my teacher is a well known rug hooker and has a wonderful blog, in case you want to know more about rug hooking.  He has quite a few pictures from camp, including the glorious lemon ice cream with raspberry topping that we went out for one daya!


14 thoughts on “The Project

  1. Absolutely gorgeous work.

    I wish I was a millionaire and I’d be over the Pacific to visit and go on a rug camp …. next year,

    I really really hope we don’t have to wait two years to see your finished rug. It’s so exciting to see the non-traditional colours coming together beautifully. This is going to be so amazing .


    • Hi MargieAnne! Nice to hear from you–it must be morning over there?

      Yes, I think I’ll work pretty steadily on this project since I know how I’m going to do most of it.

  2. Loved seeing all the pics and colors. Fabulous that you got to use a UFO. (I had to keep reminding myself that I wasn’t going to itch, get hives, or have my eyes swell shut through the internet. This is about as close as I can be to wool.)

    • Yes, I always like using something I have already paid good money for. But this wasn’t a UFO–it was a USO (un-STARTED object!)

  3. I love seeing how your creative process works – I never would have thought about going outside of the traditional colors for your rug, but now I can’t see it any other way and I LOVE IT!!! Just amazingly beautiful, and it has such movement. The tree roots really add to the look, too. Cannot wait to see it finished!

  4. These are beautiful!! We have planned an overnight stop in Paducah, KY on our way home from Colorado. I’m hoping there will be time for me to visit the National Quilt Museum located there. I’ve always wanted to make a stop there, but now actually knowing a quilter (you!!) makes it even more exciting. I’ll let you know if it works out and what I find there! If I’m reading right, Paducah is the home of the American Quilters Society and there is a huge quilt show there every April. I think you should come next year!! After all, you’ll be retired and have all the time in the world.

    • Sharon, if you don’t go to that museum, I will really be mad at you! Just kidding, of course. Is Paducah near where you live? I really do want to go to that quilt show. Maybe next year will be the year!

  5. I have to laugh at “today’s the first day it was warm enough for me to wear shorts” – it’s been hotter than Hades here for the last 2 weeks, today’s high is 105 degrees!!! It’s too early to be this hot!!!

    I love love love that fact that you are using nontraditional colors for your project. I think it makes it that much more interesting and “artsy”. I like things that are traditional, yet different. 🙂

  6. I love the pattern you are working on!!! It is so pretty and I really like the additions / edits / color choices you have made. Oh, this gives me an itch to be crafty. But instead I’m here at work making calls and geting in the occassional stitch on a (supereasy and mindless) bib I keep here at my desk. Shhh! Don’t tell my boss!

    Keep posting progress pictures on this one, ok?

    PS I owe you an email. Stay tuned!

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