I told you that I would be back with some wool lint tips- here they are. Short and sweet.
In this time of COVID we have all found ourselves needing to wear masks- some, more than others depending on what your day might be like.
Just wear a mask
I have started wearing masks when I cut wool for rug hooking. The dust can be quite something depending on the piece you are cutting. In the studio it has become apparent just how much dust is created! For some reason it wasn’t as noticeable in the house (maybe because it is always dusty there…). Gracie isn’t even brought into the studio when there is a kit to cut- even the dog doesn’t need this . She won’t wear a mask…but then again- I can’t fault her for that.
It is sure easy to wear a mask- you probably all have one or more masks at home. No need to be breathing this wool lint or anything else extra into our lungs right now. There is a good assortment of homemade masks hanging by the door to grab as we leave the house. Just one more thing to remember when leaving, but a necessary one. It seems like we will be needing masks for awhile, according to Dr. Fauci.
Put your wool strips in the dryer
The second tip is this. If I have a large amount of wool strips- especially black- I just loosely knot them and throw in the dryer for 5 minutes or so- the dust (lint) ends up in the lint trap and not spreading all over the place. That was a trial that worked out beautifully. The strips come out the same as they went into the dryer minus the lint ! A mesh bag would most likely work the same. I’m going to try that this week. Really, that might be done each time with any amount of wool here. The important part is to gather the strips in some fashion so they don’t get tangled.
Wool cutter dust for rug hooking strips
As you can see- the dust beneath, around and in the blades is quite a bit from cutting the above bundle of blues. My Bolivar cutter gets a workout and needs to be cleaned regularly so it will work it’s best.
Wool for so many things!
Wool…I do love it and am determined not to let the dust get to me. The history of this wonderful fabric alone makes it that much more special. It reminds me of my childhood – my mother used a lot of wool in her day.
Have you made any masks yourself? There isn’t a style that seems better than another for me yet. I’ve tried several and the quickest one seems to be the pleated one – how about for you? If you have a recommended pattern please share. Are you double masking now?
You can’t be too too careful these days! Stay well my friends.
Nature and creativity go hand in hand. Never again will I look at snow covered trees without the image that Susan Feller of artwools mentioned in an instagram post. She commented on how she saw trees as a child, “All dressed in ball gowns” Now that is ALL I see when walking into the woods with the trees laden with fresh snow- the branches heavy with the weight of it all. Ball gowns dancing in the woods when we aren’t looking. What a fantastic image- thank you Susan! thank you childhood imaginations- we all become so literal as we age. Isn’t it too bad that childhood imaginations don’t stay closer to the surface later in life ? We may all be better for it.
My husband worked hard this summer clearing a path through the woods behind our house. The wildlife certainly take advantage of it- as do we with Gracie . Fresh deer tracks were there this morning. The day before were fox tracks. Gracie can’t seem to get enough of all the smells!
Patterns and color ideas
Quite often hooking patterns will spring to life while outside in nature. Primitive designs mostly. Then there are the colors that come. A bundle of “Bluejay” has just been added to the ETSY shop. There are , on average, 12-15 bluejays that frequent the backyard feeders. We have had to get pretty crafty to be able to make sure that the finches, chickadees and smaller birds get their fair share. Those Jays…pretty sassy and quite piggy when it comes down to it. They are a beautiful blue and when these colors emerged from the dye pots they were bundled together as a nod to them.
A fun old pattern in the shop has a bluejay, along with other birds “playing outside” – if you care to have a look. It has been hooked by so many different hookers each adding their own colors to the pattern. Just when I imagine it might be time to retire this pattern- someone else wants it, so it keeps going. There may be some tweaks happening to it soon though.
Get outside and play
It’s snowing right now and the trees will soon be laden again- the ball gowns returning. How does nature speak to you? What inspiration do you gain from being outside? Please share – I’d love to know!
As we continue to stay close to home during the pandemic- try to take a moment to stop, look and listen to all that nature has to offer us. We are fortunate to live in such a place – to have wildlife still active in our midst. Even though life has felt isolating this past (almost year now), we have been able to walk out our backdoor and enjoy the fresh air. Go on- get outside and see what happens. If you live in the city- well, there are still opportunities to get yourself outside, especially if you have a wee dog to take along with you.
Cutting wool tricks?
Next time there will be a few hints on how I am making my life better when it comes to wool cutting and using it later on-
Let’s try something new this year – let’s try a staycation of slow stitching. Need an activity for your kids? This might fit the bill. These kits that are in the process of coming together this week .They are designed for beginners to “get hooked” so to speak.
There have been so many very helpful people out there in the world of Zoom, Facebook live, etc that it seems like all of the rug hooking questions are being covered. What could I add to all this information that is circulating- to be honest- I am not really sure! Look to Deanne Fitzpatrick,Gene Shepard, Beth Miller,Susan Feller, – there are way too many to mention!
At the moment the best thing for me to do is perhaps just continue to offer products for you to use, love, share and have fun with.
Slow stitching- what a wonderful thing to take your mind off the problems of the time. There are just so many things aren’t there? Let’s not get started here- that is for another time, another place. Pandemic, Black Lives Matter, climate change, it’s enough to make you crazy and feel stressed- sometimes without even realizing it. I am passionate about all of the mentioned things and take them all very seriously . A better world needs to be in my children’s and grandchildren’s future. I do what I can, but it is never quite enough.
The Staycation slow stitching rug hooking kits are coming along nicely. As far as the hooking goes, there have been some tweaks and adjustments to make the final piece look just right and easy. Yes, you read that right, easy! That is the aim for these.
It is my hope, that these will be a jumping off point for you- a place where you can learn that this craft of rug hooking isn’t that hard after all if you want to do simple projects. Later on you can branch out to more detailed work or fancy fabrics as additions, or not- it will be up to you how you want to continue – anything goes. Maybe, you will even design your own projects whether they are traditional or abstract- like I said, anything goes.
What is your idea of vacation?
Some themes will be , as the staycation kits go, sailing, camping and the beach for starters. The kits will be 8 x 8 pieces and you can feel free to finish them however you like. The wool will be cut and ready to use. If I were away on vacation- these are some of the things I might be doing. My trip to Scotland was cancelled, so perhaps there will be a Highland Wee Coo next. My daughter, who lives in Scotland, is always sending me photos of them.
Most of the wool in the kits will be my own hand dyes. I can provide a photo, the wool and in the near future a hoop or frame for you to get started. The wool has been dyed, the hooking nearly complete- now just to get the photos made into cards and perhaps the choice and promise of a frame or hoop for you.
Let’s get started hooking!
These kits will be affordable too! My hope is to get you hooking! Easy peasy right?
Please follow some others to get advice too- we all have knowledge that comes from a place deep within- that is personal and learned from all of the mistakes and successes we have made in past projects. Reach out to people- everyone is more than willing to help with questions. Maybe try Laura Salamy or Wanda Kerr or Karen Miller. See, so many talented folks out there in the rug hooking world. Each have their own style, each their own tips and tricks.
In this time of pandemic, and yes, it IS still a threat, we need to continue to stay safe. This will , hopefully, give you that key to open the door of rug hooking in your own space. Maybe your space is in an apartment- maybe you are lucky enough to be by the water , maybe in your home on a porch. Wherever you find yourself- make some time in your day to sneak in a little slow stitching to take your cares away. You will loose yourself, I promise. Five minutes? Fifteen minutes? and hour? The kits are designed to be completed in a short time since they are small.
Finding comfort close to home
In the comfort of your own home you will be the only one to critique your work- and if you need a little advice- well, the rug hooking community of crafters will help.You can always feel free to reach out to me too – I may just have the answer or be able to direct you to someone who does.
Beginner hooks and simple frames have arrived
Meanwhile- I am working away trying to get these things ready for you while looking to future projects that you might enjoy. This staycation thing? I think it may be around for awhile so let’s run with it, enjoy the little things and keep well. The beginner hooks and lap hoop rug stands arrived so everything is coming together. The hooks will be included- the frames sold separately, but will be an add onto the kits if you want.These frames do NOT have gripper strips, so the kids can use them too and not get scratched!
I, for one, can’t wait to see what you will try to do. Let your kids try as well. We would all love to see this carried forward to the next generation and beyond. Here are two quotes to leave you with:
You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great Zig Ziglar
“How many times have you noticed that it’s the little quiet moments in the midst of life that seem to give the rest extra-special meaning?”
This is what these kits are all about- finding the little quiet moments in life and giving into it, make it meaningful and fun.