Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Thank you, Steamer!

I would like to stop and thank whomever in rug hooking's rich and long history stopped to steam their rug for the first time.  I must admit, I thought to myself, "Self, how big a difference can it really make?"  The answer is...


I'm not sure that you'll really be able to see much of a difference in pictures, but I'll try.

Here is Bucky Bee before steaming:

Here is Bucky Bee after steaming:

Here is a close-up of the blue loops before steaming:

Here is a close up of loops after steaming:

And here is a picture of the Queen of England giving my first rug her royal blessing:

The Queen Bee, as I like to call her, has a solar panel in her purse so she is always waving at me.  This photo is also of the loops pre-steam.  Here is a picture of the same area after steaming:

It's still my "First Rug", so I know it is all full of moles and freckles, but I'm pretty excited about it.  I have to say that one thing I noticed about steaming is that it smelled!  Maybe my white towels need a little more detergent, but otherwise, wet steaming wool does NOT smell like brownies or flowers or sunshine.  Even my dog George, a 110-pound Standard Poodle, got up and left the room.   Strike one for the lesson book!

My next step is binding and whipping.  (I love rug hooking, the terms are all so very risque and perhaps a little bawdy. I'm sure the Queen would approve.)  I have been so very, very lucky with all of the terrific rug hookers I've met who have given me advice on my hooking, and now I have found the ultimate treasure, which so many of you before me have discovered - Gene Shepherd's Internet Rug Hooking Camp!

For the totally worth it price of $36 for a year, I signed up for the camp, and guess what?  In addition to galleries full of photos and a very informative blog and lots of other goodies, he has instructional videos!  Who-hooo!  While I do own a copy of The Rug Hooking Bible by Jane Olson and Gene, and I love it, I do better watching something than reading.  This video collection is the best thing ever!

I'm going out tonight to buy myself a Chibi needle and some binding tape, and let the whip-stitching begin!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Bucky is done!

I have an announcement in Rookie Hooker Land...

I've finished my first rug!

Okay, not REALLY.  But I'm done hooking him.  I'm going to steam it tonight, and then I'll get started on the binding and such.  Here he is:

I did end up taking out the loops on the R in the circle, because it looked more like Bucky threw up than an actual letter.  The original letter was in a #7 cut, but I replaced it with a #4, and it worked much, much better.  I learned a lesson about wool - the Dorr Mill Store wool I used was fantastic, as was the wool I bought from Cabin Fever, dyed by Ginny Glover, but the black wool I used was from Hancock Fabrics, and no offense Hancock, I love you for other things, but that black wool would shred if the cut got to be too small.  Dorr Mill is one of our Bee Line Townsend distributors, and I've never gone wrong with any of their wool, and the blue wool I bought from Ginny was so beautiful and easy to work with.

Tonight, I steam.  I'm hoping it will cover up a lot of my mistakes, like all of my new hooker friends tell me it will.  That steamer has a lot of work to do!