Monday, December 27, 2010

My favorite holiday decoration

I am a nut about holiday decorating magazines.  I buy them all, scouring for new ideas and clever innovations.  But, I must confess (somewhat immodestly) that my "snowflake" mantle is the best thing I've seen.  Photographing it is tricky, but I've tried.  These photos do not do it justice.

Let's begin with the stockings.  I knit stockings for my family years ago but the colors just didn't translate to this house once we moved in.  The knit stockings are bright cherry red, kelly green, etc.  They looked really horrid with the Early American color scheme here.  So, they are relegated to the trunk to be given to the boys once they leave home and have mantles of their own.  I knew I wanted a blue and ivory scheme for this house.  The boys' stockings and the dog's were made by me.  Ivory wool and hand-dyed blue wool (for my blue-eyed blonde, Andrew) plus the very coolest lining printed with little boy angels.  Honestly, when I found that fabric, I was elated.  Very funky Mexican print.  Love it.

Rowland's stocking has a toy soldier, Andrew's has a snowman, and Nate's has a red-nosed reindeer.  Lance (the dog) has a Christmas tree with dog bone ornaments.

Tom's stocking and mine were both won from our town's stocking contest.  Both are made by my good friend, Brigitte.  She does the most amazing Father Christmas figures and Tom's stocking has one of these.  Fur-trimmed, even.  My stocking is a collage of vintage lace.  When you put them all together, it is exactly the look I want.  Coordinated but not matching.

Now to the mantle.  I grow a lot (A LOT) of alliums in my yard.  They are deer-resistant, come up every year, and have a great, architectural shape for the garden.  But, most people cut them down once they've bloomed.  I took the dried seed heads and spray-painted them gold.  Now they are snowflakes!  Back-lit, they are amazing to look at.

Along with the alliums are some wire snowflakes picked up at Target or wherever.  In the photo above, the wire snowflake is to the left of the allium seed head.  Amazing how something natural and something man-made can work together.

All around the snowflakes and seed heads are crystal candlesticks of varying heights.  These came from thrift stores and Ebay.  I'm going to be looking for a few taller ones in the next year.  I think the mantle needs a bit more height.  On top of the candlesticks are inverted Christmas ornaments in shades of gold, silver, and amber.  The more glitter and shine, the better.  My favorite is a perfectly plain amber glass ball. 

To the sides are several birch bark trees.  Clearance sale from Wisteria catalog which has GREAT stuff.  I think these were 75% off when I bought them and they are just the thing.  They'd be equally at home in a rustic, natural setting or any other decor.  Bulky to store, though.
The final element is the cherub.  He doesn't show up so well but he makes the whole composition.  He's carved of wood.  My mom gave him to me when she was clearing out some decorations.  One of his toes has broken off, sadly.  I make a small swag out of evergreen branches to cover the nail and the wire holding him up.  At the center of the swag is a wire snowflake grabbed from a clearance table at a local design store.

The entire thing is placed on a single rope light and some glitter mesh fabric.  I love sitting in my knitting seat because the whole mantle is there for me to see as I work.  I almost hate to put it all away when the season is over.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Another stair riser finished!

If you've been with me for awhile, you'll remember my stair risers.  I'm doing each riser in a slightly different technique.  Here's the original post:   So far, I have wool applique, lace knitting, crochet, rug hooking, penny rug, and embroidery.  This is my latest finished riser.  It's an homage to my hometown of Redlands, California.  Redlands has a lot of history including being the former orange capitol of the country.  Beautiful Victorian homes line the streets and mix with Spanish and Craftsman architecture.  It was a great place to grow up.  We had an orange grove in our backyard and, in season, my brothers and sister and I would eat at least 4 navel oranges straight from the tree.

Obviously I wanted an orange tree as the focal point.  I've used this applique technique on a couple of projects lately.  You can create a surprisingly delicate tree even with bulky wool.  The key is to take it slow.

Once you have your base fabric and your motif fabric, you very carefully base them together.
This allows you to sew without the stuff shifting all over.  You work from the back (in this case, the blue fabric) but the accent fabric is really what you're interested in.  My tree will be brown.

Once you've got it basted, draw your motif on the back and then slowly sew each line.  It's very important to use a locking stitch at the end of each line.  After sewing, it looks like this:

This is from the blue side, obviously.  Each line is stitched and locked in place.

Next you get your small, sharp scissors and very carefully, under good light, cut away the excess wool.  This takes forever, especially with a large tree like this.  Do not overdo the wine during this process.  One wrong snip and you have a mess.

For the oranges, I ordered some felt balls from Etsy.  I could have made them myself, but they are really inexpensive to buy and, frankly, I have better things to do.  The leaves are made from some boiled wool.  Actually they came from the sash tie of a boiled wool duster I got at a sale.  I knew I'd never actually tie the coat but couldn't bear to throw away the long strip of beautiful loden green wool.  That was about 5 years ago and I finally used the strip.  Never throw wool away.

I added a little embroidery to the sides just to fill in the space but the tree is really the star.  I only have three more risers to go.  I think I've been working on these for about 5 years.  I wait for inspiration to strike.  Who knows when they'll be done!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Merry Christmas!

It all starts with someone giving me an idea.  Last year, my floral designer friend was working with a grapevine angel and wanted something colorful for the angel to hold in her hands.  So, I started thinking about it and this is what I came up with.  Naturally, I forgot to take pictures along the way, but I can give you the basic order of events.

As always, I start with recycled wool.  This smaller poinsettia was made from a single skirt in classic, bright red.  I sketched out 2 sizes of petals and used my rotary cutter to cut out some pairs.  this one only had 4 small and 4 big.  I've since moved to 5 and 5.  Odd numbers always look better.

The petals were sewn together and trimmed close.  Then, I ran a tight but wide zigzag down the center line of each petal.  This line becomes the channel for the wire.  I used regular floral wire that comes in long packages.  You need something pretty stiff.  This is 20 guage.  I left the wires long for the time being.
Once I had all the petals made, I made the center.  I used a piece of wool and stuffed it with some offcuts from wool or cashmere or whatever I had.  I really don't like fiberfill.  Ever.  Once it was stuffed, I took thinner floral wire and wrapped just below the stuffing.  Then I sewed some glass beads on for a bit of sparkle.

So now I have a bunch of petals and a center.  This is the trickiest part.  I take a long piece of thinner floral wire, arrange the petals around the center, and wrap around the base of all of it.  Tight.  Extra wire is used to wrap all the long ends of 20-guage wire to make a stem.  At this point the flower is closed up tight and the petals stick straight up. 

Now you want to cover the stem and the ugly wires.  I take a long strip (about 1/2 inch wide) of the same green used for the center.  I wrap it at the top first to cover the wire.  This is the only glue I used.  A dab of glue and pin hold the strip in place until you can stitch it down.  Catch a bit of a few petals as you stitch so the green strip stays in place and doesn't go sliding down the stem.  Once it's secure at the top, you just wind the strip down the stem, stitching every wrap so it is secure.  Make sure you cover the bottom of the stem as well.  You don't want to see any metal at all.

After the whole thing is stitched and secure, you can gently bend the wires outward to form the flower.  This is the time to arrange the petals as well.  I love how the wool has the velvety texture of real poinsettias. 

This bunch of poinsettias is going to my friend, Lisa, for her Christmas present.  Happily, our girlfriend Christmas get-together is not scheduled until the 21st so I got to enjoy these in  my own house for the whole season practically!  I'm hoping Lisa doesn't follow my blog.  Otherwise, the surprise is ruined.  She admired my original poinsettia last year and said that, if I ever made more, she wanted to buy some.  I never got around to it, but when I drew her name for the gift exchange, I knew what I would do.

These are a little different because I didn't have enough wool from any one skirt to make all the flowers.  I wanted a bigger flower and they actually used up quite a bit of wool.  So I cut out the petals needed and then over-dyed the entire batch with some crimson dye.  I highly recommend the Jacquard acid dyes that come in a little packet that dissolves in water.  They're meant for use in the washing machine, but I did it stovetop in my big dye stock pot.  The crimson was just the beautiful, dark red that I wanted.  I dyed the batch and then ran it all through the washer on gentle to remove the excess dye.  Make sure you run some similar colors in the load immediately following.  I stupidly ran a load of whites and ended up with pinks.  Rookie mistake.  But, the dye holds beautifully and the only acid involved is a bit of white vinegar.

Now the only question is how to wrap them!  Once you bend the wires out to form the flower, it's a pretty big package.  Merry Christmas, Lisa!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Feeling cozy!

Variety is the spice of life.  Here's a selection of the gadget cozies I've been making lately.  I love mixing and matching the different sweater patterns.  This cozies don't use a ton of wool so I'm able to make lots without very much waste.

All the normal smartphones fit in these.  I use mine for an iPhone but they'll fit a Blackberry or Droid or whatever.  The would also hold a digital camera.

The hot pink/turquoise number shown below is a special favorite.  I've been waiting for the right project for that crazy button.  It's been in my button box for years.  Seriously.  I think I found its home.

All the cozies are only $12 on my etsy shop: .  Now through December 1st, I'm offering Free US Shipping and only $3 to ship worldwide.  Can't beat it.

Perfect teacher gift, hostess gift, teen stocking stuffer, etc.  Get that shopping done!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

More Peace!

I guess I'm not the only one feeling the love of the Peace sign.  Here's an amazing Etsy Treasury.  So flattered to be included:

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


 I am apparently in peace mode.  I'm doing some peace work.  My latest projects have given me great peace of mind.

Okay, sorry.  I'm done now.

I've been playing around some more with the applique technique where I put large pieces of fabric together, sketch a design on the back of the stack, and stitch on the machine.  Then I cut away revealing the design.  I've done a couple of trees, one of which will be my next stair riser.  The peace sign is the latest.  The one with the black and white check and the orange is a project for my sewing group.  We pass around fabric and give each other parameters for each year's project.  My friend Angela is making a denim quilt for her son.  This square will be in the quilt. 

The other two are, obviously, scarves for my shop.  I really (REALLY) love the pastel one above with the kelly green peace sign.  The cashmere behind the green is the perfect turquoise which also appears elsewhere in the scarf.  Naturally, 100% cashmere makes it extra special.

Peace to you.

Friday, October 1, 2010

A real stunner

I'm working on scarves right now.  I probably had about 20 cashmere sweaters in all different colors.  These were a huge seller for me last year and I like making them.  It's similar to my patchwork purses of years ago but the cashmere makes them very luscious and very decadent.

This one is so pretty I thought I'd post some shots.  Usually one sweater becomes the inspiration for the scarf.  In this case, of course, it was the argyle.  A major find at the thrift store.  The argyle was only on the front of the sweater.  The back and sleeves were the beautiful turquoise color.  Then I had some pale green cabled cashmere and some butter yellow.  Funny how butter yellow looks good in almost any combination.  The final sweater in the combo was an amazing pale blue given to me by my good friend, Katie.  The sweater was vintage and the color was the precise color of robins' eggs.  Pale blue with tiny flecks of yellow and green.  Perfectly subtle and, well, perfect.
I always use the ribbing of the sweater for my fringe.  The vintage sweater had about 6 inches of ribbing but I only cut about half of it into fringe.  The edges are pinked and the double layer of cashmere makes for an amazingly luxurious scarf.

By the end of next week I'm hoping to have all the different scarf combinations listed on my Etsy shop.   I listed this one yesterday afternoon and have already had 2 convos about it.  Sometimes you just know something is going to get a lot of attention, yes?

One of my repeat customers told me "It's almost RagingWool season."  I loved that and couldn't agree more.

We're off to New Hampshire for a reunion this weekend.  More sewing starting Monday morning.  Have a great weekend yourself.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

New logo!!

How adorable is this?!  Salli Swindell, local girl and great artist, has finished most of my new logo.  I think she's fab.  Salli does terrific work freelance and blogs about stuff on .  She's better than I am -- posts almost every day.  Check it out.

Salli and I worked this summer to have everything ready for the fall rush.  Just in time.  The business cards arrived last week and I'm plotting getting some labels woven.  New avatar on Etsy too: .

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

If you can't beat 'em...

Everything is woodland on Etsy.  I get so frustrated.  The front page, which features 16 lucky artists, constantly has owls or faux bois, or some kind of woodland creature.

Here's my contribution:
I'll let you know if it gets me on the front page!

I do like making these gloves, though.  You probably have a pair or two.  $1.00 a pair but so plain and boring, they make your head hurt.  Two Januaries ago I found a huge pile of them at Target for half off.  I bought 22 pair thinking, well, I'll do something with them.  They were all black and I embellished them with 3 different colorways of pennies.  I love penny rugs, always have.  On the gloves, they turn the mundane into the fun.  Totally my gig.  And a great project for waiting in the car or watching (listening to) TV.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Buy 'em quick before I keep them for myself!

I'm making lots of fingerless gloves right now.  A customer in North Carolina wants to buy 12 (twelve!!) pair for her shop.  I have a few pair at a great shop in Cuyahoga Falls -- Trot Home and the upstairs fab gallery A Woman's Whimsy --

So, I need to re-stock.  I have about 10 pair cut out and in various stages of sewing.  Here are two pair that I finished this weekend.  Cute, yes?  These are recycled wool sweaters on the outside and recycled 100% cashmere sweaters for the lining.  Yes, they are that soft.  And, $22.

Go to the Etsy shop to see them all:

Have a great day!  Fall is in the air.  Finally.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Chicken rug is done!

Wow.  This sure took awhile, didn't it!  If you remember, dear reader, I started this rug back in April when I went to my first rug camp.  I walked in the door with wool and a pattern.  I walked out with barely 2 chickens done.  Once I got home, I felt like I had to finish the fruit rug before finishing this one.  Then, life happened and I didn't have a lot of time to work on anything at all.  I finally bit the bullet and took the rug with me on vacation to Kelleys Island.  The border was so tedious.  The rug is 40+ inches by about 28 inches so there's lots and lots (and lots) of border to do.  But, after a few days at the lake, I had the border pretty much done.  That left me the final (darkest) chicken. 

I love the rug and I'm actually considering putting it on the floor (gasp!).  Most of my rugs are on walls because they are too precious to walk on.  But, I think I'm ready.  I just need to find a spot where my children never tread...

Monday, July 12, 2010

The gift that keeps on giving -- my old sweater yields some cute coin purses!

I just can't keep my hands off that old sweater of mine!  The scraps left after making 3 messenger bags were only big enough for these cute coin purses.  Just big enough to hold credit cards, gift cards, or some change, these would be the perfect little extra for your purse.

I lined these in the same pretty floral as the messenger bags.  Making them was straight-forward except for having to turn the purse right side out after sewing.  Closing that open edge by hand was tricky but top stitching covered up any unevenness in the seam.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

It's done!!

The fruit rug is, at last, complete.  I took it up to our lake house this weekend and got the binding sewn on.  Right now, I have the rug hanging on a dowel over our fireplace screen.  The plan is to hang it over the fireplace once our addition is complete in October.  In the meantime, I'm just enjoying looking at it.

Many lessons learned on this one. 
  1. Greens can be tricky.  This rug had about 5 different types of leaves and distinguishing between them was daunting.  I'm still not 100% happy with the pineapple leaves (a little too dark) but I'm moving on.
  2. Borders can be fun!  This border gave me an opportunity to use every last scrap of lots of random yellows.  I still have lots of the gold, but that's a color I use all the time.
  3. Remember your color wheel!  The urn took 3 tries.  But, with all the red and yellow in the rug, blue became the obvious choice.
I'm still plugging away at the chicken rug.  One chicken to go and lots of border, unfortunately.  I've put it aside for awhile because I don't have a lot of time in the evening to work.  After baseball season is over, I'll pick it back up.  In the meantime, I need to get some knitting going!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

More cotton sweaters reincarnated!

Another cotton sweater finds new life!  I am truly getting such a kick out of making these bags!  You remember in the spring I made purses for my son's teachers out of (in order) an old poncho, an old sweater, and a pile of old t-shirts.  Those Goodwill people are never going to see me again!

This time, I repurposed an old friend.  I have always loved this sweater.  The colors were all so rich and worked so well together despite the range of hues.  You have everything from bittersweet orange to plum to bright red to olive green.  Even my husband said, "Why are you cutting that up?  That's a nice sweater!"  Ahh, nice...but dated and tired. 

I ended up with three messenger bags and a couple of change purses.  My method was similar to the quilt motif sweater:  use an overlock stitch to secure the threads, and then cut away.  Below are pictures of one of the bags I made.  I listed it on my Etsy shop this afternoon:

More photos will follow of the other bags.  And...I've figured out what my next project will be:  Kindle Cozies!!  I can't wait.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Yes, yes I can make a purse from this!!

I'm really jazzed with the way this turned out.  The sweater is a cotton-blend with the quilt motif done in intarsia.  I knit the sweater many years ago and wore it quite a bit.  But, I don't wear it any more.  So, how did I do it?  Well, I probably should have taken more pictures, but here's the basic order of events:
  1. Carefully take off the sleeves by undoing the seams.  This required excellent light and small sharp scissors.  Cutting any threads of the actual garment would result in an unraveled mess.
  2. Undo the side seams so you have flat fabric.
  3. I used one sleeve as the back of this bag.  That way I have another sleeve and the back of the sweater to make a second bag.  The sleeve limited the width of the bag but not too much.  The bag is plenty big.
  4. I used the ribbing at the bottom of the sleeve for one top edge so no serging was necessary.  But, for the front of the sweater, I'm cutting into actual knit fabric and need to secure the threads.  I carefully marked the horizontal line where the top edge would be and ran an overlock stitch several times along that line.  That way I can cut and it won't unravel.
  5. I pinned the sleeve to the front, right sides facing.  Then I sewed a basic trapezoid using an overlock stitch to catch all the threads.  Then I ran a second line of stitching just inside the first for extra insurance.
  6. Box the corners and overlock several times through.  Cut out the excess to avoid bulk.
  7. Only then did I wash the piece.  I ran it through my delicate cycle just to freshen up the yarn.
  8. Line the bag and add the handles.  Here's a shot of the lining:

Just for grins, here is a bag I made from half of a dated poncho, also hand-knit by me.  Both these bags will find happy homes with my son's teachers.  And, I still have half a sweater and half a poncho for additional bags.  I don't have a lot of cotton sweaters in my sweater cabinet.  But, there are a few in there that will be seeing new life in the coming years.  Buy less and make do!!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Happy Birthday, sis.

I was looking through some scanned slides from my childhood and found this great one of me, my sister, and my mom.  I'm on the left.  I printed a few to include in my sister's birthday card going out tomorrow.  I have many friends in my town that live close to their sisters and I am jealous.  Melanie lives in Boston and I would really love to see her more.  But, we talk on the phone and exchange snide e-mails about our brothers.  Happy Birthday, Melanie!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Quick peek at my chicken rug!

Here's the beginnings of my chicken rug.  Amazingly, this is all I got done in 4 days of camp.  I'm using a #8 cut.  The chickens are not difficult, but do require some planning to get the "feathers" to look right.  My teacher was Dianne Kelly.  She had a version of the rug there and I used her hooking as a guide to draw some lines on my pattern to help me.  So far, I love it.  But, I'm going to finish my fruit rug before I work on this.

Here's "Andrea," named after my blond son Andrew.  It's his chicken.  She's the lightest in the bunch just as Andrew is the only blond in several generations of my family, except for my cousin Celia.  The photos of the actual chickens were taken last fall so their combs are not as well developed as they are now. 

I think this one is "Natalie," my youngest son's (Nate) chicken.  Natalie has a beautiful russet head and her feathers range from auburn to charcoal and back again.  I love the pattern mix on this one.  Three different wools:  two plaids and a houndstooth.  The houndstooth was a royal pain.  I could tell by the feel of the fabric that it wasn't 100% wool.  It frayed and split and was a general nightmare.  However, it was the perfect combination of shades so on I went.  Dianne recommended a wider cut so I used an 8 1/2 and that helped.  I prefer the #8 though and probably won't do much with wider cuts.  Not enough definition and detail for me.

The final chicken in the rug is going to be beautiful.  It's our darkest girl and the wools I'm using are really great.  But, I haven't even begun that one!  The border will be large triangles in blue and red.  And the eggs are being done in an exact shade matching the actual eggs.  Pale, pale sage green hand-dyed.  Beautiful.

That's your first peek -- and your last until the fruit is done!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Almost done -- Fruit rug getting ripe!

Sorry for the pun.  My rug is getting very close to completion.  I figure I worked solid almost every night for about 4 weeks trying to finish up.  I didn't get it done before Rug Camp, but I'm almost there. 

I think the tulips came out great.  The little doo-dads at the top are not terribly realistic for an actual flower, but I don't care.  They look fun and I'm leaving them.  Besides, who ever saw such a crazy color combination on a tulip in nature before!  The tulips have a combination of plaid, pumpkin, and mustard on the outer leaves and dark red and green on the center thing (stamen?).  Plaid tulips.  Now there's a hybrid I'd like.
I am going to change the center rib for the lettuce leaf just to the left of the pineapple.  The rib is too thick.  So, I'll go down to a single line of hooking and then work the right leaf to match.  That will make the 4th time I've tried something on the lettuce leaf.  Ugh.  Happily rug hooking is forgiving and is not afraid to change.  I could learn something from that, couldn't I.
Next post will be about my chicken rug that I worked on at Rug Camp.  I was dismayed at the small percentage of the rug that is done after 4 whole days of nothing but hooking, but I will perservere.  I'm going to finish the fruit first, though.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Can I make a purse out of this?

Here's a sweater I knit that I haven't worn in about 5 years.  The yarn is a cotton base.  Lots of colors in it.  The design is, you guessed it, taken from my book of patchwork patterns.

But, I don't wear it and have no intention of pulling it out and starting over.

So...can I make a purse out of it? 

Check back to see...

Aren't you curious?

Thursday, April 8, 2010

The Quilt Rugs

I love American Craft.  Folk art, tramp art, fiber art, whatever.  I think American quilts are the most amazing things.  The art quilt movement is quite strong and those quilts are truly inspiring.  But, I still prefer an old-fashioned American quilt.

My grandma learned to quilt in her 80's (she lived to 103) and she loved the fabric piecing.  I haven't tried piecing, but sewing is really not my thing.  It's a means to an end for me.  Sewing allows me to line purses and make pillows and create scarves.  Quilting is too much sewing, I think.  But I want the look of quilting.  So, back when I first started rug hooking (2005-6) I thought it would be cool to take a single quilt block pattern, blow it up, and make a rug out of it.  These four rugs are my first attempts at this.  The designs came from a wonderful book called 849 Traditional Patchwork Patterns by Susan Winter Mills.  Wow.  849 different patterns.  I think I might be making these rugs for a long, long time.

This rug was the first one I did.  The darkest color is a great plaid that came from a thrift shop skirt.  I learned quite a bit on this rug.  First, curves are hard for a beginner.  The pinwheel in the center and the corners were really difficult.  Especially since my frame at that time was a stationary frame that didn't rotate easily.  The other thing I learned was that running out of wool can actualy improve your rug.  I ran out of my initial yellow.  So, I took the closest thing I could find to finish up.  To blend the two, I pulled out single strands in the finished triangles and worked in the new yellow.  The result was more movement and more interesting color.  Lesson learned.  Now I never do an entire large area with a single, solid color.  I always blend at least two similar shades.

This rug was my second one.  Again, the inspiration wool was a plaid with mustard, red, and blue in it.  I also had this wonderful charcoal grey and the best red ever.  I think this rug is my favorite of the four that I've done.  Lots of red, touches of blue, etc.  The oatmeal wool was a batch I'd bought on Ebay.  I learned never to buy pre-cut wool unless I can see it.  The ivory was a pretty loose weave and wasn't cut on the straight of the grain with any consistency.  So, lots of fraying and splitting.  I ended up tea-staining the wool to get a little less brightness.  It worked out fine, but lots of waste.

This Tumbling Blocks quilt was the 3rd one.  Tumbling Blocks is one of my favorite quilt blocks.  I love the optical illusion.  Many years ago I attended a Kaffe Fassett knitting workshop (yes, it was fabulous!) and we spent the week working the tumbling blocks pattern in about 50 shades of tapestry wool yarn.  I felted my swatch and turned it into a pillow.  Another picture for another day.  Anyway, I love Tumbling Blocks.  I decided to have a blue/yellow theme mainly because I had lots of those colors in my stash.  You may remember my stair riser in the same colorway.  Both used the same series of wools.  This was a fun rug to work on.  I didn't plan out the whole rug ahead of time but just had set combinations of colors and then put them in appropriate places as I went along.  There were some combinations I had very limited stock so those were placed and worked first to make sure I could maximize their impact.  This was a good rug for using up small bits.  It didn't take a lot of wool to work a single little diamond.

And, here's the final one in the series to date.  I worked this rug when I had my ankle surgery.  I had all the wool cut and organized and set up next to this one chair.  I would crutch-walk over, plop myself down, and hook.  I could even work this rug with my ankle elevated on the couch!  Within a few weeks, I had this one done.  A great project to take my  mind off my confinement.  The blue in this rug is a favorite.  I'm planning to use this blue in our new addition.  The combination with the orange is terrific, I think.  And, naturally, I had a plaid that matched.

On all these rugs, I took the pattern and Kinko's blew it up for me.  They can do any size you want.  I aimed for about 17X17 square.  But, some are slightly larger or smaller.  I don't think it really matters.  Once I had the blown-up print, I would tape it to one of my windowed doors and then tape the linen over the top.  Then, it was simply a matter of tracing the lines with the Sharpie.  It's important to follow the lines of the linen so your borders are nice and straight.  But, with patience, it works out.

Rug hooking camp is next week!  I'm almost done with the fruit basket rug.  Only background and border left to go.  That rug is HEAVY!!!  My frame is protesting every time I put the rug on.  I'm amazed at how much I've accomplished in the last few weeks.