October News

Big doins’ at Little House Rugs!

First, I have a FREE Beginning Rug Hooking Class on October 29 at the Rockwood Library in Portland, OR. As expected, this class filled up almost as soon as they opened registration, but don’t despair; the last class I taught at the library had six no-shows, so it’s a really good idea to get on the waiting list and to put the event on your calendar, so if you aren’t one of the ones who dove in as soon as it was posted, you may still get to join in this free class! Here’s the link to register: https://multcolib.org/events/beginning-rug-hooking/77600#block-simple-registration-client-register

I have two other beginner’s classes at the Columbia Gorge Fiber Festival in The Dalles, OR, October 27 and 28. The one on the 27th is a class where students will learn to hook with both yarn and wool fabric strips.

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Scottie, 10″x10″ Designed and hooked by Judy Taylor This is the kit for my 2017 Beginning Rug Hooking classes, including both yarn and fabric strips so students get to practice both techniques.

To register for that class, click here:  http://columbiagorgefiberfestival.com/product/friday-beginning-rug-hooking/

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T-Shirt Turtle, 15.5″x16.75″ Designed and hooked by Judy Taylor

And for a crazy new twist in rug hooking, you can try this one; hooking with t-shirt strips! You hook with t-shirts exactly the same way you hook with yarn, so it’s another fun tool to add to your rug hooking! This class will be held on October 28. You can register here: http://columbiagorgefiberfestival.com/product/t-shirt-rugs/

And if you can’t make it to any of those events, why not join me in my booth at Fiber Fusion at the Evergreen State Fairgrounds in Monroe, WA (http://www.fiberfusion.net/)?

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Lucy, 31″x22.5″ Designed and hooked by Judy Taylor

Check out this month’s Featured Rug of the Month here.

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Whale Rug 35″x26.5″ Designed and hooked with handspun Jacob wool by Judy Taylor

And don’t forget that for every $50 you spend with Little House Rugs (including class fees!) you will be entered to win the Whale Rug (a $450 value!) The drawing will take place on November 25, 2017.

Happy Hooking everyone!

Judy Taylor

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Build a BETTER Rug Hooking Frame!

New De-lovely Rug Hooking Frame

For the instructions to make this brand-new, spiffy, neck-saving, De-lovely Rug Hooking Frame, follow below, but first, a couple of needful things:

You can view this month’s Featured Rug of the Month here!

jamie bridgham chairpad

I will be teaching two classes in September, one in New York City and one in Canby, OR. (I’ll also have a booth in Canby, so come on by if you’re in the area!) You can read about them here. Let me know if you have any questions or need help signing up.

And PSST—did you know subscribers to this blog get 20% off everything on the website until September 8, 2017? Not yet a subscriber? Just click on the “Follow” button at the lower right-hand corner (but you have to be quick, it goes away a few seconds after you open the post! If you miss it, just close the post and re-open it.)

The blog goes out once a month, and if you’re a subscriber, it will come directly to your email. It is always chock full of tips and techniques, web specials, upcoming shows and classes, and lots of other interesting tidbits.

I’m going to be closing out my DELUXE Rug Hooking Frame in favor of the DE-LOVELY. I have 4 Deluxe Frames in stock—blog subscribers can save big while they last. If you’d like to get your hands on one, just email me at judytaylor@littlehouserugs.com.

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Deluxe Rug Hooking Frame Close-out priced!

The only difference between the Deluxe and the De-Lovely is that with the De-lovely, you can add an extra set of clamps on the top and bottom (for those who like that “tight as a drum” feeling). Both frame designs save your neck, because you don’t have to look down at your lap while you work. They both come with a set of long legs for sitting on a folding chair, or short legs for sitting on a couch or other comfy chair. Blog subscribers can save 20% (until 9-8-2017) on a ready-made De-Lovely, or follow the steps below to make one yourself. (Please note that the patent is pending on this design, so you have permission to make one for personal use, just not to sell.)

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De-lovely Frame, lap view. All four sides on the front are rubberized, so you can put clamps all around

I’m not claiming it will be easy to make your own, except for the fact that I can make them. I have no particular skills, so if I can do it, anyone can. And you only have to make one! Still, I wouldn’t be surprised if after you peruse the instructions below, you don’t decide to buy one ready-made!

Anyway, here goes!

Supplies you will need to make your own De-lovely frame:supplies for web
(A) 3- 10’ long 3/4” PVC pipes, 200 PSI
(B) 4- 3/4” Dia 45 degree PVC Sch 40 Slip Elbows
(C) 4- 3/4” Dia 90 degree PVC Sch 40 Side Outlet Elbows
(D) 12- 3/4″ Dia PVC Sch 40 Tees
(E) 4- 3/4″ Dia PVC Sch 40 Caps
(F) 2 OXO Large Kitchen Clamps (or 4, if you want them on top and bottom as well)
(G) Goop Glue
(H) Rubber shelf liner, cut into 2- 3.5”x7” and 1- 3.5”x18.5” pieces

Cut your PVC pipes into the following lengths:

(I) 8- 1″
(J) 2-1.5″
(K) 2- 2.5″
(L) 6- 4″
(M) 2- 5.5″
(N) 6- 8″
(O) 4-20″
(P) 2- 22.5″
(Q) 2- 26.5″

step one for web
Step 1: Making the first side section. Using a toothpick, slather Goop glue into one end of (C) (the three-way corner bits) and insert one 4″ pipe. Put glue in another (C) and stick it on the other end.

step two for web

Step 2: Slather glue into the middle of a Tee (D) and insert one 4″ pipe. Slather glue into the middle of another Tee and stick it onto the 4″ pipe. Then line this section up so it is the same length as in step one. (Goop glue doesn’t dry instantly, so you have a little time to adjust all of your angles, then when you’ve completed all the steps, you will let the frame dry for 24 hours.)

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Step 3: (Now the view is sideways, adding to the two pieces you made in steps 1 and 2) Slather glue in the bottom of both (C) units, and insert a 8″ pipe in each.

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Step 4: Slather glue into the end of a Tee (D) and stick it on the 8″ pipe. Repeat for the other 8″ pipe. Line the middle holes of the Tees so they stick straight up.
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Step 5: Slather glue into the other end of the Tee in step 4, and insert a 1″ pipe. Repeat this for the other 8″ pipe side.

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Step 6: Slather glue into the end of the Tee to connect the bottom of the side section to the top. Repeat this for the other Tee on the bottom. Repeat steps 1-6 to create the other side section.

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Step 7: Lay the side sections together, and adjust the angles so the openings line up and everything seems square.

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Step 8: Insert your cross-bars (20″ pipe) into one of the side sections. NOTE: DO NOT GLUE THE CROSS-BARS. Just slip them into place. This way, the frame is collapsible and can fit into your rug hooking bag.

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Step 9: Slip the other side section on the other end of the cross-bars. Turn the frame section so the open Tees are on top.

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Step 10: Slather glue into one of the open Tee’s and insert a 1″ pipe. Repeat this for the other three open Tees. (In the photo above, the Tee in front has the 1″ pipe, the one in the back doesn’t.)

step eleven for web

Step 11: Slather glue into one of the 45 degree elbows and put it onto one of the 1″ pipes, facing toward the back. Repeat this step for the other three 1″ pipes, facing all of the elbows toward the back. (In the photo above, two of the elbows in the foreground have been added, in the back of the picture, you see the 1″ pipes where the elbows will be added next.)

step twelve for web

Step 12: Lay the frame on it’s front and slip the two 5.5″ pipes in the front elbows and the two 1.5″ pipes in the back elbows. DO NOT GLUE THESE IN PLACE. These are your lap frame legs, you will be able to convert your frame from a lap frame to a floor frame (or a standing frame) by slipping in each set of legs.

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Step 13: Making the feet. Slather glue into one of the ends of a Tee, and insert a 2.5″ pipe. Repeat for the other Tee and connect to the 2.5″ pipe.

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Step 14: Hold the piece you made in step 13 up to the lap frame legs, and adjust the length so the Tee holes line up with the legs.

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Step 15: Slather glue into one of the Tee ends, and insert a 4″ pipe.

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Step 16: Slather glue into the other Tee end, and insert an 8″ pipe.

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Step 17: Slather glue into one of the end caps and insert the 4″ pipe. Repeat for the 8″ pipe. Repeat steps 13-17 to create the other foot section.

step eighteen for web

Step 18: Slip the feet onto the lap frame legs, with the shorter section (4″ pipe) toward the front. DO NOT GLUE.

step nineteen for web

Step 19: Adding the rubberized material. Lay the frame on the side. Slather glue on the inside of one of the 8″ pipes. Lay the material on the glue, and turn the frame to add more glue all around the pipe, and wrap the rubberized material around. This is a good time to check that the legs and feet are laying nicely flat on the table, so everything dries square. Repeat this step for the other front 8″ pipe on the front side of the frame.

step twenty for web

Step 20: Lay the frame on its top. Slather glue on the 20″ cross-bar in the front (the same side as the 8″ pipe with rubberized material). Lay the rubberized material on the pipe, then turn the frame so you can slather glue all around the pipe. Wrap the rubberized material around.

step twenty one for web

Step 21: Lay the frame on its front. Slather glue on the bottom 20″ cross-bar. Lay the rubberized material over the glue. Turn the frame so you can slather glue all around the pipe. Wrap the rubberized material around.

Step 22: Let the frame dry in this configuration. This is a good time to check once again that all of your angles are correct and the frame looks square.

delovely standing frame 1 for web

Step 23: This is totally optional, but a really good idea. Rug hooking is a sedentary activity, and sometimes it’s good to get up off that chair. If you want to do this, you can cut a set of longer legs. I am 5’5″, so for my height, I cut two 42.75″ pipes for the front and two 38.75″ pipes for the back. I especially appreciate this option when I am in my booth at a show, rug hooking for 8-10 hours a day.

To change the legs from lap frame to floor frame, (or the standing frame) you don’t need to remove the rug. Just lay the frame face down and pull out the current legs, slip in the new ones, and stick the feet on.

Phew! You did it! Do let me know if I can make the instructions clearer.

whale

Whale Rug 35″x26.5″ Designed and hooked with handspun Jacob wool by Judy Taylor

And don’t forget that for every $50 you spend with Little House Rugs between now and November 25, 2017, you will be entered to win the Whale Rug (a $450 value)! Happy Hooking Everyone!

Judy Taylor
www.littlehouserugs.com

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Little House Rugs just got an UPGRADE!

Wow. I feel like I just lost ten pounds. I just transformed a 200+ behemoth of a website into a svelte, sophisticated TEN PAGES! It’s so much better, guys and gals. Now you will be able to find products much more easily, in a slick, professional layout.

How did I manage to compress so much into so little, you ask?

I no longer have a separate page for each rug or kit. Now, when you go to the Rug Kits page, you will simply scroll down. Everything you need to order is right there on the page. The beauty of this setup is that you will be able to compare directly between projects (size, design, price) to find the perfect one for you. No more bopping back and forth on separate pages. Mind you, it’s a long page, full of kits and rugs, so scroll to your heart’s content.

The one teeny drawback is that I don’t get to show you multiple versions of the rug project that I’ve hooked, so you will have to rely on your own fertile imagination. I’ve peppered the website in other nooks and crannies with those multiples, just to get your creative juices flowing. The main thing to keep in mind with everything you see on the site, is that I make these kits and rugs one at a time, so I encourage you to give me your favorite colors, and I will create the kit or finished rug to your own preference. You won’t find this kind of flexibility at any other rug hooking site, so use it. USE ME (what can I say, I’m a hooker)!

www.littlehouserugs.com

Please visit the site and let me know if you have any suggestions to make it better or easier to use. I’m sure there’s a random bit of text just floating around in the wrong spot somewhere, or a link that doesn’t link, so I’d really appreciate a once over.

And as long as you’re there, dear blog subscriber, you will get 20% off everything and anything on the website between now and September 8, 2017. All you need to do, to make sure I know you’re one of the “special ones” is that you need to put “I’M SPECIAL” in the Comments box on the Checkout page. Then I will refund the 20% through Paypal lickety-split. Don’t have Paypal? Just email me your order.

Oh, you’re not yet a subscriber to our monthly blog? Just click the Follow button on this very page, enter your email, and you’ll get your monthly missive sent to your inbox, full of news, tips and techniques, web specials, upcoming shows and classes, the Featured Rug of the Month, and more.

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Let Freedom Ring Designed and hooked by Camelia Gould

This month’s Featured Rug is a first rug by Camelia Gould of Hamner, Ontario. Check it out here.

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Whale Rug 35″x26.5″ Designed and hooked with handspun Jacob wool by Judy Taylor

And don’t forget that for every $50 you spend with Little House Rugs between now and November 25, 2017, you will be entered to win the Whale Rug (a $450 value!) hand-hooked with handspun Jacob wool from my flock.

I’ve got a Beginning Rug Hooking Class coming up in New York City on September 13 that still has a few openings. Click here for more info.

I also will be teaching and having my booth at Oregon Flock & Fiber (September 22-24) in Canby, OR. If you’re in the area, stop by and say hi!

judy hooking 2

Happy hooking everyone!

Judy Taylor
www.littlehouserugs.com

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Summer Hiatus for Little House Rugs

judy hooking 2

The Little House Rugs website is going to get a much-needed overhaul during the month of August. From top to bottom, the site will be transformed into a fancier, more professional style, which will be great. The thing is, it’s a massive project, including over 200 pages and many more hundreds of photos. Am I ambitious in thinking I can do the switch in a month? We’ll find out!

I’ll start with the home page, where there will be a catalog of sorts. Understandably, it will be a much simpler offering, at least for a while. From there, I’ll build it out.

You’ll be able to read about the Featured Rug of the Month, called “Let Freedom Ring,” a new rug by Camelia Gould. When you visit the new homepage, you can always email me if you have a question about a specific project. As usual, I offer custom work, so if you see a photo on the catalog that thrills you to your toes, if it could just be in a different color, or size, etc., you know I do all that, too.

I hope you all enjoy the blessed sunshine!

Judy

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T-Shirt Hooked Rugs

What is a t-shirt hooked rug, you ask? It is the newest twist on the age-old craft of rug hooking. Using cut strips of 100% cotton t-shirts on a monk’s cloth backing, you can create delightful hooked rugs that are (are you sitting down?) MACHINE WASHABLE!

t shirt turtle for web

T-Shirt Turtle, 15.5″x16.75″ Designed and hooked by Judy Taylor

There is a neat story about how this style of rug hooking came about. When rug hooking teacher, writer and artist Mary Anne Wise and Jody Slocum, textile artist and volunteer with Farmer to Farmer (a non-profit coffee company) visited Guatemala in 2006, they were inspired by the multi-colored artwork, clothing and landscape of the country. But in contrast, there was also grinding poverty, and they wanted to do something about it.

A few years later, they returned to Guatemala, and began to teach women to hook rugs, using recycled clothing, which was plentiful and inexpensive. Later, those students taught other women to hook, and an artist cooperative was created. To learn more about this inspiring project, visit Multicolores.

To make my T-Shirt Turtle, I first tried cutting the t-shirts in 1/2″ strips, but I found those too hard to pull through the monk’s cloth. 3/8″ worked much better for me. I also discovered that it was much easier to cut the strips using a hand-held rotary cutter and mat (used in quilting), with a yardstick lined up on the edge as a guide. After you cut the strips, you tug on them, so they curl up.

The technique for hooking the t-shirt strips is exactly like hooking with yarn. You don’t have to worry about splitting the yarn on your hook, but I did notice that it was helpful to keep my hook on the strip as I pulled the loop down. I don’t recommend this when hooking with yarn, partly because it would slow me down, but also because it can be difficult, especially for a beginner, to prevent pulling out the last loop if you leave the hook in place as you pull the loop down. But with the t-shirt strips, I noticed that when I pulled down on the loop, sometimes both sides of the strip pulled down, leaving a loop on the back instead of pulling it tight. Leaving my hook in the loop a little longer prevented that.

I had learned from Multicolores that these rugs are washable, so I pre-washed my monk’s cloth before I started. I also pre-washed the cotton cording we use to bind the edges. Even though the T-Shirt Turtle is a small project, I bound the edges just like I would do with a floor rug, except that whip-stitched the edge with an acryllic yarn that would not shrink. Then I crossed my fingers and put the finished project in the washing machine. It came out perfect. It didn’t shrink, or unravel, the colors remained perfectly bright. Mind blown.

I will be teaching a class on this fun craft on October 28 at the Columbia Gorge Fiber Festival in The Dalles, Oregon. Registration for the class starts on July 12. You can register here. I will also be teaching a class on hooking with yarn and wool fabric strips on the 27th at CGFF.

And on Oct. 29, the Rockwood Library in Portland is hosting a FREE beginning rug hooking class. Space in this special event is limited to 16, and I believe they open up the registration two weeks prior to the class, so stay tuned. You can register at https://multcolib.org/events/beginning-rug-hooking/77600.

This month’s featured rug was inspired by a Scotland sunrise over heather covered hills.

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Celtic Table Runner, 13″x36″ Designed by Judy Taylor Hooked by Lyle Gowing

Remember that for every $50 you spend between now and November 25, 2017, you will be entered to win this Whale Rug, hooked with handspun Jacob wool from my own farm (a $450 value!).

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Whale Rug 35″x26.5″ Designed and hooked with handspun Jacob wool by Judy Taylor

Happy Hooking everyone!

Judy Taylor

 

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New Rug Hooking Frame

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Introducing the Playing Hookey Deluxe Rug Hooking Frame (lap version shown above)

This new frame came about after a conversation I had with a customer a couple of months back. She seemed interested in learning to hook, but she told me that she had broken her neck, and wouldn’t be able to look down in her lap the way we usually do. She asked if there were any upright frames that could be used for rug hooking.

What a fantastic idea, I thought! I don’t have a broken neck or anything, but I do get that common neck fatigue and stiffness after long hours of rug hooking. I knew she was onto something. (I wish I would have thought to take her name so I could thank her. Well, if you’re reading this today, kind person, you know who you are!)

It took a couple of months of trial and error, fiddling with the design to find that sweet spot where the rug is at a good angle, and is high enough that I don’t have to bend my neck, but not so high that my arms get tired. In every other way, the Deluxe frame does what the original Playing Hookey frame does; it converts from a lap frame to a floor frame, it collapses down so it’s easy to throw in a bag, and it works whether I am hooking with yarn or fabric strips.

floor frame deluxe for web
Just by slipping in the longer legs, the lap frame converts to a floor frame.

standing frame deluxe for web
And like the original Playing Hookey Frame, you can also cut yourself a set of longer legs, so you can stand while rug hooking. We all know that sitting too much isn’t good for our health, so it’s good to know that without even taking your rug off the frame, you can slip in the long legs and get up on your feet. The standing frame legs (shown above) don’t come with the Playing Hookey Deluxe Frame, mainly because the postage would be exorbitant, and pvc pipe is inexpensive and easy to cut to the desired lengths. Plus, the length of the pipes depends on the artist’s height, so they would be different for everyone. I am 5’6″, so for me, I needed two 38.5″ pipes for the back and two 42.5″ pipes for the front.

This is definitely my preferred frame, and will continue to be until someone comes along with a better idea! You can order the new frame at http://www.littlehouserugs.com/Frame-page.html.

The Featured Rug of the Month for June is this charming Winnie the Pooh rug.

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Winnie the Pooh rug, designer unknown

This rug was around thirty years old, and had sustained some minor damage, typical for hand-hooked rugs. In the feature, I show how I fixed it. You can read about it at http://www.littlehouserugs.com/featured-rug-winnie-june-2017.html.

Do you have a rug you would like to see featured on http://www.littlehouserugs.com? Let me know! Every rug has a story, and we love to hear all about them. If your rug is featured, you will receive your choice of a free half-yard of linen, or our recycled cotton rug hooking bag that says “FIBER is good for you!”

scottie-for-web

Scottie, 10″x10″ Designed and hooked by Judy Taylor This is the kit for my 2017 Beginning Rug Hooking classes, including both yarn and fabric strips so students get to practice both techniques.

I’ll be teaching Beginning Rug Hooking this month at the Black Sheep Gathering in Eugene, OR. The class is on Sunday, June 25, 9-noon. There are still a few slots, so click here to register: http://www.blacksheepgathering.org/sunday_workshops.html

I’ll also have a booth all weekend, so if you’re in the area, stop on by!

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Whale Rug 35″x26.5″ Designed and hooked with handspun Jacob wool by Judy Taylor

And don’t forget that for every $50 you spend with Little House Rugs between now and November 25, 2017, you will be entered to win the Whale Rug (a $450 value!)

Happy Hooking Everyone!

Judy Taylor

 

 

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The Lady and the Unicorn

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The Lady and the Unicorn, 46″x36″, adapted and hooked by Judy Taylor

The Lady and the Unicorn tapestries hang in the Musee national du Moyen Age, in Paris. These six beloved textiles, created around 1500, depict the five senses in the style of mille-fleurs (“thousand flowers”). My daughter and I had the great fortune to get to see them in person in 2008. The wall-sized tapestries are hung in a circular room, with low-light to preserve the vibrant colors. As it happened, we were alone in that chapel-like room, surrounded by those fantastic images created with wool and silk. Ever since that visit, I have wanted to try to hook one.

I chose to hook a small part of “Sight” because I liked that the unicorn was sitting in the lady’s lap. I also loved the depiction of the unicorn, which looks more like a goat than a horse (not too different from my own Angora goats!). I say “small part,” because the original tapestry is 9’x11,’ my rug measures 46″x36.” Even at this reduced size, it was an ambitious project which took about 6 months to hook (approximately 56,600 loops, if you want to know!).

Once I got the design on linen (see The Foolproof Way to Get Your Design on Linen https://wordpress.com/posts/judytaylor2013.wordpress.com), I needed to choose what kind of yarn would work best for the project. I settled on a wool/mohair blend because it came in natural colors (white and silver), and the mohair in the yarn gave it lots of luster, so the lady and the unicorn really stand out against the background.

lady and unicorn colors for web

The two samples on the left, the white and the silver, were the base colors. I used them to hook the unicorn. Then I overdyed them to hook the lady’s dress.

For the background, I used Halcyon Deco for the dark blue carpet, and hand-dyed Rustic Rainbow for the red. Since the red was slightly variegated, I hooked in horizontal rows, as a reminder that the original tapestry was woven. This project gave me plenty of opportunities to create fine detail. I wrote about some of them in Details, Details at https://wordpress.com/posts/judytaylor2013.wordpress.com. You can read more about how I made this rug at http://hstrial-jtaylor9.homestead.com/featured-rug-lady-unicorn-april-2017.html?_=1491183705022.

I added one more show for this season, it is the Plateau Farmers’ Fiber Festival in Buckley, WA on May 13 and 14. For more info, go to https://www.facebook.com/plateaufarmersfiberfestival/.

This month I’ll have a booth at the Puyallup Spring Fair in Puyallup, WA, April 20-23. You can find out more at http://www.shepherds-extravaganza.com/.

For a complete listing of shows and classes, go to http://www.littlehouserugs.com/shows-and-classes.html.

whale

Whale Rug 35″x26.5″ Designed and hooked with handspun Jacob wool by Judy Taylor

Don’t forget that for every $50 you spend with Little House Rugs between now and November 25, 2017, you will be entered to win the Whale Rug (a $450 value!).

Happy Hooking Everyone!

Judy Taylor

 

 

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