Saturday, February 8, 2014


Hook a Rug Week has come to an end and I have to thank Laura Kenney for coming up with the idea. It was much like being at an intensive rug camp.  I am hoping she does this again next year.  She allowed each person to choose the size piece they wanted to work on, which allowed for each person to challenge his or her self.  This is the piece I created:

"At the Coast"  30 X 30,  Lori LaBerge 2014

Here is how the work developed:

Saturday and Sunday-The design was planned. The figure was measured out and the background was roughly drawn on linen, the work was color planned and wool was dyed.

Monday-- The challenge started.  The figure was hooked with an orange and green spot dye.  A section of the background was hooked.  This was when it hit me that I only had a week to finish a 30 X 30.  I needed to figure out how much I had done this first day to know how much had to be completed each of the other days.  I usually use a 6-cut for this size, but am glad I decided on an 8-cut for this challenge.

Tuesday--I worked on the opposite side of the figure.  This gets tricky if you want things to line up as the hooked figure starts to distort the straight line of the backing material.  I did not want each of the striped background sections perfectly straight, but did not want them off balance either.  When drawing out the design, it helps to draw a line on the back of the design also.  As the hooking is flatter on the back, it is then easier to find the straight line across the figure.  

Wednesday-- With a 30 X30 piece I figured I had to complete at least 5" X 30" each day to be finished by Saturday afternoon.  This is a lot of hooking.  I took 10 minute breaks for each hour of hooking to stretch, go for a quick walk, or do arm exercises with a resistance band.  This helped out as I had no problems with backaches or my hooking hand bothering me.

 Thursday--If you look at Wednesday's photo then this one you can see a huge difference in the darker blue color.  The actual blue is somewhere in between.  I brought in a line of green below the black that was the same wool used in the circle.  This was the middle of the week and I felt pretty good about being able to finish at this point.  There is something about looking forward to seeing the end result that keeps me going during these kind of projects.

Friday--I worked on the bottom beach section with a soft beige textured wool.  The hooking went faster with this wool due to its thickness.  I brought the brighter blues down for balance. 

Saturday--I ran out of dark blue wool and had to do some dyeing.  A brighter blue was placed near the top.  The piece was completed at 3:00 p.m.  I still need to cut off some loose threads, steam and maybe tweak here and there.

Think about the things you can do when you challenge yourself, learn from each challenge, celebrate when finished and have a great day.


I purchased some closet storage units to use as a base and two 24" doors to use as a table top.  After searching the local antique and salvage shops I just could not find anything I liked.  This will give me a 6 1/2 foot by  4 foot  table top to work on and plenty of storage underneath.  The shoe cubby is perfect for holding skeins of yarn and smaller items while the cabinet will hold finishing materials.

This is the other side of the table.  I already had one maple storage unit and purchased the 6-cubby unit.  If you've been reading regularly, you will notice the fabric I had on the right hand shelving is gone.  The plumbers had a kerosene heater that smelled terrible and I did not want the fabric to pick up the smell, so I packed it up and brought it in the house.

Here's Pete painting the larger garage area.  Part of this area will be used for larger projects (I've really been wanting to do a large punched rug and build a light table) and further display space during open studio tours.

A utility sink was placed in the garage area.

The workshop area was painted.  It is a mirror image of the studio area.

 An attic door and the moulding around it were installed.  This needed to be done in order for the insulation to be blown in.

Here is where we ran into another problem.  We had not planned on installing the overhead doors as, quite frankly,  the doors we like are over budget right now.  The final inspection can not occur until they are installed, which means heat and water may not be activated.  I suggested plywood for now and the inspector said that would be fine.  So, hopefully, heat and water will be running this coming week.  Oh, wait, we are supposed to have a huge snowstorm this week.  Life goes on! 

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