Saturday, November 22, 2014

Is it a Cowl or is it a Skirt?

A couple of months ago I started knitting lessons. I had always wanted to know how to knit and when the class list at our new yarn shop, Grand Loops, came out I immediately signed up for the Beginning II Knitting Class. I had made several dishcloths when my hubby Alan was going through chemo so I had a basic idea of knitting but the dishcloth was the extent of my knowledge.

In my first class Linda Nolan started me out with a hat and cowl. I had so much fun that I went on to learn the next two steps which were lace and cable hats. Thanks to the internet I found the cutest hat and cowl to make my little granddaughter. I was going to save it for her birthday, which is very soon, but when it was cold one day I gave them to her then.
 This is the picture of  my adorable granddaughter the day I gave them to here. The yarn I used is so soft and amazing!
This is what she did with the cowl after she got home. The cowl is now officially a skirt that she wears with her leggings and boots. Who would have ever thought. Notice the bracelets. They are hair rubber bands that she wears as bangles. Most of the time she has several on each arm. She is such a fashionista. 100% girl. She even wears fake fingernails and has more lipglosses than anyone I know.
And she only turning 4 years old! I can't wait to see what the teen years bring.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Sheep and Sunflower Rug Finished

I finished the Sheep and Sunflower rug I started in August at Prairie Rose Rug School and I am so happy with how it turned out.
My biggest fear was the sheep I had to change the type of sheep it was from a black faced sheep because of the dark blue background. Thanks to Carol Messerli, who raises sheep, I found out that the face shape is different depending on the type of sheep it is. I did a little internet research and found this face, which I loved. I was so worried about the eyes and ears, but I think they turned out great. The internet is such an amazing tool.

I truly though the sunflowers were going to me the focal point of the rug but after the sheep was finished she took center stage. I did use creative license on the sunflowers and sheep. The original pattern is by Woodcrest Rug Designs.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Prairie Rose Rug Show

One of my favorite things about going to Prairie Rose Rug School is seeing the amazing work of other rug hookers. Just looking at other rugs a person can learn so much about backgrounds, borders, shading, or even the beauty of a very primitive piece.
Our teacher Joanie Reckwerdt took us on a tour of the rug show to discuss different sky techniques. Lessons in art are all around us if we take the time to look. When you look at the sky do you pay attention to how it flows, how the clouds look, or what colors you see? When you look at a tree do you see how the branches grow, or whether you see leaves or just color? The lessons are there if we take the time to see them.
 Sue Cunningham designed Chief Black Hawk. He is a very large rug and the only way I can describe Sue's work is insane OCD. She is as meticulous as they come. She also designed the purple geometric below. This is the rug she was working on last year at Prairie Rose.
 The owl is a rug that Catherine Vance hooked as part of her McGown certification. Notice how she hooked the background up and down with the dip-dyed wool instead of across. Beautiful.
 This little guy wasn't in the show but I had to get a picture of it anyway. JoHanna Hergenrider hooked the Blue Gill and she was finishing it at Prairie Rose.
One of the teacher at Prairie Rose, Sharon Saknit, designed and hooked this outstanding colorplay rug called Geometric Squares. Perfection is the only way to describe this rug.
Terryl Ostmo hooked this 1790 bed rug adaptation called Norwich. This is such a dramatic rug and beautifully hooked.
 Doodle Dala is a Jane McGown Flynn pattern beautifully hooked by Bonnie Pelczar. 
The Carpet Bag designed by Karen Kahle was hooked by Darlene Buckner. You can see part of Carol Messerlie's floral rug in the background to the right.
 Darlene Buckner also hooked this beautiful Primitive Squares. Darlene is as much fun as she is talented.
 Valerie Begeman designed and hooked this stunning sunflower design.  Beautiful design Valerie!
 The Day Lily Pillow is designed and hooked by Caroline Godfread. All of Caroline's work is original designs. Anne Bonney hooked the floral rug in the foreground on the right. Stunning work ladies!
 Caroline Godfread wanted to try her hand at a wide cut so she designed and hooked Karen's Rocket. You can just feel the movement in this rug.
This concludes the rug show for today. I need to find better picture for the rest of the show before I try posting them. We all know my photography skills are lacking.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Prairie Rose Rug School, 2014

Assumption Abbey in Richardton, North Dakota is the perfect setting for a successful rug school. You can't ask for better hosts than the Monks who call the Abbey home.

Patty Tyrrell , Barb and Craig Pearson, and I, along with another Wyoming rug hooker Sue Cunningham, from Laramie, Wyoming, all shared Joan Reckwerdt as our teacher. On our first day of class Joan told stories that were so funny my stomach hurt from laughing so hard. Besides her ability to tell a great story, she is an outstanding teacher.
 Joan is the teacher behind Barb Pearson's crewel rug. Barb has taken classes from Joan at Friends, in Oregon as well as at Prairie Rose. Joan has been the teacher throughout this outstanding rug.

Below is the rug Craig Pearson was working on and below it is a pictorial he got a little help with also. The pictorial is mind blowing. He also did another pictorial that is in the rug show but my picture turned out very blurry. Maybe Patty took one that turned out better. If so, I will show it later on.

Joan color planned and dyed the wool for Patty Tyrrell's Lacy Heart by Bea Brock. It has a stained glass feel to it. I can't wait to see it finished. We made the comment that Patty seems to like burgundy since her last rug had burgundy also. 
I know the angle of this photo is upside down but I wanted to show the pattern right side up. On the left is my Sheep and Sunflower rug. My other two sunflowers will both be red. I learned one major lesson on this rug. Never draw on your pattern with colored Sharpie. It will bleed on to your wool when you steam it! Since I will be adding a dark background to the rug, I will be hooking a white face on my sheep. I changed her face with the red sharpie so I spend the first night of rug camp washing the red out of my face.
The rug s next to mine are done by Katie Knoelke. She was in Ingrid Hieronimus's class and I was so impressed with the backgrounds she used at Ingrid's suggestion. One stripe went horizontally and one went vertically with a red line and the background extending out from it. Ingrid has a plethora of background and border ideas as well as being a fabulous teacher.

Carol Messerli, our other Wyoming rug hooker's elk came to life in Ingrid's class. Carol learned so much from Ingrid and I can't wait to see how this rug looks when it's finished.
Our other Wyoming gal Sue Cunningham, who has been going to Prairie Rose for years, was working on a beautiful Poppy design that Joan was helping her with. Sue's work is meticulous and I will show more rugs from her and others in another post.
The week went so quickly. The company was wonderful, the food amazing, and the teachers were all top notch. Suzy Jones did a fabulous job as our Director and we can't wait until next year.

Post written by Sylvia Gauthie

Thursday, July 31, 2014

My New Spinning Wheel

Many years ago I owned a spinning wheel that I loved. A buffalo rancher used to bring me buffalo hair that fell out into clumps where the buffalo were kept. I had great plans for all my yarn but when I moved to a different house there wasn't room for the spinning wheel to be set up in the living room so it was stored in a basement storage area. The house was an old house and one day I noticed that termites had eaten my wheel. Nothing else in the basement but the outside of two boxes had been eaten, but they ate my wheel!!! I was so upset that I cried as I carried it to the garbage. This was over twenty years ago and I just never got over the loss.

Every time I was at a quilt show where someone had weaving looms and spinning wheels I just wanted to camp in that booth and never leave. At the time I was so wrapped up in quilting that I didn't feel like I had enough time to move in so many different directions. Well, I have slowed down a lot with quilting, like almost stopped, and I have learned to weave and love it. It just seemed fitting that I started spinning some of the yarns for my weaving so the next step was to get a spinning wheel.

A lot has changed since my first spinning wheel, most of all the cost. This isn't a small investment, but then neither were my sewing machines. I did a lot of research about spinning wheels and since I had owned one before I had a general idea of the process and what I might want. My choice ended up being the Kromski Minstrel.
It had the most ratios without going to a larger saxony wheel and comes with two whorls. I wanted my wheel to be beautiful as well as functional but the ability to perform was very important. Isn't it a beauty. Originally I thought about getting an unfinished Minstrel because it was $120 less but after considering the pain it would be to stain and finish I decided the extra money would be well worth it.
This is what it will look like when it arrives. I will be gone the day it gets here at Rug School in Richardson, ND, but I don't think it will take too long for me to put together. I ordered it though an eBay store called Winderwood Farm. They offered a few different choices of extras that come with the wheel like more bobbins, a niddy noddy, and wool. The communication with Robert, the owner, and his willingness to help me with any questions I have with putting the wheel together, getting the tension right, and learning to spin were more reason to buy from him. Plus they have a lot of great wool choices.

As excited as I am about my week at Rug School, and boy am I excited, now I'm excited to come home to my new wheel. I think I see knitting lessons in my future....

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

And the winner is......

First of all I would like to thank each and every one of you who left comments during our turn in the Clothworks American Made Brand Blog Tour. I enjoyed reading every comment.

Working with Clothworks during the tour was a true pleasure. The American Made Brand Cottons are an extremely fine quality of fabric. I'm all about texture and these feel amazing.
So, without further delay, the winner of the Clothworks bundle is Linda, msstitcher.
And the winner of the leftover bundle is Chiska.
I have contacted both winners and they will be receiving their beautiful fabric in the mail soon.
Thank you again for everyone who participated and please keep leaving those wonderful comments.
Sylvia Gauthier and Traci Marvel
Woolin Rouge Designs.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Wyoming in Clothworks, American Made Brand Blog Tour!

I can't tell you how excited I am to represent Wyoming in Clothworks, American Made Brand Blog Tour! With so much to see in do in the State of Wyoming, I had a hard time narrowing down design elements to add to my idea of the Wyoming license plate block. Luckily I had just traveled from one end of the state to the other. One thing that I saw almost everywhere I went were Antelope, or Pronghorn. So that narrowed the choice of wildlife I wanted to represent. The mountains were easy. The one set of mountains known all over the world are the Tetons in Grand Teton National Park, which is attached to Yellowstone National Park.
You can download the directions for the Wyoming License Plate Block here . All the pattern pieces have been reversed for ease of drawing on to fusible web. I suggest using Print and Fuse to make it even easier.

Wyoming is the 10th largest state in our Nation with the second least populations. That means there is a LOT to do and a LOT of wildlife. Larger wildlife in Wyoming include elk, big horn sheep, antelope, buffalo, moose, black bear, grizzly bear, mule deer, white tail deer, wolf, fox, and the list of smaller animals and birds are too numerous to mention.

We are home to Devils Tower National Monument, 21 State Parks and Historic Sights, We have many museums including the Buffalo Bill Historical Center, affiliate of Smithsonion Institution, which is the home of 5 different museums in one, which shares stories of the Authentic American West. And, it's only one hour away from Yellowstone National Park with many more natural wonders than just Old Faithful Geyeser.

The Great Plains meet the Rocky Mountains in Wyoming . The Continental Divide runs North-South through our beautiful state with mountain ranges that include the Rocky Mountains, Teton Mountains , Absoroka, Owl Creek, Gros Ventre, Wind River, Big Horn Mountains , Black Hills, Laramie , Snowy, Sierra Madre. The highest peak is 13,809 ft. in the Wind River Mountain Range, and the lowest part is 3,101 ft.

Frontier Days in Cheyenne is one of the most popular rodeos in the USA. You can also see rodeos every night in the summer in Cody, the  Dinosaur Museum in Thermopolis, Indian Pow Wows, and so many more activities from hiking, and fishing, to riding in the mountains on horseback.

One of the things I am most proud if is that Wyoming was the first Territory to allow women to vote. Our state recognizes the importance in women and our contributions to society.

And we can't forget the Quilt Shops in Wyoming. Discount stores have hurt quilting all over the country but in Wyoming we still support our Quilt Shops. Our winters are long, and our summers are busy, so we realize the importance of creating with fabric. Which is why I feel it is so important to support something as precious as ClothworksAmerican Made Brand Solid Cottons, which are made right here in the USA. We are a country that needs to support our farmers and ranchers. Without these people and with out our support we are a country relying on other countries for our necessities.

Clothworks has been SO generous that they are giving away a fat pack of the solids to the lucky winner who comments on either this blog our our Woolin Rouge Designs blog. Don't forget to visit our Woolin Rouge Designs website and join our mailing list for any and all of our new patterns and exciting events.  

Since Clothworks was so generous in giving me 50 amazing colors of beautiful solids to create with, you get a chance to win the left-over fabrics for a second prize by commenting on the blogs. Please make sure I have a way of contacting you if you win.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Wandering Vine Table Runner

I did it!!! I wove an overshot table runner!!
I wish I would have made it a little longer, but I still love it. This was a huge learning experience for me. I had only made two rugs on my loom but decided it was time to try something new. I am so lucky to have a great teacher, Jo Anne Setzer, in Laurel Montana. She helped me get started on this project at home. (I'm making a sampler at her studio) My dilemma now is whether I should tie some more yarn on to the yarn already dressed to make a longer runner in a different color, or make tea towels. Or maybe another rug or two.

Now I understand why weavers own more than one loom. I wish I could have overshot dressed on one loom, and rug warp on the other. Unfortunately, I don't have the room for such a luxury. It isn't like sewing machines. I own several different machines, and love them all for different reasons, but they are much easier to store than a loom would be. I would have to make an addition on to my house for another loom and that will never happen. Heck, I already have the entire basement for my studio. So, I am thankful for the loom I have, and will just have to learn to make one project at a time.
But which one?

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Coffee Tea or Bee? Mug Rug Patterns

Woolin Rouge is proud to announce our NEW Mug Rug Series, Coffee Tea or Bee!!

Each Mug Rug is 10 1/2"x6 1/2" when finished. Ours are made of wool of course. The patterns are available on our Woolin Rouge Website. Wool Kits will follow this week.
All the stitches used in the Coffee, Tea, or Bee? series is printed on the back of each cover for an easy reference guide.  
I can't tell you how fun it is to have a different rug mug for each of my guests! They make great gifts and go together quickly and easily.
For the thread I use Aurifil Lana Wool Thread. It makes sewing these little gems a breeze! I love the quality of Aurifil so it's an easy choice for me.
These patterns are also available on my Etsy Shop, Sylvia Gauthier Wool.
I just know you will love making these adorable Mug Rugs!

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

American Made Blog Tour Has Begun

The designers of the license plate blocks have started and we are now three days into the American Made Blog Tour by Clothworks Fabric.  We are celebrating the beautiful cottons created by Clothworks and the amazing part is that this fabric is AMERICAN MADE!!! That's right, it's made right here is the Good Ol' USA. If some of you don't already know, most of our quilting fabric is produced outside of the US. Clothworks changed that.
These solids are not only stunningly beautiful, they have a wonderful feel to them. If you are one of those people, like me, who wants ALL of these amazing colors, go to the Clothworks blog, On each states day, check out their blog and make a comment to try to win a pack of one of every color of American Made Brand fabric.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

American Made Brand Blog Tour Excitement

Just another reminder to check back here on Monday May19th when we depart on the AMB Blog Tour!  As we travel to all 50 states in this ‘virtual road trip’, we’ll be featuring 2 incredibly creative bloggers each day on our tour.  Each blogger is a representative of one of the 50 states and has been given the challenge of re-imagining a state license plate as a quilt block using Clothworks newest line of cotton solid fabrics- American Made Brand solids!   I was chosen to represent the State of Wyoming! This might even be more fun than playing the license plate road trip game, as you’ll have the chance to collect each ‘license plate’ block to make into a quilt! Now what a fun souvenir that is!!
But the fun doesn’t stop there!!  During the AMB blog tour, there will be chances to win giveaways of some gorgeous American Made Brand solid fabrics!
Wyoming is the 44th State and the Wyoming pattern will be downloadable on our Woolin Rouge Blog as well as our Woolin Rouge Website
Save the date and forget packing the bags!  Sit back, relax, grab a cup of tea and sit yourself in front of your computer as we hit the road on the AMB blog tour- May 19th through June 20th.

Monday, May 05, 2014

American Made Brand, Quilting Across America

I am so proud to announce that Woolin Rouge was chosen to represent Wyoming in Clothworks American Made Brand, Quilting Across America! (there are three separate links)

As most of you know, most of the fabric we quilters use is not produced in America. The fabric company Clothworks now has a brand of solids made right here in the USA called American Made Brand

To help promote traveling in America as well as buying American made fabric, Clothworks has solicited the help of 50 designers from each state in the USA to design a license plate size quilt block representing their state which they will have available.  We will have a blog tour of each of the states, two states at a time starting May 19th. The tour will have each states designer's blog in the order they became a state.
I will fill you in as it progresses.
We will also be having give-a-ways on each blog for a chance to win some of the American Made Brand solids. The colors are amazing and such a nice hand.

Stay tuned for more of our Quilting Across America progress.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Weaving a Rug

I need to add "weaver" to my blog title. I have officially woven my very first rag rug on my new Norwood loom.
It was a learning piece, and did I ever learn a lot! For instance, I need to start doing some core body exercises to build my back muscles! Just dressing the loom killed my back. It is a large loom compared to the one I use for my lessons, (I've had two lessons) and everything is a reach. I now understand why I've read that weavers make the warp for more than one thing at a time a lot. It took one day to measure the warp, two days for my back to make it through dressing the loom, and a little over half a day to weave the rug. I am still trying to figure out how to finish it off. Then I will wash it.
Directions on the Internet for finishing a rag rug are not as available as weaving instructions, but I am pretty sure I know what I want to do and if it isn't right, it's OK, because it's my rug and such a great learning project. For instance. I learned I don't know how to adjust the tension, I don't think I dressed the back part of the loom right. I had a lot of skipped places where the thread didn't separate in the dent that I used double thread on, and I think that had a lot to do with the problem I had at the back of the loom.
The rug is a lot thinner than I would like but I used rag balls I had from locker hooking projects that never got done. I have enough balls of fabric for at least one more rug, and I have a bunch of batiks I cut and rolled into balls for a darker version.
As far as a first rug, and the lessons I learned, I think I did pretty good. At least it looks good from 5 to 6 feet away.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

New Adventure, Weaving

At our monthly hook-in of the Wild West Rug Hookers, two hookers Craig and Barb were telling us that they were learning to weave. They are taking a class once a week in Laurel, MT. Well, since weaving is something I've always been interested in, my ears really perked up! Especially when I found out it was only $10 a class. So I instantly started researching looms, what the difference was in different looms and found out they are expensive. I knew I wanted a 4 harness, 6 treadle loom with a 40" weaving width. I couldn't get one too big because I wouldn't have a place to put it, and I didn't want one too small because I wouldn't be able to weave rugs or shawls. With a lot of computer time looking for the perfect loom, I found it.
This isn't the one I got, but it is exactly like it and comes with the warping board, bench with storage, and all the accessories. It was a great price. The only problem is that it is Ft Collins, Colorado, which isn't really a problem because my daughter and her husband are picking it up for me in two weeks when they go visit family in Torrington, only a couple hours away from Ft Collins. So by this time next week I will be setting a loom up in my studio, commonly known as the basement.

I took my first class Thursday. I was so nervous about the class. With weaving, like any other craft, there is a whole new language to learn. I downloaded weaving terms and diagrams so I had an idea of what I was about to learn. I'm so glad I did. There is so much to learn, especially how to dress the loom. Basically, my first lesson consisted of measuring out the yarn, slaying the reed, and figuring out which heddle to thread the yarn through. I didn't finish dressing the loom before it was time to go so my teacher Jo Anne is going to finish it so I can start weaving next Thursday.

The building that our teacher Jo Anne had built for teaching is shaped like a barn with full windows on the front and back of the building. There are two floors completely filled with looms. Some are for sale and some are owned by women who come there to weave.

For my first project I will be making a sampler with 62 different weaves using the same threading. Barb is doing the same one. She is further along of course. A hand tag will hang on the side of each design showing how it was made so I will have a reference that I can quickly look at if I want to make something like say a tea towel or scarf.

I have a feeling I will be collecting all sorts of fabulous yarns now. Just what I need. More stuff.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Button Basket Rug

The Button Basket rug I started in August at Assumption Abbey in Richardton SD is finally finished. I was taking a class from Michele Wise who was teaching at Prairie Rose Rug School, when I started hooking it. 

Button Basket is a Susan Quicksall, owner of Holly Hill Designs, design. I can't tell you how much fun I had hooking this rug. Michele Wise taught me the seed, or bead stitch and so much about color. Just hooking with the Pearsons and Patty Tyrrell, who are experienced hookers, has improved my stitches.

Before I went to rug school I hand dyed all the wool for my rug. I used all but two of the colors I dyed.

Now that this rug is finished I'm working on my black lab rug. I didn't care for the background of that rug anymore so I took it all out. The dog looks good so I left it. I dyed different wool using some of the same colors I used in the Button Basket rug, like the blues and greens.

My original intent was to put the rug in front of the TV when it was finished. As soon as I laid it in front of the TV our black lab Buck laid right on it, of course, and I decided right then that I didn't want his black hair all over it so I will now find a place to hand it.