Wednesday, 21 December 2016

Christmas Rug Meeting

Jen's 'Tightrope to the sun'
On behalf of our members I want to wish all our faithful followers  and readers a Christmas greeting from all of us of the Yarra Valley Rug Makers

The star of Bethlehem shone when Christ was born In the darkest nights, Christ’s love still shines the brightest. Happy Christmas and enjoy the yuletide season!

Hello friends of Yarra Valley Rug Makers.
Wow, another year gone by and the our group is a year older.
This year has been busy both personally as well as for our group.
With demonstrations at the Hastings Craft Fest, our exhibition at Coal Creek in Korumburra, Victoria as well as private workshops for both Anne and myself-Chris, I personally am pleased that the year is over. But then there is always next year isn't there, and only 10 days away.
Thank you for your support, because without that, there is not a lot of point in continuing our Blog, as it is for you rug makers and potential rug makers, as a resource and news page. If you like our Blog please comment, and follow us, we always like to hear from our followers.

Joy, Leanne and Chris

Our last meeting of the year was held in Warrandyte at Anne's home.
We took advantage of the time together to work on our rugs, for some of us, the first time in a month. Making time for rug hooking is not always possible during our busy weeks.
Here are some of the projects we are currently working on. Being our Christmas breakup, we took part in a most delicious lunch, off course we always have a delicious lunch, but this one was extra special.

Jen and Joy in Anne's lovely Christmas room

Joy's staircase tread on the second verse of the 23rd Psalm
'He makes me to lie down in green pastures'

My 'Monstera Leaf' Proggy 

The first photo shows the photo from which I made a the pattern. The second one shows the back of the proggy, which is also the side from which it is worked and the third photo shows the front of the proggy. It is very hard to know just where I am at any given time, so I need the photo reference at all time for colour placement, shading and highlighting as while it is only my frame I can only view a small portion of the rug at the time. It will be a large wall rug [sorry, I can't remember the dimensions at this point].
In between the prodded parts of the leaf, I have punch-needled the background in a dark, mostly hand-spun wool yarn. This is also worked from the back. It will be interesting to see how that turns out.

Monday, 12 December 2016

December Rugging Meeting

Dear Rughooking Friends and would be friends

I hope you can find the time to come to Warrandyte on Saturday, 17th Dec, and relax for the day with lots of friendly conversation  and plenty of good food to be had too. You may even get some time to hook a rug.
If you haven't been before and would like attend, just drop us a line in the contact box on the right side of the page.

Saturday, 22 October 2016

Workshop at Milpara, Korumburra

Yesterday we had the most wonderful group of ladies attend a workshop in aid of overseas missions, at Milpara Community House in Korumburra, Vic.

After being shown the 'how to' of both the hooky and proggy techniques of rug making, these lovely ladies chose one technique to start a project of their own. They all chose to do a hooky rug and decided to use one of the owl patterns already stamped on the hessian, instead of opting for the other available patterns.

Beryl and  Jean's beautiful show and tell, cut loop hooked rug started by their
 mother  many years ago and which they now hope to finish. 
During the day they learned about colour planning, value, transferring patterns onto the backing fabric, tools, backing fabrics, where to find inspiration, choosing materials for hooking and much more.

A delightful day was had by all and the children in Missions in both Uganda and India are the grateful recipients of the workshop fees paid by these lovely ladies.
And on behalf of the children, I thank you as well. :)

front of the rug

Beryl and Jean brought in a rug started by their mother years ago. It seemed to be worked with a punch needle as the pattern was stamped on the back, However half of the loops were cut and the other in their original loops. They think she intended to cut all the loops. After cutting the loops it looks like the pile was brushed to soften the pile. Very interesting indeed. They will now hunt around in their mother's stash to see if they can find the wool she used on this wonderful heirloom, so they can complete what she started. I'm wondering if it is an old Semco design, Maybe others can shed some light on this?

back of the rug with pattern stamped on

Some of the ladies in our group belong to the Coal Creek Spinners and are showing their own exhibition at Coal Creek at present. Lots of talent in this group. One of them, Janet is a resident spinner at at this venue and is often seen in her old time costume spinning away and answering lots of question from visitors. She showed a great deal of interest in rug making at our recent exhibition at the gallery there. Thus she decided to do the workshop and bring her friends along too, thanks Janet.
Thank you ladies for a very interesting day. I aways learn so much from everyone. :)

Noelle and Janet the spinner

Sunday, 16 October 2016

Geometric Proddy Rug

My original intention was for this to be quite subtle and soft in colouring. Ha ha ha! I'll try to subdue the bright purple and yellow with more neutrals and duller mauves etc., but then you know how these things take a life of their own. On the day, the right colour might be something you hadn't thought previously.
This proddy rug is all blanketing or woollen cloth. Some dyed.
I had lain out the rug and chosen colours, pinning or poking them into place so I didn't have to think for awhile, but at the Melbourne Show, the little children who were having a go liked to put their colours all over the place, so it's gotten a little lost! And who was I to stop their fun? I'll figure it out again.

Wednesday, 5 October 2016

October Meetings of the Yarra Valley Rug Makers

Hi Ruggers
Just some exciting news for you. We actually have two meetings planned this month, the first on the 15th October and the second on the 29th Oct for those who can't make it to the first. Both at Anne's home in Warranyte. Actually, you may decide you would like to come to both. Whether its your first or the 50th time we have been blessed with your presence, everyone is always welcome. We will be so happy to get you going on your first rug, or help you with subsequent rugs. Hope to see you there.

:) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :)

Thursday, 29 September 2016

Exhibition of Hand Hooked and Prodded Rugs at Coal Creek, Korumburra

Robyne, colour planning her proggy
Robyne and Chris hard at the frames

We had a wonderful exhibition of our hand hooked and prodded rugs for two weeks at Coal Creek out in the beautiful countryside of South Eastern Victoria, which finished on Sunday.
A vintage car rally was held at the venue last Sunday, which brought a lot of wives- and some husbands into the gallery for a look see. "Ooh, what is this beautiful- vintage- craft that we have never seen before." Thus were the comments. Many stayed around to watch our ladies prod and hook away at their rugs. They were fascinated by the process and were confused by the difference in latchet 
hook and hooked rugs- as is often the case. Janet the Coal Creek resident wool spinning lady was so excited to see our rugs and had wanted to make one since she was six years old. She was so  happy to see the rugs and talked to Anne and Robyne for a long time. She wanted to make a start immediately so she came back the following day and bought a frame, hooks and Miriam’s book. I hope we get to see her at some of the meetings. Such a nice lady. Hopefully we have spread the news a little further this fortnight.

From left: Chris, Anne and Joy
A series of six portrait rugs of Chris' grandchildren

Anne, working on her red poppy proggy rug

Chris' rug Tehran, which she has been working on for the last 20 months. Not being happy with the thinnish line of motives running north south, she needed some help and Joy came to the party with very helpful suggestions. You know when you are working on a rug, or anything really, and you come to a halt, not really knowing where to turn next and nothing comes to mind? That's when it is helpful for others to step in. They can look at your rug with an unbiased view. The result is at the right. Instead of hooking the scrolls in the darker cream as I have done most of the scrolls, I have incorporated part of that scroll into the small motive that was there previously. I am much happier with this result.

Sunday, 25 September 2016

My Neck and Back Are Sore, But....

I've spent the last two days (Thur/Fri) at the Melbourne Show, demonstrating mostly rug making (proddy). And the KIDS! They're gorgeous! I fell properly in love about a dozen times, with these little blossoms taking to proddy-rugging like earnest, determined, clever, darling little clever people... I know I said clever twice, but there it is. Usually their Mums were ready to go before they were and I nearly ran after one little petal with presents and adoption papers.
Could be I like orange, I notice...
We don't often go places with kiddies... the craft shows etc. are all grown-ups, pretty well. Now, I'm convinced it's the way to go and might look into something? Schools? Hmm... Steiner Schools? Waddya think? Any ideas?
I mean, I remembered how to knit because of childhood playing. And I remembered how to fix knitting, having never done it before, because of seeing Grandma do it and being fascinated, so... A new generation of rugmakers (since the adults are taking their time jumping on board) (Although, there were loads of interested people really and an invite to a CWA group down Werribee way)...

This is when I first set up, before people. When they arrived I didn't get away unless Ramona or Liz or Mandy or Annette came to boss me into a break (thanks for that guys, I didn't want to be impolite and found it hard to go). There were kids at the rug almost the whole time, and adults of course. People love to share their stories and I like to hear them. Win/win. 
Below is a nice story. I always buy one of these from the show. I have some oldies too, and so it was nice to see their history.

Thanks Ramona for inviting me. It gives me a real buzz to evangelize the crafts. I also got quite a bit done!

Saturday, 24 September 2016

New style rug hooks from RugHooksForMissions on Etsy

RugHooksForMissions has two new styles of pencil hooks available for those who work with them.
You will find the details and price HERE

Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Hi Everyone
Our next meeting will be held in the Coal Creek gallery at Korumburra, on Saturday 24th September.
We hope to see as many people as possible there. It is well worth a visit, to see the many beautiful rugs on display until Sunday. 
At the same time, if you haven't already, you get to meet the members of the Yarra Valley Rug Makers group.  See you there. :)

Friday, 26 August 2016

Unusual Rug Making Hooks

I recently had contact with a delightful lady called Peggy from the USA who is a rug hooker and collector of beautiful hooks that she gathers along the way and also has specially made for her.

I asked her if I could see them and she generously emailed them to me. They are so beautiful that I thought others who are passionate about rug hooking and collecting beautiful things would love to see them as well. She allowed me to post the photos and quote her words on both the Yarra Valley Rug Makers Blog and my ‘Rug Making Hooks’ facebook page, which you will find HERE.

Peggy said about her hooks:

“I'm as much a collector of hooks as I am a "user" of hooks. I had Tom Ingalls from Missouri, USA to make several hooks for me using some gorgeous burls that I bought directly from a man who lives in Australia and harvests them from old gold fields near his home. Tom does such beautiful work. I had so much fun gathering all of my materials and designing my hooks with Tom. He was amazing to work with. Such gorgeous exotic woods. In designing my hooks, Tom used antique figural silver and picture buttons on them that I had collected from England, Ireland and Scotland. He hand-turned the Australian burls on a lathe to make the handles. I take them out often just to look at them. I love to share them with others and I think that Tom's artistry deserves to be appreciated.

The first two photos above show the Australian burls with buttons and silver that I sent Tom.

 This last picture shows the five finished hooks that he made for me. 

I love my hooks, but I do get a bit carried away with my collecting.” 

Thanks for sharing them with the rug hooking world Peggy, especially here is Australia, your hooks are truly a work of art. Credit to you and Tom.

Saturday, 20 August 2016

Robyne's Newest Proggy Rug Is Ready To Go

The linen, ready to go. I'd been struggling over whether to do it as another proggy/peggy/clippy rug, or hook it, with my exotic fabrics... silks and the like... but I'm getting low on some silks and decided to use my many and sometimes hand-dyed woollen blankets. Plus, proggy suits a bedside setting, for your morning toes. Done!
The whole point is to use up my stash, too, and wool I got plenty!

It's around 74 x 140cm, maybe a smidge smaller.
Here is the inspiration (Peruvian wall hanging), although I'm not using these types of colours. I was thinking more along the lines of this amazing Kimono.

Monday, 15 August 2016

Meeting of the Yarra Valley Rug Makers

With only three of us present we nonetheless had a great time together. The first couple of hours were spent discussing our upcoming Hand Hooked Rug Exhibition of our work at Coal Creek, Korumburra, Vic.
As you can see [on left] our graphic designer, Joy,  did a fantastic job of designing a poster for the event and as yours truly- Chris, lives close to the venue it will be my job to place them around the district to give the exhibition as much exposure as we can.
We hope you will come and support us by attending this very first exhibition of the Yarra Valley Rug Makers.
After lunch Joy and Anne got stuck into their rugs while I caught up with some work that needed doing.
 If you would like more information about our exhibition, please do not hesitate to leave a comment.

Joy's stair tread

Monday, 8 August 2016

Next meeting of the Yarra Valley Rug Makers

The next meeting of the Yarra Valley Rug Makers will be held this Saturday 13th August at Chris' home in Loch.

Don't forget to bring all your lovely rugs in readiness for our Rug Exhibition on 12th September at Coal Creek, Korumburra. The exhibition runs for two weeks and we will hold our next meeting at the Coal Creek venue on the 17th September.

Please come and support our small group with your presence. 
All welcome.

Friday, 29 July 2016

Home Schooling Proggy Workshop

Yesterday, I had the most wonderful opportunity and privilege to teach a group of twelve home schooled children the craft of proggy rug making.
I was pleasantly surprised at how quickly they picked it up. They all drew their own creative designs onto the hessian backing and very soon they were off and progging away in all colours of the rainbow. I was absolutely delighted at their skill levels, given their limited tools. Some even got inventive and brought thick wooden knitting needles. Most of the children used the proggers and home made pvc frames I had provided for their first time though, although some used embroidery hoops. The children will continue to work on their project throughout the term and I am looking forward to being invited back to see their finished mats.
Some parents, when they saw how much their children enjoyed the craft offered to make pvc frames for them.

If you would like to learn the craft of either proggy or hooky rug making in a small group setting please leave a message for me [Chris]. I give workshops in my home at Loch, of which the proceeds are donated to missions in India and Uganda.

Tuesday, 19 July 2016

Next meeting of the Yarra Valley Rug Makers

Hello all ruggers and would be ruggers.
Our next meeting of the Yarra Valley Rug Makers will be held on Saturday 23rd July at Chris' home in Loch.
All welcome :)

Monday, 11 July 2016

F-I-N-I-S-H-E-D! Yes, It Is!

It's done! Weighs a ton, feels like a luxurious, unbelievable lush, thick, velvety, shag-pile, roll-around-on-it marvelous thing. Quite happy with it actully. 74 x 1+40cm

Tuesday, 5 July 2016

The Welcome Mat is free

Are you interested in the art of rug hooking, but don't know where to start?
Checkout The Welcome Mat. You'll find support from lots of like minded people as well as lots and lots of tips, videos, dyeing information and anything to do with rug hooking. can now sign up for free...yes...the Welcome Mat is free. You'll find it HERE

Friday, 1 July 2016

June Catch Up (by Robyne)

This is my own first get together for many months, and it was very nice to see Jen, Joy and Anne at Anne's amazing, craft-filled house in Warrandyte. The fires were burning, the soup delicious and we chatted and worked on our rugs for the whole day.
Jen fitting in some sun-burst activity. We all find it hard to find time to rug and so these day's together give us the time, uninterrupted excepting by lunch and some happy Ooohing and Aaahing.
I've been so tied up with family commitments too, that it felt a rare treat to take a whole day to go and play with the gals. A pity Chris wasn't present (sniff), or some other's who are more likely than I to be there.
Joy's second stair-tread rug, 'The sheep on the heather' (I made that name up) is coming along. Joy has included some Wenslydale (Is that right Joy?) wool into the right hand sheep.
We are all on a mission to find a Heath Robinson solution to have her family and friends avoid actually walking on the stairs once they're carpeted. Perhaps a Mary Poppins solution?
The heath and the distant mountains...
My proggy rug is nearly done (even more so, as I write this). My sciatica will hopefully move on when it is, as I take way too much (cleaning) time at it after dinner in the evening and the nerve is making me pay. Pretty-well every night, I get sucked into it. It's killing me.
My hubby is going to make me a standing-up pair of trestle legs, so I can either prop on a stool or stand up to work. 
The back is always clearer huh.
A couple of nights ago I sacrificed my over-pj's-wear kimono because it's exactly the right colour for some background. It was wearing out in any case, so... I did like wearing it though...
I've discovered audio books. This rug has seen me through the entire 8 Outlander books and now I'm onto 'All Quiet on the Western Front'. Wow! What a book that is. Amazing account and so human.
The audio's are good for making vacuuming a nothing rather than a bore too. 
Hey... I notice Anne didn't photograph her own rug....