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WoolCake: Live Videos and Notes From Deanne

Narrative Threads Website

Narrative Threads Website

I think this is a good resource for information on rug hooking in Canada. It is not in any way a  full story of rug hooking history but there are several articles on this website about Canadian Handicraft that pertain directly to rug hooking.



It tells the story of Canada in artifacts and is an interesting website.

August Pattern of the Month

August Pattern of the Month

I'm late! I'm late! Please forgive me! We've been so busy in the studio making exciting changes to our layout, adding new yarn bases to dye, also our August workshop was last week (so that's my excuse this month).

I couldn't wait to hook this one. I am lucky enough to know what's coming up as we need to be prepared in advance...but don't ask me because I'm not going to tell you!! Having said that, this one was in my mind for a while. I knew it was going to be fun colors and I was just chomping at the bit to get started.

Many of you already know that I do most of the dying here at the studio with fabric and yarn. I have some favorite dyes especially one called tobacco; its a wonderful rust with an acidy green base. This is what I used for the outer border. You can see that just the one colour had enough interest in it to not look like a solid color. The inner background color is delphinium blue. I thought I had better go with something soft to contrast all the brightness I have here.

The fish are not your typical fish colors; Deanne's designs are so funky that I figure these little babies were just screaming to be unique. Each one has a little bit of something sparkly in it, not much - just enough to give them a little shine. In the pink and orange fish, I used a bit of this stunning hand spun wool in crimson...just look at this candy:



We can sell you a five dollar bundle if you like or the whole skein for $49.95.

The only problem I had with this pattern was how to hook the eyes, I'm not one for pulling out my work but admittedly I did that here. Finally I decided on a patterned swatch that seemed to work nicely in the end, the following picture shows you the tobacco fabric on the left and the gold pattern on the right I used in the fish eyes.

In the end I was happy and I could easily hook this pattern again, it was just SO much fun.

If you like any of the products here and want to purchase some, please call us. We can kit up the whole project for you or sell you just the little bits you want or need.

Happy hooking!



  • Deanne Fitzpatrick
The Makings of Moody Skies

The Makings of Moody Skies

-A stormy sky is unsettled and has a lot of drama, as well as movement and flow. 

-A stormy sky is typically created from greys, blues and creams. 

-You can use deep shades of grey, grey-blues and grey-greens to accentuate the heaviness of an impending storm. 

-Clouds should be lightest of greys, creams or pale yellows to emphasize that the sky is darker than usual. colour. In the rug above it is just grey areas outlined and a cream background. Very simple idea, but it works so well.

Experiment with your skies. You can create interesting moody skies by experimenting just with colour.

A Lesson on Templates

A Lesson on Templates

A template is a cut out or stencil that is used to trace a design onto a burlap or linen backing. A template can be made of hard cardboard, paper or plastic, really it's all up to you. They're used to produce your own design on your backing and gives you the freedom to create without feeling like you need to be able to draw or draw well. Templates are very useful when it comes to symmetrical designs or drawings that incorporate the same pattern multiple times. 

In older times women used to save their brown paper bags from buying fresh produce and copy designs off of china or really whatever their hearts desired, so the pattern could be used again. 

You can also enlarge a design on a photocopier, cut them out and use them for a bigger sized rug. 

Lay your templates onto your backing to configure your design before tracing them, you can also practice on paper so you can get a better idea of what your pattern will end up looking like. Make sure to use permanent marker when tracing your templates. If you don't end up liking the way your pattern looks you can always flip your burlap or linen over and use the blank side!! 

The Sky - continued part 2


  • Deanne Fitzpatrick
so you're bored...now what!

so you're bored...now what!

This article was written by Emily Dunne , our summer student, and I enjoyed it!, hope you will too.

There's nothing more annoying than when you find yourself creatively drained. You have no new ideas, the things you're working on no longer excite you, you're looking at the same things everyday and nothing is peaking your interest. 

If you should look around one day and find yourself in this rut, there's a couple things to keep in mind that can help you climb back into a colourful mind space. 

Take a look around your house, and I mean really look. Unless someone like your mom decorated it, then it's all rubbish and not really a reflection of you. I mean I guess still take a gander because you never know what odd or end will speak to you, even if someone else (your mother) picked it out. Look at the art you've put up, or your favourite blanket you wish you could drag around everywhere because it's so soft but you don't because it really isn't socially acceptable. Sometimes you'll find a bit of inspiration in an item you've looked at, listened to or smelt a million times before but somehow this time your brain will conjure up a preciously untouched idea. 

Go to the library, go to an art gallery, go for a stroll on a trail you haven't explored yet. Unfamiliar things are the best at inspiring new concepts into your head, you've never experienced them before and your brain is going to interpret them as it will. You may take a 5 minute drive on an old dirt road you drive by every day and never turn down, and there you find the big shiny idea for your next rug or your next painting or your next project. 

New people are good for inspiration too, and I don't mean you spot a bad haircut on the street and feel like you need to recreate it into a hooked rug. They're inspiring in that you may be introduced to knew places and experiences by these people that will prompt you into a new project, maybe they really do have features that inspire you to incorporate elements of them into a pattern.

 Regardless of where you look for your new muse the important part is that you are looking. You're observing all the activity surrounding you, not only is this beneficial for crafting but is valuable because you're forced to slow down and take in the world around you.