Janet's thread

A weblog, mostly about knitting but other topics appear

Vintage Photo August 18, 2017

Filed under: Kathmandu,Nepal,Rug making,Rugs — Janet @ 2:40 am

2017_08_16_09_59_21.pdf021  Rugs on Display, Kathmandu Nepal, 1983


I’m Tempted June 19, 2016

Filed under: Hooked Rugs,Rug making,Rugs — Janet @ 2:20 pm

36._Figure_1_hooking_for_web_684fc88f-90c5-47d5-ae0a-86bb5aa0a04b_large  This a photo of rug hooking – Something I have done in the past and enjoyed.  It’s hard work but oh so satisfying.  I am tempted to take a class in it just to get together with other “hookers”.  The Weaving Works here in Seattle is offering a class in July.


I Do Other Things in addition to knitting scarves but … January 14, 2015

You might think that all I do is sit around knitting scarves but quite the contrary.  Actually I’ve joined Facebook and that is a big time consumer.  It is easier to interact with readers through Facebook and also to expand one’s circle of friends, both new and old.  Still, blogging is useful in a different way.         That said, here is Scarf Number 11      IMG_5209   After I finished this scarf I found a small sample I made in a knitting workshop – note that I used similar colors.  I can also think of a rug I wove many years ago and I used a similar combination of colors.  That rug was chosen as a present to the owners of a “magic cottage” down in the west of Ireland.  My sisters and I had a marvelous visit to the cottage in 1995.

p.s. In my ongoing reorganization and tidy up of our belongings and the house, I just came a tapestry I wove when we were in Kenya for the second time (1989-1994)        IMG_5223              IMG_5226     familiar colors?






Thinking About Another Rug August 8, 2011

Filed under: Crocheted rugs,Rug making,Rya rugs — Janet @ 2:32 am

I found that little booklet giving the nice rya Norwegian designs and more or less selected one to use as a starter for doing another rug myself.  But I’ve decided to use a crochet hook and the stiff rug canvas commonly used for latchet hooked rugs.

  progress so far, starting out with an idea to use orange and red, now finding that using the crochet hook means pretty much going in straight lines – and it’s hard on the knuckles wielding the crochet hook and pulling those strands of rug wool through the canvas.  Then I began to think more about Emily Carr and her paintings of trees.  Now I am leaning in that direction as a source for my design ideas.

  This was the rya design I liked in the little Norwegian booklet.

   Emily Carr painting (from the internet)

report on my design process to be continued…….


New Yarn New Project August 3, 2011

Filed under: Rug making,Rugs,Yarn shops — Janet @ 9:38 pm

  a  little booklet that I thought was lost but has turned up quite unexpectedly.  This is the booklet I used 40+ years ago to make the following 3 rugs.

  design for the first rug I made, using the latchet hook technique, and buying little packs of precut wool as I went along.  Following my husband Ian’s advice I made a grid on the picture to correspond to the grid on the rug canvas I was using.  Then I followed the design quite religiously, even down to the choice of colours.  The resulting rug lasted for years and years.

  This was the next one.  Slightly bigger than the first one.  Again I used pretty much the same colours.

  the third rug, by the time I finished this rug I had had enough.

Off we went to St. Lucia for 2 years and the rug making phase of my life receded completely as we turned to other activities with the 3 little boys.

  we had playmates living next door

  and the third was still in his high chair

Now these three little boys and their friends are well grown and following their respective life paths.  I have refound my little rug booklet and I am getting the urge to make another latchet hook rug, after a lapse of quite a few years.  Since I no longer have a loom but am still primarily interested in making rugs, I think the latchet hook is the answer.

  while we were in Victoria I did nip in to the local yarn store,  The Button and Needlework Boutique, and I found this lovely green yarn – a yarn I have used before.  I just couldn’t resist the colour and know I’ll use it sometime.  But for now with my rug-making ideas, I am turning to my little booklet and my stash of coarser and sturdier yarn.

  possible choices for the next latchet hooked rug


Object Identification January 28, 2011

Filed under: Rug making — Janet @ 12:56 am

     a few days ago a few of us had a few comments to make about rug making way back when.  See Jean’s Knitting  Did any of you use this gauge?  I just found it in my stash.


Detective Stories August 17, 2010

After writing about the Nancy Drew series of books in my previous blog, I came across some  other information about that genre of literature.  Several  articles in other issues of The Book and Magazine Collector caught my attention and set me to thinking about these types of books.  Some are mystery stories, some are detective stories, some are police procedurals, some are thrillers.  Have I covered them all?

Incidentally, the most famous literary spinster of all time made her novel-debut in 1930, the same year as Nancy Drew.  Miss Marple in The Murder at the Vicarage, first published in 1930.

 image from The Book and Magazine Collector, April 2010

It’s not a genre I read very often – that is until recently when I have been going through a spate of them.  But the ones I have been reading are not the traditional cosy Miss Marple types.  I have never taken to the Agatha Christie books but I love the films.  Authors I have read occasionally in the past have been Georges Simenon and Graham Greene.  No Ellery Queen or any of the American writers.  Ellery Queen was one of my brother’s favourites.

But now I am caught up in reading a number of Scandinavian thrillers.  First there was Henning Mankell, then the Maj Sjowall and Per Wahloo Martin Beck series of 10 books.  Feeling in the mood for more Scandinavian thrillers I tried one from Finland and that turned out to be very good.  Against the Wall by Jarkko Sipila.  For a review of this book and information about the upsurge in Scandinavian crime fiction being translated into English I refer you to this website. 

photo from the internet

Jarkko Sipila has written a second book, Vengeance.  It is now available in English so I am on the look-out for it.       Again, the photo is from the internet.

The photos of these covers remind me of the cover of a book which I saw recently at my Irish Conversation Group, Cupla Focla.  One of our regulars, Seamus, aka James, has written a book on the History of the Irish Astronomical Society.  This book was self-published in 2006.  For the cover he used a detail of a rug which he and his wife had hooked.  The image was the Belt of Orion.  A very striking image in black and red.  The general conclusion of the Irish Group was that it was a latchet hook rug done from a kit.  But I don’t think so.  (Of course my comprehension of Irish isn’t brilliant so I could be all wrong.)

Those kits for doing latchet hook rugs had much more mundane images, like horse’s heads or whatever.  I suspect that Seamus’s wife had designed the rug and then they could well have purchased the cut packs of rug wool and indeed used a latchet hook and rug canvas purchased from the famous Needlecrafts store on Dawson Street here in Dublin.   Alas, shop is long gone now.  That is the way I did a number of hooked rugs back in the 1970’s.  I had a small book from Norway and it had some lovely designs for hooked rugs.  I put a grid on the small pictures in that book and then enlarged the design for making the rug on my rug canvas.  I used a latchet hook and I bought little packs of cut wool in the colours of my choice.  Below is a photo of one of the rugs I made.  The book with the designs was very small and somewhere it disappeared – how I would love to find that book again.  It was from Norway and on the cover it had a picture of a family grouped around a rug frame and happily doing their hooking.


On My Travels July 8, 2010

Filed under: Photography,Rug making,Rugs — Janet @ 10:20 pm

Ex-Dublin about a week ago and I’ve been to New Hampshire and Maine and now I’m in Connecticut.  We had a wonderful family reunion in Maine – 44 people came, young and old, 4 generations, mostly from New England but I was there from Ireland and another family member came from Colorado for the event.  We had a lobster feast along with fun and games and fireworks.

  into the night sky

   working on a lobster

  more lobster and corn on the cob and salads – yum

  it was a perfect spot – with a pavilion, a tent type thing, cooking facilities, an area for games, and then the beach right nearby

  after the reunion my sisters and I went to Ogunquit for a couple of days.  We stayed at the Colonial Inn, a gem of a hotel with a long history  – including having been owned by my aunt and uncle for many years.  Also some of my sisters children worked there years ago.  It played a big part in my childhood growing up years.   I like this sign from years ago.  I assume there are a few more modern arrangements in case of fire.

For my textile friends, while in Ogunquit we visited the Ogunquit Historical Society headquarters – a wonderful old house with a rich history and many wonderful paintings and artifacts.  Included in these items is a photograph of the Whistling Oyster, taken in the 1930’s by my uncle’s mother, Mimi Ireland, who was an artist and a member of the Ogunquit Art Colony in its early days.

  photograph by Mimi Ireland, the Whistling Oyster, Perkins Cove, Ogunquit, Maine, 1925

  braided rug in the historical museum.  This rug isn’t actually part of the display but I just like it as a typical New England braided rug.


Rugs in Review February 27, 2010

Filed under: Rug making,Rugs — Janet @ 4:32 am

From an early age it was rug making that interested me the most in the line of textile work.  I made a number of rya rugs using those pre-cut lengths of wool and I also made braided rugs and pompom rugs.  When I went to college I took my rug making materials but hardly had time to do any rugs.  A long gap occurred until the children started to come along and then I returned to rug making.  So there are many rugs in my past – many have been sold, some have just disappeared, and some have been used and used and used and are still with us.  Here are some pictures showing some of them in use now in our Seattle house.

  flat woven rug, woven on my Glimakra loom in Bhutan, 1986

   flat weave with rya, done in Bhutan, 1986

  circular braided rug, done using 3 strands of rug wool, Dublin, c. 1997

  crocheted rug, Dublin, c. 1998

   card woven strips joined to make a rug, Dublin, c. 1984

  hand tufted rug based on a Norwegian design, c. 1971

In another post I’ll show my inventory of rugs for sale.  My stock is low but I do plan to get a big loom again and get back to what I like doing most.

One of the first books I had about rug making was Fern Carter’s Braided Rug Book.  I acquired this in the 1950’s.  It was  a favourite and I browsed it many times.  Fern Carter lived in Oregon.  I no longer have my copy of the book but now that we are back on the West Coast maybe I will be lucky and will find a copy 2nd hand.


Colours of February

February is zipping by – it’s time to put up my colours before the month is gone completely.  And it’s an excuse to put up more photos of February in this part of the world – Seattle, Washington, U.S.A.  February 2010 has been a very mild month here, possibly the mildest February on record.  The birds and bees and trees are a bit confused as are the humans – but we have been enjoying our weather and marvelling at it.  The predominant colour now as we near the end of the month is PINK.  The cherry trees are glorious and we also have colour in our skies.


   the forsythia are reflecting the good weather

  I think this is a chenomeles (sp.?)         and this was a magical moment when the Fairy Tale Mt. Rainier was illuminated in a pink evening glow

   and this was the moon at 2 a.m. on Thursday Feb. 25


    my new project, a crocheted blanket – started near the end of February – the colour looks grey here but it is closer to pale lavender

   and this is a painting with many grey tones.  I found it today in my unpacking.  The artist is Peggy Lewin who was the wife of the Burmese Ambassador to Bangladesh in the early 1980’s.  We purchased the painting at an exhibition featuring paintings by Peggy Lewin; ceramics by Carol Kabir, a potter; and woven rugs by myself, a weaver.