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It’s All About the Wool at Pastimes PEI

5 Sep

"Happy Sheep" on PEI

Rug hooking is a rural tradition that continues to evolve and enrich the lives of rug makers on Prince Edward Island; since we are “all about the wool” here at Pastimes PEI, we often tell our visitors about the customs of the people who made PEI their home and made nearly everything they possessed by hand.

The counrty craft of rug hooking may have been brought here by the hardy Scottish settlers who landed in this area with their sturdy Highland sheep. Wool has properties that make it perfect for winter clothing, bedding and, of course, hooked rugs. Just down the road from here the local mill made rolls of wool; my father used to tell us how his mother sent the sheared wool from the farm to the mill in Millview (Pastimes PEI is located in the little community of Millview, P.E.I.) because it made the best “rolls”. Wool carding is the process of brushing the wool fibres to organize them. It creates a continuous web of fibres that can be layed out flat into batts, rolled into rovings, or split into spinning rolls. The natural fibers that we use in rughooking today include the burlap and linen backings through which the wool is hooked.

At Pastimes PEI we create our hooked items in wool, the fiber that they ‘grew’ on their own farms in the past; today we use local yarns from the small PEI and New Brunswick mills that still make yarn, and buy wool flannel fabric from USA. The popularity of rug hooking in North America and around the world, these days, keeps the factories producing wool fabric, yarn and fibers especially for rug hooking, felting, knitting, sewing and other wool crafts. We are glad that people today are raising the sheep and others are spinning and weaving it so we can enjoy our favorite pastime.

That is why it’s all about the sheep and their wool here at Pastimes PEI.

 

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Sheep Frolic is latest pattern to hook at Pastimes PEI

18 Sep

https://www.facebook.com/pastimespei

Pastimes PEI rughooking wools -greens – Jack’s Picks

12 Jul



Jack’s Picks – greens



what would lupins be without green behind them?

It would be safe to say that today Jack and I could have picked any color of the rainbow in the wools in the shop today but we chose greens. that’s because Heather has just finished a pretty little sampler that could hang on the wall or be the front of a cushion. So it’s greens for today. Greens set the mood of your hooking… bright for a springy feeling or more to the orangy side for the fall. I’ve set out some to show you with the hooked piece in the background. It contains lots and lots of greens so don’t be afraid to dig out your scrap bag to invent your own kind of landscape…..or leaves or whatever needs to be green….As for the lupins I found down the road, what would blues and purples be with a gorgeous green background? Pretty dull. Colors need each other….. You’ll find lots of wools in our shop today as I have been filling up the ‘hit and miss’ baskets and all the other baskets of small treasures for rug hookers. We have restocked – I mean, Heather has hand drawn lots of our most popular summer patterns. We have photo cards of our hooked work here too. Cheers, Shirlee and Jack

Pastimes PEI Crow Pattern Beautifully Hooked

10 Jul
Easy to see creative genus…here.. Laverne
Laverne’s on the left has been embellished beautifully…

Many times we see delightful versions of our patterns as hookers use their own creative minds to make over a simple pattern of ours into a piece their own. It’s easy to do with a hooking project because there is no right or wrong way to hook a project. Today was delight for me to see how she had done. Laverne’s version of our crow had a spider trapsing down her web in the moonlight. She recreated her own version as you can see with beautiful blues of all shades for whimsical bird. That’s what makes rug hooking such a fun way to express yourself. A hook, some rags, frame and backing is all it takes. No need to buy expensive equipment until you find it’s for you. We have created many simple patterns – in fact, that’s all w0 do create, so that everyone can hook successfully with a little patience and a whole lot of pleasure.

Today our rag bins are overflowing as I ‘made’ packages of bits and pieces that you can purchase for a ‘song’. Nothing goes to waste here. Lots of patterns, dyed wool, wool yarns from PEI and New Brunswick, too.

My Friend’s Sunflower Hooked Rug from PEI

5 Jul

nice mat….did you do it yourself?
I have to be in every picture, you guys…
Cindy’s original Sunflower mat with some of our wool
I could have done that myself….

This morning bright and early my hooker friend and her son visited Jack and I. It was quite a job getting a picture of them with the mat as you can see. It is not finished as she came for more wool to finish it. Later on she’s coming back for more pieces from my rag bin. What we do not use does not go to waste, someone else can use it. That’s what they used to do in the past, when things were used not thrown out.

I have fresh new baskets of of rags that I sell for those who have to have just one more color. I also have a great selection of MacAusland’s PEI  http://www.macauslandswoollenmills.com/ wool yarn and Briggs and Little New Brunswick (http://www.briggsandlittle.com wool yarn in different plies for either knitting or hooking. We use this wool yarns for both hooking and for whipping around the edges of our mats. It’s an Island tradition to hook in both rags and yarn so we like to carry on with the traditional materials as much as possible.

It’s fun to learn to hook for yourself….

You may get to help us work on a mat if you drop by. There is usually a seat at the big mat frame. We have lots of new patterns that are hot-off-the-press too. Cheers, for today from Jack and Shirlee.

Happy Birthday USA – Hooked Eagles for You

4 Jul
Royal Eagle by Heather

Eagle Eye Hooked by Shirlee

Soaring hooked by Shirlee
Children’s art at Mt. Stewart  PEI Eagle Festival

Today may be a Wills and Kate day for Canada and PEI in particular but it’s a big birthday down south in the States. After we hooked our Bald Eagles for a spring Eagle Festival in PEI, we realized that The American Bald Eagle is symbolic of the United States of America.  We have an eagle that flies by our place every day to get to the water. I don’t claim to know very much about the eagle in native culture but I do know that the eagle and it’s feathers are important and symbolic to their culture. If anyone has information on eagles in native culture, I will gladly put the info/sites here.

Display of eagle in nest with her babies

The displays for the kids were really interesting for adults too.
The organizers made every effort to tell the story of the eagle.

Eagle Ceremony – dancing and drums

School children had learned about eagles in their classes and the display of pictures and poems filled a whole room at the event. To make the opening ceremony complete, an eagle flew high in the sky as the drums began to beat.

In the moment, I only got this…but she was there…

All about eagles and how to get them banded..
Gerald MacDougall shows a participant how they climb high into the trees to get the young birds banded.
Linking up to Inspiration Friday at the Picket Fence

My Hummingbirds are Really Big

16 Jun
not you average hummer…

not your average baby…

Sweet Rocket in the back yard…

Our pets are not always like anyone else’s. The duck has two ducklings and one white chicken; the hummingbird feeder attracted some yellow birds this am. The dog is allowing mice in the porch but after they are in the trap dead, he goes after them. He’s supposed to be a terrier, a Jack Russell. I thought we would never see mice again but no, we still have to get out the old traps and do the job ourselves while Jack helps. He helps herd the ducks. In the wrong direction. He eats Gunter’s food from the cat dish even if I trick him and put his own food in there.

not your usual rooster, I guess…

I hooked this rooster in the winter and used a grey tweed wool yarn from MacAusland’s Woollen Mills on PEI for the background. The other wool is cut strips.