seed pod newsletter
024 miss monday © 1998 Maria Pahls
Miss Monday © 1998 Maria Pahls
seed pod #24
© Copyright 1997 Maria Pahls
Published to the internet
by arrangement with Homespun Peddler.

Fence Post
the fence post
(editor's letter)

dear friends,

the seed pod is always looking for wonderful primitive craftspersons to feature in our current newsletter. people who work with wood, cloth,tin illustrators etc...if you are one of these folks,please get in touch with me via e-mail at

primitively yours,
maria pahls
drop a line
miscellaneous letters sent in by readers
twila wrote in about a recent sale she took part in:

".. last weekend i helped my friend do a craft show.i took 12 of my primitive dolls and sold all but 3. was i ever happy!! one lady thought my trio of dolls were frogs! i believe she needed her eyes checked. there were 200 crafters in one big field at a state park and by afternoon it was about 92 degrees. very hot!!! we lucked out with a spot in the shade all day. the booth rent was only $10!" twila

rosalee wrote in with a story involving dying wool :

"Many years ago I did a spinning class at night and one week we thought we would try some natural dyes. We selected some eucalyptus leaves and put them in a large kettle, with water and the fleece. We were doing this in a classroom at night in winter, so we had closed the door. As the night wore on, we were all at our wheels, spinning and swapping stories, inhaling the lovely scent of the eucalyptus and talked of clearing our sinuses, warding off colds etc, laughing all the while. At the end of the evening, we thought we had better check our dyed fleece (we had forgotten about it) and guess what, the gas burner had blown out and we were all quite *high* on the gas! I can't even remember what happened to the fleece.

I just noticed some kits available here,in australia,where you knit on large loose needles (in this case a bear shape) in wool yarn and then wash it in hot water, tumble dry on the hot setting. It shrinks and felts to a distressed dense look. This process may be adaptable for clothing/accessories, even primitives, maybe a knitted rug, shrunk to make a "quilt".

In Australia, very early "quilts" were made patching squares of scrap fabric (mainly old blanket pieces) together (in no particular pattern) sandwiching an old blanket between the layers. When it wore out it was simply sandwiched into the new cover. These quilts are called "Waggas"." rosalee

kate t., also from australia, sent in a note about "waggas" or "woggas" in this case...

" With regard to wool projects, I've just been in a most interesting workshop at the Winterfest in my town. Making a throw rug or quilt with wool patches from old coats & skirts & embroidered with wool. The squares were joined first by machine then selected squares embellished with 3D flowers in wool.Then all the seams are over sewn with big stitches. It's called a "WOGGA", used to be made by Australian Aborigines from skins & furs. Mine's coming on great, I'm not really an embroiderer but you don't have to be wonderful to get a lovely, earthy blanket."

primitive ponderings
questions asked by readers, then replied upon in later issues.


" Would you like to see a booth carrying the following: Skin-toned fabrics, Broken-down fabrics & trims in matching colors; remnants of unusual colors & textures- maybe very old.; old buttons. etc ? I'd really appreciate response from you primitives on this. Maybe you prefer to dye your own at the time of designing. Please tell me your feelings either way, as I see the need but don't know if my imagination's running wild here." kate t.

motivation for sale? (#23) kate s wrote in on how she gets motivated:

"Thought I should make my first post to this group. -Debi P was wondering about motivation. To motivate myself to prepare for upcoming shows I go to my computer and make a list. For each show I know approximately how much inventory I need so I make a list of the items I would like to have done for that show. I list the item, selling cost per item, number I want to make, total selling cost of all, and then a spot to check when they are completed. Just keep adding things until I reach the grand total I am looking for. It gives me a sense of completion when I can put that check there at the end of the column. It also helps me ensure I will have enough stock. I make a different list for each sale and usually end up with different things at each show, because it depends on what appeals to me at the time of the list making. Of course, you have to include the items which didn't sell at the sale previous (may they be few)! Anyway, it seems to work for me!" kate s.
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tips & techniques
highlights of tips sent in by readers

recently i have noticed many wool projects and articles on rug hooking using wool fabric strips.

one of my favorite sources for primitive patterns and such is "kindred spirits". a pattern book that they have out called: "woolen stuff" tells about wool types and gives references for rug hooking books and supplies.

in their above mentioned book,sally korte and alice striebel speak of the virtues of wool and how forgiving it is to work with. they talk about felting wool,a simple process, to make wool that "acts" like felt. the finished product is often thicker and fluffier than actual polyester felt. it is more economical to felt the wool your self. (see techniques) the wool is great to applique, both as the item being applied and applied to kindred spirits also has some wool hooking projects in some of their other booklets.

skirt weight wool,used for making, skirts and clothing... this is the wool often used for making strips for hooking and can be felted. (find old used wool skirts in your local thrift shop and recycle them.)

boiled wool- an intensely felted wool,heavy weight, you see jackets made of this, also good for clothing.

hand dyed wool-sort of resembles something that was tye-dyed,having a molted or uneven look or even multi-colored.

raw wool is straight off the sheep,may be cleaned or not when you get it (you'll know!). usually has little specks of grass and other debris still in it. often spun to make other wool products that you see sold for hair and beards on dolls. can be used to stuff with,or accent dolls.

mohair as defined by American Heritage dictionary: 1. a. the hair of the angora goat. b. a shiny heavy woolly fabric made of this hair,often with a mixture of cotton. 2. an upholstery fabric with mohair pile.

felting wool

take the piece of 100% wool (this is the only kind that works properly) and put into boiling water or at least extremely hot. have a container with cold water and ice ready. remove the wool after a few minutes and shock it by putting into the cold ice water. next dry the wool in the clothes dryer. this process can be repeated if desired and you can adapt the process to your clothes washing machine.

rug hooking tips

always use quality hooking fabric and backing. skirt wool for the strips that is pre washed and dried is best and for the backing angus cloth,monks cloth or linen. usually the strip size is stated if you purchase a pattern but if you are free-handing try 1/4" wide and a #2 primitive rug hooker. a frame is necessary to keep your work taunt. achieving the uneven look, typical of primitive projects, is done by selecting wool colors carefully and vary colors with slightly different shades. kindred spirits prefers to use veiling cloth to transfer the pattern to the backing cloth. they suggest taping the veiling over the pattern paper. transfer pattern to veiling with permanent marker. then tape the veiling to the backing fabric and re-trace with permanent marker so that the marker "bleeds the design onto the backing"
burlap sack
mail order resources section

Lancaster Rug Hooking Co.
      102 Hamilton Ave./PO Box 553
      Lancaster, KY 40444/ph#606-792-4536
(this is the kit debee bought) It says on the tag "Makers of Primitive Rug Hooking Kits and Finished Rugs". The kit included a 10" X 26" pattern stamped on burlap, a photo of the finished piece, wool already cut into 1/4" strips, a primitive hook, printed instructions AND a video about "How to Hook".

kindred spirits offers rug hooking patterns in many of their pattern books. kindred christmas has small projects for the beginner including ornaments and wall hangings and things for dolls to hold. woolen stuff has stool cover, small purse, jacket, and an angels wings, this book also has quite a few wonderful wool projects as well. other books, such as making spirits bright also have hooking projects. they also sell individual hooking kits, the primitive hooker and backing fabric.
kindred spirits
    115 colonial lane
    dayton ohio 45429
Book Wormie   book reviews
books of interest
Hook and I
booklet by KINDRED SPIRITS see address above

the rug hook book
by thom boswell
1994 isbn 0806983590

the comlete book of rug hooking
byjoan moshimer
1989 isbn 0486259455

hooking rugs new materials new techniques
by g.crouse
isbn 0942391411

american hooked and sewn rugs, folk art under foot
by kate & joel kopp
isbn 0826316166
spider web
web sites of members & other sites of interest

kindred spirits patterns on the homespun peddler site.


yankee peddlar rug hooking site

jan patek

rug hooking frequently asked questions

rug hookers network

rug hooking on line
poetry and verses to use for samplers etc.

"I have a little shadow that goes in and out with me,
And what can be the use of him is more than I can see.
He is very, very like me from the heels up to the head;
And I see him jump before me, when I jump into my bed."
        Robert Louis Stevenson "my shadow"

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