Welcome to My Red Cape. Long ago in another time my husband Jack and I lived in a little old red house. It was the stuff of dreams to us for the few years that we were there. I live there still a number of hours every day in imagination, with old dolls and paintings and fabrics and feather trees. I draw inspiration and happiness from the memories of that space in time and share some of it here with friends who remember how to step with Alice through the looking glass and take delight in whimsies and antiquities.

For more than sixty years I have studied, collected, repaired, and bought and sold antique dolls. They have been back ground music in my life at every stage, sometimes louder, sometimes subdued, but always there with me. To see only the posts about dolls on this blog, click the banner on the right titled Dolls for My Red Cape. Keep clicking “Older Posts” to see more. Some of the posts featuring rug hooking are gathered under the banner For Cathy. From time to time items are offered for sale under the banner “O’Neill’s Antiques” which was our shop name for many years. ~Edyth O’Neill

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

A Nest not so Neat









Since my friends Helen and Elizabeth and teacher Evelyn Newton introduced me to rug hooking in 1978, I have loved it with a whole heart. I had always expected it to be my joy and comfort in case I should ever get old! (am 81 this month). '




Instead 7 years ago we moved from our farm to town and in the process, I worked hard at putting in a new yard for the new house. The side and front were planted well, but the back yard was totally just weeds and grass burrs by the thousands. On one unhappy day I took in after the weeds with a hand pump of Round up, and within 30 to 45 minutes had a hammer thumb on my right hand, ruining the tendon. The company does not make that style of dispenser any more! I kept it wrapped for months and after 7 months it worked normally if not stressed. Writing long hand gripping a pen turns out to be something I cannot do much of. Sadly, Rug hooking is another and so is hand sewing. I once made bed hangings and they had a number of 90 inch french seams, all by hand. Such was my ferver to have everything as right as I could for our old red cape. I often urge my friends and my daughters to take care of their hands!



Since that happened I have done very little hooked work, and once I could do a square foot in a day. I have decided to work on a few much wanted pieces again, just a few strands at a time, and so have made myself a winter nest on a couch with great natural light. The baskets in the photo were gifts from Barb Carroll.


The Bird is a start to replace my partridge pillow which was lost in our house fire. I love working with all the different shades a really great palette of wool allows. Variation is the key to a beautiful surface to me. The whaling rug is a copy of an old one, also printed by Barb at Woolley Fox. Two dear friends have hooked a little of it a while back and I have done some. I love this pattern and want it to lay on our long table. Maybe with the hooking moved into the living room I will remember to put in just my few strands each day or two. Taking care of my right hand has to be priority. Have a Great Day, Edyth

21 comments:

  1. Oh, E. Do be careful but this is so beautiful I am happy to see you working on it!

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  2. So sorry to hear of your hand troubles. Gardening can bring as much pain as joy sometimes. You bird's blue wool sparkles!

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  3. Your piece is so beautiful and I love the wools you are using. I have hand pain and I don't hook as well as I used to, but I love doing it, so worth a little pain;)

    Debbie

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  4. What a beautiful piece of hooking - the blue wools on the bird are gorgeous. I understand how major changes in our hands can be difficult to deal with - we are so fulfilled when creating something. My ability to hand quilt is about gone but Can still appliqué as it is a different motion. Thank goodness for the talents of machine quilters who can finish off my hand work.

    Take care and enjoy those moments when you can work with the wools.

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  5. Beautiful work. Love your color selection.
    Take care!

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  6. Both pieces are beautiful! I enjoy rug hooking but haven't done much of it. Maybe I should start again.

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  7. Oh Edyth, the whale rug is fabulous and I do hope you can chip away at it to it's finish, a few loops at a time! The peacock is wonderful too, hope someday my loops can look as perfect as these! I hope your hand improves with time - take care!

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  8. Edyth,
    Both rugs are fabulous! I'm so glad you are pulling a few loops. Your rugs are a great inspiration to me and it warms my heart to see you hooking again.
    Wishing you a very happy birthday and many more! Lori

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  9. Oh Edith, I so loved reading your blog. I am not far behind you in age but already experiencing the pain of arthritis and other complications from hand surgeries. I so understand taking care of your hands but I think a big part of mine stemmed from 11 years of baton twirling. Who would ever have thought the damage that it would have caused. I so love doing all my needle work projects including rug hooking, needle punch, and more but finding difficulty doing if for very long.
    Your work is so beautiful and I am sorry that you aren't able to do it like you used to. I foresee that coming to me so I try to do my best to take care of my hands when they hurt.
    Hugs and blessings and thank you so much for sharing.
    Jan

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  10. The designs are fabulous, I hope even a bit at a time will bring you joy! Please take care of your hands, they are such a gift, and need to be treated with care. Mine concern me as well, when I tend to overtax them. Bless you and your hands!

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  11. Love your hooked rugs, Edyth. The blues in the bird are my favorite. I also noticed your baskets. They are great. Good luck with your hooking--a little bit each day sounds like a good plan!
    Christine

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  12. Oh my! Your hooking is BEAUTIFUL!!! Love that little partridge!

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  13. Heaven bless and preserve your hands while you hook. You do such
    beautiful work/enchanting colors.
    A blessed birthday be yours, dear
    lady.

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  14. you know, I relearned how to embroider with my left hand when my right got too bad to embroider. I just pretended i was teaching a little child, and I was kind to her when she was clumsy, and encouraged her. My left hand is not yet as good as my right was, but gets better all the time. Perhaps your left hand would consider stepping up?

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  15. So very pleased to see that you're hooking again. A few loops a day will keep you smiling and hopefully pain free. We can't work as fast as we used to, but the quality of your work is unchanged.

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  16. Your work is so beautiful! Just wondering if you have consulted with a orthopaedic hand specialist. I tried to carry in as many plastic grocery bags as I could grasp in my hand as it started to rain a couple of years ago and one of the heavy bags got caught on my left thumb. It was pushed down and I heard a "crunch", but not so much pain. The next day my hand was so swollen I couldn't believe it--At first I didn't even remember injuring it, but a couple of months later had surgery to reattach the ligament--I was unable to even hold a glass of water in my left hand). The surgery was successful and I am so glad I had it. I am VERY careful with my hands now! I'm no spring chicken, but the surgery was so worth it--I would have been unable to do so many things without it.
    V

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  17. I love to have found your spot here - I've made your magnificent Blue Basket Antique : )

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  18. What a lovely partridge - and a joy to find your page. I have hooked your Blue Antique Basket. Anne Lewis.

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  19. where oh where did you find that beautiful divided basket?? Love love!!

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  20. Barb Carroll gave it to me as a sweet gift many years ago. I treasure it! You might email Katie Hartner now and see if she has them for sale. Katie has bought the woolley fox business.

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