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 loved 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. 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

Saturday, June 27, 2020

Love of Wool is a Rabbit Hole

One friend I have enjoyed many years went all the way down this rabbit hole.   She and her husband bought a small ranch so she could raise her own fine hair goats and fine wool sheep. She showed her fleece and her spun yarn and her knitted pieces in the county fair and won awards over many men who had generations of experience producing mohair and wool.  A great yarn shop followed and for some years was a gathering place in the Texas Hill Country for spinners, knitters. rug hookers  and more, of course I am referring to Stonehill of Fredericksburg Texas.  Long ago closed now but still missed.
It was at Stonehill I had a chance to taste of the weaver's joy just a little bit.  As a rug hooker  I often said in my next life I hoped to be a weaver.  I consider Rug hooking, a form of free hand weaving, creating a beautiful surface without linear constraints.  It is akin to other off the loom weaving.
Any and all of the textile crafts, spinning, dying, knitting, weaving, quilting and of course rug hooking have always appealed to me.  Any can be a life time pursuit.   I learned to crochet when I was 16, making sweaters and caps and vests and purses all of wool yarn, I have never been interested in crocheting with string.    
From Stonehill I bought yarn and borrowed a simple triangle loom and wove several shawls.  I am trying to see if I can do that again.  I ordered more than a dozen skeins of beautiful colors but when they came yesterday I was disappointed that over half of the yarn is much finer than I anticipated.  I do have the option to return it right away, but I will try one skein to see if I can weave with two strands enjoyably or not.  I have collected two groups of color, one purple and one bittersweet.  The roving you see needs to become lumpy art yarn, which may or may not happen.  I have a number of skeins left over from past projects.

In the center of this picture you can see the commercially woven plaid I am inspired to take off from.

I may remove the camel colored one or keep it as a highlight.

With these strange days of confinement because of covid, I am entertaining myself with different textile projects.  One is to finish a hooked rug of the Texas flag, to be used as a wall hanging for my great grandson who loves history.    Last evening I finished dressing a tiny wax faced doll,  English about 1840.  This type of doll is called a Mad Alice!  

 Just about every level surface in my house has a project in progress on it.    Stay safe, e

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