Upcoming Classes in April at the Maine Studio! Join Us!

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One of the things we promised to do in 2015 was offer more educational classes in a variety of great crafts and skills.  So here we go!  Here are some brand new offerings for April.  Space is limited for each class, so please contact me (Beth) at 207-890-8490 or at ParrisHouseWoolWorks@gmail.com to sign up!

Saturday, April 11th – MAKE A MAY BASKET WITH MASTER BASKET WEAVER KAREN ELLIS

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10 am to 3 pm. Who doesn’t want to make an adorable May basket just in time for Spring!?  This basket can be made in a variety of colors.  Karen will bring many colored reeds to choose from!

The $30 class fee includes all materials needed. Just bring yourself and a bag lunch! Snacks and beverages will be provided. Space is limited to 12 students, so sign up soon!

Tuesday, April 14th – PENNY RUG/APPLIQUE WITH FIBER ARTIST MARY DELANO

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9:30 am – 3:30 pm.  Join us for a wonderful penny rug/applique class with fiber artist Mary DeLano (see her artist profile here: https://fibercollege.wordpress.com/2014/07/08/artist-profile-mary-delano/).

Mary goes beyond the blanket stitch in this class suitable for beginners and also those who want to learn new stitches and techniques for penny rug making. Mary will provide her expertise, embroidery floss, ribbon, and other notions as well as some wool materials. Students need to bring the wool for the background and any scrap wool they might like to incorporate in to their design, and a pair of scissors. We also have plenty of wools and scraps at the Maine studio to choose from.

Class is $45. Please RSVP to secure your spot!

Saturday, April 18th – INTRODUCTION TO WOOL DYEING WITH BETH MILLER

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9 am to 12 noon.  We will introduce pot dyeing, microwave dyeing, and casserole dyeing in colors of your choice, and maybe make new recipes with experimentation!  Class including materials, $32.   Space is limited to four students.  This one is almost full right now, so don’t hesitate!

I will continue to post class offerings here, but you can also always go to our Workshops & Classes tab to see what’s scheduled for the year.  Hope to see many of you in the studio!

Happy hooking! – Beth

Just a reminder…Works Wednesday! And other news.

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Our ongoing feature, Works Wednesday, continues over on our Facebook page.   Join us, or feel free to post your current project in the comments here!

In other news, Jen and I are in the beginning stages of developing interactive webinars where you can join us for chats and demonstrations on a variety of topics relating to hooking and homesteading.  Stay tuned for more info and a schedule.

This Saturday’s dye class in Maine may well not happen, as I do not have sufficient sign ups.  If you are still interested, please contact me at 207-890-8490 by the end of the day tomorrow.  Otherwise, we’ll shoot for another time in April.

Happy Wednesday and happy hooking! –  Beth

First Beginner Dye Workshop at the Maine Studio Set for January 24th

I will be teaching our first beginner dye workshop at the Maine studio on Saturday, January 24th from 9 a.m. to noon.  For time, safety, and instructional purposes, I have to limit the class size to four students at a time, and will run the class only if I get at least two signed up.   This is experimental as we have not taught dyeing here before, so let’s see how this time and format works for everyone!

This class is best suited for those who have either never dyed wool before, or who need a refresher before trying it again after a long time away from it.

We will be learning three basic types of dyeing in this class:

1) Pot Dyeing

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Basic pot dyeing gives a single color to a piece of wool.  This technique can be used nonetheless to get a variety of shades of the same color, and you can put a variety of wools in to the same pot to yield different results, but essentially, there is one overall color in the pot.  This color may be made from a single dye or a recipe of several dyes mixed to achieve the desired color.

2) Microwave Dyeing

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Remember tie dyeing at summer camp?  It’s a little like that.  Multiple colors may be used on a single piece of wool for a variety of great effects.  Fun, fun, fun.

3) Casserole Dyeing

Sorry this photo is blurry!  Think of looking at steaming wool! We are going to use an electric skillet for this.  It is another method for dyeing multiple color pieces, but I find that the blending of the colors is a little softer from color to color in the casserole than in the microwave technique.

We will be using Cushing Perfection Dyes which come from Kennebunkport, Maine and are available in a very wide variety of colors for use alone or mixing and matching.

Cost of the class will be $32 per student which will include the class, printed handouts for reference at home, 3 fat quarters of plain white wool to dye, plus 1 fat quarter of textured wool of your choice to try an overdye with.

If interested, please call me at 207-890-8490, email at parrishousewoolworks@gmail.com, or send a private message on our Facebook page! First come, first served.  We will do dye workshops in Maine quarterly and the next class will be held on April 25th.

Hope to see some of you for a fun day of dyeing!  – Beth

What’s In Store for 2015? Maine Edition

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designed by Freepik.com

It’s been an exciting 2014 for Parris House Wool Works.  2014 was the first full year that the Maine studio was open.  This year we firmly established the best.hooking.group.ever meeting every Tuesday in Maine, we were welcomed in to the Beekman 1802 Rural Artist Collective (thank you Josh, Brent, staff, and every living thing at Beekman 1802!), we were finalists in the Martha Stewart American Made contest, and we had an even better 2nd Annual Paris Hill Hook-In.  We redesigned our website, made many new friends and customers, and introduced our soap line and other new products and patterns.   I continued my participation in The Keeping Room’s fall Harvest Hook-In and Hooked Treasures’ Spring Fling Hook-In (thank you Toni and Cherylyn!).  Thanks to Cathy at the Oxford Mill End Store I taught quite a crop of beginning hooking students there this year.  I also got to teach a wonderful group at the Sabbathday Lake Shaker Village last summer (thank you, Michael and everyone at SDL!) and participate in Open Farm Day there.

So what’s on tap for 2015?  Well, here are just a few of the ideas I plan to bring to fruition.

MORE CLASSES

I’ve been asked to teach a beginner dye class for a very long time now.  Our first beginner dye class in Maine will be held in January, with beginner dye classes held quarterly thereafter in April, August, and November.  I will also start beginning hooking workshops quarterly, in February, May, September, and December.  In addition, I will try to schedule more classes by other teachers, including Connie Fletcher for her popular Tips & Tricks class again if possible.   Watch the “Classes & Workshops” section of the website for specific date announcements!

The incomparable Connie Fletcher of Seven Gables Rug Hooking teaching her Tips & Tricks class to the Maine studio hookers.

MORE HAND DYES

Our hand dyed wool is becoming more and more popular and in demand.  I will be setting aside more time to bring you beautiful hand dyes.  I will continue custom dyeing services as possible, but hope to increase the variety of hand dyes on the shelf so as to bring more options in any case.

PARRIS HOUSE PUBLICATIONS

There’s been banter in the Maine studio about creating a cook book based on the recipes and hooking experiences of our Tuesday group.  I would like to make that a reality this year, as well as a Parris House Wool Works calendar (obviously a priority given that it’s almost January!), and possibly hooking themed note cards and other paper goods to celebrate our love of the craft.  And, of course, our quarterly email newsletter will continue.  Stay tuned for news on this.

Vegetable latke recipe made by Beth, but given to her by Maine hooker Libby Armstrong.

EXPANSION OF OUR SOAP AND SPA PRODUCT LINE

We are working on new all natural scents all the time.  In Maine, our newest soap scent is Winter Peppermint Potpourri.  These new soaps will be available in January at the Maine studio, at the McLaughlin Garden gift shop, and in our Etsy shop.  Also in development are lotions, cream perfumes, and candles.  We hope to eventually offer “spa sets” for gift giving or just for personal pampering.

SEPTEMBER MAINE LAKE HOOKING & HIKING RETREAT

This is the year we do this thing, the Hooking & Hiking Weekend Retreat at Sunset Haven on Little Sebago Lake in Gray, Maine.  As a Registered Maine Guide, I have been looking forward to combining two of my passions, hiking and hooking, and sharing them with hookers at a special, restful retreat.  We’ll keep the hiking at a level everyone can do (or if that part of the program is not your thing, you can hang out at Sunset Haven on the lakeside deck with a glass of wine) and bring the warm and relaxed ambiance we have at Tuesday group in Paris to the lake.  Space will be limited.  I will have detailed information and registration materials up on our web page and social media by March, so keep an eye out.

MAINE STUDIO HIT AND MISS RUG FOR CHARITY

Again, acting on an idea that came from the Tuesday hooking group, I will provide a large hit and miss pattern on a single piece of linen for our hookers – or anyone who comes in to the studio – to work on at their leisure.  We still have a BIG basket of random worms bequeathed to us by Artful Hands, and we ALL have our not-so-secret stashes of leftover worms from other projects.  Two of our Tuesday group hookers have been affected by kidney disease, and so, when the rug is finished we will raffle it off to benefit a charity relating to that disease in 2015.

Rug by kidney transplant recipient and Maine studio hooker Irene Adams as a gift to her transplant team this year.

TEACHING AT SQUAM

Honestly, I am so bowled over by the opportunity to teach at the Squam Art Workshops in June, I don’t even know what to say.  Thank you, thank you to director Elizabeth Duvivier for this opportunity, and dear friend and poet Sarah Sousa who brought my art to Elizabeth’s attention.   Join us for a wonderful hooking workshop!

Those are just some of the highlights, but also on the goal sheet are:

  • the addition of many new patterns to our offerings, including more abstracts and contemporaries to go with our traditional fare
  • get a pattern featured in Rug Hooking Magazine!
  • be a featured maker on the Etsy blog!
  • enter the Martha Stewart American Made contest again
  • enter rugs for exhibit to Hooked in the Mountains
  • our 3rd Annual Paris Hill Hook-In – be there!
  • teaching again at the Sabbathday Lake Shaker Village
  • possibly do a hooking retreat at the American Hotel in Sharon Springs, NY – TBD
  • attend the Sharon Springs Harvest Festival as vendors this year
  • the development of a line of both more hooked and non-hooked scented and warming pillows for the Etsy shop

Running a small business that is your dream and passion can be serendipitous, so in spite of all the careful planning and goal setting, I know there will be surprises along the way.  Goals set may happen slightly differently, and opportunities I can not dream of at this moment may present themselves.  In any case, none of this would be possible without you, dear reader, and so I thank you and wish you the happiest and most prosperous of New Years!  Happy New Year and happy hooking!  – Beth

Beth Will Be Teaching at the Squam Art Workshops, and Is She Ever Excited!

For those of you who have not heard of the Squam Art Workshops, directed by Elizabeth Duvivier and held both on Squam Lake in New Hampshire and in Providence, Rhode Island, I recommend you click HERE and watch the video, less than a minute long.

I’ll wait…

Did you watch it?  When I first watched that video earlier this year, my first thought was, “This is me.  This is who I am.”  My New England soul immediately connected with the lake, with the women lost in creative endeavor, with the natural surroundings, and I thought, “I have to go there some day.”

Imagine my delight and surprise when I was presented with an opportunity to teach there!  And that is just what I’ll be doing for the Spring Retreat, held June 3rd through the 7th, 2015.

I will be teaching a class, suitable for beginner hookers, called Modern Heirloom.  The pattern shown at the top of the page will be our foundation, but you can bet not a single one of them will look exactly like that finished, and if I’ve achieved my teaching goal, each one will reflect the inner heart and creativity of the individual student.  I will provide a wide variety of hand dyed and as-is wools, as well as a plethora of more unconventional materials for experimentation and expression.

If you’d like to know a little bit more about me, my teacher profile is here.  But be sure to read about all of the other wonderful teachers too, including my amazing friend Sarah Sousa who will be teaching a workshop called Found Poetry.

I will be teaching two classes of ten students each, so if you’d like to join us, please sign up soon!  Students come from all over the country and many describe the retreats as life changing.  Registration information may be found here for the Spring Retreat.  I hope to see some of you there!

Happy Monday, Happy December, and Happy Hooking! – Beth