CHALLENGE! The Worm Returns

It’s time to have another CHALLENGE for Tin Pedlars members and the 2019 Cumberland Fair provides the perfect opportunity. We plan to hang the finished challenge pieces on the back wall.


You must hook a piece with the worms you have on hand. No cutting new ones. You can trade with others, but only use current worms.

The rug can be any size that will accommodate your stash or gathered collection of worms. Another reminder that worms are not just for geometric style rugs. Picture this free pattern done with worms……


Here’s some inspiration from finished challenge pieces: (check back as we’ll update as others share what they’ve done!)

Your challenge piece needs to be completed by the September 2019 meeting, so it can be hung by the Cumberland Fair committee for showing during the fair.

We have established a “community worms box” that will be available at the upcoming meetings while the challenge is active. So, if you need some, take some. If you have some to share, please do so. And yes, you can just grab a handful or two, or you can sort through for those special colors.

Members have also offered to help design rugs that will hook up well with worms. Just ask.

If you have time, you can submit multiple pieces to the challenge.

This challenge was originally designed by the Ozark Mountain Rug Hookers Guild.

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Dec. Sale!

The Tin Pedlars have receive a variety of generous donations over the years. Recently we received materials from an individual who had a shop. The monies raised by the sale of these materials will be used in support of our programs.

The volume of the materials means we will be having various sales during meetings. We will try to provide a preview of the type of items and prices that will be available each sale.

  • The materials will all have a set price.
  • If there are more parties interested than there of numbers of a specific item the item will be sold by lottery. All interested parties will have names placed in a box. The pulled name will have the option to purchase the item.
  • Items are as is.

Preview for Dec. sale:

Fraser/Rigby Cutter Blades $ 35.00 each





Offset scissors     10.00   





    Burling irons $ 15.00




Hoops $     1.00 to $10.00  





Dye spoons       5.00 





   Cushing dyes       1.00





Bolt of black watch wool       5.00 a yard



Felting supplies       1.00 to 5.00



Wooden prodders       5.00                


Puritan frames w/stands     65.00 each

Small folding wood frame     25.00



Basic hooks     4.00

Special hooks     10.00 to $25.00

Books       2.00 to 5.00

Noodle holders       1.00 /pair


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Celebrate 40 years for ATHA

ATHA has invited all chapters to hook a Birthday cake to celebrate them reaching their 40th year. The celebration will be in Denver at the 2019 Biennial Rug show.

We will be celebrating together enjoying carrot cake and joining our hooking skills to complete this birthday cake (designed by a member).


The group hooking of this 16” x 16” mat will start at the Dec. meeting. Please feel free to bring a variety of bright, colorful, sparkly materials to add to the donated fabrics for this mat.

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Free Patterns to Share

At the Oct. meeting the following 3 patterns were shared with the group. These patterns are free to use. If you are looking to print any of these patterns off you can find them in the Tin Pedlar Google Drive: Free Pattern Folder.

Anyone can access this folder using this link.






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Cashmere People Yarns

These attending the Oct. 13th meeting of the Tin Pedlar of Maine were treated to an engaging presentation by Casey Ryder, owner of PortFiber, 50 Cove St, Portland, ME 04101, on Cashmere People Yarns.

Casey shared how she became involved in this Cashmere People Yarns, a 4-year development project funded by IFAD (International Fund for Agricultural Development). The project’s objective was to create opportunities for rural women in remote areas of Tajikistan and Afghanistan for earning income. The project’s aim was to help co-operatives of women in processing local fibers from Cashgora goats into high quality yarns and linking to the global marketplace for sale of the fiber. Cashgora goats are a cross breed between angora goats (mohair) and cashmere producing goats. The Cashgora goats are raised in Tajikistan and Afghanistan. The harvested fiber is washed in Afghanistan, dying and handspinning of the yarn is done by the co-operatives of women in Tajikistan. Cashmere People Yarns are produced in a socially responsible and environmentally sustainable way. The artisans are earning a fair wage and are fully in charge of their business.

Casey shared photos of her March 2017 trip to Tajikistan to meet the groups of women spinning the yarn and learning more about the program first hand. She did not make it to Afghanistan because of weather. She explained how the Tajikistan groups were structured in 2 different parts of the country. How they meet and worked in the group leader’s home until workshops were constructed. How they went from using sheared fibers to hand combed fibers to increase the quality. She provided some history on the strain og goats that provide this incredibly soft high quality fiber. Casey shared her experiences visiting homes and workshops. She shared her experience of the language barrier (English vs Russian), rural travel, and very different culture. Casey shared stories about Skyping with these groups of women as part of their collaboration on marketing their yarn. About how this project has not only provided a source of income for these women, but also an opportunity to gather as women in a social group.


Each skein of Cashmere People Yarn provides a small bio card on the woman that spin that skein. Casey shared how she is also sharing information on how the yarn is being used by US knitters with the co-operatives.  IMG_5964



Imagine hearing and seeing how a handspun yarn you were responsible for creating has been knit into a beautiful scarf… By seeing the individual who did the knitting and wears the finished item…


Visit the Cashmere People Yarn site to get a complete picture of the project, journey of the fiber and the women of the co-operatives. You can also shop online for this yarn from both the link on the site or if in the Portland, Maine area visit PortFiber. You can also watch this short documentary  to learn more about the history of the area, people, culture and this project.

Casey also shared some of the other fiber art pieces she purchased during her visit, and the handmade socks she received as gifts during her visit.

We are a group of rug hookers, many of whom do a variety of fiber arts, and it’s always fun to see the work of others.


You can also connect to PortFiber and Cashmere People Yarns on Instagram and Facebook @PortFiber and @cashmerepeopleyarns.


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Mug Rug Workshop 5/12

We just found out that there is an opportunity for members to take a short workshop on Saturday 5/12 with Doug in addition to his talk.

They would be working on a pattern of 4 mug rugs which I believe are 5″ across. Most wool is included but would need to be cut, probably in a 4 cut. The cost for all including instruction would be $50.00.

We will try to have cutters there.



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  2018 Two-day workshop with Ania Knap


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Two-day workshop with Ania Knap, September 7 and 8, 2018

Many members expressed an interest in a two-day workshop with Ania after seeing her  poppy piece hooked with torn strips and background of frozen dyeing, so we have arranged for 2-day workshop in Sept. 2018. The workshop will be held at our meeting location. Workshop is limited to 12 people.


NOTE:  The first regular meeting of 2018/19 is on Sept 8th. The workshop will be held in the other smaller room and the rest of the members will have an open day of hooking.

As of this posting, 13 members have signed up indicating interest, so we are ready to confirm the workshop with Ania. We need members to send in a deposit of $50 to reserve their space (in order of dates deposit received). We know there are times plans need to change, so we will maintain a waiting list. We encourage other members with an interest to sign up to the waiting list. If we have 20 people interested, we can schedule another workshop with Ania, and divide into 10 in each class.  So, do not be discouraged…..    

SEND CHECKS MADE OUT TO:   MAINE TIN PEDLAR  to:  Faith Webster, 70a Clark Road, York, Maine 03909

The remaining cost of $140.00 will be due in June.  We will send out a reminder.


Please read and save the following information:

With class size of 10-12, the price for a two day workshop, which includes all wool for background, dyes, utensils, materials, pattern, pre workshop individualized color planning, hand outs and instruction:

  • with pattern is $190.00 **
  • without pattern  (you may want to use a poppy pattern of your own choosing is $155.00

**The pattern included for the $190 is not the one pictured on this post. There will be a poppy pattern specially design for this workshop. The pattern in the photo is a design of Wanda Kerr, of The Welcome Mat. If anyone wants that pattern specifically it can be obtained directly from Wanda Kerr.

Prior to workshop (4-6 weeks or earlier as needed) there will be discussion with each participant regarding pattern need, color planning and suggestions for each as required or requested.


Recommended for you to have for the poppies:

  • 6-10 values for poppies
  • 6-8 values for stems/leaves
  • 2 grays/1black for centers


Workshop Schedule:

Day 1:  Dyeing background ~ Ania will provide:

  1. Wool for background prepared and frozen for dyeing
  2. Formulas, dyes, utensils, trays and materials to complete dyeing
  3. Zip lock bags for taking dyed wool home for washing and drying for next day of hooking
  4. discussion of effects of dyes in different conditions with wool.

Day 2:  Hooking Poppy rug

  1. Handouts and discussion of hooking flowers
  2. additional wool available for purchase for participants not using their own stash
  3. Individual instruction
  4. Group discussion of wide cut shading, light source, warm vs. cool color effects
  5. Equipment necessary on site for the day:  hooking tools, patterns, wools and other needs.
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Holiday Greetings

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The weather might have keep some from joining us, but those present enjoyed this day of friendship and want to pass along greetings for a wonderful Holiday and a Happy New Year!

Our annual December Holiday meeting meant homemade soups and desserts enjoyed by all. We have some very talented cooks within our group.


But before we ate, we had a business meeting about the program ideas for Spring 2018 (which you’ll see outlined below) and played Wool BINGO. A big thank you for the members from the York area that pulled all the prize bags together. The total surprise of the bags added another fun element this year. Whether rolls of wool or also surprise pin, we all appreciated our prizes. Yes, we got to play through twice.

Ok, now for the Business News:

Let’s start with the need for members to step up and take a leadership role. Please consider volunteering!!!! Participation by everyone makes a fun and exciting group!!! Cheri will be asking for a nominating committee to choose officers for the 2018-2020 years. We are also going to need a coordinator for the Cumberland County Fair if we are going to continue our participation. 

Spring, 2018 Tin Pedlar Program Schedule (Schedule Correction made 1/2/18 * for Jan ’18 and Feb ’18 meetings)

  • Saturday, January 13 OPEN HOOKING
  • Saturday, February 10 MAKE AND TAKE Cheri Nixon and Lauri Troutman (remember to set aside and bring in unwanted wool for the auction) 
  • Saturday, April 14 Guest speaker KATHY SPELLACY, Wool and Goods,  Subject:  finishing rugs and hangings.
  • Saturday, May 12 Guest speaker, DOUG RANKIN; Subject: Canadian Folk Artist, Maude Lewis. Doug will bringing many of her patterns with availability to purchase. If anyone wants a particular Lewis pattern, Doug is happy to bring it, but you need to let Faith know  before the May meeting. (you can also reply as a comment to this post and Faith will get it)

May will be our last meeting for the 2017/18 year.

A bit of inspiration! Just some of the creative work happening at the meeting.


Reminder: Saturday, January 27 is the Eliot hook-in

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My Personal Take-away from Ania Knap’s Presentation

Before I share the notes I took during Ania Knap’s presentation to the Tin Pedlars at our Nov. ’17 meeting, I want to thank her for allowing me to take (to share here) whatever photos I wanted of the many hooked items she shared during her presentation.

It was fun to hear how she started her rug hooking journey at an Adult Ed class and how the scientist she is impacts how she looks at it for the art and solutions to questions. The natural world and color drive much of her creative exploration. You will see Ania’s favorite color throughout her shared work – ORANGE!

Here’s my personal take-away from Ania’s presentation.   ~~~

There are many ways to hook circles, triangles, etc., only thing important is to have fun while you are hooking and learning along the way.

Always look for the pattern and deeper for the reflection in the pattern.

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Symmetry is really what makes something pleasing to the eye. It is found throughout the natural world and it is how we simplify what we look at. Symmetry does not always equal mirror image. You can find symmetry within smaller components like in this pasley piece.

Look for symmetry to get to the simplest pattern when working a piece.

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Symmetry also does not have to be perfect. Sometimes the surprise is important. Think about how when you buy one kind of bulb to plant there is often 1 odd one in the batch.


screen-shot-2017-11-14-at-3-17-10-pm-e1510694578661.pngThis piece shows rotational Symmetry. It all starts with the center flower. Diagonally you notice the design compares, but it is not a mirror. The symmetry works as you rotate viewing the rug. There is also symmetry within the smaller components.

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Notice the bits of reflection from the pieces of fruit onto each other…… It’s easy to see the red in the pear by the stem point. Then the purple from the grapes in the lower edge of the pear.





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This is the wool that was used to hook the  background. The worms were cut across the stripes.




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Flora and fauna. Ania worked it from the point of Primary Colors – notice the border – red / yellow / blue. Looking more at the rug you see the flora are all cooler  – blue / yellow / green. The fauna is warmer – red / yellow /orange. You will also see purple in both flora and fauna, but the depth of color is cool or warm following along with the overall idea.





This rug is all straight line hooking of a dyed wool that progressed through colors.

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The worms were cut along the whole dyed piece to get each of the colors. Often we cut the opposite way to get wools from just one color area. The back view clearly shows the straight line hooking.

When you get to dying wool how many get concerned that there will be white spots – no dye? Well, white spots on dyed wool when hook provide the look of light hitting and reflecting in the piece. So those white spots are actually pluses.

Then how many have heard of “snow dying”? Well, what if you don’t have snow? Ice works, but you need a lot. Solution: Freeze your wool before dying. When the dye hits the frozen wool the colors separate.

And here’s my favorite!

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For me this piece shows everything – color, reflection and symmetry.

~~~ Debbie Arcaro

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Loretta Scena’s Doll Brooch Workshop

October has the Tin Pedlars hosting Loretta Scena, from New York, when she presents a short talk and following workshop. Those that wish to make doll brooch similar to those pictured above will join Loretta in our separate workshop room.

Workshop and kits for the doll brooch are $25.

Some have already signed up, but for any others wishing to participate please sign up by sending a note and check to Rachel by Oct 1, 2017.  The check is made out to: Loretta Scena.

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