Tag Archives: fabric

Finally Friday Paint & Stitch

Hi!  We just recently wrapped up our Finally Friday Paint & Stitch Get-togethers!  Jake and I have been hosting these gatherings all winter long and now will take a summer break and come back in October.  Every month, on the 2nd & 4th Friday evenings, people from the community who share common painting & stitching interests gathered at the Arctic Rose Gallery & Art Center, downtown 5th Ave, Anchorage, Alaska.  It’s a beautiful Art Gallery and so cozy in the back where we meet.  Thank you Jana for letting us get together there!  So Jake’s (Kurt) the painter and I”m the stitcher.

Our First Gathering

Our First Gathering

It’s been a lot of hard work but soooo much fun and rewarding!  Almost every gathering we’ve had different people come and join us along with a small core group that formed.  We also have a potluck and that has been really nice because we start at 6pm and many come straight from work and we all share our goodies together while unwinding from the hectic week.  We all share our talents too and I’ve learned so much and made friends.

Jan Instructing

I saw painters who started as beginners become experienced and awesome painters!  I saw crocheters who began to knit!  I saw friendships develop and blossom!  I’ve known some of the people for a long time but got to know them better.  The buzz was always “what are we going to bring to eat and work on this week?”  I saw the excitement each time we all came together, excited to share and learn.  I have a hard time around people (I fake it pretty good) but everyone made each other comfortable and was accepting of each other.   Even though we were all different ages, we were like one big family!  It was so wonderful to experience that! I love each one of them.

11-23-2012 Beautiful Paintings   Joni and BlueHands

We even shared things that we made, like I bought a beautiful pair of earrings from Cathe!  And Nicole brought handmade felted soap!  Jan and Joni bought some of Jake’s paintings and Angie showed her cute crocheted baby onesie & hat sets along with her Angry Bird hats she sold at Christmas.  We all watched Sarah work on her darling crocheted mushroom until she completed it.  Funny, I never did really complete anything because I always got side tracked looking at everyone else’s projects:)

Angie and Nija Turtles                Sarah

The last Friday the stitchers convinced me to show them how to locker hook and before I knew it I had a FULL class!  I honestly wasn’t prepared for a class….thought it was just going to be a demo!  But everyone, having stitching experience whether it was knitting, crochet, tatting, felting, weaving, embroidery, jewelry, sewing, and etc. all caught on fast.  It was a great class and I am so proud of them:)

locker hooking gathering

I know we are going to miss our Friday gatherings but it always seems that when spring & summer come we all are out doing other things.  In Alaska we take advantage of the good weather!  But we will all come together again in October and share more projects, fun, food, laughter, and friendships.   Hope everyone has a great summer and Jake and I can’t wait to see you in October!

Jake Painting


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Filed under Alaskan Life, Crochet, Locker Hooking, Uncategorized

Recycled Rag Rug For Earth Day

Hi!  Years ago rag rugs were made from old clothing, stockings, etc. and rugs were used on beds to keep families warm and then went down to the floors and on walls to insulate their homes.  I’ve crocheted rag rugs for a long time but  I’ve always used new store-bought 100% cotton fabric.  I even have several rag rug crochet patterns that I sell.  But the prices for cotton fabric has gone sky-high here in Anchorage and I simply can’t afford to make rag rugs anymore.  So I got to thinking that I should give recycled sheets another try and succeed this time!  So I’m RECYCLING FOR EARTH DAY (tomorrow) and beyond!

I absolutely love going to thrift stores and looking for treasures!  I’ve never told anyone this, but my Senior Prom dress was from a lovely second-hand store and it was gorgeous, definitely something I’d never be able to afford if I bought it new!  So I’ve been having a blast looking for recycled bed sheets and I’ve found some nice colors and designs.  There’s not a huge selection to choose from but it’s a start.  I got a BIG SHOCK though at the cost!  I had no idea they cost sooooo much!  The lowest was $7.95 for a twin and then jumped to $12.95!!  These are used, and some with holes!  But then I remembered that some thrift stores have different colored tags–50 % off weeks.  Last week it was yellow and this week is orange.  And the Salvation Army sheets cost less but usually only have one or two, maybe.

Recycled Sheets

Recycled Sheets for my Rag Rugs

I started my new recycled rag rug in my usual spiral fashion with crochet hook size Q and it was terrible!  The color joining was horribly uneven! I couldn’t figure out what I was doing so wrong?  And I was so close to being done!

Uneven color changes

Spiral Rag Rug and Uneven Color Changes

I ripped it out and tried and tried again and again.  Nothing worked!  So I ripped it back to the second red circle and joined each round. But it still didn’t work, so I ripped it back to the center red circle and it still sucked!  So…….I guess the lesson is, rip it ALL out and START OVER! I knew that!!

Finished-more even color changes

Rag Rug with joined rounds and even colors

And this is how my recycled rag rug FINALLY turned out! I can live with this one, OK 🙂

1. When working with such contrasting colors it’s better to join each round to minimize color changes.  With similar colors you can use the easier spiral method just fine.

2. When it doubt, RIP IT OUT!

3. Trust your gut and do it right the FIRST time!  I knew that!

4. Happy EARTH DAY 2012 and hooray for RECYCLING!

♥ Donna

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Crocheting at night in Alaska

Hi!  I love to locker hook or crochet in the evenings, relaxing and watching the news. I am a night owl. Jake is an early bird.  Sometimes I’ll stay up after he goes to bed and hook into the night.  It is so quiet and peaceful!  We live up and on the side of a mountain.  We are in Anchorage and there are many who live up here, but we have lots of trees and privacy.  It feels like we live in the wilderness when we drive down our dirt road to home.  Nights are when I get a lot of things done. This is when my creativity juices flow.  I know I am not alone as many artists and crafters enjoy the nights solitude.

About two weeks ago, I was crocheting and watching a scary movie (I don’t very often at night!).  Jake and the animals were downstairs sleeping when I thought I saw a large black figure go past our front door window panel. I absolutely froze! We don’t get visitors here, especially at night.  And because we live in a dome home, we don’t have curtains.  It went up the stairs to the deck.  I shot up off the couch but my legs got caught in the yarn!  I could see he was coming back and by the time I reached the front door I came eye to eye with this huge black bear.  Scared me to death! I gasped and he went back to the deck while I flew downstairs yelling for Jake.  Well, by the time he came upstairs the bear was gone.  I was really freaked out! We have black bears here in the summer but NEVER that close!  Well apparently our neighbors left their garbage out the night before and they don’t have a bear protected garbage can.  Jake said there was garbage spread all over the street in the morning.  Also bird seed attracts bears (we found that out the first year we lived here!).  Several days later we hear that a bear nearby tried to enter a home and was shot.  Wow, it could have been me!

Last week I went back to crocheting on my couch and enjoying the solitude of the night, feeling safe again.  The dog started barking (she doesn’t very often) and I turned to look and we both looked right into the face of a black bear!  AGAIN! The bear went up and down the stairs to the deck.  When I got down to the front door window, I was looking right at this huge bear’s face, eye to eye!  We were both standing.  Then he suddenly leaned over towards us and took his huge paw with long claws and took a swipe at the dog, scratching his claws against the glass, then slowly walked away!  This time I came running downstairs yelling “where’s the shot-gun”!!  I love Alaska, but this is ridiculous! I knew if that bear came back again he would definitely bust the door down and come in.  I haven’t slept well since!  Jake didn’t think he could.

A few nights ago Jake and I were watching the news and they reported that for the last two weeks they have had trouble with bears trying to get into people’s homes on the hillside.  Last Thus. three black bears broke down someones door and came into their home and they had to shoot the bears.  But one got away!  Jake and I looked at each other.  I was thinking “I knew it could happen!” and he was thinking “Maybe I should have believed her!”.  At least I hope he was thinking that.  So……one is still roaming around!

Everyday living in Alaska is an adventure!


Some of my crochet rag rugs

Some of my crochet rag rugs

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A Warm Welcome!!

I want to welcome you to my new blog!

My name is Donna Jacobson, an author, teacher, crocheter, and avid crafter from Anchorage, Alaska.  In 1999, I started my business called Alaska Locker Hooking Etc., when I wrote and self-published the first locker hooking book written on fabric entitled, “Locker Hooking With Fabric Strips”.

I know you’re thinking, “WHAT in the world is locker hooking??”

Well, it’s an old rug hooking technique that started around the early 1900’s in Great Britain.  Using fabric strips (or thick yarn or roving), latch hook canvas, a locker hook (which is a 6.5″ long crochet hook and the other end has a large needle ‘eye’), and strong yarn (which is threaded through the ‘eye”), you can make beautiful and sturdy rugs, wall hangings, clothing, belts, blankets, pet beds, lots of kitchen items, frames, purses, baskets, and tons of home decor and accessories.  Things that you can actually use and wear!  It’s really easy, quick, inexpensive, portable, and just plain fun!

A locker hook

A steel locker hook used in "locker hooking"

It’s really great for those who love fabric and yarn and a great way to use up those scraps!

No….it’s not latch hooking.  It’s just different!

I have soooo much to share with you!


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