Sunday, June 22, 2008

summer's here in St Andrews

Six Quoddy Loopers went to the wonderful hook-in in Fredericton, hosted by the Heritage Guild in May. The hooking was fun, show-and-tell gorgeous and inspiring, and the lunch was lovely. Sande Gunning was there with her River Gallery goodies, so shopping rounded out a perfect day.

The city and outlying areas were starting to recover from the scary flooding of the St John River, and we took a walk afterwards to see the swollen, fast moving river, with huge old tree trunks, roots and all, beached on the shore as the waters receded, inch by inch. A sobering look at the unkinder aspects of Mother Nature, though it pales in scale against some of the disasters in the US and elsewhere.

The Quoddy Loopers meet all year long and welcome visitors - no matter their level of rughooking experience - any Wednesday evening. The group tends to be a little larger in the cold months; now that everyone is gardening or just enjoying warmer weather, there is competition for hooking time. Once the heat of summer gets stronger, the lure of a cool bright space to hook in brings a few more back, but there are always a few die-hards, each week.
Inspiration for rugs comes from so many places, but for me, at least, nature provides a wealth of ideas, and looking at others' rugs and mats is also inspiring - everyone has a different palette and way of putting colours together. One of the rughooking online groups I visit frequently is: -- even for those who are far from a 'real' group, online visiting, displays, encouragements and advice are always available. Being part of a virtual group is another joy of rughooking, meeting people you would likely never get to know otherwise. There is also a list of rughooking groups in the US and Canada, and a list of blogs.

The Fairmont Algonquin Hotel, golf course & the Town of St Andrews, NB,
Canada's premier seaside resort town
I just had a great visit at: Trudy's daughter and friend are working at the old and beautiful [Fairmont] Algonquin hotel here in town this summer [above]. It's just a few steps from the superb 27-acre Kingsbrae Garden, where I work.
Kingsbrae Garden windmill with lupins--the popular maritime wildflower--and Cora & Lily with the armillary in the Knot Garden [on a visit from Leeds, UK]

Kingsbrae Garden: under a horse chestnut tree in the Perennial Garden and Alice & Angelina [alpacas]
These are two of our four alpacas at Kingsbrae Garden, mother and daughter. We also have two males, Alfie [cream] and Albert [black], so when the experts from Legacy Lane and the Scenic Valley Alpaca Farm, where we got our alpacas, come to shear them later this month, they will have different colours of wool to make into yarn and roving for us. Several of us who work at the Garden are looking forward to the products to use in our own knitting and special hooking projects. At the environmentally responsible Legacy Lane mill [near Sussex, NB], they use alpaca, merino, soy and bamboo fibres, for strength and sustainability.