Sunday, November 22, 2009

International Rug Rave for

We were a smaller group than hoped-for, but four Quoddy Loopers got together yesterday, November 21st, along with rughookers across the world, to hook on a pattern drawn especially for the Rug Rave event by UK rughooker & teacher Heather Ritchie, who has been helping blind and vision-impaired people and their families, in Gambia. She has taught them the craft of rughooking, helped to supply them with 'hessian' [burlap, to North Americans], hooks and recycled T-shirts [wool being scarce there]. Sighted friends, family and caregivers hook outlines and the blind rughookers fill in spaces, or hook abstractly on their own. The resulting mats are sold to tourists. Begging has recently been outlawed in Gambia, so this is a far more satisfactory option for the participants to earn an income.

The aim of the fundraising effort is to help defray cost of materials and to eventually afford the group their own building, so they will not have to lug materials and mats back and forth to the community centre, where they now have occasional space and time for making their rugs.

Each of the Rug Rave participants in Europe, Canada, the USA and Australia have given a donation for the use of the pattern. There will be 3 or 4 of the Rug Aid Rave mats by our group raffled off and the funds raised will also be sent to Rug Aid. Ours are being hooked with wool, as usual - both cut strips of woven wool and woollen yarn. We will sell tickets on them all year and pull the winning names the first Saturday of November, at our 4th annual Hurricane Hook-in in St Andrews [NB, Canada], November 6/2010.

It was suggested that we hook blindfolded for 30 minutes to get a bit of an idea of the challenge the blind rughookers face, which we did. Not an easy task! Those who couldn't make it yesterday will hopefully still be on board for hooking a Rug Aid rug for the raffle, so our numbers could improve. It was a good day and a good feeling to be helping people with difficulties we can only imagine.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Hurricane Hook-in was a blast!

The 3rd Hurricane Hook-in was loads of fun! There were nearly 50 people and we could have managed several more. Many beautiful rugs were on display as well as all the wonderful work that was going on around the room. The parish hall is bright and spacious, and the buzz of friendly chat around the room was constant.

Sande Gunning was there all day with her wonderful wares from the River Gallery, and business seemed pretty brisk. Of course, the wools are fabulous, Joan Kay's patterns were in high demand, and then the tools of the trade, books and accessories were tempting, too.

Visitors came from Fredericton, Sussex, Saint John and Moncton. Hooking seems to be a secondary component of hook-ins, generally - there is a lot of looking and talking about rughooking, but that's all part of the appeal. Rugookers may use the very fine cuts or the wide chunky primitive style, but all appreciate each others' work.

Show and tell of Quoddy Loopers' mats and a few from our visitors.

Here are four of our Quoddy Loopers taking a break from hooking [and talking, eating, etc.], with two of the Church Guild members working on their quilting in the corner, inbetween feeding us yummy snacks and lunch. Nobody went hungry!

There were special visitors to the hook-in - three adorable kittens, looking for a good home. Susan W, one of our group, had a pregnant cat show up on her doorstep. She already has 3 of her own, but couldn't turn away a cat in need. So, she will keep the mother but would like good homes for the babies - with shots, neutred - a deal too good to miss!

Friday, November 6, 2009

last call for Nov 7 hook-in in St Andrews, NB

For any who were wavering, this is your last call for tomorrow's hook-in. We have approximately 55 now registered and there is room to squeeze a few more in--we'd love to have you join us. Do please call or email Mary -- mcjones(at) or call 506-529-3790 to let us know you're coming, so we don't run out of food! Lunch, snacks, door prizes, good company.... all free! There will be room for show and tell, so please bring your latest mat[s] as well as the one you are working on. The WELCOME mat, above, is one by Mary J. Hard to see the 'bling' bits in the photo, but it is lovely--the fairies do sparkle!

Vendor for the day is Sande Gunning of River Gallery, with her travelling shop, full of wool, patterns, hooking accessories, Cushing dyes and something for the quilters, as always. "Established in 2005, the River Gallery is a southern New Brunswick destination for fibre enthusiasts everywhere. A place where quilting, rug hooking and other fibre arts are celebrated."

So, Saturday, November 7th, 9:30 to 3pm [or thereabouts], please join us for a day of wonderful wools and inspiration, in the parish centre [side door] of the Catholic Church of St Andrew, in St Andrews, NB, corner of Parr and King Streets.