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.

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