Friday, November 26, 2010

Mystery clamshell and hit-or-miss rug

Judith Dallegret posted a mystery rug on her blog "Just go hook it", with a lovely runner - partially completed - using a clamshell border and a beautifully conceived and hooked hit-or-miss central motif. It is an excellent example of using a traditional design or motif - in this case, two quilt patters, clamshell and feathers, to make a terrific geometric mat. "Scrappy" rugs like this are a great way to use up those spare woolly worms we all end up with, or tiny scraps of special wools from other projects, although scrappy is not really the right adjective for this one. Delish!
Have a look, and if you know the creator please let Judith know by clicking on the link to her blog under the photo. I'd love to know too, so I can attribute it properly.


Of Petals and Wool: Food Court Mob, Hallelujah Chorus ...

I have to wonder how many were plants (from a community choir, for instance) and how many just joined in for the love of singing. I bet there were a lot of people in the food court and mall that day that had never heard the splendour of the Hallelujah chorus sung in parts by a 'mob'.

(link to) Of Petals and Wool blog: video - Food Court Flash Mob, Hallelujah Chorus ...

Religious affiliation aside, this is a vocal tour de force. The acoustics aren't bad, either!

The greens look a tad grey here, and the letters need tweaking, but it seems to fit with today's post. A traditional style hooked mat with padulas - imaginary flowers - in 100% wool, woven and sweater/knit strips. #6-8 and handcut on Verel. (Maureen M)

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Another Hurricane Hook-in, come and gone...

Mats on display - great when visitors bring their
show & tell to add to ours!

The Quoddy Loopers of St Andrews NB held their 4th annual Hurricane Hook-in Nov 6th--always the 1st Saturday of November, so please mark your calendars for next year (Nov 5th, 2011).

There were over 40 people in attendance and it would seem a good time was had by all. Unfortunately, I had to miss as a family visit coincided. Thanks to Sandra L for taking these photos so I didn't feel totally left out!

Three of Deanne Fitzpatrick's wonderful women... not sure who they are hooked by. It's neat to see so many of these women and how different dress/hair/background colours give individual character to each one. Two mats by (I believe) Mary G of Fredericton: a crisp Celtic and monochromatic self-portrait. The different styles available to us are legion; this shows three distinct and delightful takes on rughooking.
 A few Quoddy Loopers in the background
with guests enjoying a visit in the fore

a happy mat, marking seasons of the year
I love the mat on the right, which was inspired by a decorative tin, left, by Carol-Ann N of Carnegie Rughookers in Saint John. It's been interesting to see it progress over the last year or so; looks like binding is all that's left to finish.

Sande and David Gunning of River brought their roving shop to St Andrews (from Glenwood, NB, not far from Saint John and GrandBay/Westfield). As well as supplying rughookers with great wools, patterns, notions, etc, they bring some delicious batik and other quilting cottons every year, as the Guild does a lot of quilting to support the Church. River Gallery generously donated several yards of luscious wool to add to our door prizes and raffle baskets, which is much appreciated, helping everyone to have a wonderful day.

Two generous gift baskets were raffled off, with funds going to the church where we meet every Wednesday, from 6:30 to 8:30 pm, missing the very occasional stormy or holiday Wednesday. Our group is smaller these days, with members having different priorities in life, but it's good to see some out at the hook-in (minus hurricane) and wonderful that even those who could not be present contributed so we would have a fun gift for each guest as well as these baskets to raffle. Kimm M of Fredericton HRHG won the big basket. Carol-Ann N, Gwen H, Sandra S, David G and Rhonda B were our other winners of door prizes. We hope those who come infrequently, continue to come and that those faces we haven't seen in awhile will return to hook with us!
More visitors, some from HRHG and at least one from Carnegie. Mary J is holding the front line, with surgery recovery getting in the way of wielding her hook. Of course, a lot of the 'business' of any hook-in is looking at each other's rugs and mats, chatting, enjoying the camaraderie... and the food. As always, the Guild ladies of the Catholic Church of St Andrew presented a lovely lunch, with sandwiches and sweets provided by the Loopers.  

Hope to see everyone next year, or sooner!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

More mats on the go by Quoddy Loopers...

Mary J's wedding rug for Natasha
Mary J designed a sunshiney yellow mat for her niece and new husband...  "Live Love Laugh Forever" - good words to be going on with in a marriage!
Hella H put her current mat on hold to work on her Rug Rave rug for Rug Aid. (designer, Heather Ritchie)
Hella H's Rug-Aid Rug Rave mat in progress
I am, unfortunately, late in getting these posted, so will hope to soon have finished photos of them all!
Lynn K's mat is nearly finished!
 Lynn K has a couple of mats done. This one is adorable and so close to being finished; designed by ????. The apple tree, saltbox house, padula flower, stars and crescent moon make an appealing scene, out of scale as many primitive rugs are.

Lynn is currently working on Sylvia Squirrel, a free pattern from Rug Hooking Magazine. Sept/Oct 2009 issue, designed by Mary Johnson, Designs in Wool. Her squirrel has sparkly fluffy grey tail and accents - very cute!

Here are a few small (approx 6" in diameter) funny faces that I plan to stuff and stick on branches gathered from our little woods, with ribbons around their 'necks'. From there, who knows? Perhaps stand in a plant or a vase, just for fun. (Thanks to Pauline, on Rug Hooking Daily / RHD for letting me 'borrow' her idea! However, the designs are my own, such as they are)

RHD is the free rughooking forum started by Heidi Wulfraat of London-Wul for Atlantic Canadian wool addicts, but now the membership is global.

Friday, October 15, 2010

more Quoddy Loopers' mats

More of the Quoddy Loopers have been busy over the summer, while some have taken a hiatus from rughooking. Not so with Sandra - currently on a very large rug for one of her grandsons, drawn by her sister, Heather.

Sandra hooked this hit-or-miss mat to use up odds and ends of woolly worms, but she says that they seem to be multiplying, as her grab bag never gets any less full! The basketwork effect of the scrappy mat is a great simple and effective geometric design.

Next is Sandra's Kings Landing Peddlar, drawn from a photo she took at Kings Landing Historical Settlement, near Fredericton, New Brunswick. Also drawn on the backing by sister Heather... then Sandra went to work. Another beautiful slice of history to add to her collection!

Now Louise has finished a "Big Boned Girl" (pattern is Deanne Fitzpatrick's, with dashes of fun, as most of her mats are). I think I missed getting Louise's winter hooked pillow up, but we'll have snow before too many more weeks go by, I imagine! This 'fat-bottomed boy' is also one of Deanne's designs. I think there was some novelty wool used to add a little sparkle.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Progress on the St Andrews pictorial rug

The photo is a little misty - colours are actually a little brighter than they appear on my screen, anyway. It is a very loose depiction of St Andrews by-the-Sea, New Brunswick (Canada), the lovely little seaside resort town I live in. Only the elements I wish to include are in--the windmill from Kingsbrae Garden, the Pendlebury Lighthouse (magically restored to its former glory, though that work is ongoing), Ministers Island & Bath House, the historic Blockhouse and just two of the numerous churches in town. I've also taken the liberty of moving a bit of the Algonquin golf course to adjoin the Hotel.

This 4.5 x 5ft rug has been on the go for three years, and I keep it at the church where the Quoddy Loopers meet every Wednesday, so it is only worked on in small hunks of time (6:30-8:30pm, year round). Others of our group have taken turns working on it and I hope to have more working on the borders when the Algonquin Hotel and the top water/sky is finished; perhaps this fall will see it done. I do miss the odd week, either by not being able to make it to the group or by hooking on another mat that has a deadline. This one is purely pleasure, so it will be done when it's done.

This week was the first time I took it off the rolling frame, so we have only seen it in sections since it went on the frame in, I think, fall of 2007 (possibly summer '07). Other members have also donated wool for the project, as well as time, which is much appreciated.

The rug is mostly 100% wool, both fabric and yarn, with the odd dash of novelty yarn for sparkle, on primitive linen, with cuts ranging from #3 up to 3/4" hand-torn strips. Much of the wool is as-is fabric; a great deal is purpose dyed, especially the greens and blues.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Quoddy Loopers 4th annual Hurricane Hook-in November 6, 2010

The Quoddy Loopers of St Andrews, NB (Canada) are holding their 4th annual Hurricane Hook-in on November 6th, 2010, from 10am to 3:30pm in the Catholic Church of St Andrew Parish Centre.; side door, corner of Parr and King Streets, St Andrews by-the-Sea. It's a bright and capacious hall, with a great kitchen where the women's guild cook us up a lovely soup and other goodies, and the Loopers all provide sandwiches, sweets and muffins. Just bring yourself and your hooking, as well as any finished or not-finished mats for show and tell. But PLEASE do let us know you are coming, so we don't run out of  food! Or space. Or prizes - our aim is to have one for every guest, plus a few door prizes.

Sande Gunning of the River Gallery will be our vendor, as usual, with her wonderful wares! If there is something specific from her website that you would like, please give her at least two weeks notice so she can be sure to have it to pack in with the rest of her roving shop.

Please email Mary at kgoffice (at) kingsbraegarden dot com or call 506 529  3790 with your RSVP for the hook-in.

NOTE: as I cannot be at the hook-in this year, we will not be doing this on the 6th; hopefully, next year:
We hope to have our finished Rug Aid Rug Rave mats finished and will be selling tickets on them - with all proceeds to Heather Ritchie's wonderful Rug Aid empowerment project for the blind in The Gambia. She has taught them to make 'rag rugs' and is raising more money for supplies (though many are donated) and especially to be able to build them a centre where they can work and keep their materials and mats and not have to tote them home and back to the centre where they currently have occasional use of a room. They sell their rugs locally and internationally, thus giving them a way to earn some money. The rug at the right is Heather Ritchie's; all around the world on November 21, 2009, people hooked the pattern bought from Heather and are doing different fundraisers. Heather has galleries of photos from the day on her website.


PS Our traditional rughooking group meets weekly -- Wednesday evenings, 6:30 - 8:30, in the Catholic Church of St Andrew parish centre, corner of Parr and King Streets -- and visitors are always welcome. We hook year-round and only miss a rare Wednesday when a holiday falls on the day or we get a (very rare) wicked storm.

PPS I was going to bring my ATCs to trade but have foolishly double booked myself and now will be seeing the grandbabies instead of attending the hook-in. VERY sorry to miss it! (maureen)

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Artist trading cards - ATCs

There's been a lot of buzz recently about artist trading cards, or ATCs, so I thought I'd jump in and try a few.

The parameters are pretty simple, in any medium, it seems -- size is standard, at 2.5" x 3.5", with information on the back to say who you are, when it was created, contact info and whatever you want, after that. Then, you just find other willing traders and collect little expressions of creativity.

Because they are small, the cost in materials and time invested in each one is fairly modest. I used backing that was cut off a large project (which appeals to my thrifty nature), and woolly worms I had on hand. I've also collected buttons for many years, as well as being a fabricoholic, so I used some cute little buttons on the geometric ATC. Embellishments are fairly common, so you could mix felting and hooking, add bits of fancy ribbon and trim, and generally have fun!

Looking at the photo, I see my little crooked house tree should have been in a punchier green, the paisley is not immediately recognizable as such, the tree with the sunset is rather fuzzy.... but I enjoyed the process and will try some more. I'll probably do the next batch in finer cuts of wool. These tiny mats are in #6 to handcut strips of woven and knitted wool, as well as yarn. Some specialty dyed wools give an extra dimension of colour.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Summertime in St Andrews by-the-Sea, New Brunswick

Rughooking might be only a wintertime pastime for many, but the Quoddy Loopers in St Andrews meet all year long, every Wednesday, from 6:30 to 8:30pm, in the Parish Centre of the Catholic Church of St Andrew. It is below ground--refreshingly cool in the summer and cozily warm in the winter. The only exception is when a holiday falls on that day or the weather is too treacherous to venture out. Those are both rarities. Do post a comment on the blog, if you like, to let us know you'd like to join us. I will then email you and confirm that we are indeed meeting that day.

I have been busy on several Wednesday evenings lately, so I am missing my Quoddy Looper 'fix'--it is lovely to get together and see what each of the others is working on, might have finished or is planning to start. Hopefully some of the other members will have photos of their rugs for me to post. These two are ones I've done to satisfy a challenge - a semi-abstract (above, left) and what I call a fall colour study (right) - an effort at impressionism. I have quite a ways to go, and will likely do another few such studies. It's a great way to use up leftover woolly worms. Both mats are on primitive linen, #6 to 8 cuts. The colour study used up the last of my shaving cream dyed wool (left); time to get the dye pots out!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

New Brunswick Mat Registry - News Update May 2010

Judy Morrison, administrator of the NBMR, sends out this information regarding this exciting project. It is a brave undertaking to catalogue histories and images of rugs and mats in New Brunswick.

New Brunswick Mat Registries
§ Spring registries are being held in St Andrews and Bouctouche., New Brunswick. The Quoddy Loopers and Kingsbrae Garden are hosting a NBMR registry on May 29, 9am to 4pm. Les Hookeuses de Bouctouche and Kent Museum are hosting a NBMR registry on June 5th. These will be our first public registries and we are excited to see what treasurers are out there!
§  If you have a mat or rug you would like to enter into the registry, please leave a comment here on the blog and we will contact you  to make an appointment on May 29th in St Andrews.
§ In the fall we are planning registries in Fredericton and Moncton. Dates and venues to be confirmed.
§ It has been suggested that we start a waiting list for registries. So... if you know someone that has a mat to register– send me their name and phone number. When there is a registry scheduled for their region we can phone them.

(image is of Louise M's rug, made from an old pattern inherited from her aunt, done in #8 cut wool) 

Growing Support
· The support for NBMR is growing both with our fellow hookers and with others interested in protecting this unique resource for the people of New Brunswick.
· The University of Moncton – Acadian Museum have offered resources to support the project.

Financial Support
· The NBMR has obtained a major financial sponsor - Briggs and Little Woolen Mill. They are providing a portion of funding to support our registries for five years. We will be printing our brochure showing their support. Please support them as a customer when you can! The mill is located inbetween Fredericton and St Andrews, NB. They make a wide range of wonderful colours of 100% Canadian domestic wools in different weights (up to 46 colours in each one), milled at their factory in York Mills, New Brunswick, Canada, the same place it's been for over 150 years. "Try Knitting with the same yarn that your Grandma and Great Grandma used!"

click on image below, for more information on the mat registry:
· Fredericton’s Heritage Guild sponsored a great project hooking ornaments that sold very successfully, contributing a large donation to the registry.
· New Brunswick hooking groups continue to donate monies to the registry. These are so important – whether $10 or $100. This support is the foundation of the project’s longevity and shows other contributors that the project is supported from the ground up.
· We are working on a financial campaign with a package (letter, information and donation form) that will be available to approach potential contributors. Let me know if you know someone who could be interested in contributing to this project, and I will pass along the info to the group.
Please note: the registry is not a financial assessment of rugs, but an effort to gather information that might otherwise be lost to future generations.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Heather Ritchie's Rug Rave fundraiser for Rug Aid

Several Quoddy Loopers are working on their Rug Aid mats from the November 21,2009 international Rug Rave event for Rug-Aid, a not-for-profit organization begun by UK rughooker & teacher Heather Ritchie, who has been helping blind and vision-impaired people and their families, in Gambia.

Heather is from Reeth, in England, and is helping the community in Gambia towards their aim of having a building of their own in which to keep their supplies and meet to hook rugs. They sell the rugs they make to visitors. The image to the left is Heather's version of the pattern that people all over the world purchased from her to help with the fundraising.

Heather has been working with the group, teaching, providing materials and spearheading the fundraising efforts, with the aim of eventually providing a building for the rughookers to work and store their materials in. For the time being, they have the use of a community room to work in but have to carry everything home between their sessions. Rug Aid also pays their transportation and provides some food for the workers. Sighted people hook outlines, sort the fabric into colours and the blind rughookers fill in the spaces. At the Rug Rave, we were to each try hooking blindfolded for 30 minutes – it’s not easy! We each paid a fee to Heather for the use of the pattern and everyone is hooking their own version. The intention is to raffle off the rugs by our 2010 hook-in and remit those funds to Rug-Aid as well.

More info from the website: "Heather Ritchie first visited the Gambia in 2007. She was amazed at how quickly the blind people she taught at the GOVI (Gambian Organisation for the Visually Impaired) Resource Centre learned to make rag rugs, even though she didn't know their language. They learned very quickly and used second hand t-shirts to create their rugs. The aim of Rug Aid is to provide opportunities for women and children in some of the poorest communities in Africa. They will make rugs, wall hangings and decorative items for sale locally, nationally and, maybe later, through fair trade organisations world wide. By providing opportunities for women and children, the aim of Rug Aid is to bring about change 'from the bottom up'."

This one is hooked with mainly as-is recycled wool, in #6 to 9 cuts, on burlap, or 'hessian', as it  is called in the UK.

Rug Bee in LIFE magazine, July 1951

Looks like fun - plein air rug bee or hook-in; it's all getting together to enjoy rughooking! 
posted by Gene Shepherd.
[not for commercial use]

Nancy G, on The Welcome Mat, nosed out the info on this huge rug bee/hook-in:
"In the book Color in Hooked Rugs by Pearl K. McGown on page 295. 'In July, 1951, the first PUBLIC Hooking Bee was staged on the green at Storrowton Village (Eastern States Expo) in West Springfield, Mass.' It was supervised by Mrs. Ione Winans, Over one thousand women [and at least one man] came with frames, rugs and of course a lunch! That's a lot of rughookers in one spot!"

1000+ rughookers - almost all women - together on a beautiful sunny day to share their love of the craft and art of rughooking - heaven! Except, these days, if we were to get that many at an 'rug bee', there would be a serious scarcity of corsets, hats, pearls, dresses, hosiery, heels... it's a different world.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Family matters... rugs for families

Karen E, one of the Quoddy Loopers, was asked by her daughter Leigh to make her a rug in the style of a stained glass window in their home - diamond panes, in bright colours. She certainly succeeded! This is a happy rug, with an almost hit-or-miss placement of colours (you may notice that the opposing triangles do match each other, for the most part, framing the mat nicely). It's almost hypnotic, gazing at the colours and watching different groups of diamonds forming themselves into patterns within the whole. So this is a 'scrappy' rug that is beautifully harmonious; about 3ft by 2ft. Karen hand cuts almost exclusively, the old-fashioned way, and whipped the edges with black woollen yarn.

I was asked by our elder son to hook a mat with a pig theme, for a  friend who is unwell and collects things piggy. With the assurance that the recipient has a good sense of humour, this rug came to be. Pigs can too fly! ...with a little help from their friends.

The mat is mostly #6 cut, with odd details in #5. Some of the 'fields' are hand torn and cut wools, about 1/2 to 5/8" wide.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Mary's special rugs for Megan and Diane

Megan's Garden, designed by Denise Chessie and hooked for Megan, Mary's 6 year old great niece, for Christmas, 2009. The design offers a bug's eye view of a garden, with delightful, expressive crawlies and winged insects. The fun colours make it a special gift and one that Megan couldn't wait to tickle her toes on. She got it right away that it would be delightful to step onto her rug with her bare feet each morning. It's always a happy thing when a recipient really appreciates their hand crafted gift of love.

Megan's rug is done in #3, 4 & 5 cut on cotton rug warp

The next is also by Mary J - Ann Hanging Wash. Mary says "it was designed by Joan Kays and hooked for my best friend Diane on her 67th birthday in 2007.  It was returned to me by her son after she lost her battle with cancer in May of 2009."

Joan Kays holds the rights to sell the 'Anne'© designs, featuring Prince Edward Island's beloved Anne of Green Gables™. Mary uses her favourite spot and specialty dyed wools (in #3, 4 & 5 cuts) to create a beautiful vignette. Joan's patterns come on a wonderful smooth linen that is a joy to work on.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

More from the Quoddy Loopers' latest Hurricane Hook-in

More of the Quoddy Loopers' and visitors' rugs on display at the Quoddy Loopers' 3rd annual Hurricane Hook-in and more shopping, rughooking and looking.

It was a great day, with a wide variety of styles, colour-ways and methods. Traditional, primitive, modern, bright colours, muted, pastels or darks... a bit of everything.

A delicious lunch, thanks to the Guild of the Catholic Church of St Andrew, where we meet weekly, as well as holding our annual hook-in, the first Saturday of November. Our regular vendor, Sande Gunning of River Gallery, was on hand with her gorgeous wools, patterns, tools, books and other wonderful implements of the art of traditional rughooking.

Mark your calendars, but please let us know you are coming!

The welcome mat is always out in Atlantic Canada

This was an entry in an online challenge on The Welcome Mat rughooking forum. The challenge was to use 20 colours in 10" - aptly due in early 2010. Every pillow, rug, mat or knitting needle case was different. This is 10" high and about 24" wide, in various cuts and weights of wool. I've always loved quilts and the clamshell pattern is an oldie and goodie, so I wondered what it would be like hooked. It's mainly blues, greens and yellow/golds with a bit of brown for balance - or ballast - hooked in a semi-random hit-or-miss fashion. It used up a good amount of odds and ends of wool, and is itself a welcome mat, of course.

Speaking of which, our traditional rughooking group meets weekly -- Wednesday evenings, 6:30 - 8:30, in St Andrews Catholic church parish centre, corner of Parr and King Streets -- and visitors are always welcome!

Friday, January 15, 2010

more Quoddy Loopers at work over the holidays

Carol B is no longer a newbie - she has been hooking for a couple of years now with our Quoddy Loopers group and has quite a few mats to her credit. This latest one is a Deanne Fitzpatrick design, depicting a Newfoundland Harbour, titled "Looking out to Sea". It was a kit, with #8 cut wool, plus some extra to 'frame' it. Carol has captured the care-free feeling Deanne is known for.

Then we have another mat from Sandra -who says "The Gift was [a free pattern] in December 2009 Create & Decorate Magazine.  It was designed by Jo Ellen Dismukes. I hooked it in my usual 4 cut." Sandra had this happy mat completed by Christmas!

And another of Sandra's rugs - this one an adaptation of van Gogh's painting "Flower Beds in Holland".  Completed January 2010, using many of Sandra's own dyed wools, in 4 cut.

Spring is coming... eventually... and this mat sings of spring!

Friday, January 8, 2010

a little more of this and that

For me, Christmas and Chanukah are a time to give to people I love and to some I don't even know - sharing and hopefully putting a smile on the recipients' faces. The chalkboard was a gift for my niece, Sarah, and she did like it. The wooden 'frame' was bought, I dip-dyed the wool fabric for the sunset/sky, the wildflower grass is a novelty yarn and the tree is as-is brown tweed. I painted the lower section with chalkboard paint and found some chalk and a tiny eraser at the dollar store - backed it with wool, inserting a loop in to hang it from the peg. I think my fellow Quoddy Looper, Nancy, found the frame at a garage sale - two of them, in fact, and gave them to me. I love a challenge!

The gift for another niece, Cora, is a little shoulder bag made from a jeans pant leg, the flap is hooked with hit-or-miss blues in "cat's paws" on a black background [on linen, mostly #6 cut 100% wool] and the strap is wool as well. I figured most teenagers wear jeans and like black, so it would hopefully be something she'd like and use. I sewed on a little cell phone pocket under the flap, it being a constant accessory! Her brother Charlie is an astronomy enthusiast; they are both half English and half Canadian, hence the flags (above). I think that covers all the nieces and nephews, and most of our great-nieces and nephews; there are just a few who haven't had a name mat or something. Not sure what I'll do for gifts once they all have mats! I did try to get Cora and her sister Lily interested in hooking when the family was visiting from Leeds [England] a few years ago, but they were maybe a little young. I'll try again on the next visit.