My rug hooking guild, Hookers, Strippers, & Co., is having a workshop this weekend in Clarksville, VA at the Best Western on the Lake. We bring in a rug hooking teacher for a Friday through Sunday workshop every February. This year, Jane Halliwell is teaching pictorials. I hated to leave the house this morning - Gracie and Earl Gray were just soooo cozy in their beds. Here they are curled up in their beds. When I'm sitting / working at the kitchen table, they are right beside me. I picked them up and placed them outside and headed to Clarksville.
I first met Jane in 1990, I think. She lived in Durham, NC then and had placed an ad in Rug Hooking Magazine asking if there were any rug hookers in the area. I called her number and we talked for hours! That was just the beginning. Together, we established rug hooking groups, did rug hooking demonstrations, obtained our rug hooking teacher certification, etc. Jane is a fabulous teacher - very enthusiastic - and has taught for me many times over the years. In fact, she'll be teaching at HOOKIN' at the LAKE July 22-26, 2009. (Brochures are ready! If interested, email me.)
In the years since the early 90's, Jane has lived in Northern Virginia, Florida, and Maine. She has settled in Maryland now - not too far from the Maryland Sheep & Wool site (how convenient!). She also took a couple of years to go to Ringling School of Art where she became adept at watercolor and colored pencil. Her love of color plays a huge part in her rug hooking as it does artwork. Here are some pictures of some of her hand-dyed wool, hooked dollhouse size rugs depicting the twelve color families, and a close-up of one of the hooked examples from her color families. The dark green border really causes the grid to rise and the orange centers to recede.
Jane is the queen of pictorials! She is the author The Pictorial Rug: Everything you need to know to hook a realistic, impressionistic, or primitive picture with wool and is a frequent contributor to Rug Hooking Magazine. In our class this weekend, there are a variety of designs in progress - houses, log cabins, a lighthouse, a garden scene with a birdhouse and birch tree, a long scene with a barn, church, house, and school, and a covered bridge. Also included are sheep, pumpkins, apple trees, a pheasant, a raccoon, and lots of flowers.
In traditional rug hooking, we use wool fabric cut into strips of varying widths usually between 3/32" to 8/32". The more narrow cuts are used when a lot of detail is needed. A variety of wools are used - solids, textures (plaids, tweeds, etc.), and hand-dyed. There are MANY methods of dying wool for rug hooking - jar, casserole, spot, dip, etc. Spot dyes were always my favorites. I loved taking a single piece of wool and dying it using several different colors. Using a spot dye in a piece, "marries" the colors in the rug. It's a great way to pull the rug together.
Jane brought some great teaching tools with her for the weekend. Shown here is an example of different trees that Jane has hooked. She also brought lots of finished pieces for everyone to see.
Here are pictures of Mom standing with Jane. She's holding up her project but has hooked even more on it since I snapped this picture. The next picture shows Nina and Fran pawing through a basket (one of my Dad's) full of strips left over from other projects. They're looking for just the right color!
I got a lot of spinning done today. Tomorrow, I think I'll have finished my second bobbin and be ready to ply. I also accomplished a lot on my Clapotis. Nancy and Katie joined me after supper and pulled out their sticks. Nancy was working on Frankie Brown's 10-Stitch Blanket and Katie was working on the Truly Tasha's Shawl.
Tomorrow, I'll be back with pictures of some of the hooked projects.
Guess what??? The weatherman is predicting that we'll get snow! I'll believe it when I see it!