This is Dianne blogging (if anyone knows how to vary the font for 2 people in wordpress/twenty eleven theme, let me know)…..
Today was my rug hooking guild rug show. I live in Northern California and there are not many braiders around me. And despite my efforts to teach privately and in groups to just about anyone expressing an interest, it still is true, there aren’t many…..However, there is a lively group of rug hookers who have a nearby guild. I have been a member for a couple of years and they have warmly embraced me as a braider.
I also am a rug hooker, coming rather reluctantly to the art, but now enthusiastic about how braiding and hooking can compliment each other (gee, good idea for a book: McDermet, Manges, Tobias; Combining Rug Hooking and Braiding (Schiffer, 2011). Kris McDermet, our good friend and co-author very patiently encouraged me in my hooking, color planning and dyeing despite my reluctance. Well, now I AM hooked and on both. My new hooking friends often ask ‘which do you like more?’ (reminds me of my kids when they were young). I can honestly say, I enjoy both and when hooking a project, I am constantly thinking of the braid that will finish off the hooking….
Anyway, today was my hooking guild rug show and amongst many beautiful ‘rugs’, there was a group of 4 houses that were done from kits by Molly Colegrove, a NY rug hooker who makes wonderful wooden hooks. Several of us decided to order the same kit and interpret the pattern individually, often using other wool, etc.
Here are the four mats from today’s show:
Can you tell which one is mine? Yes, the one with the braided frame!
If you enlarge mine you may note the windows and the braid have been hooked/braided with a deep orange velvet. As some of you know, I have a deep affection for velvet and add it whenever possible to my hooking and braiding. This beautiful drapy velvet came from a long dress given to me and thankfully too small for me! Have any of you tried braiding with velvet?
So one reason for this post is to plug velvet. The other is to celebrate the diversity you see in these 4 mats hooked from the same kit. Most of us used some wool other than what was provided (I dyed the dark blue night sky wool) but beyond that, look at the differences. My friend Teresa interpreted the design as a haunted house and put a witch on the roof instead of a bird and made the small houses tombstones and a pumpkin. My friend Betty hooked her background in a lighter blue and carried blue into the bird to give a happy feeling and Eleanor felted her bird and houses to give another look.
This type of ‘challenge’ hooking is pretty common in the rug hooking world and our group wants to do another, this time with one of us drawing a design and each of us choosing our own wool palette. Wouldn’t it be fun to do the same with braiding, maybe not with a rug sized item, but the ‘challenge’ would be to work with the same wool and create a braided object of a certain size….maybe a table mat or basket challenge?
What do you think?