Rug braiding; huh?

Dianne blogging… a quick post to share a common issue I bet we all have.  I am going to a wine county weekend with a group of friends of friends, 6 couples in total.  I know maybe 2 well…

Undoubtedly the discussion eventually will get around to what we all do, retired vs not, etc. etc.

I will say I am into fiber arts since retiring as a pharmacist. They will say, huh?  I will say well, rug braiding and rug hooking. They will say, huh? I will repeat and when they finally ‘hear’ braiding, they will say, “oh my (fill in the blank) used to do that”. I will say, great. and then what?  The conversation usually dies. What is your experience?  Better than mine?  Unfortunately I did not bring any fiber art other than sock knitting to show and tell.

Unless they pick up on the rug hooking part; then I have to listen to all the comments, we hookers have heard before. What do you do? As a relatively new rug hooker, this annoys me more than the braiding issues.

Stay tuned and look forward to your comments….Dianne

6 thoughts on “Rug braiding; huh?

  1. Actually, Dianne, I don’t know what “all the comments we hookers have heard before” are, not being a hooker. But I agree with you: it’s hard to keep going forward with the conversation after it’s established that someone’s great grandmother/great aunt used to braid rugs. If the person doesn’t braid, it stops there. Most of the time, I have that sense of disappointment that I always feel when meeting new people who aren’t the least bit creative or crafty or artistic in some fashion. How boring their lives must be, not to do or make anything with their hands!

    Occasionally I’m lucky and find myself talking to a husband who fly fishes and makes his own lures — or a woman who weaves or knits — or a carpenter who makes furniture out of lightning-blasted woods. There’s enough commonality there to connect with the person on that I-like-to-make-things level. The hunt for materials, the appreciation of the supplies in your hands, the mind visualizing the next 10 things you want to make… those things are all common to people who view the world with an eye toward creating things.


  2. Interesting. Wondering if the drop off in interest hits us as too personally as in “your craft is common, so yesterday, not relevant to my life now, etc.”

    When I demonstrate at the county fair I hear similar comments all the time from woman and some men. Most usually admire the work and say they would like to take braiding up someday when they retire. I try to ask questions… what their grandmother braided, out of what material, how large, what style, and do they know what happened to their grandmother’s heirloom rugs? Of course I show them the difference between lacing and stitching the braids together, which is probably what their grandmother did. If there continues to be interest I give them a beginner’s reference list of supplies to gather and from where, and information sites. Believe many people have some kind of craft and “just cannot think of taking on another.” Some are afraid that they will not be able to do it. Really the more Show and Share one can do, it lessens the intimidation. Bringing along a piece of hooking or a small starter rug causes curiosity. There will be takers.

    And if our friends do not care to learn more about our craft, learn about theirs. A lot of cross overs exist in crafts, for example teaching, marketing, and publishing like you both do and have skill at. There will be tips popping out. I like Christine’s comment on creating, a common thread in all of us. Friends enjoy sharing tips and if they really are friends they will take an active interest in your fiber arts journey for more than just one conversation.
    Patsy Simon

      • Had a cross over experience this weekend while attending an art studio tour in my neighborhood. A canvas artist friend who recently ventured into button jewelry is making lovely necklaces and bracelets out of contemporary and vintage buttons.
        Guess who will be receiving coat, jacket and skirt buttons from me?

  3. Unfortunately I had to give up my goal of learning to braid rugs. Logistics were not compatible with my home front responsibilities. I have sold a bunch of wool as I have found them. I came across 19.5 yards recently. I am selling it for $7.50/yd. If interested e-mail me at First come first served. Price does not include shipping. Virginia

  4. I share in some of Dianne’s experience. Now I find that I try to talk about wool; what a wonderful fiber it is, and how long rugs last. A good friend has some on her floors that were made in the 1940s. Then I ask, “What hobbies interest you?”

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