We have all been hooking some really beautiful projects. Detailed faces and landscapes, 3 cuts for detailed minutia have become common place for this group of former 'primitive' rug hookers.
The point of this class is to hook like a prairie hooker. I wrote a book outlining 15 different techniques you can use to make your rug look 100 years old. This year we took it a step farther.
These ladies had all taken the class before, a time or two….or many times. So this year I raised the bar. Now they could't just make a lovely primitive rug, using their 15 techniques. NO…..now they had to make it down right homely. I told them to hook like their children's feet were cold. Hook high, hook low, hook like you are 9 yrs old or 90 years old, just get it done. Commit to a decision, don't pull it out. That prairie hooker made mistakes, ran out of wool and didn't have time to fuss with every loop. EMBRACE IMPERFECTION was our mantra.
Well guess what? They are awesome. The look old and homely and used. Each of these fabulous rug hookers did the seemingly impossible and made a wonderfully ugly bug rug.
I will show some partially done projects in my next post, but had to include one more picture. Blue gets to attend class too, although he slows down progress by insisting every hooker take a turn throwing his toy. This was one of the best moments of the 3 day class. Pat Shafer, who is a highly regarded rug hooker, Celebration finalist and teacher of a dynamo face class here in January and February, made a rug for her dog Tucker. Now, it would not be out of line for me to tell you that Pat is a beautiful rug hooker. I mean….her rugs are BEAUTIFUL (and she is beautiful her own self). This homely rug concept kind of makes her cringe. She is a game gal, tho, and hooked a great whale rug in last year's class and really grew to like it. This year she chose the Woolley Fox pattern RAGS and decided to hook it for a rug for her beloved Golden Retriever Tucker to sleep on. It is a great rug, full of rusts and plums and it was a difficult challenge for Pat to make it homely. But she kept on course and this rug has many of the elements we attempted to include in the rugs, with great textured wools, no shading, no details, just simple shapes.
At the end of the day, Pat threw her rug down and we all came round to admire it. Pat said, "My only concern is that Tucker will not know it is for him, how will I convince him it is his to sleep on?' With that, the big Poodlie Blue dog came and plopped down on the rug. He snuggled, he curled up into as tiny a ball as his extra large self could accomplish. He laid out flat, he arranged himself in every possible direction on this rug. He knew he had an audience of course, we were all laughing at him, which just egged him on further. It was as if her was going to show Pat that THIS was exactly how her dog was going to like this rug. Thanks Blue and Pat and Tucker. It was a great way to end the day.