was successfully added to your cart.

Category Archives: Color

Creative Color!

By | Color, Creativity | One Comment

Ah! After the last blog post about Matisse, and exploring outside your color comfort zone, I was delighted to hear from Heather Wright, of Hemmingford, Quebec. She described how she had hooked a portrait of her chocolate lab dog, using mostly purples and mauves. So of course I wanted to see a picture of it!

Heather wrote the story of this lovely rug:

Back in October 2014 I took a class with Diane Phillips at the Hooked in the Mountains. The class was titled “Pet Portrait in a Day.” I never finished the rug I started in class and ended up transferring a photo of my dog that I really liked onto some linen. My dog Roxy, a chocolate Lab, is a Therapy Dog…hence the red scarf.

The mat (approx. 18” x 18”) is hooked in a #8 cut. There may be some smaller cuts in the nose, but basically a #8 in wool that I had on hand. I have a tendency towards “bright” colours. Life is too short for so much brown. Smile…

The right side of the rug showing the “light” is mostly in different shades of purple/mauve. The only real solid brown on the dog are her shoulders. The background wool is from the class, and worked out perfectly. It is a very light mottled mossy green.”

Life is too short for so much brown. I’m going to remember that!

Heather, thanks so much for sending along this perfect example of the beautiful result when you let color out to play!

This is, of course, Heather’s own design, and so is protected by copyright. But you can use it as encouragement, all you want!

An artist using color, and changing.

By | Art, Color, Creativity | 4 Comments

This is one of Henri Matisse’s early works, called Blue Pot and Lemon, painted in 1896. Quite beautiful, and nicely composed, don’t you think? Definitely a still life in the traditional 19th century French tradition.

Now take a look at this next painting by Matisse, painted only nine years later:

This painting, Open Window, was created in 1905, but seems a world away from his earlier work. Here is a description from the curators of the National Gallery of Art, (www.nga.gov) where the painting now resides:

The light-filled scene is vibrant and inviting. Blue-hulled boats float on pink waves below a sky banded with turquoise, pink, and periwinkle. These unnatural colors – Derain (his friend) would later liken them to “sticks of dynamite” — provoked an outrage that year at the Salon d’Automne in Paris.

When Open Window was first shown, it shocked the art world so much that they labelled Matisse and his friend André Derain “the fauves” – the wild beasts.

Matisse, in his lifetime (1869 – 1954), emerged as an artist bridging the traditional 19th century French painting, then “Fauvism” (pronounced Fōh-vism), Impressionism, and, with Pablo Picasso, led the emergence of modern art in the 20th century.

His Open Window painting was done at the height of Fauvism. Look at it once more, and just notice the colors.

The museum commentary about it continues:

The fauves liberated color from any requirements other than those posed by the painting itself. “When I put a green,” Matisse would say, “it is not grass. When I put a blue, it is not the sky.” Art exerted its own reality. Color was a tool of the painter’s artistic intention and expression, uncircumscribed by imitation.”

One might think of the difference between these two paintings as a color explosion. Matisse changed his use of color from its descriptive, representational purpose and allowed it to project a mood and even create structure in the composition.

What does this have to do with rughooking?

There are many rughookers, like me, who would have to struggle to use bright purples and greens to hook a cat, or to use anything but shades of blue for sky, and green for leaves or trees. But this leap is worth taking, or at least experimenting with. Matisse pushed himself to think outside of the lines of formality, and we should too. More pink waves!

One of the most accessible ways of doing this is to use your wools as darks, mediums and lights, regardless of their actual color. Perhaps you have seen hooked portraits where the easily recognizable faces were created in wild colors – bright reds, yellows, greens, violets, oranges – but the likeness of the face comes through because the lights and darks are in the right places. The lights and darks create the face with its highlights and shadows, even though the colors are wild.

Perhaps this color freedom comes easily to some, but many of us will have to determine to try it, to jump into an experiment, and to “color outside of the lines”. Change is good. Getting outside your comfort zone is good.

And always, doing a small piece, even something 12″ by 12″, is a wonderful way to start that first experiment.

Here is one other work by Matisse, from almost at the end of his career (1945) titled Interior with Egyptian Curtain:

I really don’t have much appreciation for modern art (at least beyond the Impressionists), but I do love this piece. Maybe that is because it is very easy for me to see a hooked rug version of it! It’s in the new exhibit at the Boston Museum of Fine Art (www.mfa.org) called Matisse In The Studio. The show opens April 9 and will run through July 9th.

Hook on, and once in a while, try hooking “outside the lines” with your colors!

Let’s talk about hit or miss rugs…

By | Color, Contemporary rugmakers, Design, Making rugs | 9 Comments

Quite a few people ask me a lot of questions about doing hit or miss rugs, so I thought I would take a few minutes to talk about making them. I love doing hit or miss from time to time – watching odd color combinations of wool find their way together into a whole. I am always surprised when I meet an experienced rughooker who has never done a hit or miss!

And of course, “hit or miss” can mean doing just a section of hit or miss – just a border, just an internal element – or you can do a large hit or miss. Above, you can see “Jane’s Remains“, by Jane Ploof of South Starksboro, VT. I loved seeing this one, because it is a hit or miss boiled down to the essentials – just running rows of color, with a simple border!

In this next rug (of mine), I combined hit or miss circles in various sizes on a plain hit or miss background, with a vine-and-leaf border element, also in hit or miss:

One of the beauties of doing a hit or miss is that you can start with the simplest design – the varied colors will supply the fascination. For this rug, I used three sizes of circles – using a coffee can, drinking glass, and small bowl to trace – and just scattered them inside a rectangle. If you are an “unsure” designer, just trace the circles (or other elements – stars, etc.) on newspaper and cut them out, then move the newsprint circles around on your backing until you like the placement.

First hint:
Look at your worms (cut wool). If like me (and 90% of my rugs are hooked with a #6 cut), you have a lot of wool cut in the same size (whether it is a #6 or #8 etc.) you have a pretty good shot at doing long rows of random wool and having the rows stay straight. But even with good cutters, there are always some pieces slightly wider or narrower. And some thin wools hook up narrower than really fat, plushy pieces. So in the defined area you are hooking in straight rows, make guidelines every so often, to keep your lines reasonably true.

Second hint:
Using hit or miss inside smaller units is a good way to begin. Find a basic geometric pattern or a quilt pattern with repeating blocks, and just use hit or miss for some blocks, and maybe do something else (flowers etc.) in other blocks. When you are doing hit or miss in a smaller area, whether in straight lines, circles, or swirls, you can use worms of different cuts much more easily – one leaf, block or circle can have thick and thin pieces mixed together quite easily.

And by “hit or miss”, we mean using random colors, right? No. C’mon, I can’t believe that anybody, ever, really just stuck their hand in a basket of worms and hooked, in order, whatever came out. You are not going to have your cut wool stored evenly distributed by color, anyhow. You finish a rug, and all the odds and ends left over get tossed in the basket, with a clump of blues, or a handful of reds landing together. So let’s forget the word “random” and think of hit or miss as using a mixed variety of the cut wool that is at hand.

Unless you are going for a special effect, you want to aim for a balance of your colors as you hook, and yet you don’t want to dither over picking each piece of wool, either. Seeing the unexpected color combos is the biggest delight of working on a hit or miss! Here is what I do:

Third (and most important) hint:
Remember, like a mantra: dark, light, dull, bright. Dark, Light, Dull, Bright. Think of it as you choose colors. You don’t have to really pick one dark, then one light, but you want to think about the few colors you just hooked in, and see if one of those elements is missing and needs to be added. Most people tend to leave out the “dull”, especially when you have a big basket of lovely bright solid colors. “Dull” does not just mean your neutral tans or grays, but just a dull version of any color. The hit or miss needs dull, just as much as it needs those really bright colors to be a bit separated from each other, and the mediums and lights to be set off with the real dark pieces. Dark, light, dull, bright.

And to that mantra, I would also add “texture”. Make sure you use worms of plaids or multi-color checks or tweeds. You don’t want all solid colors, and the plaids or textures give hints of several colors in one worm, and really add depth and breathing space to the many solids you are bound to have.

Here is a hit or miss rug that I did, in a very basic blocky pattern I just drew out – but I added a few blocks of all-one-color hit or miss. There is one block where I used just blues, one of just various reds, another using all greens. So this is one of the “special effects” you can use, and still have basically a hit or miss rug. Note how I added in zigzags and arches, and had the lines of the hit or miss going horizontal here, and vertical there:

Here is a close-up of the “purples” block in the same rug:

Maybe “all one color hit or miss” is stretching the concept of hit or miss a little but hey, it’s my rug, I can do what I want, right?

And even for the zigzags and arches, I made sure I drew guidelines every few inches to keep the shapes true.

Finally, because you are using the worms “at hand”, remember the origin of hit or miss – these are the rugs to use up what you have. So if you get 2/3 of the way across the area (block, etc.) you are hooking, and you want all your rows to go across the entire block, and that yellow piece of wool is not long enough, just find a more-or-less similar piece of yellow to finish the row. It works! If you are doing longer, running rows of color, like Jane used in her rug, you just switch to another color.

What you do really need for a hit or miss is a basket (or three) of wool worms. There is just no getting around that! Relax and have fun!

Have a Wooly Good Christmas!

By | Color, Creativity, Textiles | 3 Comments


Well here in New Hampshire, the weather is turning beastly, nasty cold – wind chill factors reaching -28 (F°) below zero. So it’s a very good day to stay inside, and a good day to show you how easy it is to make one of my favorite Christmas decorations – little garlands/streamers of wool.


If you are like me, you have pile of wool in bright plaids – from those 100% wool plaid skirts you find in thrift shops and can’t bear to leave behind. They are perfect for this, since bright plaids are not all that easy to incorporate in your average pictorial or landscape rugs. Use two or three colors of wool, maybe the bright plaid, or two contrasting plaids, and some red, or white.

First, cut your wool up into little squares, 1 1/2″ or 2″ squares will work fine. In the photo above, the thicker one is made of 2″ squares, and the littler one is of 1 1/2″ squares. For goodness sakes, do not start obsessing about if your little pieces are perfectly measured squares! You want a consistent width, but a little variation adds to the texture of the garland!

Keep each color in a separate pile:


Thread a needle with about three feet of thread, and first sew a small button or bead onto the end, to secure the garland end. Then just fold each little wool piece, first diagonally (into a triangle), then again in half the other way, and just go through the center with your needle and thread. Just keep adding the little pieces to your thread, just like you were stringing beads. Alternate between your three colors of wool to make a nice pattern:


Keep the sections you are working with fairly short, like 2′ or 3′, just for ease of working, and then at the end, you can just tie the sections together to make nice, long garlands. Be sure to begin and end each section with a little button or bead, to secure the wool pieces on the thread. Here is a photo of the 15-foot garland I hang from the beam in my kitchen each year:


And I have a shorter one just laid along the fireplace mantel:

This is brainless-easy, and once you get your piles of little squares cut (or ripped), easy to do as you are watching a movie or something.

I have some of these garlands I have used for years now, and they hold up very well. When hanging them, I just loop them over small nails or pushpins along the window sills, and you could easily use them as a Christmas tree garland.

Have a wooly good Christmas, everyone, and stay warm!

In the spirit…

By | Art, Color, Composition | 6 Comments


Here we are in December, so let’s go visit a few museums, looking for Wise Men, and for the spirit of the season.

First, a stop at the wonderful Victoria and Albert Museum in London. Here, above, is a panel from the V&A collection, Adoration of the Magi, made in Faenza, Italy, circa 1490-1500.

This is quite a small piece (about 24″ x 16″, and about 6″ deep) and I think it attracted me because there was something “rughooking-primitive” about the portrayal, and of course because of the deep, rich colors used. And the perspective of the figures, sheltering in the grotto (cave), with the landscape above, made it an intriguing composition.

It is described as “modelled in high relief in a recessed frame, and painted in blue, orange, manganese purple and copper green. The three kings are on the left, while on the right is St. Joseph and the seated Virgin Mary with Baby Jesus on her lap. The figures are depicted in a grotto, and above it, a landscape with a tree. Techniques: Tin-glazed earthenware painted with rich colors.”

Just to give you a better look at the depth of the relief, here is a sideways view of the panel:


After that colorful version, let’s stop at the Rejksmuseum in Amsterdam to look at an engraving of Adoration of the Magi, by Dutch artist Hendrick Goltzius, a century later (about 1598-1600):


Interesting because it is unfinished, yes, but also because it is so personal – the focus here is not the entire manger scene with a small crowd of people and animals, but the emotions on four faces, as they gaze upon the still-missing Christ child by candlelight.

And when you look at the fine lines of an engraving, you can see so clearly how the lines and crosshatching create dark, medium and light areas, and how the direction of the lines and curves create the folds in the clothing, the shape of the fingers, the curls in the hair. Here is a close-up for you:


And here is one more, and very different, Adoration of the Magi, by Pieter Brueghel II, (Dutch, 1590-1638), also from the Rejksmuseum:


Now this is almost the opposite of the Goltzius etching – here the entire town is portrayed, and the nativity scene is almost completely hidden in the bottom left corner. And the more I looked at this, the more I liked this odd composition – for as this holiest of events was happening, only a few were aware of it at all, and the majority of people were going about their daily business, completely unaware. There may have been Wise Men bearing gifts, but in no version of the Christian Nativity story were there a lot of them.

You can browse through collections at both these museums quite easily. The V&A is online here and the English-language site of the Rejksmuseum is online here.

The run-up to Christmas can be rushed, but we only are given a set number of Christmases in our lives, so do your best to make all of your preparations – whether making cookies, hooking an ornament, buying gifts, or finishing the tree – mindful and joyful.

The fascination is in the details…

By | Color, Contemporary rugmakers, Design | 5 Comments

img_3118 Anne Cox

As I walked around the Green Mountain Guild’s rug exhibit, it was pretty easy to find interest in every rug on display. There were so many rugs that I would look at for a while, and one detail would really fascinate me. Here: the brightly colored flower rug, with that black-and-white inner border that made the whole thing sing. There: a landscape that had one white row of loops outlining the mountaintops, which added so much depth! And there were many rugs that had numerous small details to notice and ponder, throughout the hooked piece. They fell, for me, into the category of “the more you looked, the more you saw” rugs.

Above is one of them, by Anne Cox, of Tenants Harbor, Maine. It’s called “Heating With Wood”. Anne wrote that her inspiration for this design of hers was her wood pile. Once you look at the whole thing, notice the four trees in the corners. Look at how she portrayed the sun, surrounding the wood and trees, in her outer border.

And of course you will see the stacked wood in the center, and the fires it warms us with.

I was fascinated by the layers of internal borders Anne used, and the non-symmetrical lines they form. What do the blue lines symbolize? I don’t know, but they certainly add to the fascination of seeing and contemplating this rug.

Here is another rug by Anne, called “Coriolus”:

img_3120 Anne Cox

The center of the rug, Anne wrote, is a coriolus fungus on an old birch stump, and lichens grow toward the edges. Look at the way she surrounded the fungus in the center, with layers of border-like frames. Just take a minute to look at the details here… and her color palette:

img_3121 Anne Cox

With all its non-symmetrical elements, I would say this design is completely in balance. What a gift, to do that and have it look so effortless! It’s a beautiful rug interpreting the designs in nature.

And I am pleased to say that this rug, “Coriolus” was one of the ten Viewers’ Choice winners! For a look at all the Viewers’ Choice award winners, go to gmrhg.org in a few days – I’m sure they will be posted soon. In the meantime, congratulations to Anne Cox, Dana Psoinas, Emmy Robertson, Liz Guth, Barbie Beck-Wilczek, Sandra Grant, Nancy Thun, Reggie Price… and for that matter, all the rughookers who entered their rugs in the exhibit.

Thanks so much to Anne Cox for permission to share these rugs with you. These are her designs, and copyrighted… so to protect her creativity, please don’t pin, post, copy or paste them without the artist’s permission.

With needle and thread

By | Art, Color, Composition | 2 Comments

image Naomi Renoif

As we enjoy the last days of summer, I have a yearning to go see the sea. Instead (at least for today) I am appreciating the textile seascapes of Naomi Renouf. Naomi creates textile art that captures the land and seascapes of Jersey, a large island in the English Channel where she lives. Above is her work St. Ouen’s Sunset.

I admire Naomi’s use of color to bring her scenes to life. There is something intense, yet believably realistic in her work.

Naomi writes, “I often use a technique which involves layering small pieces of fabric with organza on a calico or canvas background and machine stitching into the layers. I also use techniques such as appliqué and burning or cutting back through the surface to expose the layers beneath. Whilst all of my work is free machine embroidered, I do also include hand embroidery in some pieces.

Here is another of Naomi’s seascapes, this one called “Islands“:

image Naomi Renouf

Sitting here, landlocked, I can feel the salty spray coming off those breakers!

Several years ago I developed a technique which enables me to produce work which looks similar to the hand-made paper I have made in the past. The background is made of fabric instead of paper. This is painted in the same way as the hand-made paper and then fabric and other media, including beads and found objects are applied using machine and hand embroidery.”

Here is her piece, which I really love, titled Grouville Bay:


Naomi writes, “My seascapes and landscapes reflect my love for the natural environment. The light, the time of year, the time of day and the weather all create their individual impression on the landscape and I find constant inspiration in these changes. I look at my surroundings letting ideas develop in my head. In my mind the colours intensify and the shapes become more abstract as I recreate my experiences of these moments in time. Through my textiles I want others to see the joy I have found in observing the world around me.”

Here is one of Naomi’s landscapes, called Vista, Harewood House:


About her work process, Naomi writes a description of her method that reminds me very much of rughooking:

Once I get started on a piece it progresses partly from my observations and feelings about a place and partly from the random things that happen as part of the process. The mixture of the random and the controlled elements mean that there is always a problem-solving aspect to producing a finished piece, which I find interesting. I like the spontaneity of working in this way as there is rarely a totally predictable outcome.

Ok, let’s look at one more of Naomi’s works. The piece is called Bellozanne Abbey In Spring:


And finally, this quote, from England’s Embroiderers’ Guild (of which Naomi is a member) that seems as true to me about a row of hooked loops as embroidered stitches:

“As the thread travels across the surface, stitches create paths which can direct the viewer’s eye, create a focal point, draw or deflect attention from a particular element and create a texture that is at once visual and physical.”

All Naomi’s works are copyrighted, and so protected, and used here with her kind permission. And you will find more of her lovely work on her website at http://www.naomirenouf.co.uk/index.htm. Thanks, Naomi!

While up in the air…

By | Color, Making rugs | 7 Comments

image MJ hit or miss close-up

Pictorials, florals, geometrics, primitives, intricate orientals… I do love them all, but nothing is as dear to my heart – to admire and especially to make myself – as hit or miss rugs.

I had a l-o-n-g plane ride, and after reading a good bit of my book and watching a movie, I started thinking about why making hit or miss rugs appealed to me so much. Here’s what I wrote down.

Mostly, I decided, it has to do with the usual simplicity of the linear design, and the prominence of color. Of course, a “true” hit or miss would be made of random colors. The idea is that you pull a strand of wool out from your basket of worms, and use that next – randomly. But I don’t know anyone who truly does this. Nobody I know would hook four blues in a row, even if they were picked randomly. Or three whites or light beiges in a clump. There is a compromise, for me. I try to use what comes to hand, but always keep in mind the “light/dark/bright/dull” mantra that gives a rug balance.

But beyond trying for the light/dark/bright/dull mix, I do let randomness enter. And that is the appeal of hooking a hit or miss. A love of color, and unexpected combinations of it, is the main appeal, at least for me.

image MJ hit or miss

You put, side by side, colors that one would not normally think of as “going together” in, say, picking an outfit of clothes to wear. A muddy brown goes next to a kelly green, next to a sky blue, next to a deep maroon. Would you ever wear a muddy brown skirt with a kelly green blouse, then add a sky blue sweater and a maroon scarf? I don’t think so.

And as you add one color to get hooked in next to the one before, the colors change each other.

You’ve just hooked a strip of purple. Then, when you hook in a strip of olive green, it always seems to me that both colors are affected. And they will both look different still when you add the next strip in a muted gold, or maybe a light pink.

So, at least for me, a hit or miss rug is completely absorbing, because you always want to add that next piece of wool to see how that new color will look… and the next, and the next.

There is a questionable side effect of coming to love hit or miss rugs. It’s convinced me that all colors “go together” in some elemental way. So when I am getting dressed, all the rules of a “good color combination” in choosing something to wear – those rules you absorb growing up – sort of goes by the wayside now. I think an orange shirt looks quite nice with a red sweater, or will pick out a combination of green and blue, or purple and red. Or a nice combination of gray and brown… It’s not that I don’t care how these combinations look, it’s that the more I hook hit or miss rugs, the more that these colors really look good together. They’re all good!

Of course, I don’t often ask other people whether it looks good to them. But if someone were to ask me what my clothing style was, I think I would just say “hit or miss” and leave it at that.

And my all-time favorite color combination is purple and green. Think of a lilac bush. I would be delighted to hear if you have a longstanding favorite color combination, too…

Greetings from England, where I did land safely… and hook on!

In The Garden

By | Art, Color, Composition | 4 Comments


This painting is On the Balcony of Eugene Manet’s Room at Bougival by Berthe Morisot, 1883. Berthe, along with Marie Bracquemond and Mary Cassatt, was described by a prominent French art critic as one of “les trois grandes dames” – the three great ladies – of the Impressionist movement.

She grew up in a well-off family in Bourges, France, and from an early age, took painting and drawing lessons with her sister. Their art teacher brought them to the Louvre, where they could “learn by looking”, and copying the great works to advance their own skills. And while her sister married and ended her art career, Berthe persevered, and in 1864, at age 23, she exhibited at the prestigious Salon de Paris – the annual exhibition of the Académie des beaux-arts in Paris.

Here is her painting Lilacs At Maurecourt, done in 1874:


She had paintings accepted for the Salon for six more years, but in the year she did this painting, 1874, she broke away from exhibiting at the traditional French art establishment, and joined the Salon-“rejected” Impressionists, which included Paul Cézanne, Edgar Degas, Claude Monet, Camille Pissarro, and Pierre-Auguste Renoir. She married Édouard Manet’s brother, Eugène, so unlike her sister, she was able to enjoy a married life and continue her art.

Here is one of my favorites of her works, Doll On A Porch, 1884:


She was considered an excellent colorist – able to use color to create depth and space in her work. And her fellow impressionists considered the composition of her work (how she arranged the elements in a scene) outstanding. She focussed mainly on domestic scenes, painting what she saw around her, every day. And she mostly did plein air painting – painting from looking at the actual scene in real time, rather than making studies and drawings to paint from in a studio.

So on this lovely, hot and humid summer day, I hope you enjoy these paintings of Berthe’s, look around you, and see what ordinary, everyday scene might just make a terrific rug design. Or go out and look at your garden!

Another “Going, Going, Gone” post

By | Antique rugs, Color | 7 Comments


Here is a quite old rug done from the famous Bluenose pattern, from the Garrett/ Bluenose pattern company. And it’ll be auctioned off by Eldred’s, of East Dennis, MA on August 4th (10 am).

Here’s the only description given:
Lot 697: PICTORIAL HOOKED RUG Circa 1940. 24.5″ x 39.5″
Depicts the sailing vessel “Bluenose”. Estimate: $150-$250.

This pattern is still available for sale, since the folks at Rags To Rugs, in Pictou Nova Scotia, did heroic work in saving and restoring them. I know several people who have hooked it or are about to, so thought they would enjoy seeing this older hooked version. What strikes me is the monotone of it – sky all one solid light blue, sea another darker blue, sails all the same white. Maybe in 1940 a hooker just used the colors of wool she had, but it could also be that the all-solid-color was a reaction against the patchy look of still older rugs.

Still, I can’t imagine any hooker today not putting in a lot of shades of blues for the sky and sea, with some swirliness going on.

Is “swirliness” a real word? Maybe not til now, but I bet you know what I mean! If you’d like to see the Bluenose pattern itself, or a great comtemporary version of it (by Sarah Jansen), look back at my May 3rd blog post, here.

Here is another rug that will be sold in the same auction:


This is Lot 695, Description: MOUNTED PICTORIAL HOOKED RUG 24.75″ x 39″
Depicts a house and tree along a river bend. Early 20th century. Estimate: $250-$350.

In this one, we see only a little variation in color, and judging by the odd greens of the trees and the color of the river, I wouldn’t be surprised if the wools had faded quite a bit. You’d have to look at the colors on the back of the rug to check. Still, it’s a very pretty rug that someone worked hard to get right.

Here is one more rug from the same Aug. 4 auction at Eldred’s, this one Lot 689:


Description: GRENFELL PICTORIAL HOOKED RUG 30.5″ x 22.5″
Depicts a map of Labrador and Newfoundland with a whale, lighthouses, kayaker, teepees and more. Estimate: $400-$700

I confess I am not a big fan of Grenfell rugs – usually they are just too bland and dark for me, but I know how historically interesting they are to many people, and as you can see from the higher price estimate, very collectible.

And finally, here is the “Gone” rug referred to in this post’s title: a rug that I just fell in love with. It was sold from an auction by Material Culture last November:


The description was: Antique American Hooked Rug: 2’10” x 4’6″ (86 x 137 cm). Provenance: Kristina Barbara Johnson Estate, Princeton, New Jersey. – and it sold for only $218.75.

I’m not sure what makes me love this rug so much. The design, the colors (though they are more muted than what I am usually drawn to), that tweedy background, even the bit of lopsidedness to the edges are all, to me, completely endearing.

Photos are courtesy of the auction houses, online at www.eldreds.com and www.materialculture.com. And Garrett’s Bluenose patterns are available at www.ragstorugs.com, in Nova Scotia.