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Category Archives: Creativity

Words from John Ruskin

By | Creativity, Food for thought | One Comment

This is a drawing by John Ruskin, titled Trees in a Lane, Ambleside, done in 1847.

John Ruskin (English, 1819 – 1900) was the leading English artist, poet, art critic and drawing teacher of the Victorian era, as well as an art patron, draftsman, watercolorist, a prominent social thinker and philanthropist. He wrote about geology, architecture, myth, ornithology, literature, education, botany and political economy.

In 1869, Ruskin became the first Slade Professor of Fine Art at the University of Oxford, where he established the Ruskin School of Drawing. He taught his students to, above all, observe nature closely. Here is another work of Ruskin’s, this one a botanical study:

But it’s not about Ruskin himself I mean to write about today, it is to share with you something that Ruskin wrote, about the importance of drawing. As you read it, remember that he is talking about observing things, looking carefully around you – and though drawing can force you to notice every detail, what he writes about “sketchers” is also true if you do not draw, but just look. Here’s what he wrote:

Let two persons go out for a walk, the one a good sketcher, the other having no taste of the kind. Let them go down a green lane. There will be a great difference in the scene as perceived by the two individuals. The [second mentioned] will see a lane and trees; he will perceive the trees to be green, though he will think nothing about it; he will see that the sun shines, and that it has a cheerful effect, but not that the trees make the lane shady and cool; and he will see an old woman in a red cloak— et voilà tout!

But what will the sketcher see? His eye is accustomed to search into the cause of beauty and penetrate the minutest parts of loveliness. He looks up and observes how the showery and subdivided sunshine comes sprinkled down among the gleaming leaves overhead, till the air is filled with the emerald light, and the motes dance in the green, glittering lines that shoot down upon the thicker masses of clustered foliage that stand out so bright and beautiful from the dark, retiring shadows of the inner tree, where the white light again comes flashing in from behind, like showers of stars. Here and there a bough is seen emerging from the veil of leaves.

There are a hundred varied colors, the old and gnarled wood is covered with the brightness; here is the jewel brightness of the emerald moss; there, the variegated and fantastic lichens, white and blue, purple and red, all mellowed and mingled into a garment of beauty from the old withered branch. Then come the cavernous trunks, and the twisted roots that grasp with their snake-like coils at the steep bank, whose turfy slope is inlaid with flowers of a thousand dyes, each with his diadem of dew.

And down, like a visiting angel, looks one ray of golden light, and passes over the glittering turf -kiss -kiss -kissing every blossom, until the laughing flowers have lighted up the lips of the grass with one bright and beautiful smile that is seen far, far away among the shadows of the old trees, like a gleam of summer lightening along the darkness of an evening cloud.

Is not this worth seeing? Yet, if you are not a sketcher you will pass along the green lane, and when you come home again, have nothing to say or to think about it, but that you went down such and such a lane.”

Here is Ruskin’s watercolor of a kingfisher:

You can actually go to the website of the Ashmolean Museum at Oxford, at ruskin.ashmolean.org to look at many of Ruskin’s wonderful collection of drawings, and the lectures for which he collected the drawings. There are even eight drawing classes you can take yourself.

Some people create beauty with words, some with drawing or painting, and some with hooked rugs. But looking, closely, is the common thread. Hope you find wonderful things to observe during these summer days!

Breaking boundaries

By | Art, Contemporary rugmakers, Creativity | 3 Comments

Alexandra Kahayoglou’s family runs a carpet factory in Buenos Aires. She takes scraps of leftover thread from the factory, and uses a hand-tufting process to create wool rugs that are inspired by nature’s surfaces – moss, water, grass, trees, meadows. Some, like the one shown above, break the boundary between wall and floor, between inside and outside.

And sometimes, she breaks the definition between furniture and rug:

Part tapestry and part rug, Kehayoglou has managed to take the leftovers of more standard carpetmaking, and go in her own direction.

Many of her creations remind me of looking down, from an airplane, to see the colors and forms of the earth-bound landscape:

To me, Kahayoglou’s work displays real creativity. Using cast-off material, useless for the purpose it had served, she sees something, and puts it together in a new way. In doing so, she gives us a new perspective of viewing what is all around us. She sees her rugs (“her grasslands”) as a statement of concern for our fragile environment, “like I’m flying the flag for mother earth”.

I have few details about the tufting method she uses – she calls it weaving or hand-tufting, using a “weaving gun” – but I love her work and her creativity. Here is a photo of her in the process of making a rug:

She writes, “I like pieces that can be used, that lie between design and art.” She’s had numerous shows, and coverage in international fashion and interior design magazines, and has her own website at alexkeha.com. May your own rugs fly the flag of your own creative spirit!

A Labor of Love

By | Contemporary rugmakers, Creativity, Design | 3 Comments

Gayle Burton, of West Point, Utah, has been working on and off on this rug for over five years, and now it is done. It is her family story rug, and is pretty large – 48″ x 60″. She wrote that it was a labor of love, and it felt great to have finally finished it.

I have become more and more drawn to personal storytelling rugs in general lately. Yes, we can all enjoy making florals, or holiday rugs with Santas and pumpkins and Easter bunnies, and enjoy them for years to come. But taking your own memories and family stories, and making a rug design around them, as Gayle has, really puts your own experience and spirit into a rug. Let’s look a little closer at how Gayle did it.

She wrote, “Hubby and I moved into our home in Clinton, Utah, as honeymooners, and raised three children and a dog there, over the course of 37 years.

Lesson #1: Don’t stress about hooking people into your rug! It doesn’t have to be a fine-shaded, perfect-rendition portrait of them. If you could draw people when you were in the third grade, you can draw (and hook) them now. Gayle’s are charming, and all the family (the focus of her family rug) is right there and up front.

The Union Pacific Railroad runs right behind the house – the diesel trains aren’t very picturesque, so I hooked an old-fashioned steam engine instead“:

Lesson #2: Adapt as you see fit. “Artistic License” is a wonderful thing, and you own it! You can adapt reality to a symbolic level, to fit your taste and style, and everyone will know exactly what you are representing!

Gayle did the same thing with her little airplane. She writes, “We live near Hill Air Force Base, and F-16 fighter jets fly overhead often.” So she added a simple little red airplane to her design. Who cares that F-16s aren’t red?

“We are LDS (Mormons) so I hooked in the Salt Lake Temple as a symbol of our religion – there are flowers to depict the beautiful gardens that are to be seen in every season at Temple Square. The blue represents the Great Salt Lake.

Again, Gayle did not try to portray the gardens in their entirety, she just put in a few flowers to represent the gardens. Perfect!

Lesson #3: Get started by making a list (and asking family members to add to it) of significant places and features that define your story – both large and small.

Gayle’s list included the very large – the Temple and Great Salt Lake – to a quilt hanging outside, the flag, and what grew in her garden:

She writes, “Our home is surrounded by wonderful shade trees that provided great climbing opportunities for the children and their friends as they grew. We also grow a garden each summer, so I hooked corn and pumpkins to represent that.

Finally, she included the family name and date banner across the bottom, and then two borders on the upper part of the rug, which really give a finished look to the rug (I love the little dabs of hit or miss!) and she added, “The borders were fun to hook, and used up a lot of my worms, too!”

Lesson #4: Just begin. Maybe it took Gayle more than five years to finish this lovely rug, but she has it now, and I am sure it will always be treasured. If your kids had a pet hedgehog, google “drawings of hedgehogs” and then just try drawing one. Gayle drew all of her motifs freehand, and rughooking’s folk art style allows for each idea, place, person, animal or object to be pictured as a motif, not a perfect line drawing. If you need to, draw your hedgehog on newsprint a bunch of times until you get one you like, and then cut that one out and trace it onto your backing. But just begin.

After living in Clinton for 37 years, three months ago Gayle and her family moved to a neighboring town in Utah, and, as she puts it, “We’re starting new stories here now!”

Thanks so much, Gayle, for sharing the story of your wonderful story rug with us! It is a terrific rug, and your labor of love comes through.

This is Gayle’s original work, it’s copyrighted, and used here with her kind permission. Please ask her before you copy, pin or share it on the web. Gayle wrote much of the process of making her rug on her own blog, online at themiddlesister.blogspot.com.

A fine rug, and blessed wool

By | Contemporary rugmakers, Creativity, Making rugs | 6 Comments

At rug camp there was a great display of over 100 rugs, and this one really made me gasp. It is Reflection, by Mary Hays, of Bass Harbor, Maine. Happily, the part of the exhibit with Mary’s lovely rug was hanging in my classroom, so I got to look at it throughout the week at Sebago Lake Rug Camp. There were so many beautiful and creative pieces, but I just could not stop looking at this one. Such a natural landscape… and though I heard many viewers comment on how well Mary caught the trees and mountains reflected again in the water (certainly true!), I just kept looking at the way Mary caught the rocks that gradually disappear as the water gets deeper! What a great effect in wool!

And late in the week, during the show and tell “throwdown”, I found one rug that again made me gasp in appreciation – this time because in the bottom corner of the border of this just-begun landscape, someone had added a small, beautifully rendered hand, hooking. Yes, it was Mary’s current project. I just fell in love with the creativity in adding in that small hooking hand:

Happily, I found Mary and had a chance to talk a bit with her, express my admiration for her rugs. I was also surprised, on her new project, at how sketchy her initial drawing is – she said she just wants a rough outline, and does the rest as she hooks. Here is the whole rug, showing her “outline”:

When I complimented her on the sky in her new project, she said she finds skies easy to do, because in nature, there are so many infinite variations on the sky and clouds, that nothing really will look wrong!

One other thing. Three women, by chance, sit next to each other in their class. All had projects well underway. One of them, a different Mary, decides that she has hooked the vase in her rug in the wrong color. It needs to be lighter – but she does not have the right wool. She looked at all the wool for sale (and there was a lot of beautiful wool for sale) and couldn’t find anything just right. Then the woman sitting next to her, Kathy, glances over, reaches into her wool bag, and pulls out a piece of wool, just the right shade of maroon, with just the right small dots of color. “Try this”, she says, “I don’t need it, I just stuck it in my bag for no particular reason.”

And Kathy’s wool worked perfectly for Mary’s vase. So then Mary has a big pile of the wool that had not worked – the wool she just pulled out from her rug and replaced. And the woman on the other side of her, Diane, looks at the pile of rejected wool, and looks again. She asked Mary if she could use it, and Mary said “Of course!”. And Mary’s pulled-out wool turned out to be the perfect wool for the dragonfly that Diane was working on. I call this a case of blessed wool.

Many thanks to Mary Hays for permission to show her work here. Both rugs pictured are her own creative work, so are protected by copyright. Please do not copy, paste, pin or pass them on, as a courtesy to her. Many thanks to Gail Walden, for running a wonderful rug camp, and to my teacher, Loretta Scena, for her talented guidance! And a quick hello to blog reader Priscilla McGarry, who actually searched me out just to tell me she likes this blog – how nice it was to talk to her!

Away We Go…

By | Art, Creativity, Museums | No Comments

It’s coming up on Memorial Day, kids getting out of school, road trips and, hopefully, some great day trips. I am off to Sebago Lake Rug Camp (in Maine) and since I have never been to it before, there is the excitement of going to a new place as well as the always-wonderful anticipation of going off to any rug camp.

I came across this photo, above, from the Belvedere Museum in Belvedere Palace, Vienna, Austria, and fell in love with the photo. I’ve never been to that museum, but the image of this little girl encountering that larger-than-life artwork communicates the experience of seeing any museum. The magic of going through a museum is about getting out of your own usual life and experience for a little while, seeing the creations made by artists from different eras of history, how they captured the people, costumes, landscape and milieu of their time and place, trying to grasp the designs and techniques that go into any fine work of art.

Just take a second look at the photo and let it sink in a bit.

As you set goals and think of outings for your summer, do try to work in a museum or two – it is so good for all of us! And try to take a kid or two along. You’d be surprised (or saddened) at how many kids have never been to a museum.

It doesn’t matter that you can’t easily get to Vienna or Rome. New England (and most states) have terrific big-city and regional museums, and most towns have little history museums, or historical homesteads.

Here in New Hampshire, there is the Currier Museum in Manchester, but also the Canterbury Shaker Village, Strawbery Banke Museum in Portsmouth, and the wonderful St. Gaudens National Historic Site in Cornish. There are railroad museums and town museums, a telephone museum and a great state history museum. It doesn’t matter what sort of museum you pick – they all take us out of our own lives and time, and enlarge our perspective. Look around for a museum, then go and, well, look around.

Hints:
If you are going on a road trip, google the area and see what sorts of museums are along your route. You don’t have to go nuts, just pick one, and stop to check it out.

You do not have to see the whole museum. It is probably better to slow down and look at a few paintings or exhibits, instead of feeling like you have to rush through in order to see everything. Slow down. If you find yourself walking at a fast clip, giving only a glimpse and a nod here and there, you are probably tired, or have had enough. That is okay.

In each gallery or room, pick one painting or work (like the little girl in the photo) and just stop and look. Absorb what is going on with the lines, the curves, the diagonals – the composition. Why did he put that there? What has the artist done with the use of colors? If you could get to take home just one painting from the exhibit, which one would you pick, and why -that is, would you like looking at it day after day? If you could choose one or two details to make into a rug design, what would you pick?

Take a little notebook with you, just so you can jot down ideas. Once you start looking at creative works, often creative ideas will jump into your own mind. Catch them while you can!

If you are taking kids along, once you get home, ask them to draw a picture about going to the museum, or about something they saw there. See what happens.

Today, the Belvedere Museum houses the greatest collection of Austrian art dating from the Middle Ages to the present day. The home, studio and gardens of Augustus St. Gaudens (online here) in Cornish, NH, offers afternoon concerts, working artists, and plenty of gardens (with St. Gaudens’ wonderful sculptures) for kids to explore. The Currier, in Manchester, has a big Monet exhibit opening July 1st (online at currier.org). And here is a website listing museums of all kinds, state by state:
List_of_museums_in_the_United_States

A great photo, good friends, and a piece of ugly wool…

By | Creativity, Making rugs, Rug Community | 3 Comments

Look at this great photo, taken by my friend Karen Cooper, of three members of my Tues. morning rug group consulting about a rug. I love this photo! To me, it captures the best part of being in a rug group. Marion, Sue and Mary are deep in conversation, considering Mary’s current rug project. The pattern is Lilac Time, designed by Jane McGown Flynn. The focus of the rug is a bouquet of tulips and lilacs, in a glass vase.

Mary first saw this design at the Hooked Rug Museum of North America, and fell in love with it. She worked on all that fine shading of the flowers with no problem, with guidance from teacher Betty McClentic at rug camp. Here is a close-up of Mary’s project, with just the rest of the maroon background left to hook:

What Mary had problems with was the glass vase. The vase is not the focus of the rug, but it did have to look right. She got the darker maroon of the vase interior, and the flower stems just fine. But that one row of loops, defining the edges of the vase, and the bottom base of the vase… well, let’s say there was more than one consultation with rughooking friends, as in Karen’s photo, above.

Mary tried a number of different wools to hook that base, and the one row of the outside edges of the vase. She tried a light blue, and that stood out too much. She tried light brown. Nope, tear it out and start again. She tried a pale gray and that was better, but…it still did not look quite right.

At one point, she was ready to entirely sacrifice the “glass-ness” of the vase, and the view of the stems inside it, and almost decided to tear it all out and just make the vase a solid color. But with the encouragement of our group members and with her own persistence, she stuck with it.

Fast-forward several weeks and many consultations. One day after rug group, I went into my wool room, and looked around just in case I could see anything to suggest. And there was that one piece of wool I had dyed several years ago, which I thought of as the ugliest piece of hand-dyed wool ever. Every time I saw it on my shelf, its ugliness would make me sigh:

Ugly, yes, but there it still sat on my shelf. It was halfway between a dirty beige and gray, with darker blue/gray blobs. Well, you never know. I brought it down to Mary to try.

The first thing she said was “Oh, it looks like my husband’s dirty oil rag, out in the garage!”. I had to agree – a very good description! But here’s the thing – Mary gave it a try, and it worked! The one-line edge of the vase is defined, without being too dominant, and the base of the vase fits in, and seems to even reflect the colors in the table below it and the flowers above.

The moral of the story: You never know!

That one piece of ugly wool, at least in this case, was just the thing to solve a tricky problem. And, more important, it’s wonderful to have rughooking friends to help you step back, look at your work, listen to what you like and don’t like, make a suggestion, and encourage you to not give up on what you want for your rug. And the rest of us, who watch and listen, week by week, as each rughooking problem is encountered, grappled with and finally is solved, all learn together.

Many thanks to Karen Cooper for the lovely photo, and to Mary Miller, for permission to share her work here.

Best Rug Photos Award!

By | Contemporary rugmakers, Creativity | 6 Comments

This year’s Best Rug Photos Award goes to Leah Karo, a rughooker from Pennsylvania. True, I just made that award up, but when have you seen a more creative and charming photo of a rug on display? That’s Leah’s horse Spirit, (who will be celebrating his 14th birthday this week) and he seems quite content to help show off Leah’s rug!

Leah comes from a family of rughookers, starting with her great-grandmother, who hooked rugs in her native Nova Scotia. Her mother, Irene, has been hooking rugs for about 50 years, and now aged 89, has stopped dyeing her own wool, but is still hooking. Now Leah’s son is at it, too. Let’s pause here and send Easter greetings to Irene, and take a look at one of her many wonderful rugs:

Leah herself started braiding rugs, but then turned to hooking. She writes, “Twenty-five years later, I create my own designs and dye my own wool. I love to see a rug in creation, to feel the wool slipping through my fingers to become a beautiful piece of art. I think that is what we all get out of rug hooking – a creation of our own, an original work of art.” Leah now runs Wooley Mountain Rug Works, where she sells patterns, finished rugs, and takes commissions.

Here is another lovely photo of Leah with a big geometric rug, taken at the Quabbin Reservoir:

Here is a closer-up view of the rug itself:

Credit for the lovely photographs goes to Michelle Benoit, her daughter-in-law. Leah writes, “She is very good at photography and will take a hundred photos to get just the right one.” Here is one more example of Michelle’s rug photography, showing off Leah’s Sunflower Trellis rug (a Fraser pattern):

Leah’s rugs and patterns can be found online at wooleymountainrugworks.com. She has mandalas, geometrics, floral, and (my favorites) a series of “Majic Carpet” designs. I will leave you with a photo of her finished pattern, Majic Carpet #3:

Many thanks to Leah, for letting me share her work with you here. Her designs are her own, and both patterns and photos are protected by copyright. So look and enjoy, but, of course, do not copy.

Have a lovely Easter weekend, everyone!

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!

One thing leads to another…

By | Contemporary rugmakers, Creativity, Design | No Comments

Because I had the flu, I actually looked at a postcard that had been tucked in with a piece of wool I had mail-ordered months ago. It was about a rughooking place in Iowa, called Old Friends Woolens. If I hadn’t been down with the flu, I would not, most likely, have come across it again, and actually looked it up. But that is how I found Catherine Tokheim’s website and rugs. Cathy is a long-time rug hooking enthusiast with a passion for passing on the craft. She lives near Swea City, Iowa and enjoys traveling to meet up with rug hooking groups from all over the Midwest. It is always a pleasure to see what is going on in rughooking, in different areas of the country!

Above, you can see her design, Prairie Spirit. Catherine drew out this pattern for a friend, whose husband was instrumental in the introduction of peregrine falcons to the downtown Rochester, MN Mayo Clinic campus. The rug was a retirement gift for him. The first male peregrine introduced was named Chase, and so the name was included in her hooked rug. Look for the name, subtle but there, worked into the background on the top right side.

Catherine writes, “It’s a big rug pattern, 38″x66″ to allow for the detail in the bird and botanicals. I loved the story of the peregrine’s introduction to Rochester, MN and loved that my friend Jean Bartel wanted to commemorate that introduction for her husband. I know and love them both so this design, hooked by Jean, has a special meaning for me. The colors and style just make the rug shine.

Here is another lovely primitive rug by Catherine, called Gentle Words:

“Dew is to the flower what gentle words are to the soul.”

Catherine writes, “This design comes from a quote that I found that really rings true for me. Words have an effect and gentle words have an uplifting effect in a person’s life. I hope to hang on to that quote and use it daily. Flowers gathered from my gardens are a gentle, beautiful activity and their presence in my home always bring a smile to my face.

And one last rug of Catherine’s that caught my eye right away, Sheep In The Poppies:

Sheep in the Poppies was an exploration of favorite colors and their hues along with my attempt at primitive shading. Animals and flowers are favorite subjects for my designs and sheep, as you know, are just a joy to hook. A big, bold sheep as the focus is fun too!

Catherine has many patterns for sale on her Old Friends Woolens Etsy shop here, (at very reasonable prices), as well as wool. And she has a website and blog at www.oldfriendswoolens.com. She teaches around the northern midwest, so if I were looking for a class or hooking event in the area of South Dakota, Iowa, or Minnesota, that’s where I would look! Two day Old Friends Woolens retreat coming up, Jul 21 – Jul 23, in Ormsby, Minnesota! Wouldn’t you just love to go?

Catherine owns her own creations, of course, and they are copyrighted and protected as her own designs. Thank you so much Catherine, for permission to show them here! And as for the “many more primitive designs yet undrawn” you mentioned, keep drawing them! Your rugs are a delight! Greetings to all your rughooking friends in the Midwest, from a bunch of New England rughookers – have a lovely spring and summer!