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One thing leads to another…

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!

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