This rug is the pride of my antique rug collection. It came from the collection of William Winthrop Kent, who wrote three fabulous books about hooked rugs and rug hooking: The Hooked Rug (1930), Rare Hooked Rugs (1949), and Hooked Rug Design (1949). He was, in many ways, a counterpoint to the teachings of Pearl McGown. Kent discusses the history of hooked rugs in his first book, in the second he analyses North American hooked rugs, and in the last, he encourages rug hookers to create original designs.
I was lucky enough to attend the sale of the contents of his home a decade or so ago, when his last living relative passed away. Jessie Turbayne was there, talking about the rugs, and this one is pictured in her book Hooked Rug Treasury. When I created my two sets of note cards featuring my collection of old rugs, I was sure to include this one.
When I send orders out to customers, I always include a personal note on one of my note cards. I also use the cards to invite people to my guild's shows, classes and hook ins. Imagine my surprise when I received a call from Naomi, who received one of the cards, asking me if I sold a pattern of this rug. The answer was, of course, no, but I told her I could probably do that for her. We met at the Long Island Fiber Festival last year, and I brought the rug along to show her. She loved it, and asked for a pattern, but larger. Okay, no problem, I thought. And please put it on rug warp. Okay. I don't use rug warp for my patterns, but I can order some. We're all ready to go.
It's now a year and some months later and I am still at it. I admit to a large amount of procrastination, partly because Naomi said she wasn't in a hurry and because this is a real challenge for me. The final measurement will be 4 1/2 feet by 4 1/2 feet. That's pretty big for a hand hooked rug. The only spot I have big enough to draw it out is on the cement floor of my studio. It's a little tough on the knees and the back, and watching me get up after a sketching session is not a pretty sight.
Just getting a large enough piece of paper was a task. I like to draw my patterns out on giant graph paper that comes in pads from Staples. I had to tape four sheets together to get 54 inches square. I've drawn and redrawn and erased so many times the paper is getting thin. I am having to be careful. Getting the proportions right is not as easy as I thought it would be. Thankfully, I am just about finished with the drawing. Now it will be interesting to get the pattern on the light box in sections to transfer it to the rug warp. I'll let you know how that goes.