Pete and I just returned from a wonderful week in Nova Scotia, where rug making is a national sport. Hooked rugs are everywhere -- in gift shops and studios, museums and humble houses by the side of the road.
We made several stops, of course, starting with London-Wul Fiber Arts in Moncton, New Brunswick. This is Heidi Wulfraat's shop -- she hosts a free online bulletin board called Rug Hooking Daily. We traveled down a rural road to a lovely wooden building with bins and shelves full of colorful fiber and walls decorated with Heidi's work. Students were learning to nuno felt in the back room, and a quilter was stocking up on the cheerful cottons Heidi carries. I was fascinated by Heidi's stained glass-like pieces hooked with hand-dyed nylon. I bought a few skeins to try my hand at it. (I will leave the nylon to Heidi in the future; I found it difficult to hook, even with my harpoon-like Ritchie hook.) I also found some incredibly soft pale green yarn with which I will make baby booties for my niece's and nephew's new babies.
Our next stop was Deanne Fitzpatrick's shop in Amherst, Nova Scotia. This is a happy place, full of color. There's a sandwich board out front that proclaims "We can teach you to hook in 5 minutes!" I love that Deanne makes the craft accessible to everyone. Inside the door is a salad bar of wool -- bowls full of small bits and pieces for sale so you don't have to buy a whole yard of anything. Her famously textured rugs hang on the walls.
Pete picked out one of Deanne's signature house mats for us to take home. I think it will hang in our kitchen over the French doors to the back yard.
I have lots more to share, and I will share it all! But I need to buckle down and get some work done. I messed up my back the first day home so I haven't worked yet this week! The fall shows are coming soon! First up is the Peconic Ruggers Rug Show, which will be held September 13 & 14, 2014, during the Hallockville Fall Festival -- two great events for the price of one!