Monday, June 16, 2014

Hooked Mats - A Part of Growing Up

I was alerted to the following videos from the CBC archives through Deanne Fitzpatrick's Hooking Rugs Facebook page and they are gems. Not only because they are about hooking mats, which you know I'm pretty passionate about, but also because watching them was almost like stepping into a time machine. These people, their language and dialect and their houses, inside and out, is a glimpse into my childhood. Mrs. O'Brien (and her sweet and supportive husband) are marvelous and I wish the videos would just go on and on.

1977 Edited Version of Mat Hooker Interview

I love the variety of mats displayed in this video. Many of the patterns are similar to the ones I used to see in people's houses when I was growing up. I'm told my great-grandmother used to draw her own patterns and was a very prolific mat maker. My grandmother too hooked, after the work of the day was done (how she didn't just collapse into bed alongside her nine children is beyond me. I can barely survive with 'only' three off spring). Their designs were usually of flowers and leaves though one of my Aunt's remembers a 'hit or miss' style that my grandmother did.

This is a picture of a mat made by a lady living in the same community my mother grew up in. Another one of my Aunt's won it at a time (that's the Newfoundland and Labrador word for a dance or a party usually at someone's house/the local hall, etc) when she was growing up. She still uses it in her kitchen. Lucky duck!

The following is the 'uncut' version of the interview with Mrs. O'Brien which is a little rough around the edges but the one I prefer as I felt I got to know her better. The interviewer also asks her many questions that I wish I could ask my grandmother and other relatives of her generation but have missed the chance.

1977 Interview of a Mat Hooker: Mrs. O'Brien, Cape Broyle

I've been thinking and doing a LOT of hooking lately. I'm working on a commissioned piece for a very good friend and this not so little mat will be flying off to the UK at the end of the month. So, in case you're missing me, I'm just hooking. All. The. Time. I'm not exactly sure how big it is but this is certainly my largest rug to date (I haven't time to measure so my toes are included in this picture to give you an idea of the mat's size). I'm learning lots!

Off again. I've important hooking to get to. And I think the boys need supper again (I'm swear I just fed them yesterday…).

1 comment:

  1. Love it... I did a couple s few years ago. .. or basset loved them I was so upset over the destruction I never went back at hooking