Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Hooked Rug Ta Dah!

A ta-dah post about this rug is waaaaay overdue. I wanted to write something about it last summer just after I finished but we immediately went away to BC for our family holiday, one of my best friend's passed away, school started, Halloween costumes needed to be made, another close family friend passed away unexpectedly again etc, etc, etc. So, here I am. 

A loves purple!
I have never been commissioned to hook a rug before. My friend A was returning to the UK in the summer of 2014 and wanted a Newfoundland and Labrador memento of her and her family's four year RAF posting to our fair province and country. She asked me if I'd hook her a rug one day and I believe I said 'no' the first time she asked. Up until that time, I'd been dabbling in small rugs and was not interested in hooking on a deadline. I am a slow hooker (and I can just imagine the comments I'm going to get from that statement...) using hooking as a creative pastime and outlet versus a job. 

I eventually said 'yes' and we had a bit of a back and forth discovering what she was interested in with respect to a rug. It would be my design but, obviously, I really wanted her input to ensure that she would be happy with the end product. Our commission agreement was that she pay for the hooking materials and I would donate my time. I have been a craftsperson long enough to know that I do not create well when being paid for an item. I work very well when the item is a gift for someone though and so my hooking time became my gift to A and her family for their friendship and a tribute to the great times we'd experienced together.

"Cappy" the capelin.
A looked through my collection of Deanne Fitzpatrick books and put yellow sticky notes and comments throughout them to help me get an idea of what she was drawn to and I designed from there. My original design was sketched on a piece of 8 1/2" X 11" paper. I then taped a piece of even weave burlap (from Atlantic Rug Hooking where I purchased most of my supplies for this rug. There and from Deanne's online shop) on the wall and used my projector and a Sharpie black marker to trace the pattern onto the burlap.

I traced the pattern at the size that I felt it should be which left me with a fairly large rug and certainly the largest that I'd ever hooked. And this one was on a deadline as my hope was to get the rug to A before she returned to the UK. I'll be upfront and tell you that I missed my deadline by almost two months. Once the rug was whip stitched around the edges and carefully steam ironed, I rolled it up, put it in a drafting tube and sent it off to the UK where, happily, it has since found its new home.

Hooking a house is far easier than building one. The spring
snow is still melting in the garden on the right. 
I hooked this rug in the bright, cold, clear Winter months but began to get tired of the blues and greys so the rug began to warm up to early Spring which is the season this rug depicts.

I was inspired by the quilting stipple stitch for the sky detail.
Completed sky detail.
In Newfoundland and Labrador in the early Spring, the ice bergs are moving along the shore (we get to watch them from our living room window!), a snowfall or two is not unusual despite the fact that the tulips and daffodils are struggling to burst through recently frozen soil and sometime in May or June, the capelin roll (when you can, literally, catch fish with a bucket!) which always causes much excitement in our house and the province in general.

This shot was taken in bright sunlight.
My feet included for size comparison.
Hooking complete now to finish the edges... 
Almost completed. I love how the whip stitching allowed for
such a lovely curved border. 
Humpback whale detail.
A's husband is currently with the RAF and A used to be. I included these bright poppies on each corner as a tribute to them and their service to their country.

Poppy detail.
Right poppy detail.

Do you see a little yellow dory in the water to the left of the salt box house below? There are three in the rug altogether.

The red salt box.  
The years the family was in Newfoundland and Labrador.

I hooked the ice berg twice. The first time, I tried to capture the gorgeous blue and green that ice bergs reflect but didn't like the end result. This ice berg is my second version. I'm really pleased with how the blue roving adds so much movement around the bottom of the ice berg - as if waves really were lapping against its sides.

May I present to you, "Capstick Cove" circa 2014. Ta-dahhhhhhhh! I hope that wherever it hangs, it provides lots of joy and triggers many happy memories to the family who sees it every day.

1 comment:

  1. Un freaking believable as to what you are making. I tried hooking about 10 years ago and one of the dogs decided it was a great chew item... I got so disheartened I put it all away. If there's a store for supplies in St. Johns I'm going to have to go poking... might get back at it.