From the wool dyeing to the whipping and final press, this rug took a year and a half to complete. I was inspired to hook November after seeing it partially done by a fellow student at Nancy Blood’s 2018 rug camp in Owego, N.Y. I particularly love the colors of autumn and knew their brightness would be welcomed when most of the rug would be hooked in the dark of winter.
November’s color plan looks quite complicated but it is actually very simple. Nancy Blood, my teacher, directed me to Maryanne Lincoln’s book, Recipes from the Dye Kitchen for formulas. All the leaves are the results of using three Cushing Dyes, Canary, Cherry and Peacock in varying measurements over different colored wools jar dyed into eight value swatches. Thus, all the leaves “go together” from the darkest red to the lightest green. The background is spot dyed using Nancy’s formula “BOB”, Black, Olive Green and Burgundy over Door’s Paprika and Burgundy. The mix of the two overdyed bolt wools made for more movement in the background. With a pattern such as this, one needs to plot which color goes where in one quadrant and then repeat. Sounds simple but it really isn’t. Eyes can play tricks on you so this process took some time to plot and recheck. I found it humorous that a New Englander would name this pattern November given that by then, our trees are pretty nude. Guess it is different “down south” in Massachusetts!
About the Artist:
In the early 1980’s, by chance I noticed a small sign, Rug Hooking, alongside the road I took to work in Manchester, CT. Curiosity drew me into a small shop, Fraser’s. Janette, the owner, gave me some basic instructions, and I left with a burlap backing, strings of wool, a hook and a hoop. I had found my craft! Back then, most folks started on a #3 cut and my first rug was a floral taught by Viverly Powers. Soon after, I moved to VT and was on my own to learn techniques, how to dye, etc. for back then teachers were far and few between. Rug camps were wonderful resources and, once again, there weren’t that many.
For years I returned to the Green Mt. Rug School, then located in Randolph Cr., VT at the technical school . There was also the Green Mt. Rug Hooking Guild. Classes were concurrent with the show when it was in the round barn in Shelbourne, VT. After marrying a soldier, once again I was on my own. Not much hooking in El Paso, TX, Bamberg, Germany or Elizabethtown, KY! In 2000 we returned to New England and I have had the opportunity to attend many camps, study with Annie Spring, Nancy Blood and others. My work has been honored in several Celebrations, country fairs and exhibits. I’ve enjoyed being a member of the Green Mountain Rug Hooking Guild, ATHA, the McGown Guild and since retirement, the Brattleboro Rug Social group.Artist supplied her own details and a self photo.