lust. You hear comments about artwork speaking to the soul, well this pattern is screaming at mine. What makes it difficult is that I look at the rug and I know I could be there, I could be keeping up with Ginny loop for loop but it’s a tough reality when the time just isn’t there. I’m a working girl and Ginny’s is now retired so she has the time to dedicate a portion of each day to her passion. For now, I’ll just have to live vicariously through her, seeing this beauty progress until the day I am able to tackle it myself.
I have a copy of the pattern that we made a booboo on and can’t sell, so the plan is to hook it and I’ve made a promise to myself to do just that even though it might be after I retire. These days hooking is all about the shop, demos for kits and window displays. I find very little time to hook for my own pleasure, my home. I think people are quite surprised to find out my house isn’t heavy laden with handmade rugs. I’m a bit ashamed to admit there are only two, a compass rose and one I designed for one
of the spare bedrooms called Courtyard. I have the large rug, Catch of the Day but it will remain in the shop for a few years as a demo to sell the pattern and later will find its forever home in my hubby’s study.
Sometimes I feel sad but as I’ve stated so many times before, it’s like the carpenter house that’s never finished. I am so immersed in all the other aspects of rug hooking I’m worn out by the time I get home. I’m not complaining nor do I want to sound bitter, I've accepted my lot in life, but every now and then I get a twinge of envy as I see the spark in the eyes of those who have started a new project or just completed one. The pride of accomplishment, the beauty of the finished rug, the pleasure of displaying the heirloom in its forever home. I believe "he who hesitates is lost", so I hope arthritis doesn't set in cutting my rug hooking retirement short. A hooker without working fingers is like a pianist without hands.
Not hooking as much as one would like is one of the downsides of being in the rug hooking supply business. Maybe others have it better with partners to help to manage the workload or a slew of employees to take care of the mundane, freeing up time for a bit of pleasure along the way, but I am a one man show and when it comes down to it, accounting, designing and kit making and all else that keeps the door open is the bread and butter of the business, so you see, I don’t have time to make or indulge in cake. Maybe I’m a low level energy person, maybe I should get my thyroid checked or take a pill so I could zoom around like a machine, become super woman, extend my 12 hour work day to 16 and do everything on my bucket list. Yep, there’s a lot of rugs to be hooked on that list, I just hope I live long enough to check them all off.
Any piece I would hook for my home would be small cut, probably an Oriental or Persian design and a sizable long term commitment. The little projects I polish off in an evening or two are great for the shop and fulfill that need to hook but I’m realistic about starting anything large as it will just get pushed back as life commands my attention until it becomes a curse to find the time to finish.
I’m speaking from experience. I started an Oriental a few years back. The entire Wednesday Main Street Hookers group decided to hook an Oriental rug. Lois Sweeney and Mary Doig, both schooled under the tutelage of Dorothy Height at the NS Rug Hooking Guild School in Truro, were our mentors and like horses at the gate, we all began in an enthusiastic running start.
My eyes have always bigger than my stomach so I designed a large hall runner for our home, with Chinese Shou symbols down the length of the center and pagodas along the border. As always, I went gang busters and almost completed the center field. I worked in a #3 cut and quite frankly it went pretty quickly so the bulk of the rug was done in a three week period with only the multiply borders remaining. Thank goodness, being a realist, I announced before I pulled the first loop that it would be a ten year project, just to save myself the embarrassment of not reaching the finish line. I think I’ve exceeded that decade so it might be time for a new deadline. All but Shelley and I have finished and I see she’s putting a push on to complete hers so maybe I’ll have to dig it out and try to revive the passion I had when I first started. I think I might stray from the #3 requirement just to cut the time down, probably move up to a #4 to add a bit of speed. It would hardly make a difference to the eye and quite frankly I don’t have the time to be a purist. Git er done is more my philosophy these days.
I dyed the field of the rug to look like faded denim. The other colours are taken from the large rug in our living room. If I could do it over I would have made a rug for the front door area instead, which might be where I put “Alice” hooked in the same colours as my Oriental. The long runner was to be dedicated to a heavy traffic area and now with four dogs it might not be the best idea although ten years ago I hadn’t started collecting poodles!
I called the design Blue Beijing and several people have hooked it so I know the end result will be stunning. Each person choose totally different colour palettes but a beautiful rug by any other colour is just as sweet.