Lois Lyle Sweeny
April 23, 1928 – August 7, 2007
Lois graduated from Acadia University and married her soul mate, Robert Sweeny in 1949. She was an avid rug hooker and was a member of the Rug Hooking Guild of Nova Scotia.
Lois’s specialty was oriental style hooked rugs. She preferred the finer cuts and had a keen eye for detail when shading the delicate motifs she so loved.
I was so happy to have been able to visit with Lois before she passed away. My husband had a slight table saw accident requiring stitches so we went to emergency where I was surprised to find Lois. Although I could tell she was struggling she was still delightful and forever positive. She said she hadn't been hooking in some time and missed it. I showed her the rug I was whipping and she enjoyed the whimsy of it. When Bob entered the room I was impressed by the way he smiled at her and the look of softness on her face and the love in her voice when she called him “dear”. Truly, a love couple.
The word that best described Lois would be 'lady'. She was petite and feminine to a fault but don't let appearances fool you, she was handy and resourceful, getting down and dirty with renovating or using a scroll saw to cut out wafer thin wood ornaments.
When I first opened Encompassing Designs in one small room of our house, Lois was the first customer to walk through the door. I had been looking out of the window and saw a car screech to a halt right in the road, traffic behind her following suit to avoid rear ending her car. The words “Rug Hooking” splashed across the sign on the front lawn had grabbed her attention like a bee to a flower. She was so very pleased for me, wishing me all the best. It was people like Lois who spread my name around the community so that other rug hookers found their way to my door.
Until her passing Lois was a constant in my rug hooking life. She would pop into the shop to say hi and we'd meet at hook-ins around the province, which she would sometimes host to the delight of those invited. To heck with the hooking, we were there for the food! Bone China tinkled as we sipped a very civilized cup of tea or coffee. Crustless sandwiches, quiche and all manor of tastefully prepared nibbles were always served, and last but not least, her legendary sweets capped off the afternoon. To sum it all up.....before Martha, there was Lois!
All those who knew Lois will remember her passion for baking and those delightful gingersnaps we all drooled over. One was too many and a thousand was never enough! Thin as paper, crispy and loaded with melt in your mouth goodness, every bite was a slice of heaven. The recipe follows.
This beautiful poem was part of her service.
It was the first time I'd heard it...so beautiful...
Let us not cling to mourning,
Do not stand on my grave and weep,
I am not there, I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow,
I am the diamond glints on snow,
I am the sunlight opened grain,
I am the gentle Autumn’s rain.
When you awaken in the morning hush
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circled flight,
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not stand on my grave and cry.
I am not there, I did not die.
Lois Sweeny’s Ginger Snaps
½ cup butter
½ cup Fleishmann’s Corn Oil Margarine
½ cup Brown Sugar
2 tsp Ginger
1 cup molasses
Mix above ingredients together and heat on the stove till hot. Remove from heat and cool 20 minutes or so. Add 1 tsp soda – dissolve by stirring well.
Add 3 cups sifted all purpose flour.
Place bowl in fridge till cool enough to handle, then make rolls. Chill again. Slice, place rounds on greased cookie sheet. Press down with side of hand and wrist until thin. Place sheet in oven of 350*. Turn oven down immediately to 250*. Set timer for 12 – 15 minutes. Remove from oven and use spatula to remove cookies at once.