artwork, mother creative, natural dyeing, rug making

Rug Dreams; designing my 1st rug

The progression of this project has been a graceful climb. As much as I hope my children will find what I do fascinating and want to partake someday soon, I also forget they still see me working and hear me talking about my latest project. I’ve given up on keeping things tidy and organized all the time. And the baby gate that separates my fiber space from our bedroom is now only a suggestion to my oldest when I’m not around. Oh well.

I’ve been wanting to try my hand at rug hooking for years. 15 to be exact. Ever since I drove up and around the edge of Nova Scotia and discovered the Shediac and the tradional of rug hooking there. The tactile warmth that a hooked rug offers just had me dreaming to try it.

While at the Maine Fiber Frolic a few years ago, I met a rug hooker that creates beautiful small hooked rug designs in both forms; with a punch needle or a hook. There was a quiet moment and I felt socially brave and my curiosity took over anyway. She demonstrated both techniques. When she said that the punch needle method was faster, I bought an Oxford needle on the spot. It seemed more common to hook with wool cloth strips. But I make yarn, have collected yarn, and wanted to use what I already have. She gave me a few tips and I walked off day dreaming about this very rug I would make.

You see, I don’t really know where these ideas come from. My dreams at night sometimes. I once dreamed of two sweaters that I hadn’t knit before. I wrote done the details and will same day make them real. I dream of paintings, ideas, theories, and usually write them down. If I don’t, they keep coming in my dreams at night. Either before or after my 4 year old son joins me in bed. I dream of these ideas when I’m not dreaming of my children. Who are always somewhere in my dreams laughing or sleeping.

Since moving to the island and especially since planning my son’s nursery, I’ve been dreaming of this kind of motif. One of fish scales or waves? It doesn’t matter. They are both of the sea. I gathered some needed tools and materials at Camp Wool in Kennebunk and got to work. I did first text out my needle punching on a store bought kit. I used whatever commercially made yarn I still had laying around. Sometimes combining yarns to enhance dimension and texture. Then I got to work on my new design. I was at the time heading into my third trimester with my 2nd child so I tried not to feel anxious at the fact that I wouldn’t finish it before she was born. 2.5 years later though, I’m finished. Well, almost. Just need to sew down the edges. But once I took the completed rug off the frame, shook it out and lay it on the floor, stepped on it, I was overwhelmed with pride and accomplishment. I relished telling my son how proud I was of myself. He beamed up at me and said, “I’m proud of you too, Mommy!”

Don’t mind my picture sequence, it’s backwards.

About 1/2 way done, 2017
Nearing home stretch, red corner. 2019
Nearing home stretch blue corner.
Estimating how munch more yarn I’ll need to dye up as new baby Violet sleeps next to my feet, 2018
I loved thinking of what dyes to combine in order to create the colors I wanted.
Me & 2 year old Ronan. Two years later and he’s still fascinated with this magical technique of pushing yarn through and making a picture.
Violet a few weeks old. Those days (moments) of making with a fresh baby snuggled against me was heaven.
More sample making with madder, lichens, etc
I thought of and created a paper template to draw onto the cloth.

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