Friday, March 24, 2006

We're Hooked

While strolling the exhibits at the 2005 Black Sheep Gathering, Teal, Rose and Jade were awed by several small rugs in dazzling colours hanging in the Elemental Affects booth. We were intrigued when Jeane deCoster explained that the rugs were made using a technique called Austrailian Locker Hooking using a specially designed metal hook that looks like a crochet hook at one end and a darning needle at the other, rug hooking canvas, painted roving or combed fleece, and odd bits of yarn. Loops of the roving are pulled through the squares in the canvas with the crochet hook end and then locked in place by pulling a length of yarn threaded through the needle end through the loops. Jeane showed us one small rug with rows of brightly hand dyed roving that she said she'd done in a fews hours while watching TV. "A great way to use up your left over dyed rovings and yarn from other projects". And when we touched them we were impressed by how soft and bouncy they were, wonderful under foot beside the bed on a cold winter morning or to greet you at the door. We were sold; fast, low tech, minimal equipment, portable and inexpensive. The locker hooks can be purchased for about $5 - $8 (finding them locally is more of a problem). The canvas was about $5/yard (this was Oregon, remember). Plus another way for us to play with colour and fibre and you know how we feel about colour and fibre! We found this a relatively easy craft to pick up from the printed instructions Jeane provided. Another site with history and good illustrations is from Mother Earth News. However, our experience has been shown that two months (or more) is a better estimate of how long it takes us to complete a 24" x 40" rug.

Here Teal's current project in process.

This is Jade's first rug.

Teal's first rug that now lies inside her family room patio door and compliments the family room area rug.

Jade's second rug combines painted rovings in the background and immersion dyed and natural roving in the Greek Key border.

As Amber and Lavender have acquired the tools for locker hooking we hope to post exmples of their work and Rose's at a later time. However, there have been rumblings that they may try felted knit rugs next. We are also pleased to see that this fibre art is attracting more interest and note that workshops are being offered this spring at Black Sheep Gathering and NW Handspun Yarns in Bellingham. Closer to home for those in the lower mainland Shan’s Needleworks, #31 – 8th Avenue, New Westminster, Tel: 604-807-2729 has locker hooking supplies and a class teaching the technique but with fabric strips rather than roving.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

What's Next?

Ok! Let's see what's next for the Twisted By Choice fibre crazed gals!

March 31st - Fibre Festival at Tradex in Abbotsford. This runs from Fri, Mar 31 to Sat, April 1st. We're planning on going on Friday. Some of us have workshops and some of us are planning to shop 'til we drop!

Sat, April 1st - Sock yarn painting fun at the Clubhouse. Jade's hubby has kindly made us a jig for painting yarns. It should be interesting to see how much paint actually gets on the yarn (and not us).

Sun, April 2nd - Glass Bead workshop - Amber has organized a glass bead making workshop for us. If our beads turns out a fraction of what the sample looked like, we'll be thrilled. I know I'm really excited...this is something I've always wanted to try. I really needed a new hobby. yeah.

Mar 31 - April 9 - Festival of the Arts in Port Moody Civic Centre Galleria. The theme this year is Vessels and some of us have submitted items for this display.

Sun, April 9th - Spin In at the Port Moody Civic Centre. I'm not sure how much actual spinning is done at these functions but it's always fun to see what everyone else is working on, catch up with old friends and make new ones.

June 23-25 - Black Sheep Gathering It sounds like there will be a road trip to Black Sheep again this year. Some of us are still deciding. The group who attended last year came back with horror stories of being in a barn full of fleece (350 give or take) and was only allowed (by Jade) to pick ONE!!

Did I forget anything?