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.


Blogger Spinny Bunt said...

Absolutely gorgeous rugs guys!

8:00 p.m.  

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