Friday, May 30, 2008


Two years ago this month, a group of rug hookers and a few husbands (including mine) went to England with Barbara Carroll, to take classes from Heather Ritchie and Cilla Cameron! The pattern was a proddy sheep taught by Cilla and the rock wall background was taught by Heather! One of our rug hookers, Keith Kemmer, designed this rug with vignettes of places that were memorable ~ it was available thru Barb only to those who went on the trip. I ordered one just in case I might sometime, in my golden years, might possibly want to do this rug ~ but it really wasn't my intention to ever do it ~ it was too big, too complicated, etc. etc. etc.!!! Then last fall, a friend asked me to join her group for a 3-day mini at Barb's studio in Ligonier, Pa. and I thought "A-HA" ~ this is the time to do this rug and avail myself of Barb's expertise ~ I truly would not have known where to begin! Voila!!! Here is my finished rug and I am so proud of it ~ for me, it's a huge accomplishment!!
From left to right the vignettes are: Grinton Lodge - where many people stayed and we took the classes; Durham Cathedral (part of a Harry Potter movie was filmed inside the courtyard); the Shambles at York; the brick cottages at Beamish (a re-created old town); and my interpretation of the Buck Hotel and Pub, where we stayed along with our friends Danese & Ted !! On top of the cottages is a purple proddy sheep made with the leftover wool from the one I proddied. The borders are the fields surrounding the town of Reeth and are interspersed with rock wall fences, yellow canola fields, purple fields of heather, and fields of bluebells! Many of us purchased Wensleydale fleece curls and I used those for the sheep that run around the border! Up in the top left are the stone buildings of Reeth and a red-headed Heather toiling over her dye pots!!
This rug means so much to me in terms of the memories and the labor of love that hooking this rug became for me! I am so greatful to Keith for designing it and so glad I had the foresight to purchase it, even though it wasn't my plan to tackle such a big project ~ it's 30 x 70, if memory serves me correctly ~ that's a big rug!! One thing I learned in terms of hooking a big rug, is not to leave it on the frame between hooking sessions!! As the rug grew, the weight of it caused it to stretch and get quite humpy in the middle ~ then I realized it had to come off the frame and 'rest' until the next time!! Fortunately, with careful steaming, it really flattened out nicely ~ my husband just built a stretcher frame to mount it and it will have a proper hanging place over a large square archway into the living room. That might even happen this weekend!

I do wish that I would have kept a log of hooking hours and it would have been a great rug to blog about but ~ I didn't have a blog then!! I have no idea how many hours went into it but I started it in November and finished it in April before I went to Barb's for our spring getaway!

One thing I must add is that being with Heather, who organized many wonderful day trips for us and being in her darling little studio, and Cilla, who added her own charm to our trip, and spending a week in the town of Reeth, was an experience I wouldn't have missed for anything! Heather is in California now to teach ~ I'm sure her students will just be thrilled to learn from her!!!!

I hope I haven't gone on too long ~ my friends tell me my blog sounds just like I talk!!! I just really wanted to share the story behind the project! Next time, I'll post a picture of the class project ~ the Reeth Sheep rug!!! Thanks for stopping by!!


Gayle said...

Wow! What a totally amazing rug! I think my favorite part is the little sheep frolicking around the border. Sounds like you had a wonderful visit to England

Helen said...

Alice I shall try again to add a comment I envy you having such a wonderful trip and being able to visit Reeth we have been to England twice but some years ago I loved it is seems so permanent somehow like There Always be an England sort of feel Helen

Anonymous said...

Your rug is wonderful, and huge!!! What did you use for wools, and did you dye any of them? I love to travel and your trip sounds like a wonderful combination of perfect destination, perfect teachers and perfect friends. Thanks for sharing the story!

JoJo said...

Alice, this rug is stunningly beautiful and yet so very cute. And it's huge to boot. You did good, girl!!

Unknown said...

This rug is so amazing!!!!! Love coming to your blog and reading and drooling over your work.
Wooly hugs,

woollylottrugs said...


Love that rug. It's beautiful! Very lucky girl to be able to study with Barb and Heather especially in England. Email me, I need to speak to you.

Alice ~ Folk Art Primitives said...

Thank you ever so much for appreciating my rug ~ it's going up on the wall today!! And I am just so happy that somebody is reading this blog!!!! Hope you're all having a great weekend!!

dulcy said...

Fabulous rug! What a wonderful experience for you Alice. Thanks for sharing.....


Brenis said...

Alice, I just love seeing your memory rug and hearing the story behind it! It sounds like you had an amazing trip! And then to get Barb's input on this rug to boot - how lucky are you??!!! :)
Two of my friends on the trip to england with Barb and Heather also.. i wonder if you know them?! The rug hooking world is such a small one!!
Bren :)

Alice ~ Folk Art Primitives said...

Hi all ~ Brenis, who were your friends that went to England? I'm sure we spent some time together!! Did you see that I put a link to your blog on mine? I check in on yours often ~ Thanks everybody!!

Brenis said...

Hey Alice :)
After reading Gene's blog, it seems this teaching trip has become ongoing?! But maybe you were on the same trip as my friend Dixie? And Sandy W. who is hilarious?
Thanks for the link love! I've added yours to mine also! :D I just haven't had any time to post lately :(
xoxo Bren

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