Seacoast Ruggers of York Maine: Part II

Notes on March 2022 meeting continued…

LeAnn Hodgson, owner of Camp Wool in Milbridge, sent a rug along with a friend to the meeting. This is a small detail of a long runner.

Donna Rousseau not only hooks beautiful rugs, but also enjoys a variety of fiber arts and crafts. She brought two rugs to the event: one a seaside view of shore birds; the other an originally-designed Star Island-inspired rug featuring a partial view of one of the stone buildings there. She usually attends the Alfred Retreats and the Star Island Retreat.

Susan Stanley has been hooking seriously since 2016 and is self-taught. Says Susan, “My Great Aunt Rose from Prince Edward Island was the one who influenced my desire to hook. She had a frame near the kitchen stove and always filled the kitchen with her hooking and the smell of fresh bread baking. I had another aunt, Rita, who filled every room of her house with beautifully-braided rugs. I inherited her wool. I have made a few braided rugs, though I prefer to hook. Hooking is like painting with fiber. I have done both—painting and hooking—and I think hooking a landscape is much more difficult than painting one.”

Since hooking and baking go together, Susan offers a recipe for Brown and Serve Potato Rolls

Dot Bickford lives in Kittery Point and has been hooking since 1990. For ten years, her work interfered with her hooking time. Dot believes that “in earlier times, more classes were available.” She studied with Lois Dugal and with Pearl McGown, among others, and McGown gave her a love of fine shading. Her piece “Tree of Life” shows the larger cuts of fabric strips popular in earlier days of hooking. Dot attended her first Rug Hooking Retreat in Alfred, Maine around 1990 and was “excited by work done there.”

Jane Sittnick is a hooker, gardener, forager of mushrooms, former quilter, reader and designer of original rugs.

Jane is very interested in exploring the use of “other than wool” fibers —up-cycled clothing made of silk, acrylic, synthetic and mixed composition fibers, especially knits. Writes, Jane, “These fibers greatly extend the range of texture and color when used alone or with wool. The use of alternative fibers is not a new concept. Early hookers repurposed clothing into floor rugs. Many others, especially in countries where wool isn’t readily available (for example, England, Australia or Guatemala) create with alternative fibers. Using these fibers opens a huge door of possibilities and supplies for both experienced and new rug hooking enthusiasts.”

Grace Collette started hooking in 1971. There was not much variation in color choices back then. Grace bought wool and mill ends directly from the factories and hand-dyed her own wool for rugs. She brought in a rug by her grandmother, Ethel Todd, a framed rose which dates back to 1925. In comparison, her own wild rooster rug sports sparkly, colorful beads. For a conversation between Christine and Grace, follow this link.

Lauri Troutman is the current organizer of the Alfred Rug Hooking Retreat, to be held this year at Oceanwood Camp and Conference in Ocean Park, Maine and so is being called “Alfred at Oceanwood.” Laurie had brought to the meeting a small mat called “A Shot in the Dark.” Writes, Lauri, “There was a challenge online to design a rug that reflected new life, and I had a design that represented planets and stars and celestial ‘new life.’ But my husband saw the design and re-designed what I had done. The name and image says it all.

Sandy Nolan is a beginning rug hooker who showed us her first piece. She has “lots of wool” from her days of braiding rugs. Also an ardent quilter, Sandy intends to keep hooking.

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