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Friday, February 21, 2014

Rug Hooking School at Cedar Lodge in September

Here are samples of some of our members' work from the classes offered in 2012 at Cedar Lodge, Dundurn, Saskatchewan. The level of instruction was top notch, and we came away knowing something new, as well as meeting other keeners from across the country.  

Heather Norquay

Rita Smith

Dorothy Oltsher

Betty-Ann's work in progress

Member Rugs

It's been a while, so we thought we'd post some images of rugs from our members!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Award-Winning Rug by Member Lynne Bresselaar

Newer member Lynne Bresselaar, on the encouragement of Rita, submitted her first rug to Rug Hooking Magazine's feature "First Rug on the Last Page."  Patti's husband Ron Marken photographed it.  She recently learned that her first rug will be featured! Congratulations, Lynne!
MOTHER AND CHILD  29" x 24" Photo: Ron Marken
While watching Deanne Fitzpatrick's dvd on rug-hooking, I suddenly knew this was how I wanted to hook rugs.  I started looking through old sketch books, and found an image I'd created during a life drawing session where a young mother posed with her newborn.  Years ago I made it into a Christmas card, and decided now that it would be perfect for my first original pictorial piece.
I drew it freehand on the linen backing, then began to hook, using mostly yarns from my knitting stash.  There are also strips of ribbon, some fabric from thrift store plaids and sweaters, t-shirt strips, some cotton yarn and fabric, and even bits of wine-colored rayon lining for bursts of color in the shawl.
Half-way through, I consulted my rug hooking friends and received feedback on what was and wasn't working, and how to improve it.  Also about halfway, I acquired a Cheticamp frame, which made the whole process easier and more enjoyable.  I could now leave my work-in-progress and return to it readily, contain most of my mess of worms and tools on its table-like surface, and see at a glance the effect of today's hooking on the whole picture.  I couldn't take it anywhere, but when I hooked, both hands were free to work, and I could concentrate on the joy and pleasure of creating.
The hardest parts were the hands and the baby's head and hand.  In the original drawing, the separation of the hands was more implied than defined, and the overall look was more painterly than realistic.  I tried to stay true to that in the rug, but with a little less success.  To add depth to the baby's head, I've stained the areas that should be more shadowed with tea, at a friend's suggestion.
I am proud to display this finished piece prominently in our home.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Beautiful Rugs from Victoria Meacham, of Victoria, BC

Victoria Meacham, a friend of Patti's, has created these beautiful pieces.  The first two, of rocks, and of shells, are creative, beautiful, and unusual.  I don't think I've seen anything like them before!The final one, "Happy Roads through Life,"  is a detailed life narrative piece.  Gorgeous!

Our Prairie Elevator Show in Manitoba Cooperator

Last month, the Heritage Rug Hookers of Saskatoon's prairie elevator show, touring 6 communities in Manitoba, was featured in the Manitoba Cooperator.  Check it out!

This exhibit is making its way around Manitoba for a while, and then the Royal Alberta Museum gallery in Edmonton has requested it for the spring and summer of 2014.

Biscuit Recipe from a Saturday Hook-in

Patti will attest that Betty Ann's recipe was realllly good! It's from The Joy of Cooking, a good classic book to have on hand.

Quick-Drop Biscuits with Old Cheddar

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Sift before measuring: 1 3/4 cups all purpose or whole wheat flour Mix in a bowl with 1 tsp salt, 2 1/2 tsp baking powder

Add: 2 to 6 tbsp chilled butter or shortening or combination of both. I used about 3 tbsp butter and about 1/2 cup grated old cheddar. You can experiment with the combination that works for you.
Cut solid shortening into dry ingredients with a pastry blender until the mixture is of the consistency of coarse corn meal.

Add, all at once, 1 cup milk. Stir the dough for I scant minute. Drop on to non-greased sheet and bake 12 to 15 min until lightly browned.
Image from Flickr: MGF/Lady Disdain

Thursday, November 8, 2012

"Adaptation of a French Canadian Hooked Rug" by Mousedroppings

The Mousedroppings blogger Susan Pilotto, former member of the Heritage Rug Hookers of Saskatoon, has just posted a beautiful piece she made.

She writes, "This Squirrel hooked rug was featured in this Craft Journal which was published by the Musée des maîtres et artisans du Québec quite a few years ago."

Monday, November 5, 2012

Saskatoon Spinners and Weavers Guild Sale

The Saskatoon Spinners’ and Weavers’ Guild sale is on Sat, November 24th from 9:30-5:00.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Karen Rathbun on Pinterest

Check out Karen Rathbun (Primitive Spirit blogger) on Pinterest! She has a wonderful wall of hooked rug images.  - Patti

More Photos from the Rug Hooking School at Cedar Lodge!

We have another batch of photos to post from Cedar Lodge.  We'll be posting some more in the days ahead!


Monday, October 15, 2012

Rug Strip Cutter for Sale

RAG STRIP CUTTER FOR SALE, used – FRASER model 500, with three Special #1 cutter heads (at least two are used, I can not recall if the third is or not) – new cost is $230 plus $39/cutter head – in good condition – $170 – contact Jane Evans, 306-668-4548 (can deliver in Saskatoon). Jane is a fibre artist living in Grandora.

Note: this is not the cutter for sale, but similar:

Fabric Sale

There is a fabric sale at St. Martins Church at 2617 Clarence Ave S on November 1st from 9 to 9.

Image from Flickr: R0ssie

There may be some fun stuff for hooking.

Also, donations of fabric are welcome (0.5metres or longer) and can be dropped off on the day.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Rug Hooking School at Cedar Lodge

What a great week the School was this year at Cedar Lodge!

Cedar Lodge, Blackstrap Lake, Saskatchewan. Photo © 2012 Cedar Lodge.

Here are samples of some of our members work from the classes offered.

The level of instruction was top notch, and we came away knowing something new, as well as meeting other keeners from across the country.

If you are particularly interested in one of these rugs, contact Patti at 934-0792 for further information.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Primitive Spirit's Karen Kahle

The beautiful blog Primitive Spirit is run by rug hooker Karen Kahle.  She also sells her rugs and other supplies at, on her Etsy site, and at

Her dyed wools have gorgeous colours. Patti was impressed by the range of browns.  Here is an image of some marbleized wools for sale on Etsy:
Image: Karen Kahle.  Hand-dyed marbleized wool for sale.

Photo Credit: Karen Kahle at  The colours are so beautiful! This can be bought as a pattern.  Copying this pattern is illegal as the design is protected by copyright law. Copyright Primitive Spirit  ©2011

Photo Credit: Karen Kahle at

Rug Aid

Internationally-known rug maker and former occupational therapist and social worker, the UK's Heather Ritchie, started an organization called "Rug Aid" to teach men, women, and children who are visually impaired, or who are affected by a family member's visual impairment, to make beautiful rugs and wall hangings. 

Rug Aid is not-for-profit. Rugs are made with recycled materials and sold direct and locally.  At some point in the future, rugs will be exported to sell via fair trade organizations. 

The site notes that rug makers are encouraged "to draw on the stories of their lives - families, animals, friends, transport, homes, schools - as well as the colours, patterns and textures of their environments, both rural and urban, to produce beautiful and very saleable works of art which will bring pleasure to both the creator and the purchaser."

Ernest's rug
"Ernest Faal, a Rug Aid trainee since the first workshop, made this rug which shows two African huts. He sold it to some tourists who visited the workshop while Heather was in The Gambia."
You can donate to Rug Aid here.  Patti was wondering whether this would be a good fundraiser for the Heritage Rug Hookers.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Colour Theory: Design Seeds

It's been too long since we've had a blog post: apologies! I will be posting a few this week for your springtime enjoyment. I hope you are reading this while sipping a lemonade on this beautiful, sunny day.

Design Seeds is a great website where you can
Creative Commons licensed imaged from Design Seeds. 
  1. search by colour. Say you have a piece of wool that you want to find a palette for.  Simply slide the values on the home page and find that colour, click on "go get it!" to find a group of colours that sing with that colour.  
  2. peruse the great number of images, such as this barn, and find palettes for inspiration.
Creative Commons licensed imaged from Design Seeds.

Subscribe to the email for this website to get new batches of images!  To end this post, I am putting up this bright tropical bird, just for Patti!

Creative Commons licensed imaged from Design Seeds.

Creative Commons licensed imaged from Design Seeds.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Lynne's Beer Bread Recipe

Heritage Rug Hookers of Saskatoon member Lynne shared this recipe with me for beer bread after I had the pleasure of trying it. It's fantastic...and easy peasy. -- Patti

image credit:  "Beer" taken by Will Vanlue (Flickr, Creative Commons)

Beer Bread
a bottle/can of beer (12 fl oz)
3 cups flour
1/2 cup white sugar
4 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 to 1/2 cup butter/marge, melted
Mix first 4 ingredients.  Put in bread pan.  Pour butter over.   Try to get it around the sides and under the batter.
Bake 350 for 40 to 60 minutes, til golden brown and crispy on top.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Beginner's Project: Rita's Students Terry Lynn and Bert

I recently taught a two-day class in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan. Since most of the participants had only begun hooking in the fall and had no formal instruction, I concentrated my lessons on developing good techniques for hooking various forms,  backgrounds and finishing. I had also asked students to bring the piece that they were working on to see if I might make suggestions. 
Much too my surprise, two students brought large rugs that I recognized immediately as a design from the Rug Hookers' Bible
Terry Lynn and Bert hold up their beginner's project.
These two, Terry Lynn and Bert, had dyed a whole bolt of wool and were doing a fantastic job on their first major piece. I was so very impressed by their courage and confidence, and by the beautiful results. 
Now what do you think of this for a beginner's project?

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Grain Elevator Rugs on CBC Calgary Television!

Sharon Johnston has done such a wonderful job of promoting our show in Calgary.  She has arranged gallery shows, demos, advertising and news coverage.   I have admired Sharon's elevator rug so many times and have enjoyed the hooking bag she created as a gift to me from all of you, and now at long last, I have seen her face!

Click here for a CBC Calgary TV news report aired on Feb. 18th, but be sure that you slide the bar to 14:29 minutes into the news program (so you don't have to watch all of the news).

The show has had wonderful success, thanks to many able volunteers, and to the Galleria Inglewood for providing the space!


Monday, February 27, 2012

Abigail's "Best Porkchops Ever!"

Photo Credit: "Center Cut Pork Chops - Bone in" by Artizone on Flickr
Photo Credit: "Juniper Berries" by Wayne-K on Flickr
To continue the tradition of posting good recipes on our blog, Patti has recommended recipes on Abigail's B&B's blog in Victoria.  Here's a pork chop recipe that looks really good.  The chops should be brined the day before.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Lynne's Oatcake Recipe

Patti collected this recipe from Lynne after a recent hook-in. She said they were "GREAT cookies!"  They're healthy, too! They are made with oats and quinoa flour, which is high in protein. They include coconut oil, which, like quinoa flour, you can buy at most health-food stores.  Coconut oil got a bad name in the 70s because so much hydrogenated coconut oil was used in processed foods.  However, the virgin oil from health food stores is fine in moderation; in fact, one study found that non-hydrogenated, virgin coconut oil may have anti-viral properties.
photo credit:"oats" by Nico Paix on Flickr
Lynne's Oatcake Recipe
3 cups oats
1 cup white flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup quinoa flour
3/4 c sugar
1/2 c brown sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup coconut oil (comes in a jar)
1/4 cup water
1 tsp vanilla
Mix all ingredients.  Roll to 1/4 inch.  Cut with a glass.
Bake at 375 degrees, 15 minutes.
Makes about 3 dozen.
Optional date filling (or spread)
Mix in saucepan:
1/2 lb dates, pitted
2/3 c water
1/4 c sugar
Cook til thick, stirring frequently.
Remove from heat.  Add 1 tsp lemon juice. Cool.

Our Rugs on Display in Calgary, Calgary Herald

The travelling exhibit Grain Elevators: Vanishing Prairie Landmarks was featured last week in the Calgary Herald. It's currently on display at Galleria Inglewood in Calgary (follow the link for photos).  The exhibit was initiated by our group, but included artists from other prairie locales. Be sure to click on the Herald's link with photographs of the rugs (next to the tab "Story")! 

Note the diversity of colours, techniques, and representations of the elevators in these rugs!

photo by Sharon, who visited the gallery.  Love the border collie in that bottom rug! Rita says, "That dog is my daughter's Boston Terrier, Cooper. They had just moved from Phoenix. Cooper loved the tall clover along the walking trail. He would jump to see over it."

The colours are beautiful and unexpected in this one. It reminds me of Van Gogh's "Starry Night"

The level of skill and artistry represented in this rug is amazing. It projects such strength and a sense of plenty.

I love the oranges and blues in this one. Contrasting colours really make it come alive. Go Loreburn!

This rug's creator, not originally from Canada, chose depict the fictional town of Dog River AKA the real Roleau, SK, in the hit show Corner Gas!

Look at how many shades and colours were used in this one. I love that the little girl's clothes echo the grain elevator colours.
Swan River, Manitoba

A ghost on the prairie.