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Monday, October 31, 2011

Teaching Children Rug Hooking

Rita, a former educator, and I (a wannabe/beginner rug hooker) went to a Grade 1-4, 15-student Montessori school last Friday to introduce the children to the history of rug hooking, and to give it a go themselves.   It was a bit of a scramble to get things ready as we haven't done this before.
Anna gives rug hooking a try for the first time.  Photo: Julie Davidsen

On a roll! photo: Julie Davidsen

The children admire a few rugs by Rita and Patti (shown).  Photo: Julie Davidsen

Rita and Liv.  Rita holds up one of her beautiful rugs.  The children were really interested and engaged.  Photo: Julie Davidsen


The children were enthralled with the rugs that Rita and I brought, especially Rita's leopard rug. Rita was so amazing with the children and they just loved her.  One boy proclaimed, "Rita, I like you."

Here's how Rita tells it:

I serged some of my linen slightly larger than the picture frames Patti and I collected (very
inexpensively, about 25 cents each) from thrift stores and garage sales. Liv's husband, John, stapled the linen on the frames. One frame fell apart, but the other 7 worked very well. The frames were heavy enough to stay on the table so the children were able to use them without much trouble- a much better solution than flimsy hoops.  Each 10x12 frame held two designs- rectangles to outline and fill in with  hit and miss. 


After a brief chat about the history of rug hooking, we worked with 7 children at a time. Each child worked on one of the designs, which helped cut down the number of frames needed. We
gathered a variety of hooks from our personal collections.

On the whole, the children did very well and seemed to enjoy the process. Most caught on immediately. They all enjoyed choosing their favourite colours of wool from a huge pile of left-over strips.



It's been proposed now that we have some hooks on hand for teaching children when the occasion arises.  The Montessori teacher would like to make it an annual event since it ties in nicely with the elementary curriculum.  She reported that one of the children, who took her project home for the weekend, just loves rug hooking and would like to do more!
--Liv

Update: The Brilliant Star Montessori school will be purchasing linen and hooks for future projects.  Looks like they are "hooked"!  Also, the rug pieced together from the 16 rectangles fetched $750 at the school's fundraising auction.  Photos of the rug, once properly framed, will be posted soon.