Wednesday, February 2, 2022

Past Rugs

 Good Morning!

 I have been thinking about this post for three days. I even tracked down some of my past rugs. Of course,  I have a story that must go with it. Back in the old days, when I was a student. I loved art, any kind of art. One of my teachers in third grade, gave us burlap and yarn and let us sew with big needles and showed us how to stitch all of the embroidery stitches. I was in heaven. Then a girl in our class taught us how to knit. You couldn't do this now, but we sat on the playground after lunch with our knitting needles and yarn and knitted our little projects. I was hooked. My Mom got a pattern, a flour sack and I happily embroidered sitting by her on the couch. That has never left me. 

In high school, I really wanted to learn how to do pottery. I took a class, but I got kicked out. Because the teacher said, " In all my years of teaching, I have never encountered a student with no artistic ability whatsoever." (I still hear that in my head all of these years later, like before I said yes to the granny rug. I have to fight myself all the time.) But all of this to show you my rugs I sold, in my Etsy store. There were people that paid money for my rugs. I still laugh to myself. That aside, my daughter told me long, long ago. " Mom, I am not really a good artist, but I want to do it, so I work really hard at what I do, saying you don't have any artistic talent is a cop out, what you are really saying, is you don't want to work hard enough." It has really changed my thinking. I hear that in my head too. When I am making excuses in my head.

These will be my own patterns.

This was one of my early patterns. I started hooking because I thought I know I can draw rug patterns, and hook them and this was my attempt. 


This was Stretch. I actually had people contact me to draw out and hook patterns. This was a fun rug to hook. I only made one. Maybe I should go back and try to replace it. 

When I first started hooking, I really loved guineas and chickens. Well, I still do. I had a man in Ohio who was redoing his house, and he would contact me and give me ideas and I would try to do that. He also hung my rugs in his business. It still gives me a feeling of embarrassment when I think of it. 

 He wanted a dog rug. He mounted this one on a frame. I tried to send him lots of other dog rugs ideas, but he said no, he wanted me to do it. So this was it. I have never done another one of these either. 


Here is one of my early chicken rugs. I had never met anyone except on the internet, I have never gone to a rug hooking class, so I had to be entirely self taught. I am so glad  there was You Tube videos, but the other day, I was cleaning off one of my bookcases, I have so many books on how to hook rugs, that I read over and over. So in a way, I had the best of teachers.

These were my early rugs. As you can see, I was still trying to figure out how to bind them. I enjoy binding now, but it was something I had to make myself like. 

Then there was this. The original rug was a pattern from Sharon Smith. The first one I did, I was gradually loosing my sight. The colors in my other rabbit rug, are not good because I hooked with what I could see. After I had my eyes fixed, I had this idea in my head. I told my daughter and she was living in Arizona at the time. I sent her the paper and she drew out that pattern for me. This became and is my favorite rug. 

This rug still makes me a happy and I still have this one. I never could sell this one. I had to dye the wool to match the colors in my mind. Looking at it now, of course I see my mistakes, and what I would change but for the most part, I still like it. This was the first rug I did, because I could see. I never take my sight for granted now.

So that is my long, long post. Thank you so much for still being here. Its really what I love is waiting such a long time to learn to rug hook, and it still is my passion. I just wish I wasn't out of room because I have so many rugs now. I think a bit longer in the choosing of a pattern.

Oh, here is my update on my Granny rug.



I am working on the background. I am enjoying seeing all of the other rugs. This has been such a fun time for me. 

Thank you so much for visiting me today,


“Never be limited by other people’s limited imaginations.”
— Mae Jemison


Saundra said...

I enjoyed seeing your wonderful early rugs and obviously so did other folks because they commissioned them. It took me a long time to become comfortable with my own hooking as I was insecure; now I know my work is okay albeit making mistakes along the way.
You've accomplished a lot on your Primitive Spirit rug and will soon have it ready for binding. That's something I don't enjoy, lol....the binding.

TheCrankyCrow said...

❤️ Oh Kim! There is so much packed in this post that there are a dozen comments trying to tumble out of my head at once. First and foremost, that quote about not being limited by someone else's lack of imagination sounds perfect for you and your feeling that you have no artistic talent. I would argue that you most certainly do, but I do confess I "know the feeling." I see what everyone else does (hooking, stitching, etc. etc.) and sometimes feel so discouraged. But then I remember another quote that brings me comfort: "The thief of joy is comparison." All of your rugs are absolutely fabulous....but, yep, the bunny one is my very favorite. I remember when you hooked that! I really also like that sitting dog one. I think hooking is one of the most forgiving and malleable of all crafts as each person has their own "style" and form...none better nor worse than another, just unique to that person like a signature. And, wow...I did not know you had an Etsy store! Like you weren't busy enough LOL??? Do you still have one??? You are making great progress on your Granny D rug. I like the quirky border. I am thinking this comment is long enough although I am sure I am forgetting to say things I intended to. Maybe I will remember and put it in that email I have been meaning to write. 😉 ~Robin~

Gretchen Joanna said...

SO wonderful! I am so proud of you. The rugs are all special. Of these, I think I like the top one best of all; it's that striped border at the top that grabs me. The three guineas is my next-favorite.

Keep on hooking!! <3

Pom Pom said...

I love all of your rugs! I like the bunny best because she is such a cute and well-clad girl. I love her outfit.
Huge applause for you! I did not really know you were self-taught.

acorn hollow said...

I love that you learned knitting and embroidery at school. But what a sorry excuse for a teacher you had in pottery. that happens every day in most schools. Be it pottery or math shame on them. Yeah! for your wonderful rugs!!!! I always feel like my rugs are never good enough. I love your granny rug and all your wonderful past rugs. So wonderful to read your story

Julia said...

Hi Kim, I was here earlier but was needed somewhere else so didn't have time to leave a comment.

That pottery teacher could handle the clay but certainly couldn't handle her tongue. Such discouraging words should never be said to anyone, especially to a student by a teacher. Teachers are supposed to build up self-esteem, not destroy it.

Wow, I remember all those rugs, so creative.
I was wondering if you still had your Etsy store?
I remember you selling many rugs. I've never sold any of my rugs. Your Granny D. rug is really coming along nicely.

Like you, I love hooking my own designs.
I love that big bunny but I must admit, my all-time favorite is the Three Guinee Hens with the two sunflowers. I just love that rug and the colors.

I only took 4 basic lessons, how to pull loops with #5 cut, use wool garments to hook, how to protect wool from moth infestation, how to over-dye wool using other colored wool, how to cut wool strips with a Bliss Model fabric cutter and how to price our rugs using a formula which I don't remember. The rest was all learned from the internet and books.

It's fun once in a while to dig out those rugs and show them in a portfolio. Do they all have names?

Take care and keep on hooking.

Rugs and Pugs said...

So many fun rugs!!! But your bunny is by far my favorite. Seeing is!
Loving your Granny challenge rug.
Your door hanger is so sweet.
No post of yours is ever too long!

JustGail said...

Telling a kid they have no talent for something is rotten thing to do, *especially* when trying to learn a totally new skill. I don't care if it's pottery or math. Give them time to learn. Isn't there a saying about "Them that can, do. Them that can't become critics?"

IMHO, your daughter's comment is more about someone's determination to prove people wrong, or their ability to ignore the critics, than about being lazy.

Love that dog rug!

Kerin said...

Kim, this is such a fun post! I love seeing your rugs and have always thought of you as having a great talent for rug making!
I think that you should continue to make rugs as long as you want to, for it makes your heart so happy :)

Have a wonderful weekend.