My friend Melinda McCoy generously donated this rug hooking for me to raffle for the last bit of the Ballymaloe fundraiser! I asked her to describe the craft, and here is what she said:
“I was at a fiber festival when I saw my first hooked rug. I loved the colors and textures and the endless possibilities of design. I found a group of rug hookers in my area, that’s where I learned a lot about the techniques.
Starting in the 1850s, rug hooking was considered a craft of the poor. They used the burlap from feedsacks as the backing for the rugs and scraps of clothes and fabric, which had no other possible use, were cut into strips and pulled up through the backing with a bent nail. The first rugs were actually for tables and beds, then to protect the floors in front of the hearth. The burlap backing breaks down over time so that is the reason we have very few antique rugs from that time period. Now we use linen or monk’s cloth for the backs of our designs. I use linen for my backing, a hook similar to a crochet hook inserted into a wooden handle and a frame that holds the backing firm while hooking. The fabric is 100% wool. Some of the wools are hand dyed while others are “as is” color and textures. The wool is cut into strips and pulled up from the back into loops.
I love American folk art so when I started rug hooking I was drawn to the primitive style of hooking with the wide cuts of wool. Most of the motifs that I hook are farm animals. I spent my summers on my grandparent’s farm in Nebraska so I think much of my work is a reflection of my time there. I love simple days and time working with my hands.
This rooster’s name is John Henry. He is hooked with a linen backing and all wool strips. I have hand dyed some of the background color, the beak and feet. The rest of the wool is “as is” wool fabric, most of which come from mills in Scotland and England. I love the whimsy and simplicity of this design. I hope you do too!”
Between now and THIS coming Thursday, October 17 at 8pm, for every $10 you donate through my GoFundMe website, you will get one entry into the raffle! All those who donated previously for the raffle of the Alpaca throw are automatically entered. John Henry is 19.5 x 24.5 inches and will be a wonderful conversation starter on display in your home. I will announce the winner via video. Thank you and GOOD LUCK!
This post originally appeared on http://operationireland.wordpress.com!