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Pastimes PEI Rug Hooking Pattern Hooked by a New Rug Hooker

18 Jul
Pastimes PEI Geometric Pattern

Our friend, Bonnie is a new rug hooker and this is her progress ‘report’ to us…

It is  special day, indeed, when someone comes back into Pastimes PEI to show us their progress on one of our patterns.  Our pattern, Dragonflies in Formation, has never been hooked in such pretty colors.  Our new friend and new rug hooker, Bonnie is having us help her plan the last set of blocks.  It is her first big piece after wisely practicing on small ones.  She had bought some great nubby yarn in her travels and decided it could be her dragonflies; and you all know that once you pick the main color, the rug starts to take you on a path of it’s own.  There is no turning back, it seems: you can pick the next color out of your favorites but if that first color ‘screams’ “not quite right” – you’ll have to find a better match to the first color.

And from there you learn that choosing colors is dictated by the ones already there.  That’s why we tell you that every hooked rug is a journey into the unknown, no matter how experienced you are at choosing colors.  It is a little hard to tell in the picture, but the deep blue blocks/ turquoise blocks are all hooked but the grey-looking ones opposite them are not filled in yet.  If she chooses a light color for the rest of the blocks, her mat will have a high contrast look re the blocks; if she chooses a dark color with less contrast, she will have a rich-colored look.  You will have to wait for that…………

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Some history of PEI hooked rugs or mats as they are called

19 Oct

Not much has been written down about the ‘everyday work’ of women. We have found out what we know in bits and pieces over the years. Our desire to know more all started with my paper for a PEI arts course  at the University of Prince Edward Island way back in the nineties. I wrote the paper before I knew anything about the deep traditions of PEI and Maritime rug hooking.  But once Heather and I started finding out little bits and pieces about the women and their rugs, we wanted to know more. Luckily for us, Heather always took pictures. The pictures were a great way for us to talk to the people who had hooked the mats. They couldn’t believe we wanted to take pictures of ‘those old things’. There are a couple of places that have information on the history of hooked rugs. One is this article by Anne Nicholson of PEI whose short history of PEI mats is: http://www.gov.pe.ca/firsthand/index.php3?number=44601&lang=E

My paper on Rug Hooking is in the Island Collection at the UPEI library. One of these days I may get it retyped and on here for you to read directly.



Jack likes the vintage look, the Cavendish Mat




This is the new Cavendish by Heather

 You can read about our lives as rug hookers today at this site:
http://seaandbescene.com/2011/10/three-sisters-one-success-story-pastimes-pei/

We also had the Great Canadian Adventure guys visit us in September; they are getting their PEI stories on line. I am waiting with guarded anticipation for their story about Pastimes PEI and our collection of Barry’s machinery outside the studio.

first customer at Pastimes PEI today

14 Aug

 We get a variety of customers here at the shop: https://www.facebook.com/#!/pastimespei



buying anything??



August on Prince Edward Island – the view from here at Pastimes PEI….

7 Aug

July and August bring out the best of PEI. The weather usually cooperates with all the events that take place outside but when it doesn’t, there is always a kitchen to sit in or a hall that is hosting a ceilidh, just a kitchen party with a few extras. Today Jack and I are home alone. I put out my new sign “OPEN” because Jack thinks it’s nice but not nice enough to pose with. He thinks it looks better from a distance. I’ll show it to you.. and Jack looking at it from a distance… we sit on the doorstep to contemplate life in general. And look at the gardens around us that include alot of Barry’s machinery, like the old plow down at he gate. Brenda Watts of Cattails and Brenda Watts Woodworking http://www.brendawattswoodwork.com/ made my ‘open’ sign to replace the tacky one we had. She does lovely woodworking and has a lot of really cool painted vintage-inspired signs to go with her acorns, cutting boards, rolling pins and and all manner of natural wooden products that she turns out in her shop.
Down here we have lots of birds to keep an eye on. Weare hoping formore ducklings before too long as only one baby survived this spring of the two that hatched alive.

Our Arts and Heritage sign finally has some lilies around it. Most of them are from http://www.redlanegardens.com/ just a few miles from here.

here’s Jack looking over his kingdom this morning.

And the window box that is finally getting some PEI sunshine.

These roosters are brothers that hatched last summer. Lets just say that they rool the roost even tho Jack thinks he does. have a great day, everyone.

Pastimes PEI and the Artifacts at Orwell Corner Historic Village

3 Aug

Because I sometimes work down the road at the Orwell Corner Historic Village, I meet a variety of people from all around the world. They come to see what PEI looked like in the olden daysand experience some of the things that would have gone on long ago. The blacksmithing shop is popular with people who realize the value of making implements and shoeing horses, for example. We had one in Vernon when I was growing up. We loved the place and Dinnie Docherty who could make anything for Dad while we waited and talked.

On Sunday at Orwell Corner, we joined a group of artisans who were showing people how to create many of the things that would have been made by hand in the olden days. They had lunch that was made from the garden vegetables with fresh biscuits from Anna’s Tea Room. Visitors got to try their hands at painting with Bette Wichers, bird-carving with Jim Jenkins, rug hooking with us and they learned how to make soap from ashes and lard from Cindy Rice as well as how flax is turned into linen by Brenda Whiteway. Bev Beaton and her family talked about her photography and the staff of Orwell Corner made candles and ice cream with help from visitors.

I am telling you all his to set the stage for showing you what we all look like in historic costumes because a friend who shall remain nameless, told my husband he saw an artifact – a beautiful artifact, he may have said, sitting on a bench at Orwell Corner.  I have been called many things in my life, but an artifact has not been mentioned before. Now I knpw why I fit in so well at the Village. I’m not a relic, I am an artifact, whick, I would say, would elevate me to a higher status, I should think. Anyway, here are a few artifacts and things from Orwell Corner’s “made in PEI” Day this past Sunday.


Ellen and Shirley filling the plates for folks…



The Beaton family enjoys lunch….

Heather shows how to hook a mat…

the cotton candy was great…. dessert….



Brenda Whiteway explaining how to work with flax…



wagon rides with Kevin drew a crowd…

Cindy and her soap artifacts….

the official artifact herself…

cotton candy ..did I say delicious?? ask Annie

Heather and I were relics with relics again on Monday..oops, artifacts….





New Photos on Facebook at pastimespei

8 May
ready for corn sunflowers and pumpkins

muffins muffins muffins

Took some pictures this morning just outside the house; every one seems to have such exciting unusual photos…this is all I’ve got…spring comes late here on the Island. That’s why we make the most of the warm weather of summer. This is the first day that I could sit outside on the doorstep, sit Earl Grey and listen to Stewart MacLean on the radio. All Jack can do it run, sniff, run sniff…I put a few more on Facebook at
https://www.facebook.com/pastimespei