Tag Archives: culture

Turning an Idea into a Rug Hooking Pattern at Pastimes PEI

12 Oct
Millview Too Pattern by Pastimes PEI

“Millview  Too!” pattern by Pastimes PEI

It’s all about simple compositions and, classic PEI rug hooking style as we create our Pastimes PEI rug hooking patterns. We hook our pieces to see how they work before we offer them for sale as patterns or kits. We want the people who hook our designs to simply enjoy the process and, in turn, create a hooked piece of their own art that stands the test of time.

In the past, when we began making our our designs to hook for ourselves, we made simple designs that used minimum colors because we were using what we had on hand. The more we studied the old rugs from Prince Edward Island, the more we understood how ‘mats’ were hooked in the past before traditional rug hooking became a popular leisure hobby for many people and a business for those providing the materials, equipment and lessons for thousands of eager crafters.

We start with an idea, scratch it on a piece of paper, work out a rough draft of the composition, the size, the proportions, the border, the colors ….. and ‘voila’ a new rug is taking shape.  You will notice that all of our rugs have a name. We call them by name. We always have a reason for making each and every pattern, therefore, the name evolves.

P1120212

It takes planning to get patterns ready. The more planning you do up front, the easier it will be to hook your design. If you are planning your own pattern, here are a few simple rules:

  • Sketch your subject matter using the same proportions as the actual hooked piece
  • Take into consideration the size of motifs in the drawing; are they large enough to actually hook?
  • Use a piece of backing that is large enought to accomodate the entire work; you have to include the width of your border and you need room around the edges to attach to your frame for hooking;
  • Draw the outside edges on the grain of the backing for a rectangle or square rug; draw any straight edged motifs on grain as well, using the pattern lines as a guide
  • Use a permanent black marker to draw the pattern; you’d be surprised how pencil lines disappear as you hook on your project
  •  Keep a notebook of your original inspirations, ideas, sketches and dates along with the progress of the work so you can prove ownership and, therefore, copyright of your work.

    Display at Keleidoscope Festival, 2014

    A Display of Pastimes PEI Hooked Items

For us here at Pastimes PEI the most exciting aspect of rug hooking is seeing a new pattern hooked for the first time; we hook all our patterns ourselves before we sell a pattern, just to make sure it is suitable to hook at any skill level.  But when people start showing us their versions, it is simply a thrill. You can see what I mean by the following two examples hooked from our pattern, Evergreen. I have just listed the pattern on our Etsy shop: https://www.etsy.com/shop/pastimespei.

kim Allen Mission BC Evergreen

Hooked by Kim Allen of British Columbia – reminds her of Emily Carr and cedars on West coast

pattern pics 003

Heather Tweedy’s Evergreen summery PEI version

Pastimes PEI Evergreen

Shirlee Hogan’s Blue Spruce version with a touch of autumn

Advertisements

It’s All About the Wool at Pastimes PEI

5 Sep

"Happy Sheep" on PEI

Rug hooking is a rural tradition that continues to evolve and enrich the lives of rug makers on Prince Edward Island; since we are “all about the wool” here at Pastimes PEI, we often tell our visitors about the customs of the people who made PEI their home and made nearly everything they possessed by hand.

The counrty craft of rug hooking may have been brought here by the hardy Scottish settlers who landed in this area with their sturdy Highland sheep. Wool has properties that make it perfect for winter clothing, bedding and, of course, hooked rugs. Just down the road from here the local mill made rolls of wool; my father used to tell us how his mother sent the sheared wool from the farm to the mill in Millview (Pastimes PEI is located in the little community of Millview, P.E.I.) because it made the best “rolls”. Wool carding is the process of brushing the wool fibres to organize them. It creates a continuous web of fibres that can be layed out flat into batts, rolled into rovings, or split into spinning rolls. The natural fibers that we use in rughooking today include the burlap and linen backings through which the wool is hooked.

At Pastimes PEI we create our hooked items in wool, the fiber that they ‘grew’ on their own farms in the past; today we use local yarns from the small PEI and New Brunswick mills that still make yarn, and buy wool flannel fabric from USA. The popularity of rug hooking in North America and around the world, these days, keeps the factories producing wool fabric, yarn and fibers especially for rug hooking, felting, knitting, sewing and other wool crafts. We are glad that people today are raising the sheep and others are spinning and weaving it so we can enjoy our favorite pastime.

That is why it’s all about the sheep and their wool here at Pastimes PEI.

 

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…………

Our Pastimes PEI Rug Hooking Patterns are Made Right Here in PEI

19 Apr

This post contains  my answer to Rug Hooking Daily‘s three questions below:

Heidi’s Questions:

Hello pattern designers, we have a few questions for you….

What goes into the making of a hooked rug pattern? Often we look at a well executed design and it looks as though someone simply put whimsy and sharpie to canvas et voila a pattern!

Her comment: of course, I know that’s not the way it works. Some of the very best patterns seem as though they were so simple to put together. Making it look easy seems to be an art in itself.

Tell us about your design making process, the work that lies behind creating a good pattern that can be sold to be hooked. What is it like to work at this as a source of income and how important is copy-write for all of us who love the craft?

My answer: 

Funny you should ask……..I can comment on all of the above – by the time we get out patterns on ‘printed’ on the backing for sale in the shop, we have put a lot of work and thought into the design, the placement of the motifs and thought about how it can be hooked successfully by our customers. It is quite funny, actually, when we hear people comment on how easy they could do it themselves. In the shop, it is mostly new or non hookers who make the casual comment while the experienced hooker is gladly shelling out the money for the pattern. We see it all the time – people with the main subject hooked but stuck on what to do next. Often there is not enough room around the outside to make the main motif(s) fit into a pleasing place in the mat. We take into consideration all that stuff when we create a pattern: we plan the size and proportion of the mat, the placement of the main subjects and the amount of background or ‘space’ other than the motifs, the best type of border, and lots of other little details. After we hook one sample, we get it figured out and look at size, shape, placement before committing the marker to burlap/linen. You have just got me started: we love to design patterns!! by we I am talking about my sister and I – she actually draws the patterns on the pieces for sale – I am far too messy.

Now what was the other question? Source of income? You bet; our Prince Edward Island patterns are of local subjects and based on traditional Island and Maritime patterns. We specialize in geometrics – vintage hooked geometrics never cease to amaze us here at Pastimes PEI. Bring in your vintage geometric and try not to be surprised that we ignore you and gloat over an old, well-used hooked mat from the past.  And we think that patterns should be simple – simple subjects, limited colors; plain, in fact, is most charming and actually harder to create successfully than hooking in too many colors;  our patterns reflect that: simple yet charming with that ageless look. That’s our style and it works well for newer hookers. they will not get overwhelmed with too much clutter and color in a project. When we first started making patterns to ‘pay for our hooking habits’ we thought they were pretty plain… they still are; we have come to recognize it is our style, after the style of our ancestor-hookers.

copyright you SAY? Most of the time people respect our work; it is something we tell people: we made this and we are proud to sell it to you; you can not find it anywhere else; please respect that. I am not sure how anyone can ‘love’ a piece if they know it was taken from someone else’s collection. Assert yourself and tell others that copyright applies to rug designs as it does to other works created for art. It is pretty easy to copy stuff from the internet these days and I see more and more people talking about the infringement issue. It is like buying fake brand name clothes – you get what you pay for.   My conscience would bother me. I love to get the high- feeling of seeing/making my own work. I have lots of other comments, actually, butshould get into action and actually hook something today. Cheers from Shirlee for today. And please comment,,,,,

Our winter visit with the folks at Roseneath Country Inn B&B

29 Feb

Yesterday was a snow day on Prince Edward Island so we decided to visit Brenda And Edgar Dewar of Roseneath. Edgar’s grandmother was a woman who hooked very beautiful rugs in her day. So Barry and I visited to find out more about this remarkable woman of a bygone era. I have to say that I got so excited about seeing her picture and the old pictures of the Dewar Mill which they operated, I forgot to get her full name…. that’s all because we were not the only visitors to stop by their home yesterday. Barry and I were joined by two more visitors so that made our little adventure in the snow even more interesting. Brenda served us all her lovely warm scones and coffee as we chatted about who was related to whom and other important matters of the day. there are so many interesting places and interesting people on Prince Edward Island… their website is a great place to meet these two: http://www.rosebb.ca/