Wednesday, June 20, 2012

My Better Half and Rug Camp

You get to read about me all the time, but I've been holding out on sharing about my other half.  Maybe the better half, of course.  Larry and I have been together since 1987 and married since 1991.  We have always shared hobbies, or being in the same room doing our own individual hobby while we listen to TV or music.  He is a great wood carver although he doesn't pursue it much anymore.

When I took up hooking I figured out it would be better to have him on my side of the fence:  liking wool, thrift store shopping for recycled wool, stashing wool.  Hooking is expensive as you know and I didn't want family arguments about buying wool so it was important to get him in my camp.  You know what I mean?    It didn't take too long for me to swindle him into picking up a hook.
Besides hooking, Larry has over 200 Bonsai Plants
and he has a mighty good green thumb.

In the beginning Larry hooked a lot of patterns for me in 6 and 8 cuts to help me hook up some of my new ideas.  He never complained, just hooked away and enjoyed creating something.  But, small cuts 3 and 4 are really what he enjoys, so more and more he has branched off into his own rugs and they are totally different than mine.  He loves fine shading too and is becoming quite good at it.

Larry joins me at camp and some of the local hook-ins in our area.  He loves going to camp and thrives in the environment where he is one of few, if any, men hookers.  

In late 2006 Larry was affected by severe back problems which ultimately caused him to have a permanent disability in his left foot and leg.  This led to major back surgery and while he can walk, he relies on using a cane for support and can take a tumble pretty easily due to balance problems and a less functional foot/leg.  Along with several years of discomfort, this malady has cost him the loss a few hobbies like outdoor gardening and yard work, fly fishing or any hiking or biking.  While he is much improved from a few years ago, there are times he suffers a lot of pain and loss of energy.

Hooking has been a bit of a life saver for us both.  During the years of recovery after back surgery, at least Larry could sit and hook and feel good about accomplishing something by creating a rug.  For me, since our life has become a lot quieter and less outdoors oriented, I can spend time hooking as a way to pass the time at home.

Bonsai is another hobby Larry has pursued because it is like gardening on a miniature scale.  It helps provide an outdoor experience but in the safety of our back yard.

Here are some examples of his rugs that are his style and not hooked for me as pattern samples.
Larry's first major project (4' high dummy board) using a 3 and 4 cut.
Joan Moshimer Pattern
Oriental Bench (House of Price Pattern).  This was a student project for one of our local teachers at Western Teachers' Workshop.
Our own design influenced by a t-shirt graphic. 
Maple Sugaring (House of Price Pattern).  

Mt. Fuji adaption of antique block print by famous Japanese artist Hiroshige, who lived in the 1700's.
Note inset of picture on the left of the original Mt. Fuji block print.
This is the most recent rug Larry is working on.  Diane Phillips has helped to influence Larry to hook outside the box on this rug, but you can see from his Mt. Fuji rug, he's already pretty comfortable hooking with color.  I am calling this turkey Mr. Checkers and he will grace our home this fall for certain.
"Mr. Checkers" rug in progress (Jacqueline Hansen Pattern).

This is an apron I made for Larry to wear at camp and I think it describes him quite well.

I think I am very blessed to have a husband who puts up with me (I'm a handful) and shares rug hooking with me.  It has opened many doors to friendship around the country for us!

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