We passed one another during the week (after all, she was on my well-worn path to “that” back hall room I visited often). I’m sure we made eye contact a time or two as I traipsed by. I remember noticing the exciting colors she was hooking with and the alternative fabrics she was adding to her piece. But as fate would have it, we didn't start talking to each other until the final hours of camp when everyone was packing up. Once we started talking, we found common ground and passion for hooking “outside the box.”
The only problem is that Roberta is over 3,000 miles away in Nova Scotia, so we are too far from one another to see each other anytime soon. Thankfully the internet will keep us connected and I hope she will need a break from the snow and come to visit me in sunny California.
|My new friend Roberta. She shows off her rug for a picture on the last night of Yellow Rose Rug Camp in Salado Texas.|
How I wish we had crossed paths earlier in the week to spend more time together.
I am totally smitten with Roberta’s style of hooking. I could tell from brief observations during the week that she’s no fainting violet to the use of color and hooking by her own spirit. Roberta is bold with color and wild in abandon to traditional hooking rules (she mentioned hooking with Deanne Fitzpatrick as an inspirational teacher, so you can imagine Roberta is comfortable with a free spirit). A bit of a roust-a-bout like me, she hooks from her heart and creative instinct.
As she describes her style (her own words): “I do love hooking with abandon! I 'design' all my own rugs and freely admit that I go right to the linen with my sharpie and draw whatever is in my head at the moment. I draw it in about 2 minutes. I admit that I don't do any colour planning either and choose colours helter-skelter as I go. And 95% of the wool I use is recycled wool from second-hand clothing stores, making it a green craft (which I love!). I don't usually have time to do any dyeing so getting the right colours is just luck and I don't worry about it too much. Confessions here! But that's the truth of it. That's the joy of rug hooking for me. If I had to colour plan, agonize over the design or hook somebody else's pattern, I know I wouldn't be doing it. For one thing, I wouldn't have time! For me, it's all about self-expression and finding my own voice”.
What I love most about Roberta’s style is how folksy her rug appeared because she hooks all over the place directionally and in various heights of loops. I've always struggled to get my loops even. It never happens, no matter how hard I try. Roberta’s incredible rug showed me there’s no point in even trying anymore. She achieves such beauty in letting the loops fall where they may.
As you know if you follow my blog regularly, I’m always interested in achieving an old look to my rugs. I think a new trick is to vary the height of my loops, as I learned from studying Roberta’s rug. I’m going to be intentionally experimenting with high and low loops soon - just going with wild abandon!
|Bold and beautiful.|
|Lots of color, lots of infusion of interesting fabrics like silk scarves, velvet.|
|I was trying to capture the variance in loop height in this picture. It doesn't show up very well in the photo.|
|Original design by Roberta Hancock, Nova Scotia. All rights reserved.|
I could not get over the beauty of Roberta’s rug; its natural ability to pull the eye with vivid color and helter-skelter movement.
Roberta sent me more pictures since returning home from camp. I asked her what she’s going to do with her Texas rug (like hint, hint, are you going to sell it?!!). Darn, she’s keeping it. I would have been making an offer on it immediately if it was available! And guess what? I don’t buy other peoples’ rugs because I hook…. But this rug, I love it!
|Roberta's finished rug hangs beautifully in her dining room area.|
I hope you've enjoyed seeing Roberta’s fine work. And I hope even more that Roberta and I can hook together one-on-one soon so I can learn more from her. Bless you Roberta, my new hooking soul mate!
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