My teacher, Bea Grant (I just love her, she knows her Prim stuff) Me posing with my still unfinished rug, and a finished rug.
I am recovering from a GREAT week at rug hooking school (my first rug camp) in Peterborough Ontario Canada. It is called The Trent School of Rug Hooking, and lucky for me it is held in my hometown! I was able to make it home each night, and snuggle up with my Hubby and the dogs. With my health being so yucky I didn't know if I would be able to do the week, but everyone was relaxed, and it wasn't a problem at all.
What an experience. The Trent school has been running for 34 years, and I spoke extensively to many repeat students throughout the week. I wanted to see what brought them back over and over. The people (approx. 115), food, the setting, at a lovely university in a pretty mid-sized town, and the quality of teacher that comes to share their knowledge. The various courses offered change each year, as do the teachers, and there are showcase teachers every morning at assembly to 'sell' their course for the next year. When we filled out our evaluation forms at the end of the week, we wrote in whether we would like to see any of these classes on 2008's schedule. They were also very receptive to complaints and improvements offered.
The course that I chose was 'Primitives' with Bea Grant as the teacher. We started Sunday afternoon with registration, then a little break for the ones staying on campus to unpack and rest or have a drink, then dinner. Although I was a commuter, I wanted to get the most out of the camp that I could, so planned on staying for most of the dinners, and the evening activities. How else would I get to know these people?
I have never been more welcomed by strangers over and over again throughout the week in my life. See, even though I am a newish hooker/penny rugger, I didn't want to take the beginner class. The description for the beginner class when I signed up was shading and making a flower, while the primitive class was, well, more primitive! Also, Beatrice Grant our teacher, wrote to us several times over the winter, and she loves the things I love, we have the same tastes in all things arty (is that a word?)she loves to make penny rugs as do I, and we both love rusty things. Anyway, she let me take her class, and I worked for ages designing my first rug, which I had to transfer onto the hairless linen that Bea was bringing to class. I had a design all ready, and when she came around to look at mine, she asked me if I really wanted her opinion, or did I just want to hook what I had drawn? I said 'bring it on sister' and she did. I just a matter of minutes, she had redirected me on to the right track, and I raced home at ten at night, got out some more paper, redrew my pattern, and went to bed at 3am a very happy girl.
I by no means got my rug finished at school, I was too busy soaking up all of the knowledge that Bea and the other students were more than willing to share. I think that the container of homemade maple fudge might have helped too. We worked, Bea taught, we toured the other classes, shopped at the hooking boutique many times,had meetings, ate a ton, and talked and laughed together all week long. Once I had the knowledge, done a little hooking, finished my colour plan ect., I knew that I could do the rest on my own.
I feel like I made 115 new friends this past week, and you can bet that I'll be signed up for Trent's school next year....hmmm, proddy rug course, or that new hooked purse course, or the crazy cats course...............can't decide, I wish I could take them all, no wonder some of these women have been coming for thirty four years, and from as far away as England and Bermuda!