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Saturday, September 19, 2015

Rug Hooking Tour

Trip to Nova Scotia
 By: Dawna Matthew

While attending Green Mountain Rug School this past June I was invited and encouraged to take part in a weeklong “Rug Hooking Tour of Nova Scotia” organized by Lynn Soule of The Champlain Islands Fiber Bees. And what an amazing adventure it turned out to be! From September 12 to 18 I joined 62 other hookers on a huge bus that departed from Vermont and headed off to Nova Scotia.


Champlain Island Fiber Bees
Champlain Island Fiber Bees


Our first stop was Searsport Rug Hooking in Verona, Maine, then on to the lovely Algonquin Resort in St Andrews, NB. Next day we hit Deanne Fitzpatrick’s studio in Amhurst, NS. Deanne opened her studio on a Sunday especially for us and did we have fun! We shopped and no one dropped!!
Deanne Fitzpatrick
Lynn Soule’s rug, the design from Deanne Fitzpatrick, with her friends who are depicted in the rug

Deanne Fitzpatrick
Deanne’s studio entrance

Deanne Fitzpatrick
Deanne’s studio entrance

One of the trips highlights was a visit to the Rug Hooking Museum of North America where we were greeted by Suzanne Conrod. I think most of us were close to tears as she expressed her regret that her late husband and co-founder, Hugh, could not share the experience of having a whole bus full of rug hookers pull up at the museum door! If ever you have the opportunity to visit this wonderful museum take advantage, you will not regret it.

 Rug Hooking Museum of North America
The whole gang  - Rug Hooking Museum of North America
 Rug Hooking Museum of North America

Suzanne Conrod at the museum

 Rug Hooking Museum of North America
Original Maud Lewis paintings bought for 25 cents each and later donated to the museum.


Our next studio was Encompassing Designs in Malone Bay, NS owned by Christine Little, followed by a stop at the scenic Peggy’s Cove. Then on to Pictou, NS and more shopping at Rags to Rugs.

Encompassing Designs
Dawna with Christine Little
Encompassing Designs
Lynn Soule getting ready to spend her gift certificate at Encompassing Designs

Peggy’s Cove
Peggy’s Cove

Pictou
Fooling around in Pictou
We finally arrived at Cheticamp on Cape Breton where we spent two days visiting Les Trois Pignons Museum which houses displays of early life in the Cheticamp area plus antique and contemporary hooked rugs created by local craftspeople. There is a large part of the museum devoted to the amazing work of Elizabeth LeFort, known as Canada’s Artist in Wool. There are several shops in the area which sell rugs produced by local artists who work in the “Cheticamp style” of hooking with 2 ply wool yarn and using a twisting technique to pull their loops.


Elizabeth LeFort
Elizabeth LeFort’s work - Les Trois Pignons Museum

Elizabeth LeFort
Elizabeth LeFort’s work - Les Trois Pignons Museum

Elizabeth LeFort
Elizabeth LeFort’s work - Canadian Centennial Rug - Les Trois Pignons Museum

On our return trip we stopped in New Brunswick at Heidi Wulfraat’s studio. Some of you may know her from her Rug Hooking Daily blog.

Part of the fun was watching the smiles on studio owners’ faces when our bus full of potential customers arrived at their shops! Bet that doesn’t happen too often!

One might think that it was a very long drive and of the hours spent sitting but there was never a dull moment. I enjoyed just walking down the bus aisle and watching the progress of the various fibre projects underway. Hookers are never idle so, although it was impossible to bring our hooking equipment, many had knitting, crocheting and even needle punch to pass the time. Such a talented group of people! And for me the hard part of the trip was fitting all my purchases into my suitcase!

Throughout the trip we were kept on schedule by Bill from Green Mountain Tours and none of this could have been possible without all Lynne Soule’s hard work. Our Nova Scotia “Wool Tour” was a huge success!