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When I first learned to hook I did everything in a number 4 cut – well I didn’t do fine shading!  Did one of those and after spending 1 1/2 hours doing a rosebud that was about 1 inch square decided I did not have the patience or attention span OR ability to do fine shading!  Not really sure that I had developed a “style” at that time but I knew that I loved the more primitive wide cut and folk art pieces done by some of the ladies I hooked with.  Judith Dallagret was one of my favourites – she dyed wonderful bright colours (although she would not admit that they are bright – but compared to my dirties they ARE!) and used wide cuts and had an amazing (still has!) style of her own that was very primitive and folk art oriented.  But I realised that number 4 cut really did not give the same look.

And soooooo…. I took a class at Trent with Bea Grant who introduced me to number 8! oh my god! I still have that first primitive piece which we designed ourselves with Bea’s help and hooked in number 8 (no  less than a number 6 but wider if you wanted!). Ahhhh primitive! wide cut! square foot in an hour and half!  not square inch! My attention span could handle that!  Since then I have discovered 8.5 or 5/16’s of an inch which is what I have my Townsend cutter set up with (Rigby’s are set up with 7, 8 and 6 and 3/8’s inch).  I LOVE 8.5 and do almost everything I hook in 8.5. So I think my style would definitely be considered primitive wide cut or folkart. Very occasionally I will hook something in a number 6 but that is usually more landscape oriented and mixed with yarns.  But 8.5 is such a wonderful cut.  Recently I have been using my 3/8 inch and love that too but hmmm my Townsend will cut 6 – 8.5 strips whereas my Rigby will only cut 3 of the 3/8 inch strips – so my laziness steps in and I revert back to 8.5.
There is a point to all of this!!!!  I have a couple of former students whose work is wide cut but even more primitive than mine.  I consider my colours and designs primitive but my hooking is rather, for want of a better word, anal!  Now Suzanne, who has only been hooking for about 2 years, hand cuts all her wool so it comes out different sizes and designs her own pieces (she started with 10 of my kits! and I know has done over 20 pieces) and does her own colour planning and her rugs are soooooo much more primitive than mine.  I covet them!  They are very non-anal.  Here are pix of some of the rugs she brought to the last hookin:
this and the picture below are all of the same HUGE rug that was about 6 feet wide
I LOVE this rug – kept hoping Suzanne would leave it behind!
The pig was an absolute hoot – I did see it finished with a pink showbinding if I remember correctly!
This was based on one of my kits but elongated.  I would be trying to make all those circles ROUND but what gives it that wonderful old primitive feel and look is that they are NOT….

One response »

  1. Suzanne Langsford

    Hi Loretta,

    Just got your email and hurried right away to your blog. Thanks so much for posting pictures of my rugs and for all of your kind comments. I’m not really savvy about blogs and posting pictures!

    Hope to see you on the 24th.



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