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About a year ago I got a call from Evelyn. We had not met but she was calling to ask if I could dye wool for her for an oriental!!!! ME DYE FOR AN ORIENTAL! Holy Cow – I dye primitive! Mixed up wool! All together in the same pot! mostly only good for wide cut! But I said – sure I can do that – and then afterwards I thought – am I nuts!!!! So Evelyn and Lois came for a visit and picked out some wools that they thought would be good in the oriental and looked at some samples and then told me that this was a bigggggg rug (73 x 39 I think) and that it had to be Dorr wool because it was going to be number 3 cut. Wellll at that point I started to doubt myself again but we came to a decision on colours (reallllly well abashed) and quantities and as Evelyn departed she popped in the last little zinger – I’m 88, she says, and I want to get this done fast because I am not sure I will be around long enough!!!! Well not much pressure there! So I started with the outline and sent that off to her – it was perfect she said. And we went on from there. Every so often I would hear from Evelyn about the progress or lack thereof!!!! Seems the burlap would not stick to her gripper strips – what to do! She called the designer of the pattern, the fellow who imports the grippers to Canada and Moshimers – all to no avail. So she worked with it on her frame but not tight – it was loose and if you have ever seen an oriental it has to be perfectly even as it is supposed to look woven – very difficult to do if your rug pattern will not stick and is not tight on the frame!!! Second problem – the wool that she had already had for the field in the center shredded in a number 3 cut and she had to switch to number 4 (well not a problem for me moving up a cut but for Evelyn it was frustrating). THEN the burlap strands broke 3 times! and had to be fixed by weaving in another strand – again one broken strand on a wide cut is not the end of the world but number 3 and 4 will not hold if the strands break! Then Evelyn ran out of wool and sent me a small piece – this is what I need another piece of! ohhhhhh THANK GOODNESS I KEPT THE FORMULA AND ALLLLLL ITS VARIATIONS! cause I was able to dye the perfect match. Finally Evelyn emailed me and said it is done!!!! And yesterday she and daughter Lois came to show me the rug. It is so beautiful!!!! And I am so proud to have been involved in a small way in the making of this rug. Congratulations Evelyn!!!! so now on to the next BIGGGG rug!…

Evelyn’s lovely rug…HPIM4745

Lovely Evelyn…HPIM4747

18 responses »

  1. Wow, that is REALLY a beautiful rug…I really like the colours and I can see that it would be an intriguing project to work on. Also, Evelyn is also a beauty, and she looks the picture of health! I think there is lots of time to convert her to wide cut and she can produce lots more rugs in her time on this earth 🙂 Great story Loretta, thanks for sharing.

  2. Wow,what a beautiful piece of art. Thanks for sharing,Loretta.

  3. OMG! What an amazing rug. The colors are wonderful. Evelyn looks like she still has a few more rugs left in her to create……she gives us “older” gals hope that we can still create a masterpiece before we go the the Great Hook-in the Sky! Congratulations Evelyn for a job very well done.

  4. Evelyn is a beauty and her rug is GORGEOUS! I can’t imagine hooking a rug that big in a year with a wide cut, let alone a 3 & 4. Thank you so much for sharing this story!
    Hugs 🙂

  5. What a great story, Loretta! SO glad you’re back with us!!!!!!! 🙂 Annie

  6. Thank you for sharing both the picture of the finished product and of the lovely hooker. I hope to be just like her when I’m 88. Congratulations to both of you!

  7. Unbelievable!!!! So beautiful !

  8. What a wonderful post. The rug is absolutely awesome. Just beautiful. LOVE the colors. And sweet Evelyn surely doesn’t look 88, Oh my gosh to hook a rug that big and run into all those problems, she didn’t let it get the best of her. Such a great post Loretta. You did an awesome job on the dyeing!! xoxo

  9. Susan Sutherland

    You are the mistress of the dye pots! What a beautiful rug. I love the colors you dyed for her. i am not normally an oriental rug hooking fan (did one for a class I took with Joan Boyle years ago) but Evelyn’s rug is spectacular. Not your normal oriental colors and maybe that’s why I love it. Your abrashing is fabulous. Both you and Evelyn should be very very proud. What a great story, a great rug and Evelyn is super.

  10. In my lifetime, I don’t expect I will ever see another hand hooked rug as beautiful as this one. I am awe inspired by Evelyn and the support she received from you Loretta. It is like you gave birth together – it is so important. I am almost tearful hearing the story and wish I could meet Evelyn at some point…….what an inspiration she is to us all. I am so blessed to be in the community of people who are so dedicated to the craft. Brilliant effort!! A wonderful story for rug hooking magazine. Thank you so much for sharing.


  11. This is an amazing piece of rug hooking. Well done Evelyn.

  12. You both did a wonderful job its beautiful.

  13. What an amazing piece of art. Congrats to all!

  14. Hi Loretta, Just wanted to say that I love this story and sure hope to be like Evelyn, my mother’s name also coincidentally). It is a beautiful rug and I can’t believe she did it in less than a year! She is a wonderful example of living life to its fullest and getting the most out of each day. Thanks for sharing, Barb

    Sent from my iPad

  15. OM goodness it is so beautiful – like the story
    the wool is a mixture of beautiful colours – congratulations to you both

  16. Evelyn Farnell

    This Oriental was designed by WILLIAM MORRIS (of England) called “Hammersmith”. Morris
    was a very famous designer of wallpaper and tapestries in the l800’s. I understand his life, etc. is shown in some museum in England. Beautiful designs are shown on the net.

  17. Brenda Gabriel

    I know Evelyn! Have not seen her since she moved from Campbellford to Belleville but I hooked with her since I started hooking and joined the Campbellford hookers! She is a wondereful hooker and always hooking rugs for her family so I asked her many many times to adopt me! Miss her smiling face at our weekly gathering!

  18. I’m going to jump in here behind Brenda because I know Evelyn, too, and have always loved her exquisite work. I’m one of the Campbellford hookers who misses her up here but it’s lovely to see she’s still maintaining her hooking ‘standards’! 😉 Looks like this rug was a great collaboration between the two of you.
    jill in Ontario


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