What's this...what am I feeling the need to cover up?
Actually, this is a small 3"x3" punchneedle embroidery piece I made about five or seven years ago. Why? Because it's stitched to the middle of a larger piece of heavy wool, with which I cover up my punchneedle embroidery gripper frame when I am not using it so that I can handle the frame without scraping my hands and skin on the zillion sharp grippers.
As anyone who's used one of these frames knows, the grippers really hurt when they come in contact with you. And they act a bit like a more lethal form of velcro, catching on anything they touch--so best to keep them completely covered when the frame isn't in use.
I'm about to begin working on another rug, a pattern called "Micmac" which I bought probably 20 years ago and have always wanted to hook. I am not sure who makes this pattern but I think it might be from Charco and designed by Jane McGown Flynn. I've had it so long that I'm no longer certain.
I think this may be one of the last patterns I own; there is one more very ornate oriental rug pattern I've been putting off for years, and after that I plan to do only rugs I design myself.
Before I begin actual hooking, I wanted to do a tiny version of the piece using punchneedle embroidery. This afternoon I took a blown-up picture of the pattern and did some preliminary color ways on it (you only see one here) and then transferred the pattern to weaver's cloth and put it onto my gripper frame. Now all I have to do is collect the threads and I can begin punching this piece as a prototype to see if I like the colors. It's a great way to test out color ways and a lot less expensive than trying it out on the actual rug with wool. I'm looking forward to beginning this prototype!
Here you can see the paper and underneath it the transfer. If you look really hard, you might just make out some of those sharp little gripper strips sticking through the frame waiting to scrape your skin, which is why they work so well to hold the fabric drum-tight for the punching.
I'm a textile artist (traditional rug hooking, punch needle rug hooking, and other textile arts), a long-time meditator, a certified meditation teacher and coach, and focused on learning about the interplay of art, creativity, and mindfulness every day.
SITES TO WATCH:
Insight Meditation Society
Oxford Rug Hooking School
Zentangle: The Official Site
Green Mountain Rug Hooking
Massachusetts Tarot Society