Rug hooking is a traditional textile practice, and of late — thanks in part to many people being home because of the COVID-19 pandemic — it’s been enjoying a renaissance in the Newfoundland and Labrador craft community.
On last weekend’s edition of CBC Radio’s Weekend AM, host Heather Barrett invited Kelley Fewer, president of the Rug Hooking Guild of Newfoundland and Labrador, and Winnie Glavine, the guild’s social media director, to be part of the live broadcast “hook-in.”
Listeners called in from a number of towns and communities, from Paradise to Harbour Grace, from Gander to Springdale to Tilting on Fogo Island.
Betty Heath from Lake Elmo, Minn. in the U.S., who first visited the province during the Cabot 500 celebrations in 1997, also dialled in to share her stories.
Beauty born of necessity
Winnie Glavine explained the “hit and miss” mat as being one of the oldest traditional mat styles, and also one of the easiest. “A set of squares on a mat, hook the strips in any order … vertical, horizontal,” she said.
According to the Intangible Cultural Heritage section of the Memorial University website, “Early mats were made from retired clothing as essential coverings for the floor. The designs once used by rug hookers ranged from simple geometric patterns to more ornate works that would only be displayed in the home’s parlour, or brought out from storage when important guests arrived.”
Today’s rug hookers are creating all sorts of contemporary patterns and designs, while staying true to original patterns of days gone by.
Over the course of the show’s broadcast, listeners were invited to submit photos of their rug hooking talents. They tweeted and sent photos via email, which you can view below. Don’t forget to listen to the audio, also below, for the wonderful stories and memories shared by listeners.
Listen in! Tune into the Weekend AM podcast, featuring the live “hook-in”
Kelley Fewer and Winnie Glavine of the Rug Hooking Guild of Newfoundland and Labrador join us for some rug hooking and a deep dive into the pile of stories surrounding rug hooking in this province. 37:57
These images — while not shared from last weekend’s radio broadcast — have been featured in various CBC Newfoundland and Labrador features in the past. Enjoy.