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KITCHENER – Kate Seely has a accessory pin she loves to wear. It reads: “proud to be a hooker.”

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This fibre artisan has heard all the jokes about one of her favourite adroit pastimes, rug hooking.

“I additionally accept to band absolute to angle with so I assumption you can say I’m a stripper and a hooker,” Seely says with a cackle as she uses a metal angle to cull tiny loops of absolute through a allotment of burlap.

She will do this over and over afresh to actualize a connected arrangement of colourful loops that eventually will anatomy a rug. The simple techniques and accoutrement acclimated in acceptable rug hooking haven’t afflicted abundant in over a century, but this quintessentially Canadian ability continues to advance today.

Even strips of bolt are absorbed through burlap or linen backings absorbed to a board anatomy to actualize busy rugs, bank hangings and mats. Rug hooking’s simple address hasn’t afflicted in added than a century, and its roots can be traced aback to aboriginal European settlers in Eastern Canada.

Today, rug hooking has become added art than ability as fibre artists advance the boundaries of acceptable designs to agreement with form, textures and alike materials.

Seely sits at a table alive on a baby rug draped beyond a anatomy on her lap with a accumulation of about a dozen added women at St. Peter’s Lutheran Church in city Kitchener one evening.

The women, allotment of the KW Rug Hooking Guild, allotment belief and account as they sit calm to “hook” at one of their account meetings. Abounding of them adore added fibre arts such as quilting, knitting and aberrant and were aggressive to booty up rug hooking for its adequate and repetitive nature.

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“It’s meditative,” Seely says. “You can sit and angle for hours.”

These fibre artists can actualize patterns as simple as balanced shapes or as circuitous as a abundant account or landscape. All you charge is a rug angle – a metal angle that resembles a adornment angle absorbed to a board handle – a athletic abetment like burlap, a board anatomy to authority the abetment and analogously cut strips of wool.

“It’s so creative,” says Jane Britton, additionally a longtime affiliate of the guild. “You can use altered colours and textures to actualize any attending you want.”

Traditional rug hooking is not to be abashed with latch rug hooking, which uses an angled angle to cilia and bond tiny strips of yarn through a abetment to actualize a accumulated rug.

Traditional rug hooking “really is an art form,” says Susan Dietrich. “We are added and added apropos to ourselves as fibre artists.”

She was fatigued to the aesthetic qualities of this ability that was built-in out of necessity.

“One hundred years ago avant-garde women didn’t accept carpets so they acclimated whatever they could acquisition to angle rugs with,” Dietrich explains.

With a angled nail, broken strips of men’s shirts and a potato sack, these able women fabricated rugs to accumulate their floors balmy and add a blow of colour and accuracy to their homes.

“Nothing went to waste,” she adds.

“People go to austerity food to buy clothes. We go to austerity food to attending for men’s cottony ties and absolute clothes.”

Modern day rug hookers are aloof as able as their ancestors. Most of them use recycled fibres, from cut up strips of absolute sweaters to agleam cottony ties, nylon, old T-shirts and alike $.25 of plastic.

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Many women are blame the boundaries of what one can actualize application this actual simplistic but acceptable fibre art, like Nora Hustwitt who fabricated a three-dimensional attic out of abate absorbed pieces that were again stitched together.

“I don’t like to calculation stitches so the chargeless anatomy of this is ambrosial to me,” she says.

Others booty afflatus from photographs and charm them as rugs application strips of wool. Additionally accepted as aesthetic rug hooking, this appearance is generally declared as “painting with wool,” Britton explains.

She prefers to booty on a challenge, like an busy bank blind she completed aftermost year based on a 1902 account of her grandmother dressed in acceptable Doukhobor clothing. Abounding families from this baby Christian camp came to Canada from Russia in the aboriginal 20th century.

“I bethink watching my old Russian aunts angle rugs,” Britton says. It was a ability that affronted her absorption back she was in university and she has been accomplishing it anytime since.

Britton and Seely accept been in the accumulation for decades, but abounding added bodies are abutting the ranks as absorption in this acceptable art anatomy continues to grow.

Dietrich thinks amusing media has helped accompany new associates to the guild, which currently has 34 members. The brotherhood additionally hosts workshops in accession to its approved affairs in the hopes of administration this time-honoured craft.

To apprentice added about the KW Rug Hooking Guild, go to its website at www.kwrughooking.com.

The brotherhood is hosting an addition to rug hooking chic at the Kitchener-Waterloo Art Gallery on Saturday, Feb. 2 from 1 to 4 p.m. For added information, appointment the art gallery’s website at www.kwag.ca.

Twitter: @LatifRecord

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